Minor in Science Communication

The minor in science communication is available to students interested in developing their understanding of and abilities in communicating science to public audiences. It is open to students in all undergraduate majors on campus who want to deepen and broaden their knowledge of how citizens make sense of science and technology in their everyday lives.

two professors writing on sticky notes


  • Completion of 15 credit hours.
  • A maximum of two courses may be used (double-counted) toward both departmental major requirements and minor requirements.
  • A maximum of two courses may be used (double-counted) toward any additional minor(s) requirements.
  • No more than six transfer credits may be counted toward the minor.
  • A grade of ‘C’ (2.0) or better will be required for all courses to fulfill minor requirements.
  • No coursework may be taken for S/U credit.

Required Courses (6 credit hours)

  • COM 289 Science Communication and Public Engagement
  • Capstone course: advised 400-level COM elective (e.g., COM 436, 479, future risk communication or advanced science communication course, relevant special topics course, or suitable graduate course by permission). Note: recommended to take after at least 9 credits in the minor

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

Choose one course from each of the following groups (two courses total) and choose one additional course from
either of the two groups. At least six credits must be completed at 300-400 level.

COM 110 Public Speaking
COM 211 Argumentation and Advocacy
COM 301 Presentational Speaking
ENG 316 Introduction to News and Article Writing
ENG 323 Writing in the Rhetorical Tradition
ENG 333 Writing for Science and Research
ENG 425 Analysis of Scientific and Technical Writing
ENG 426 Analyzing Style

COM 200 Communication Media in a Changing World
COM 201 Introduction to Persuasion Theory
COM 226 Introduction to Public Relations
COM 292 Language, Communication, and Culture
COM 321 Survey of Rhetorical Theory (Req: Sophomore standing)
COM 327 Critical Analysis of Communication Media (Req: COM 240 and COM 257,
Corequisite: COM 240)
COM 362 Communication and Gender (Req: Junior standing, COM 112)
COM 392 International and Crosscultural Communication
COM 395 Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media (Req: ENG 101)
COM 402 Advanced Group Communication (Req: COM 202)
COM 411 Rhetorical Criticism (Req: Junior standing)
COM 417 Advanced Topics in Communication and Race (COM 257, Corequisite: COM 250)
COM 421 Communication Law (Req: Junior standing)
COM 436 Environmental Communication (Req: COM 230 or STS 214)
COM 441 Ethical Issues in Communication (Req: COM 110, 112)
COM 442 Communication and Conflict Management (Req: COM 112)
COM 447 Communication and Globalization (Req: COM 327)
COM 451 Visual Rhetoric (Req: COM 201 or COM 321)
COM 456 Organizational Communication (Req: COM 230)
COM 466 Nonprofit Leadership and Development
COM 467 Advanced Topics in Gender and Communication (Req: COM 327 or COM 362)
COM 479 Climate Change Communication
COM 487 Internet and Society (Req: COM 250 or COM 257 or STS 214)
COM 493 Special Topics in Public Relations (Req: Juniors and Seniors)
ENG 341 Literature and Science (Req: Sophomore standing)
ET 455 Adaptive Management and Governance (Req: Junior standing)
MEA 488 Meteorology for Media (Req: ENG 331, ENG 332, ENG 333, or COM 110)
NR 484 Environmental Impact Assessment (Req: Senior standing; 4 credits)
PRT 442 Recreation and Park Interpretive Services (Req: Junior standing)
STS 214 Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society
STS 302 Contemporary Science and Human Values (Req: Sophomore standing)

Note: Students who have officially declared the minor and who wish to take a course on the
elective list for which they do not currently meet the prerequisites should express their interest in
the course to the minor adviser to discuss the possibility of applying for a waiver of the course


Students wishing to complete the minor must contact the minor coordinator before they begin junior year and/or before they have completed 90 credits toward a bachelor’s degree. To declare a minor, students should complete and submit the declare a minor form to Registration and Records.


The minor must be completed no later than the semester in which the student expects to graduate from his or her degree program. Students can monitor their progress toward completing the minor by viewing their minor degree audit in MyPack Portal.

Minor Coordinator

Dr. Andrew R. Binder
Associate Professor of Communication
204 Winston Hall