For Professionals

LSC offers a number of online summer courses open to individuals seeking to enhance their skill set and become better science communicators. Our classes are appropriate for scientists interested in learning to better communicate about their research to a variety of audiences, communication professionals looking to gain a better understanding of how to communicate about topics like health, biotechnology, agriculture or the environment, and individuals interested in science communication in general.

What’s next?

Individuals who want to take LSC online courses and are not currently enrolled students, need to first complete a free application to be a UW-Madison “special student” at least one month prior to the start of the course in order to enroll in courses at the university. The application can be found here.

Applicants will be asked to select their student status in the application. Most likely, individuals interested in courses offered by the Department of Life Sciences Communication will fall under the category of UNDS (Professional Development or Personal Interest) or UNRS (Preparation for Admission to Graduate or Professional School).

Please Note: The special student application asks for a statement of interest, but this can be a short sentence stating the class of interest.

Information about special student tuition and fees can be found on the Adult Career and Special Student Services’ tuition and fees webpage.

For additional information on special student status, refer to the university special student section of the UW-Madison Continuing Studies website.

Summer LSC online course offerings:

LSC 251: Science, Media and Society

Duration: 8 weeks
Credits: 3

LSC 251 is an eight-week online asynchronous course that runs from June 19 to August 13, 2023.

This course explores how we all make personal and political decisions at the intersection of science, media, and society. How do we form opinions about emerging technologies we know little about? Why are societies sometimes so divided in their interpretations of scientific facts and phenomena? Why are there pronounced differences in how consumers and policymakers in Europe, the U.S. other parts of the world react to new technologies? How can we better communicate and debate science and health in a global marketplace? What role do rapidly changing online news environments play in changing how we communicate about science and technologies worldwide? And how can we correct misperceptions during pandemics like COVID-19 with science that is still emerging and changing over time? The course also explores practical implications for different aspects of science and technology studies, such as science journalism, marketing, new (information) technologies, political aspects of emerging technologies, scientific literacy, etc.

LSC 332: Print and Electronic Media Design

Duration: 5 weeks
Credits: 3

LSC 332 is a five-week online asynchronous course that runs from June 12 to July 16, 2023.

This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of digital design and visual communications combining an introduction to design theory with hands-on experience strategically planning and executing digital design using Adobe software programs. Students will learn how to research, plan, design, and produce a variety of print and digital communication pieces that can be added to their portfolio.

LSC 350: Visualizing Science and Technology

Duration: 5 weeks
Credits: 3

LSC 350 is a five-week online asynchronous course that runs from July 3 to Aug. 6, 2023.

This course introduces the theoretical and practical principles of visual communication pertaining to science, environment, and agriculture. Throughout the summer, students will (1) identify and analyze visual representations of interested topics, (2) understand and explain their effectiveness in terms of illustrating, informing, and persuading, (3) offer and justify recommendations for visual design practices. Students will also learn to discern unethical manipulations of visuals, such as deepfakes, distorted data graphs, and fake photos.

LSC 432: Social Media for the Life Sciences

Duration: 5 weeks
Credits: 3

LSC 432 is a five-week online asynchronous course that runs from May 30 to July 2, 2023.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, SnapChat, Pinterest, WhatsApp, TikTok, live video, content marketing (e.g., blogging), along with smart phones, tablets, smart devices (e.g. Alexa) drones and other tools have had major impacts on how we communicate with one another, how we learn about our world, and how we live our lives. Social listening, social media monitoring, influencer marketing and more are now skill sets organizations of all sizes utilize to better communicate.

LSC 432 is a survey course exploring the communication and community impacts of social media, current social media tools, and the principles of how the different social media tools are used and how they work. In this 5-week summer course, we will explore social media from strategic, applied and tactical perspectives.