Undergraduate Certificate in Science Communication

Undergraduate Certificate in Science Communication

Are you interested in science and passionate about communicating to, and collaborating with, the public? The Science Communication Certificate at Iowa State University provides an excellent opportunity for students from any major to develop the skills needed to engage broad audiences around complex and sometimes controversial scientific topics.

As a Science Communication certificate student, you will develop communication skills essential for collaborating across multiple disciplines and sectors, which will position you well as competitive candidate for any industry.

Whether you aspire to become a science journalist, a science educator, a public relations specialist, or work in science policy, the Science Communication Certificate can give you the skills and expertise to succeed in your chosen field.

Certificate requirements

12 credits of core courses

CourseCourse NameCredits
JL MC/P R/ADVRT 260X Media Controversies in Science3
PHIL 206Introduction to Logic and Scientific Reasoning3
ENGL 312Communicating Science and Public Engagement3
JL MC 347Science Communication3

9 credits of electives

These credits address Science in Practice, Science and Society, and Communication in Practice. (With approval, one of these electives could be an internship or research experience.)

View Course Listings

A final portfolio

For the final portfolio, each student will select three public-facing projects completed as part of their course assignments and will compile them into a final e-portfolio with an accompanying reflection component. This online portfolio could be created through WordPress, Wix, Weebly or other sites. Listings on existing professional or other sites, such as LinkedIn, do not count. Public-facing projects are those produced specifically to engage the public, rather than present research at events where the public is invited to attend along with researchers. For example, in JLMC 347, students are required to create four written articles about science for the public, and in ENGL 312, students complete a “Science with Cyclones” project to engage fifth graders. Students may also use projects they produced to engage the public in a research experience or internship. Students will submit their e-portfolios to the Science Communication Steering Committee using this submission portal.

Resources for students and faculty


If you have a question for an advisor, please contact Tyler Schoh at tvschoh@iastate.edu

For questions about the certificate for the Steering Committee, please email sciencecomm@iastate.edu

Request research experience/internship as elective

Please submit your request using this online form.

Submit final portfolio

Please submit your portfolio using this form.

For faculty: Propose an elective


Have a question for the Science Communication Certificate team? We’d love to hear from you: sciencecomm@iastate.edu.