Science Communication Minor

The minor in Science Communication (Subject Code 886) recognizes the pressing need in our technologically-based society to understand and communicate science issues personally and professionally. Students in the minor will learn how to access, understand and communicate evidence-based science information in the context of real-world problems. After completing the minor, students will be better prepared to understand and address the issues in communicating science effectively.

Learning goals

  • Relate the need for understanding science and the scientific process for evidence-based decision making.
  • Define the connection between science and social science expertise on science communication.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of alternative potentials/venues for careers post-graduation.
  • Improve the communication skills important for a career in medical, dental, veterinary, nursing or allied health fields.
  • Show a greater understanding of the role of science and scientists.
  • Improve the skills required for the public communication of science and for communicating science between scientists.


Students will be expected to complete a total of 18 credits of Minor approved courses, which must include three required courses and participation in a public (such as course presentation, science café, poster session, conference presentation) presentation which must be approved by the Program Advisor.  The balance of courses can be from the list of Elective Minor courses. 

Students are encouraged to contact the Program Director prior to signing up for the Minor to discuss their interest and class selections.

Required courses (9 credits required)

  • Introduction to science communication 11:374:103
  • Visualizing information: Storytelling with data 11:374:240
  • Advanced communication in the sciences 11:374:435 OR Environmental writing: Rhetorical strategies for complex ecological issues 11:374:311

Required (non-course)

  • Public science presentation

Elective courses (9 credits required from below listings)


  • Biochemical Communication 11:115:491


  • Science and Health Journalism 04:567:340
  • Health Communication 04:192:407
  • Health Literacy 04:192:307
  • Communication Theory 04:192:200


  • Effective communication skills in genetics 01:447:430 (Genetics majors only)
  • Thesis writing and communication in genetics I 01:447:414 (Genetics majors only)
  • Thesis writing and communication in genetics II 01:447:415 (Genetics majors only)


  • History of Science and Society 01:506:251

Human Ecology

  • Environmental communication 11:374:325
  • Informal science education 11:374:350
  • Risk, health and safety 11:374:430
  • Processes of human ecology 11:374:108
  • Food for thought: Agriculture and food issues in contemporary media 11:374:227
  • Environment in society and mass media 11:374:225
  • Storytelling for science majors 11:374:310          

Marine and Coastal Studies

  • Communicating sciences to informal audiences 11:628:307
  • Communicating and teaching climate science 11:628:340


  • Weather, Climate and Television 1 11:670:111 (1.5 credit)
  • Weather, Climate and Television II 11:670:112 (1.5 credit)

Nutritional Sciences

  • Nutrition Communication 11:709:442 (prereqs: 709:202, 255, 441)


  • Bioethics 01:730:249


  • Social Psychology 01:830:321
  • Health Psychology 01:830:377

Theater Arts

  • Improving communication through improv 07:965:330

Women and Gender Studies

  • Gender and Science 01:988:240

Writing Program (English)

  • Scientific and technical writing 01:355:302
  • Science writing 01:355:342
  • Science in the professions 01:355:355 (Only sections: Writing in the social sciences, Writing in medicine)
  • Writing in biology 11:355:312
  • Writing as a Naturalist 11:355:352
  • Web Authoring 11:355:425

Online courses

  • Foundations of Program Planning 11:607:401
  • Building Community Partnerships 11:607:402

NOTE: additional courses will be added as developed/approved