Graduate FAQ

Where can I find a list of classes?
A list of courses is provided in the academic catalog.

How and when do I apply to the LSC Master’s program?
Apply online for the master’s program. We accept applications for the Master’s program through May 15 for the following fall semester and October 15 for the following spring semester. Please heed the application deadlines on our graduate program page to maximize your likelihood of financial support.

Use the LSC Master’s Program Application Checklist to begin your application.

Who is my first point of contact in the department?
Tera Holtz Wagner, the Student Services Coordinator.

Is funding and financial aid available?
Yes. Click here for more information regarding funding and financial aid.

What classes count toward my degree?
Students work closely with their faculty advisor every semester to select courses that will meet the grad program requirements. Master’s students must meet the Graduate School residency minimum of 16 credits toward their 30 credit requirement for the master’s degree. Master’s students must take at least 50% of their credits as graduate-level credits:

– numbered 700 and above
– numbered 300-699 that are specifically designed for graduate students in a graduate program
– numbered 300-699 that assess graduate students separately from undergraduate students
– numbered 300-699 that have a graduate student enrollment <50% in any given semester

Is there a specific course sequence I should follow?
We encourage most students to fulfill their communication theory requirement (LSC 625, 823, or 902) during their first semester of study (if it is offered). Students will work with their faculty advisor to select classes every semester. There is a great range of flexibility for students to take the rest of the requirements and electives when it will best benefit their study.

What is the average credit load students take each semester?
Typically students take 8-10 credits per semester. The minimum credit load for full-time students is 8 credits per semester and the maximum is 15 credits per semester. For more information, refer to the enrollment guide.

How many people are in the program?
Numbers vary, but typically 15-20 master’s students are enrolled every semester.

Will I have a faculty advisor?
Every student admitted to the program is assigned a faculty advisor. Your assigned advisor will work with you during your initial enrollment, but you may change advisors any time after that.

How do I get in contact with my advisor?
Email or call your advisor. Faculty and staff contact information can be found here.

Are scholarships available?
Yes, LSC is committed to recognizing student excellence. LSC uses the Common Scholarship Application through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. CALS announces the scholarship application “open date” every fall and the deadline is typically late January or early February. Multiple reminders are sent to LSC students to complete this application. For the 2016-17 school year, LSC was able to award $42,250 in scholarships to LSC students (grad and undergrad), and CALS awarded another $54,375 in scholarships.

What are the resources for graduate students in scientific disciplines that want training in science communication?
We offer a Ph.D minor and opportunities to take individual classes. For information see the LSC Ph.D. Minor page or this helpful guide.

What is the difference between LSC and the journalism school?
LSC has its own master’s degree in Life Sciences Communication, but collaborates with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication on a joint Ph.D. program. Most students in LSC focus their research on issues related to science and technology.

What can I do with an LSC degree?
A Life Sciences Communication degree prepares students for work in academia, but also for professional careers related to communicating health, and environmental, agricultural, and biological sciences in an era of rapid technological change and media convergence.

Where can I find housing information?
Visit the Division of University Housing.

Does the application process include an interview?
No, but you are welcome to visit. Please contact Tera Holtz Wagner if you are interested in planning a visit.

Does LSC offer a minor for students from other departments?
Yes, the Ph.D. minor allows doctoral students in the biological and physical sciences to complement their main degree with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. See our LSC Ph.D. Minor page for more information.