Graduate Bulletin

Spring 2022

Program Description of Science Communication

The M.S. in Science Communication equips individuals trained in STEM fields with the tools and competencies they need to pursue careers as professional communicators. Beginning with an immersive experience into the Alda Method®️ of science communication, students learn to share scientific discoveries and innovations with diverse audiences. Subsequently, they learn to create and assess audience-specific, research-based communication strategies; design effective messages tailored to specific platforms; provide strategic project management; support diversity and inclusivity in their communication efforts; and apply their own scientific expertise to support accurate, ethical science communication. Working with some of the nation’s leading science communication scholars, students will enter the workforce prepared to lead in establishing a new career path in the field of science communication.

The 33-credit program blends online and on-campus courses, with flexibility to accommodate working professionals. In a culminating experience, students will develop and implement a practical, research-based communication product such as a communication or media plan for an organization, a social science research study, or other creative work. 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: 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.

For information on the 12-credit Advanced Graduate Certificate in Communicating Science,
click here.