Moody College > Current Students > Minor in Science Communication

Minor in Science Communication

The minor in Communication and Society: Science Communication is designed to help prepare students with undergraduate studies in a sciences-related field to effectively communicate science topics to a variety of audiences by utilizing professional communication techniques and tools. Students will gain an understanding of contemporary communication issues that may impact their field, and gain advanced skills to enhance their communication with the public, whether through traditional media, new media, or in person. This program is open only to students with majors in the College of Natural Sciences or the Moody College of Communication. To declare the Science Communication minor, a student must have at least a cumulative 2.5 grade point average.

Eligible students should apply through the University's minor application

If you are a College of Natural Sciences students and have questions about the minor please send your inquiry to: science.com.minor@cns.utexas.edu

Coursework for students following the 2018-2020 catalog

The minor requires 18 semester hours of coursework. Nine hours must be taken at the upper-division level and at least nine hours must be taken in residence.

The minor requirements are:

ADV 323 Public Communication of Science and Technology
Three hours of coursework chosen from the following list of approved Foundations courses:
ADV 305 Fundamentals of Advertising
ADV 324 Communicating Sustainability
P R 305 Fundamentals of Public Relations
CMS 306M Professional Communication Skills
CMS 313M Organizational Communication
CMS 315M Interpersonal Communication Theory
CMS 332K Theories of Persuasion
CMS 334K Nonverbal Communication
CMS 342K Political Communication
CMS 345 Media Effects and Politics
J 301F Fundamental Issues in Journalism
Three hours of coursework from the following list of approved Skills courses:
COM 308 Creative Communication of Scientific Research
CMS 316L Interviewing Principles and Practices
CMS 320 Advanced Presentation Skills
CMS 337 Building Sales Relationships
CMS 345G Communicating to Government
CMS 350C Crowds, Clouds, and Community
CMS 353S Social Media and Organizations
CMS 360W Work360
CMS 372K Advanced Organizational Communication
COM 323 Communication Internship (Topic 4: Science Communication Internship)
J 313P Multimedia News Reporting
J 336F Social Media Journalism
J 346F Reporting on the Environment
Three hours of coursework from the following list of Ethics and Leadership courses:
CLD 301 Introduction to Communication and Leadership
CMS 322E Communication Ethics
CMS 332 Argumentation and Advocacy
CMS 338 Leadership Stories
CMS 344K Lying and Deception
CMS 353C Communication for Innovation

Six additional hours of coursework chosen from Foundations, Skills, and Ethics and Leadership courses​

Please note: All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and only courses with a grade of C- or better (or CR for courses offered only on a pass/fail basis) will be counted.

Students pursuing the minor may enroll in any of the approved courses for which he or she meets the prerequisite. Prerequisites for journalism courses may be waived after consultation and consent of the instructor. However, it is recommended that students take Journalism 310F prior to 346F.

In addition, the following are University-wide rules regarding minors:

  • The minor must be completed in conjunction with an undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Minors must include a minimum of six hours of upper division coursework. 
  • A student may not earn a minor in the same field of study as his or her major
  • At least nine of the hours required for the minor must include coursework not used to satisfy the requirements of the student’s major; this includes courses in non-major departments that are cross-listed with courses offered within the student’s major department. However, courses in the minor may fulfill other degree requirements such as general education requirements or required elective hours.
  • Transcript recognition is awarded at the time of undergraduate degree completion.

*Pending final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Coursework for students following the 2016-2018 catalog

The minor requires eighteen semester hours of coursework. Nine hours must be taken at the upper-division level and at least nine hours must be taken in residence. The certification requirements are below.

Important note: If you are pursuing the Science Communication Minor under the 2016-2018 catalog you are eligible to take new coursework offered under the 2018-2020 catalog and apply it toward the minor requirements, as long as you meet the pre-requisites for the course(s) you plan to take. To learn how those courses would apply toward the requirements under the 2016-2018 catalog click here.

I. COM350, Communication Internship (requires approval of the supervising professor via application process).
 Students in the College of Natural Sciences who are pursuing the Science Communication Certificate or Minor should contact the Moody College to request a prerequisite waiver for this course.

II. Six hours of coursework chosen from the list of approved Issues in Communication courses:

  • CMS 315M, Interpersonal Communication Theory 
  • CMS 322E, Communication Ethics 
  • CMS 334K, Nonverbal Communication 
  • CMS 338, Leadership Stories
  • CMS 344K, Lying and Deception 
  • CMS 353S, Social Media and Organizations 
  • J 301F, Fundamental Issues in Journalism
  • J 346F, Reporting on the Environment
  • J 346G, Domestic Issues and Global Perspective

III. Nine additional hours of coursework chosen from the list of approved Communication Tools courses:

  • CMS 306M, Professional Communication Skills

  • CMS 320, Advanced Presentation Skills

  • CMS 332, Argumentation and Advocacy

  • CMS 337, Building Sales Relationships

  • CMS 332K, Theories of Persuasion

  • CMS 348, Communication Research Methods

  • CMS 364M, Pre-Graduate School Mentorship (requires approval of certificate committee; prior approval is recommended.)
  • J 302F, Digital Storytelling Basics 
  • J 331G, Audio Storytelling

  • J 333F, Data-Driven Reporting

  • J 336D, Graphic Design for Print and Online 
  • J 336F, Social Media Journalism
  • J 339G, Mobile News App Design 

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and only courses with a grade of Cor better will be counted.

Students pursuing the minor may enroll in any of the approved courses for which he or she meets the prerequisite. Prerequisites for journalism courses may be waived after consultation and consent of the instructor. However, it is recommended that students take J 310F prior to J 333F or J346F; J 311F is recommended prior to J 331G. The student must have a University grade point average of at least 2.25 to enroll in any upper-division course in the college.

In addition, the following are University-wide rules regarding minors:

  • The minor must be completed in conjunction with an undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Minors must include a minimum of six hours of upper division coursework. 
  • A student may not earn a minor in the same field of study as his or her major
  • At least nine of the hours required for the minor must include coursework not used to satisfy the requirements of the student’s major; this includes courses in non-major departments that are cross-listed with courses offered within the student’s major department. However, courses in the minor may fulfill other degree requirements such as general education requirements or required elective hours.
  • Transcript recognition is awarded at the time of undergraduate degree completion.

Students should consult the Student Advising Office for additional information regarding the coursework that meets minor requirements.