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Science Communication Minor

Broaden your knowledge of how citizens make sense of science and technology in their everyday lives.

Minor Overview

The minor in science communication helps students develop their understanding of communicating science to public audiences. It is open to students in all undergraduate majors.


  • 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 is 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: An 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: We recommend taking the capstone course after completing 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 one additional course from either of the two groups. At least six credits must be completed at the 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: Communication for Science and Research
  • 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
  • COM 327: Critical Analysis of Communication Media
  • COM 362: Communication and Gender
  • COM 392: International and Crosscultural Communication
  • COM 395: Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media
  • COM 402: Advanced Group Communication
  • COM 411: Rhetorical Criticism
  • COM 417: Communication & Race
  • COM 421: Communication Law
  • COM 436: Environmental Communication
  • COM 441: Ethical Issues in Communication
  • COM 442: Communication and Conflict Management
  • COM 447: Communication and Globalization
  • COM 451: Visual Rhetoric
  • COM 456: Organizational Communication
  • COM 466: Nonprofit Leadership & Development
  • COM 467: Advanced Topics in Gender and Communication
  • COM 479: Climate Change Communication
  • COM 487: Internet and Society
  • COM 493: Advanced Topics in Public Relations
  • ENG 341: Literature and Science
  • ENG 425: Analysis of Scientific and Technical Writing
  • ET 455: Adaptive Management and Governance
  • MEA 488: Meteorology for Media
  • NR 484: Environmental Impact Assessment
  • PRT 442: Recreation and Park Interpretive Services
  • STS 214: Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society
  • STS 302: Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values

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 prerequisite(s).


Students can apply for admission to any university minor program in MyPack Portal. Admission will be based on the student’s academic record, and in most cases no longer requires departmental review.


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.