Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Factsheets

Research Communication, Graduate Certificate

Faculty working with Students: 1
Students: 0
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 0.00%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall August 1
  • Spring December 1
  • Summer April 15
  • Pullman: Yes
  • Spokane: Yes
  • Tri-Cities: Yes
  • Vancouver: Yes
  • Global Campus: Yes
Tests required:

Degree Description:


Washington State University’s Certificate in Research Communication is designed for any current WSU graduate student who is conducting original research. This Certificate enhances traditional graduate training by offering theoretical and practical perspectives on communicating complex research to diverse audiences. By completing this program, you will gain valuable experience in writing and speaking about research and the value of research in solving societal challenges. In addition to coursework, program graduates will develop a public communications project around their work, such as a video, blog post, podcast, art installation, comic, or other creative work. This Certificate will boost your self-confidence in communicating with both technical and non-technical audiences and help you create a portfolio to showcase your work outside of traditional research publications. You will also have fun!


Admission Requirements:


Admission requirements

  • Current graduate student in the Washington State University system
  • In good academic standing
  • Statement of purpose for participating in this Certificate, including how this program supports future career goals.

Program requirements

  • Nine total credits.
  • Two required courses: COM 541 (3 credits), INTERDIS 501 (2 credits)
  • 3 elective credits. The list below provides examples of suitable electives but it not exhaustive. Consult the program director for permission to add other electives.
  • Capstone project (1 credit, uses the 600-level Special Projects designation for your discipline). Each product or project will be evaluated by a mentoring team of three individuals. One of these evaluators must be WSU faculty, while the others may be faculty members or someone within or outside of WSU with expertise in that area (e.g., web development, science journalism, podcasting, etc.).

Example electives. Some of these electives are offered online, while others are in face-to-face format through one or more WSU campuses. Please check the course catalog for more information.

ARTS/FA 337 Experimental Animation

COMHLTH 571 Communicating Health in Practice 

COMHLTH 573 Communicating Health in a Digital Landscape

COM 478 Health Communications

COM 516 Health Communication and Society 

COM 552 Theories and Methods of Emerging Communication Technology 

COM 561 Multimedia Content Creation   

COM 572 Mass Media, Social Control, and Social Change

COMSOC 325 Environmental Communication

COMSOC 480 Science Communication Campaigns

COMSTRAT 485 Public Relations Management and Campaigns  

COMSTRAT 562 Creative Media Strategies and Techniques

COMSTRAT 563 Professional Digital Content Promotion

CPT S 538 Scientific Visualization

DTC 335 Digital Animation: Story, Narration and Production 

DTC 354 Digital Storytelling

ENGL 355[M] Multimedia Authoring: Exploring New Rhetorics

Math 531 Intersections of Culture and Mathematics


Student Opportunities:


Research without communication is silent.  Whether research is shared through a traditional research talk, in a TV interview, podcast, or with a middle school class, research only comes alive when we successfully communicate it to others. Communication means more than just imparting information – communication encompasses the excitement, joy, and frustration of research, and why the research matters. However, most researchers, particularly those in STEM, receive little to no formal communication training.

There is growing recognition of the need for scientists and other STEM professionals to have better communication skills. WSU’s interdisciplinary Research Communication Graduate Certificate will teach you how to communicate with diverse audiences in a variety of formats, including face-to-face conversations, formal presentations, written content, and multimedia formats. This Certificate will equip you with communication skills for a variety of careers, including careers in academia, industry, science policy, and science communication and outreach.

The Certificate culminates with a Capstone project that showcases your work in a fun and creative format for a non-technical audience. Your Capstone project is an excellent way to think about your research in new ways and to stay energized during graduate school. This project also serves as part of a portfolio for future career opportunities.


Faculty Members:

Coffin, Allison, Ph.D.

Location: Vancouver

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

We study sensory hair cells: polarized epithelial-type cells that converts acoustic signals in the environment to electrochemical signals in the nervous system. These cells are exquisitely sensitive to sound and unfortunately to damage from a variety of sources including noise and some classes of medications. Research in the Coffin Lab uses cellular, molecular, bioinformatics, and electrophysiological approaches to understand the cellular events underlying hearing loss and develop drug candidates to preserve hearing.

Contact Information:

Allison Coffin, PhD