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

The Department of Life Sciences Communication (LSC) is a world leader in science communication research, education, and practice. The Certificate in Science Communication allows students enrolled in any graduate or professional program at UW–Madison to supplement their existing graduate coursework with a transcriptable certificate in science communication. The certificate is appropriate not only for students in the physical sciences, biological sciences, and engineering fields but also for students in professional degree programs (law, veterinary medicine, etc.).

Graduate students 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 will find this certificate particularly valuable. 

More information may be found on the department website.


All Graduate School students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal in MyUW to add, change, or discontinue any graduate/professional certificate. To apply to this certificate, log in to MyUW, click on Graduate Student Portal, and then click on Add/Change Programs. Select the information for the certificate for which you are applying.

This certificate is open to any UW-Madison student enrolled in a graduate level program outside of Life Sciences Communications (GRAD, LAW, MED, PHARM, VMED).

Professional students in the careers of Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary cannot add the certificate in the Graduate Student Portal, and should contact the program for more information.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact the 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 science communication graduate certificate and doctoral minor in life sciences communication.


Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.


Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in all Life Sciences Communications courses;
  • Enroll in courses numbered 300 or above with the "Grad 50%" attribute.

Required Courses

Core Courses
Students must complete the following courses.
LSC 700 Colloquium in Life Sciences Communication1
LSC 720 Introduction to Communication Theory and Research3
or LSC 625 Risk Communication
or LSC/​ENVIR ST/​JOURN  823 Science and Environment Communication
or LSC 902 Public Opinion of Life Science Issues
Students must complete two courses from the approved courses:
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
Culturally Responsive Science Communication
Web Design for the Sciences
Scientific Writing
Writing Science for the Public
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

Prior Coursework

Credits earned from other institutions or undergraduate degree at UW-Madison cannot be applied to certificate requirements.

Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate complex ideas effectively across different audiences, including underrepresented or particularly vulnerable audiences.
  2. Select and utilize the most appropriate theories, methodologies, tools, and practices to communicate about science.
  3. Collect relevant evidence designed to answer questions related to scientific challenges faced by industry, universities, and non-profits.
  4. Discuss some of the ethical, legal, and social implications of science.


Professors & Instructors

Brossard, Dominique (Chair)
Chen, Kaiping
Chinn, Sedona
Li, Nan
Newman, Todd
Patterson, Dexter
Scheufele, Dietram (Director of Graduate Studies)
Shaw, Bret
Stanley, Don
Xenos, Michael