Professor Dominique Brossard leading discussion with graduate students in LSC 700: Colloquium in Life Sciences Communication.

The Department of Life Sciences Communication is a world leader in science communication research, education, and practice. The doctoral minor in Life Sciences Communication allows students enrolled in doctoral programs from the biological and physical sciences, as well as interested students from other social science and humanities departments, to supplement their existing doctoral coursework with a transcriptable minor in Life Sciences Communication.

A doctoral minor in Life Sciences Communication is particularly valuable for graduate students in the natural and physical sciences who are interested in the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies, or who want to build an intellectual foundation for a future career in policy or various mission agencies (e.g., AAAS policy fellowships) dealing with public understanding and communication of science. Many students from these fields routinely take classes in our department, and a doctoral minor allows them to get formal recognition for their doctoral-level work in this area. 

More information may be found on the department website.

This doctoral minor is open to any UW-Madison student enrolled in a doctoral program outside of LSC. Students can declare their intent to pursue the minor by completing the Add/Change/Discontinue application process through the Graduate Student Portal (found in MyUW) and selecting the Life Sciences Communication doctoral minor. Students are strongly encouraged to contact LSC’s academic advising manager or Director of Graduate Studies (see Contact Information box on this page for emails) to discuss course planning.

Students are not allowed to earn both the doctoral minor in life sciences communication and science communication graduate/professional certificate.

The doctoral minor in Life Sciences Communication is a course-based minor (10 credits) for students enrolled in other Ph.D. programs who would like to supplement their existing Ph.D. coursework with a minor in science communication.

Courses must be at the 300 level or above and should have the graduate attribute to count toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) rule.

A minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.5 in LSC Doctoral Minor coursework is required.

Contact the academic advising manager to discuss course selection for the minor.  

Required Courses
LSC 700 Colloquium in Life Sciences Communication1
LSC 720 Introduction to Communication Theory and Research3
or LSC 902 Public Opinion of Life Science Issues
or LSC 625 Risk Communication
or LSC/​ENVIR ST/​JOURN  823 Science and Environment Communication
Approved Electives6
Misinformation, Fake News, and Correcting False Beliefs about Science
Visualizing Science and Technology
Communicating Science with Narrative
Social Media for the Life Sciences
Brand Strategy for the Sciences
Digital Media and Science Communication
Documentary Photography for the Sciences
Social Media Analytics
Web Design for the Sciences
Scientific Writing
Writing Science for the Public
Health Communication in the Information Age
Risk Communication
Data Analysis in Communications Research
Conceptualization and Design of Mass Communication Research
Science and Environment Communication
Special Topics
Public Opinion of Life Science Issues
Total Credits10


Brossard, Dominique (chair)
Chen, Kaiping
Chinn, Sedona
Fisher, Madeline
Li, Nan
Newman, Todd
Patterson, Dexter
Scheufele, Dietram (director of graduate studies)
Shaw, Bret
Stanley, Don
Xenos, Michael