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The Best Science Publications to Follow

Whether you’re browsing science articles online or reading an in-depth interview in a glossy magazine, following science publications is a great way to continue your education, learn about new technology or even study an exciting subject. Check out this guide to the best science publications to follow.

“Discover Magazine”

Available online or delivered right to your mailbox, “Discover Magazine” is filled with news articles about science, colorful photos and interesting interviews. Read about health and medicine, the mind and body, technology, space, physics and even the environment in a format designed to entertain and enlighten. “Discover Magazine” offers a large variety of short science articles for readers to enjoy.

“Science Magazine”

Filled with science news, cutting-edge research and scientific articles, “Science Magazine” offers both online and printed options. View the latest technological journals, learn about robotics and space exploration and pick up tips to stay healthy throughout your life. Science articles are divided into categories that include climate issues, biology, medicine and ecology.


Designed to explore the inner workings of anything that involves technology, “Wired” is known for its cutting-edge articles on computers, business and the world of technological discoveries. Check out articles on innovation in the auto industry, gene editing and viral videos, or explore the excitement of new tech gear, both online and in print format. “Wired” offers short science articles that dip into anything that affects technology in today’s market.

“National Geographic”

Unmistakable bright yellow borders give “National Geographic” a look that collectors cherish. Known for its incredible wildlife photography, “National Geographic’s” online and print magazines also feature scientific articles designed to shine a light on the natural world (including animals, plants and people across the entire planet). Check out the children’s version of the magazine for younger readers who love science.

Popular Mechanics

Follow “Popular Mechanics” to pick up practical advice on projects that you can accomplish on your own. This science magazine is made for those who love DIY projects, with short scientific articles and insights on everything from modern industry trends to technology. Read opinions from experts in robotics, automotive engineering and inventing, or check out article about the military, space, tools and gadgets, both online and in a printed format. “Popular Mechanics” is a science magazine for anyone who wants to keep up with the world today.


online masters in science writing

MA in Science Writing

Do you enjoy explaining science? Do you delight in the wonders of nature or the process of scientific discovery, and yearn to tell those stories? Join the next generation of writers who are showing how science, medicine, and technology affect our lives.

Program Overview

Advancing technology, an ever-changing planet, and our age-old fascination with the unknown has fueled a rising demand for science and health information.

Millions now listen to podcasts or binge on documentaries about science, tech, and nature. In addition, many recent bestselling books illuminate science or medical themes.

News outlets, popular science publications, government research agencies, universities, nonprofits, biotech and pharmaceutical companies – all have a need for writers who can present complicated scientific and medical information clearly and accurately. Whether in a news story or speech, press release or website, museum exhibit text or podcast, the science writer provides a bridge between the esoteric world of science and the layperson.

Journalism Meets Creative Writing

We teach the reporting and writing skills required to succeed in the diverse ecosystem of science and medical writing. In core classes, students hone reporting techniques such as interviewing scientists and identifying credible sources. Electives such as Subatomic Writing, Principles of Editing, and Literature of Science help students polish their prose and emulate masters of the craft. In workshops such as Science Narrative and Science Personal Essay & Memoir, students develop tools of creative nonfiction while receiving extensive feedback on their writing.

Summer residency courses immerse students in the field – from tromping through fields and coasts with field biologists to joining astronomers as they observe other galaxies. Previous residencies have taken students to Bar Harbor, Maine; Dublin, Ireland; and Missoula, Montana. The popular Medicine in Action residency takes place at the Johns Hopkins medical campus, and Science Policy, Funding, and Politics, is held in Washington, D.C.

Spotlight on Alumni

Among our alumni, you will find journalists, award-winning authors, and staff writers for science-related organizations, including:

What’s It Like to Study Science Writing at JHU?

Upcoming Events

online masters in science writing

MA in Science Writing Information Session

Ma in writing online information session, ma in teaching writing information session, student insights.

MA in Science Writing students share their perspectives about the program:

online masters in science writing

Mal Cole ‘22

“Science writing has never been more important. I know my classmates will be doing vital work, using their new skills to inform people about what’s happening in the world.”

online masters in science writing

Jack Tamisiea ‘22

“I chose this program because it is very flexible, and I had the option to take my courses remotely. It has been a really great experience to be able to work on my writing.”

online masters in science writing

“My classmates are high-caliber students who come from all walks of life. They’re really interesting individuals who bring to the program a variety of experiences.”

online masters in science writing

Dan Paley ‘23

“The faculty are writers in the real world; they know the writing and revision process firsthand. Learning from them has helped me work toward being the writer I want to be.”

Why Study Science Writing at JHU

We’ve been innovating in science writing education for more than 20 years.

online masters in science writing

Alumni Success: Books and Bylines

Hundreds of bylines: find our alumni in National Geographic, Smithsonian, The New York Times, Esquire, The Washington Post, Discover, Psychology Today, MIT Technology Review, Chemical and Engineering News, Orion, and

online masters in science writing

Alumni Success: Agencies and Associations

Many of our alumni write for agencies and associations such as the American Red Cross, AARP, The Nature Conservancy, American Geophysical Society, National Cancer Institute, Department of Energy, and National Marine Sanctuaries.

online masters in science writing

Wide Range of Courses and Electives

Our program offers you the flexibility to align classes with your personal interests. Options include Subatomic Writing, Communicating Climate Change, Advanced Reporting and Writing in Science, The Literature of Science, and the Science Personal Essay & Memoir Workshop.

online masters in science writing

Study With Prolific Writers

Our experienced instructors in the MA in Science Writing Program include practicing writers and editors who excel at teaching—authors, journal editors, reporters, magazine editors, freelance writers, publishers, artists, and scientists.

online masters in science writing

Science in Action: Real-World Experience

Excursions and field experience have led our students to a research island in Maine, control rooms at NASA, historic museums in Italy, and world-famous labs in Washington and Baltimore. They have observed in the operating room, sailed with biologists on the Chesapeake.

Writing News

online masters in science writing

Take the Next Step

Learn to blend reporting and research with the craft of creative writing, and launch a career in science or medical writing.

Contact Us for More Information

Advanced academic programs admissions, connect with us.

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Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing, Communication and Journalism

Updated: december 27, 2022.

Science writing and communication is a broad field that encompasses writing for research institutions, non-profit organizations, medical centers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, scientific journals, news outlets, and more. Clear and effective science writing is crucial across multiple industries. For example, medical communication ensures that patients and practitioners get the information they need, while detailed research publications enable scholars and professors to learn the latest developments in their respective fields. Furthermore, quality science journalism enables the public to stay abreast of important environmental, health, and technological issues.

Graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication prepare students to enter or advance their careers in the expanding field of science writing and communication, as editors of scientific publications, medical writers, research analysts, consultants, and technical writers and editors, to name just a few possible roles. Generally designed for working professionals who want to supplement their existing educational credentials, graduate certificate programs in science communication can also be useful for Ph.D. graduates, post-docs, and scholars who wish to explore opportunities outside of research.

Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing and Communication

Graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication are typically comprised of 12-18 credits delivered over four to six classes. Most certificate programs can be completed within a year or less of full-time study, though many programs allow students to complete their program part-time. While some graduate certificate programs in science writing have a set curriculum that all students complete, others offer students a variety of courses from which they can choose to tailor their training.

The majority of graduate certificate programs in science communication are designed for working professionals, and as such feature online, hybrid, and/or evening classes so that students can complete their coursework without disrupting their work schedules. In addition, many programs have multiple start dates per year, meaning students can start a program in the fall, spring or summer semesters. For a full list of graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication, see the table below.

Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing and Communication

For students who do not live near a campus-based program or who cannot commute to a campus for classes, there are programs that can be completed entirely online. Many online certificate programs in this field also utilize asynchronous instruction, which allows students the additional flexibility to complete their class lectures and assignments on their own time. This is especially important for students who are working full-time or for students who are not able to attend live online courses due to other personal or professional responsibilities.

Examples of online graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication include:

Example Courses in Science Writing and Communication Programs

While courses vary from program to program, some examples of classes that students of graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication might take may include:

Important Information to Consider While Researching Graduate Certificate Programs

In addition to certificate programs in science writing and communication, many schools offer graduate certificate programs in technical communication, professional writing, and/or professional editing that may also offer coursework in scientific and medical writing. However, these programs typically do not provide as many courses in science writing when compared to specific certificate programs in science writing and communication. Nonetheless, depending on the curriculum, these programs may still be an option for some students.

While, most graduate certificate programs in science writing are designed for working professionals, some schools offer certificate programs that are specifically designed for current students of the university. For example, the Graduate Certificate in Science Communication program at the University of Arizona is reserved for current students (MS or Ph.D.) or post-docs in the College of Science or the College of Agriculture and Life Science. Washington University in St. Louis also offers a Science Communication Credential that is only designed for current Ph.D. students in their Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences.

There are also certificate programs or minors in science communication that are designed for undergraduate students working towards their bachelor’s degree. These types of programs are not graduate certificate programs. Therefore, prospective applicants should carefully research admission requirements and contact departments or schools offering programs of interest to ensure they meet the admission criteria before applying.

Master’s in Science Communication, Journalism, and Writing Programs

Some schools that offer graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication also offer master’s in science communication programs as well. At these schools, the coursework for the certificate program often overlaps with some of the core and/or elective coursework of the corresponding master’s program. For example, Johns Hopkins University’s Graduate Certificate in Science Writing is comprised of courses from the institution’s Master of Arts in Science Writing. In many cases, departments offering both a master’s degree and a certificate program may allow students who complete their certificate to apply to the master’s program and transfer their certificate coursework towards their graduate degree.

Master’s programs in scientific communication tend to require 30-36 credit hours, which corresponds to 10-12 courses. Master’s programs in science writing and communication typically take a year and a half to two years of full-time study to complete, though the specific curricular timeframe varies by program. These programs also typically require a culminating experience in the form of a capstone, which could be an applied project or a master’s thesis. For a full list of master’s programs in science communication, see the table below.

Master’s Programs in Science Writing and Communication

Disclaimer: Students pursuing a graduate certificate program are not typically eligible for financial aid.

Graduate Certificate Program FAQs:

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MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Graduate Program in Science Writing

online masters in science writing

The MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing is an opportunity to contribute to public understanding of science, medicine, engineering, and technology. It teaches the art and discipline of science writing to English majors, science majors, freelance writers, journalists seeking a specialty, working scientists, and others.

It’s a chance to work closely with a distinguished core faculty of award-winning journalists, authors, and scholars within one of the most exciting scientific communities in the world.

And it’s a place to produce news articles, features, essays, and radio/video broadcasts about lasers and genes, capillaries and quarks.

MS in Scientific & Technical Communication

The master of science (MS) in scientific & technical communication prepares students for local and global careers in online design and social media, software/hardware documentation, information architecture, medical communication, environmental communication, and human-computer interface design.

Designed for working professionals, the fully online MS program includes 21 credits (7 courses) in the Department of Writing Studies and nine credits (typically three courses) in a related field competency area that may also be fulfilled by a graduate-level minor.

To complete in two years: 

If a student has previously completed the certificate in technical communication (year one courses), all five courses transfer to the MS program upon admission.

Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing and Communication - Online and Campus

Updated: february 25, 2022.

Science writer making edits to content on a computer

Graduate certificate programs are academic programs that are designed for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral program graduates, mid-career professionals, and others who hold a college degree and are interested in pursuing formal graduate studies at an accredited college or university without having to enroll in a full degree program. Science writing graduate certificate programs offer targeted, career-oriented training in the principles and practices of scientific and/or medical writing and editing. These programs consist of a relatively small cluster of graduate courses – three, four, or five courses is common – that can be completed on a part-time basis in roughly one year.

Thus, graduate certificate programs in science writing offer qualified students a relatively convenient, flexible, and cost-effective means of cultivating professional writing proficiencies, completing graduate coursework that may be transferrable to an eventual master’s degree program, and acquiring skills that can lead to advancement in careers in which scientific/technical writing and communication skills are highly valued.

Science Writing Explained

Science writing is a field that encompasses writing professionally about complex issues in scientific and medical research and practice, developments and breakthroughs in technology and engineering fields, and other topics that require a command of scientific methodologies, quantitative data, and research protocols. There are a number of important contexts for science writing, including writing in scientific journals and institutional publications for readers familiar with technical terminology and concepts; writing for magazines, newspapers, and digital platforms that cater to general audiences who do not have technical or scientific backgrounds; and textbook and instruction manual writing for people who may or may not have a technical background.

In addition, writers who have expertise in science, medicine, engineering, and other technical fields play important roles in the mainstream media as commentators, pundits, and subject matter experts, as well as in the production of science documentaries, museum exhibits, and other informational, cultural, and educational resources that bring attention to important issues in science and medicine, such as space exploration, health concerns, medical innovations, environmental threats, natural disasters, and technological advances. Finally, within scientific fields there is a demand for skilled writers and editors who can craft grant proposals, mission statements, press releases, and other professional materials that are crucial to the function and advancement of science and technology enterprises.

Identifying and Classifying Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing

Science writing graduate certificate programs are generally designated as such, although there are several common variations in the names of these programs. For example, graduate certificate programs may be formally designated as post-baccalaureate post-bachelor’s, or graduate certificate programs in science writing or science communication. In addition, some graduate certificate programs in technical writing/communication may include coursework in science writing. Most of these programs accept applicants who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, but may require or prefer candidates who have some prior scientific or technical experience. Programs designated as post-master’s or post-graduate certificate programs are designed for students who have already completed a graduate program and typically require at least a master’s degree for admission.

Graduate certificate programs in science writing or science communication are programs that consist of a relatively small cluster of courses that are designed to prepare bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral program graduates for work in the field of science writing through training in the principles and practices of professional editing, non-fiction writing, journalism, and/or digital content creation. These programs are offered by accredited colleges and universities, commonly through divisions and departments of communication, English, journalism, and media studies, often by schools that offer master’s programs in science and/or technical communication and journalism.

Note : For students interested in technical communication, please refer to our Graduate Certificate Programs in Technical Communication page.

Science Writing Graduate Certificate Coursework

As noted above, science writing graduate certificate programs generally consist of a relatively small number of courses that focus exclusively on knowledge and skills designed to help students develop professional science writing proficiencies. Course names, course descriptions, and the specific composition of these programs vary by school. However, a typical science writing graduate certificate curriculum includes required and elective courses in which students learn scientific and/or medical terminology, cultivate journalistic and non-fiction writing strategies for various media, hone their quantitative literacy skills, and practice writing about science for specific audiences. For example, a graduate certificate program in science writing might include the following types of courses:

Depending on the focus of a program and elective coursework offerings, science writing graduate certificate programs may also give students the opportunity to take courses that address specific areas within science writing, such as biotechnology, climate science, environmental science, and/or medical science.

Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing and Communication

Most graduate certificate programs are designed to accommodate a wide range of students, including mid-career professionals who intend to continue working full-time while taking classes. One way that programs accomplish this is by offering all or most of their coursework online. Programs that can be completed without any required campus visits and programs that require three or fewer campus visits per year are classified by as online programs. Programs that require more campus-based sessions are classified as blended or hybrid programs and may not be practical for students who do not live within commuting range of the school offering the program.

Online graduate certificate programs in science writing may represent a more convenient and flexible alternative to traditional, campus-based programs for students who have difficulties attending campus-based classes for personal or professional reasons. Students in an online program take the same types of courses and cultivate the same general skillset as students in a campus program, but online programs allow students to do so without having to commute to a college or university for in-person classes. Thus, students who cannot or who would prefer not to commute to a physical location, or students who do not live near a college that offers a program in science writing, have the option to earn a graduate certificate through an online program.

Students should note that not all online programs are the same and that differences in instruction methods can impact how students access course materials and lectures. Some programs utilize synchronous instruction, which means that lectures and virtual class sessions are held live at pre-scheduled times, much like campus-based classes. Students typically log onto a class portal where they participate using a web conferencing software. Asynchronous instruction is the other major mode of online learning and it does not have a real-time component. Students access course materials and pre-recorded lectures whenever they have time, as long as they complete assignments and readings by set due dates.

Synchronous online instruction offers less flexibility than asynchronous instruction but provides students with a more structured learning experience. Asynchronous instruction is less rigid than synchronous instruction from a scheduling perspective, but typically requires more discipline and self-motivation as students work more independently on their studies. Students who think they would prefer one type of instruction over the other should look for programs that offer the type of instruction that works best for their learning preferences.

Examples of Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Science Writing and Science Communication

As graduate certificate programs in science writing and communication are not as common as other graduate certificate programs (there are approximately 10 schools that currently offer a program), there are not that many programs offered online. The schools listed below currently offer online graduate certificates in science writing and communication.

Johns Hopkins University offers an online Certificate in Science Writing program through its Advanced Academic Programs division. The program is 100% online, so it does not require students to attend any campus-based sessions, and it is designed for bachelor’s program graduates and graduate students who are interested in cultivating science writing proficiencies. Students in the program are required to complete five courses that are part of an online Master of Arts (MA) in Science Writing program offered by Johns Hopkins. The certificate program curriculum consists of one required core course that covers basic scientific and medical writing skills and techniques, one writing-intensive workshop, and three electives that cover topics in areas like nature writing, climate change, subatomic writing, and editing for science writers. Students may also choose to complete a credited internship in lieu of one elective course. For additional information on the program, visit Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs division at .

Kansas State University offers a graduate certificate in Technical Writing and Professional Communication through its Department of English. This program features a flexible curriculum wherein students take one core course in technical communication before choosing three electives in various areas of technical communication. Students interested in science writing/communication can take courses in science communication, grant writing, environmental communication, scientific writing, and health communication. This program is available on campus but also has online course options. Therefore, students interested in science writing should speak with a program advisor to determine that their desired electives are offered online before enrolling. Learn more about this program by visiting Kansas State University at .

The University of Maryland offers an online Graduate Certificate in Science Communication program through its Graduate School division. The 12-credit program consists of four courses that overlap with an online Master of Science (MS) in Health Sciences program offered by the University of Maryland. These courses cover topics in the principles of science writing, writing for scholarly journals, grant writing, and scientific writing for general audiences. The University of Maryland program is designed for colleges graduates who hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. It can be completed in 12 months with no campus visits. For more information on the program, visit the University of Maryland’s Graduate School at .

The University of Chicago offers an online Medical Writing and Editing graduate certificate program through Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. This program trains students according to the American Medical Association’s Manual of Style, and uses real medical publications and manuscripts to help students refine their medical communication skills. Students take five core courses and one elective, which cover topics such as medical copyediting, medical communication ethics, visual medical communication such as charts and graphs, interpreting and reporting on biostatistics, regulatory writing, medical research writing, and medical writing freelancing and consulting work. Courses are delivered entirely online and there are no required campus visits, though students can opt to take a few of the classes in-person if desired. This program combines asynchronous, self-paced learning with weekly synchronous sessions. Learn more about this program by visiting The University of Chicago’s Graham School at .

More Graduate Certificates in Science Writing & Communication

Additional communication graduate certificates.

Temple University

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Scientific Writing PSM

Professional science master's in scientific writing.

Develop expertise in STEM-based writing with the Professional Science Master's in Scientific Writing in Temple’s College of Science and Technology and the Klein College of Media and Communication. Designed to meet the growing needs of both the mass media and scientific communities, this degree will prepare you for careers in biotechnology, communications and public relations, journalism, patent law, pharmacy, public health, publishing, and STEM disciplines.  

This interdisciplinary program’s main objective is to train you to accurately and concisely convey complex scientific arguments and concepts in an accessible manner for different demographics. In order to provide the most beneficial curriculum for your particular career goals, you will have the option to choose between two tracks in either Marketing/Regulatory Writing or Popular Scientific Writing.

In this degree, you will have access to faculty and resources from both the College of Science and Technology and the School of Media and Communication. Your courses will cover a variety of science writing skills, from technical writing for clinical reports to journalistic writing for media and news outlets.

In addition to classroom-based training, you will gain hands-on experience through an internship. Approved internships have included work with local newspapers, practicing scientists, patent law offices, pharmaceutical companies, publishing companies and more. The internship will form the foundation of your capstone project.

This degree can be earned on a part- or full-time basis over three years.

Tracks & Concentrations

In order to create a curriculum tailored to your career interests, the degree program offers a choice between two educational tracks.

Two students work side by side on computers in a Temple classroom.

Classes & Curriculum

Some of the core courses in this 30-credit program include

Learn more about Scientific Writing PSM courses .

+1 Bachelor-Master Programs

The College of Science and Technology offers +1 Accelerated Bachelor-Master Programs. Students can earn a BA or BS and, at the end of the fifth year, an MA or MS. Coursework is completed over five years instead of taking the usual six-year course of study.

Learn more about the College of Science and Technology’s +1 Bachelor-Master programs .

Related Graduate Degrees

Related Graduate Certificates

*Klein College of Media and Communication **School of Pharmacy

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Professional Science Masters offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2022–2023 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident : $1,252.00 per credit Out-of-state : $1,628.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees .

The Scientific Writing PSM program relies greatly on its board of outside experts drawn from the professional world of media and communications. These board members advise the faculty steering committee on curriculum issues, help teach courses and provide internship opportunities for students.

Darryl L'Heureux is an adjunct associate professor.  Phone : 215-204-4883 Email : [email protected]

For general questions regarding the Scientific Writing PSM, contact  [email protected] .

Student Clubs and Organizations

Explore educational and social opportunities outside of the research lab. College of Science and Technology graduate students can join a number of university and local organizations, as well as engaging with the greater Philadelphia scientific community.

Find a Temple University student organization .

If the demands of your degree program allow it, consider spending a summer or semester overseas building international connections with researchers from other countries. Temple’s study abroad program offers College of Science and Technology students opportunities to spend a summer or semester studying in China, Germany, Italy, South Korea or Taiwan. Learn more about your study abroad options .

As a division within Temple University, the College of Science and Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education .

Additional Program Information

Go back to academics more in scientific writing psm.

University of Maryland Graduate School

online masters in science writing

Science Communication

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Get the details about our Science Communication program! Science Communication program!


  “This program is one of the best career decisions I have ever made.”

“This course helped me grow as a science writer in ways outside of my comfort zone.”

“This program’s structure has been different from the typical course set up. By having one class at a time, I was able to focus on select skills at a steady pace. After the completion of the program, I felt prepared to write in any discipline within science whether for an academic audience or the general public.”


“I found Science Writing Principles one of the most productive courses that I’ve ever taken during my PhD program.”


“I gained transferable skills that will assist me not only with my thesis, but my career as a scientist.”


“I learned writing techniques that I honestly wish I knew back in undergrad and even in high school.”


What is Degree Works? 

Degree Works is a degree audit and advising system to help students, administrators, and advisors plan for academic success.

You will find useful information when you log-in such as classes you have completed along with the grade earned, diploma application status. any holds you may have, residency status, overall GPA and your degree progress.

How to start

Degree Works

This unique 12-credit graduate certificate program is entirely online and can help advance your career in science communication.

In today’s increasingly more complex and global world, we are inundated with competing and often contradictory messages about science research, scientific progress, and the limitations of science. In such a world, effective and equitable science communication, or SciComm, plays a critical role for many professions intersecting with science. Our certificate program emphasizes various approaches towards effective science communication and towards representing diverse voices across all communities involved in science.

Effective science communication, we think, includes lots of practice. Therefore, we have designed a program that exposes students to different strategies in science communication, current research on the science of science communication, examples of science communication across various platforms and modalities (e.g., social media, journalism, academic publications).

The priority deadline is April 15. The final deadline for admission to the fall semester is July 1. Explore Certificate Objectives

What You Will Learn ▾

Throughout the course of the program, students will read sections from the Faith Kearns’ groundbreaking book Getting to the Heart of Science Communication: A Guide to Effective Engagement . Dr. Kearns is a scientist and science communication practitioner who focuses primarily on water, wildfire, and climate change in the western United States. Her work has been published broadly, including in the  New Republic ,  On Being ,  Newsweek , the BBC, and  Bay Nature. Dr. Kearn's book has been described as a "terrific first step to handling [...] increasingly unpredictable conversations" with broad, potentially combative audiences (Candace J. Akins,  Native Plants Journal ) and "a must-read for amateurs and professionals" (Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Office of Science for the U.S. Department of Energy). 

Other course material will consist of published articles in academic and non-academic journals, blogs, podcasts, social media posts, multimodal resources (e.g., YouTube channels and TikTok videos), sample grants, selections from books, reports and brochures from organizations such as the American Academy of Arts & Science s or the American Association for the Advancement of science (AAAS), and other relevant materials.

This program is interesting to both novices or early career professional in science communication as well as those with experience in communicating scientific research and innovations to various audiences. It provides an overview of many important aspects that are of concern to science communication practitioners across disciplinary and professional backgrounds, with a particular focus on equity and social justice in SciComm. Many of our alumni work or pursue careers in communication department of universities, especially those with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM); medical institutions; government agencies; and for-profit companies as well as non-profit research-based institutions. Some of our alumni are also researchers who have enrolled in this program to enrich their own SciComm practice across diverse audiences.

Program Structure ▾

The SciComm program is a 12-credit, four-course graduate certificate program offered in an asynchronous, 100% online environment. This means that we offer maximum flexibility to meet the needs of working professionals. There are no online meetings or set times when you'll need to log in; just submit your coursework before the posted deadlines and check back in for feedback from your instructors and classmates.

As a student in this program, you will acquire expertise in science communication. Your classmates will most likely be practicing professionals with a health, scientific, or journalism background who are employed or seeking employment in areas related to science communication. 

At the end of the program, you will have a portfolio or revised work that can easily become part of your SciComm portfolio when applying for SciComm related positions in the future. Some students even get their work published while in the program (e.g., summaries of Cochrane Reviews, book reviews, and SciComm columns on UMB;s digital platform the Elm).

Is an Online Course Right for You?

Program Completion Timeline

See the Course Descriptions

Career Outlook ▾

According to the US Department of Labor, employment of technical writers is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024. The knowledge and training you'll receive in the Science Communication Certificate Program will be applicable to a number of rapidly growing fields, including:

Interested in a Master's Degree? ▾

The Science Communication certificate is a stackable credential that can be applied toward a Master of Science in Health Sciences or a Master of Science in Health and Social Innovation. 

The 30-credit MS Health Science program is available entirely online and can be completed by a working professional is as little as 18 months. Upon the successful completion of the certificate, all 12 of the credits are completely transferrable to the MS Health Science program and the GRE requirement is waived. This means that when you finish your certificate, you'll be 18 credits away from a Master's degree! Want to know more about the 18 credits?  See the core curriculum

The 36-credit MS Health and Social Innovation program is available as a hybrid degree combining elements of online and in-class learning and can be completed by a working professional in as little as 24 months. Upon the successful completion of the certificate, all 12 of the credits are completely transferrable to the MS Health and Social Innovation program. This means that when you finish your certificate, if you choose you'll be 24 credits away from a Master's degree! Check out the curriculum for the MS in Health and Social Innovation .

If you prefer to complete the Master’s and certificate coursework concurrently, please  submit your application for the Master’s program . In this case, the GRE requirement will not be waived.

Admission Deadlines

Priority deadline: April 15 Final deadline: July 1 Financial Aid Do you need financial support? Our certificate programs are eligible for federal aid. 

Admissions Arielle Faulkner Admissions Counselor  [email protected]   410-706-7132

Academics Isabell C. May, Ph.D Program Director (410) 706-4450 [email protected]  

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is the founding campus of the University System of Maryland. 620 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21201 | 410-706-3100 © 2012-2013 University of Maryland, Baltimore. All rights reserved.

online masters in science writing

M.A., Science Concentration

Cultivate ways of thinking that are essential to covering any scientific field.

Interpret studies, unearth important details, place scientific developments in context — and make science come alive. 

What You'll Study

Students in the Science concentration focus on themes and ways of thinking that can be used to cover any scientific field, whether it’s health, technology or the hard sciences. They get a landscape view, looking at history, patterns of discovery and innovation. The seminar emphasizes understanding the culture and practice of science, giving students the skills to interpret a peer-reviewed study as well as providing a clear understanding of the peer-review process, its origin and its challenges. The course places particular emphasis on writing creatively and compellingly, whether in a short news story or in a long piece of narrative nonfiction.

Each semester is centered around a close look at a few fields to get at the larger themes of covering science. The fall semester typically starts with the history of science: students look at the continuities between past events, such as the Scopes Trial, and contemporary issues. They delve into climate science, visiting laboratories to understand contemporary research, and they examine the politics of the field. They study several exciting frontiers in physics (black holes and gravitational waves) and technology (instruments and ethics), and finish the semester with sessions on ecology, focusing on current issues such as urban ecology or invasive species. Along the way, they examine scientific funding and think critically about metaphor in science writing. Recent fall lecturers have included historian of science Daniel Kevles, paleoclimatologist Gisela Winckler, mathematician Cathy O’Neil and ecologist Matthew Palmer.

The spring semester focuses on evolution and genetics, neuroscience, public health and medicine. Students often travel to see fossils in situ and at the American Museum of Natural History, and they learn about mass extinction events and how the movements of the cosmos are reflected in sediments on Earth. They learn how to take apart medical studies and use the statistics skills they learned in Evidence & Inference in the fall. They also discuss some of the newest developments in epigenetics and in neuroscience. Recent spring lecturers included paleontologist Paul Olsen, neuroscientist Stuart Firestein, animal behaviorist Diana Reiss, medical historian David Rosner and sociologist Alondra Nelson.

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Marguerite Holloway

online masters in science writing

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Alumni Work

Tryggvi Adalbjornsson, '18 M.A. Science, Columbia Journalism School

Tryggvi Adalbjornsson, '18 M.A. Science, immediately began working after graduation for The New York Times climate desk, where he has reported stories on the Dow Chemical lawyer headed to the EPA and toxic algae blooms on the Florida coast .

Alexis Sobel Fitts, '13 M.A. Science, Columbia School of Journalism

Alexis Sobel Fitts, '13 M.A. Science, is a Senior Editor at Wired, where she edits features for the web, including recent pieces on prison email , fake news  , and Twitter bots, and writes about the information wars .

Moises Velasquez-Manoff, '06 M.A. Science, Columbia Journalism School

Moises Velasquez-Manoff, '06 M.A. Science, recently published a piece in the New York Times Magazine about the strange new meat allergy  being caused by tick bites. Moises is the author of the book An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies And Autoimmune Diseases .

Science Writing I

Quarters Offered:   WINTER (Online); SUMMER (Online) Prerequisite:   Mastery of written English, some experience in writing and general knowledge of science are strongly encouraged. Questions:  Contact the academic department at [email protected] .

Note:   Meeting times in the schedule below are listed in Pacific Time.

Course Number:  WCWP-40105 Credit:  3.00 unit(s) Related Certificate Programs:   Science Communication

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Online Asynchronous. This course is entirely web-based and to be completed asynchronously between the published course start and end dates. Synchronous attendance is NOT required. You will have access to your online course on the published start date OR 1 business day after your enrollment is confirmed if you enroll on or after the published start date.

Buschman, Heather Headshot

Buschman, Heather

Heather Buschman, PhD, teaches Science Writing I for the Science Communication  certificate program, and she is currently the director of scientific communications and media relations at the Salk Institute. She earned her graduate degree in molecular pathology at UC San Diego and has managed communications for several other research institutions, including Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and UC San Diego. She has served on the board of the San Diego Science Writers Association and has won a number of awards for her work, including an Association of American Medical Colleges Gold Award for Excellence, Health Care Communicators Finest Awards, Content Marketing Institute Gold Award, and PR Daily’s Nonprofit PR Award.

No textbook required.

Early enrollment advised. No refunds after: 1/13/2023. Early Enrollment Discount: $400 ($425 if enrolled after 12/12/2022).

This is an Online Asynchronous course. All instruction and course materials delivered and completed online between the published course start and end dates. You will have access to your course on the published start date OR 1 business day after your enrollment is confirmed, if you enroll on or after the published start date. To login to your course, go to your MyExtension account, select My Courses, select this course and then click the link that appears under Online Provider.


1/10/2023 - 3/14/2023 You will have access to your course materials on the published start date OR 1 business day after your enrollment is confirmed if you enroll on or after the published start date.

There are no sections of this course currently scheduled. Please contact the Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts department at 858-534-5760 or [email protected] for information about when this course will be offered again.

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Last modified: August 16, 2021


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