ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

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Graduate: Science Communication

  • Program Overview

    Program Description of Science Communication

    Designed for researchers, engineers, mathematicians, and others with backgrounds in science, the MS in Science Communication empowers experts to combine their subject-matter knowledge with evidence-based communication practices to join a growing and in-demand field as professional science communicators. Students will learn to:

    • Share scientific discoveries in ways that resonate with diverse audiences
    • Conduct empirical, social science research
    • Design audience-centered messaging for specific face-to-face and mediated platforms
    • Support diversity and inclusion in their communication
    • Manage projects with a high degree of professionalism

    This 33 credit, fully-online degree program allows students to study from any location on a full-time or part-time basis. An in-person orientation weekend offers students the opportunity to engage with fellow students, faculty, and program administrators, to build an enriching, connected, online learning experience. The program is housed in the ACEJMC-accredited School of Communication and Journalism and offered in collaboration with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.


    Student Learning Outcomes
    ● Deploy contemporary communication tools to communicate science clearly, accurately, and vividly;
    ● Create and assess communication strategies that incorporate audience needs and, when appropriate, stakeholder input;
    ● Manage projects with high degrees of professionalism;
    ● Share discoveries and innovations with diverse audiences through written, verbal, audio, audio/visual, and/or visual communication;
    ● Design effective platform-specific messages based on clear communication goals;
    ● Apply scientific expertise to support accurate, ethical science communication;
    ● Ground the production of different communications in critical thinking skills and research competencies;
    ● Create communication approaches, tools, and platforms that support diversity and inclusivity;
    ● Present a portfolio that synthesizes the program experience through the production of a practical, research-based communication product such as a communications or media plan for an organization, a social science research study, or other creative work.
    Our program has been designed to meet programmatic outcomes that are outlined in the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)’s professional values and competencies (listed below). ACEJMC Professional Values & Competencies require that, “irrespective of their particular specialization, all graduates should be aware of certain core values and competencies and be able to:”
    1. Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press for the country in which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located, as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition
    for redress of grievances;
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications;
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;
    5. Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;
    6. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
    7. Think critically, creatively and independently;
    8. Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
    9. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
    10. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
    11. Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
    12. Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work; and
    13. Contribute to knowledge appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.


    (See: http://www.acejmc.org/policies-process/nine-standards/) All syllabi have been designed to ensure that students develop these competencies and have opportunities to refine them over the course of their program.

    Stony Brook University has implemented a comprehensive “Plan for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, ” and is committed to broadening participation of students from historically underrepresented groups in careers in journalism and mass communication. Particularly noteworthy is the SBU Graduate School’s Center for Inclusive Education , which is home to funded projects designed to grow the pool of diverse scholars pursuing full-time graduate studies, advancing into postdoctoral positions and successfully transitioning to competitive careers in research and the Academy.

    Master of Science in Science Communication 

    Dean, School of Communication and Journalism

    Laura Lindenfeld, PhD

    Graduate Program Director

    Brenda Hoffman, PhD

    Graduate Program Coordinator

    Stefanie Ambrosio-Mullady, MA

    For questions related to applications and course registration, email SOCJ_grad@stonybrook.edu

    Website

    https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/journalism/academics/ms-scicomm.php

    When you master effective communication, you can effectively advocate for valid, reliable science and help others engage with the discoveries that can make life better for all of us. Help bring science out of labs and libraries and into the world.

  • Admissions
     

    Admission Requirements

    Applicants must submit the following:

    1. CV/Resume
    2. A personal statement (500 words) - In a short essay, , applicants should describe why science communication is important to them, their reasons for applying to the MS in Science Communication at SBU, and how they feel as though a degree in science communication would advance their future career goals.

    3. Three letters of recommendation. We are interested in hearing from three different recommenders who can comment on the applicant’s academic strengths, communication skills (including oral, written, and multimedia if applicable), and their potential for success in this graduate program.

    4. Transcripts. Applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in a science, social science, technology, engineering, math, or health-related degree, or a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in another field and relevant experience.

    5. GRE scores are optional

    6. Language proficiency scores (international applicants). Please refer to the most up to date requirements found on the Graduate Bulletin.

    7. In addition to the above, applicants are required to submit two samples of communication. Applicants may choose to submit 2 forms of professional/academic writing OR 1 example of professional/academic writing and one creative work.
      • Examples of professional/academic writing include (but are not limited to): class paper; publication, or news piece.
      • Examples of creative work include (but are not limited to):professional blog posts, video recordings, and social media posts.

    Science communication is preferred, but not required. If the applicant would also like to submit a professional interview where the applicant is the subject, please add this as an additional sample.

    For all samples, please select excerpts if the length of writing is in excess of 4000 words or in the case of media longer than three minutes playing time.

    Applicants should briefly explain why they chose the samples they have added to their personal statement.

    NOTE: All requirements must be completed by the end of the term preceding admission to the program (i.e. by end of spring term for a fall admission; end of fall term for a spring admission). Students may be offered conditional admission if there are any outstanding admissions requirements.

    A committee consisting of the Graduate Program Director and three program faculty will evaluate all applications, including exceptions to the requirements.

    The Graduate Program Director will meet with new students upon enrollment to help them chart a path for the successful completion of their degree during the duration of their graduate studies.

     

  • Degree Requirements
     

    Degree Requirements

    REQUIRED COURSES (18 Credits)

    COM 516: Communication Research Methods (3 credits)

    COM 526: Building and Assessing Communication Strategies (3 credits)

    COM 565: Communicating Your Science (3 credits)

    COM 577: Communication Law and Ethics (3 credits)

    COM 588: Graduate Internship (3 credits)

    COM 699: Master’s Project in Science Communication (3 credits)



    CHOOSE 5 ELECTIVES (15 credits)

    COM 522: Communicating Science to Decision-Makers (3 credits)

    COM 534: Communicating Your Science Using Digital Media (3 credits)

    COM 575: Special Topics in Science Communication (3 credits)

    COM 585: Communicating Science and Health Risks to the Public (3 credits)

    COM 587: Independent Study (3 credits)

    COM 605: Environmental Communication (3 credits)

    The Graduate Committeewill identify other relevant courses and formally review them to determine if they are appropriate for the MS in Science Communication.

  • Facilities

    Facilities

    School of Communication and Journalism students have access to classrooms, libraries and broadcasting studios at Stony Brook University that will be used for instructional purposes.

  • Faculty

    Faculty

    Graduate courses offered by the School of Communication and Journalism and the Alda Center are taught by faculty with diverse expertise including: science, technology, engineering, math, medicine, journalism, communications, public policy, and theater. This

    Program faculty and the Graduate Program Director will have regular contact with students. Faculty affiliated with the graduate program will provide ongoing, additional mentorship. Our website provides a comprehensive overview of our faculty expertise and contact information.


    For an up to date list, see our faculty page.

  • Contact

    Master of Science in Science Communication 

    Dean, School of Communication and Journalism

    Laura Lindenfeld, PhD

    Graduate Program Director

    Brenda Hoffman, PhD

    Graduate Program Coordinator

    Stefanie Ambrosio-Mullady, MA

    For questions related to applications and course registration, email SOCJ_grad@stonybrook.edu

    Website

    https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/journalism/academics/ms-scicomm.php

    When you master effective communication, you can effectively advocate for valid, reliable science and help others engage with the discoveries that can make life better for all of us. Help bring science out of labs and libraries and into the world.

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