Graduate Certificate in Research Communication

Communication Brings Research to Life

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Research matters when it is communicated to others—whether through a lecture, a story on TV or in a newspaper, an op ed, a blog, or even a job interview.

With employers emphasizing communication skills in their hiring priorities—and complaining that graduating students too often lack those skills—Washington State University aims to meet the demand with the Graduate Certificate in Research Communication.

The interdisciplinary certificate program emphasizes experiential learning along with lectures. The program includes courses in communications theory and techniques tailored specifically for science and engineering students. Students learn how to communicate with diverse audiences in a variety of formats, including face-to-face conversations, formal presentations, written content and multimedia formats.


The program equips students with communication skills for a variety of careers, including academia, engineering, biotech and other industries, science policy, and science communication and outreach.


Students must complete 9 credits, as follows:

INTERDIS 501, 2 credits

An exploration of oral and written presentation skills for science and engineering students. Students learn to think critically, synthesize information from multiple sources, assess source credibility and present effectively to a variety of audiences, including non-technical presentations. The class is based on workshop-style activities. Students should be actively engaged in research, as much of the focus will be on how to present their own research projects.

COM 541, 3 credits

An introduction to the role of communication in the formation of attitudes, opinions and knowledge about important scientific issues.

600-level Special Projects or Independent Study, 1 credit

Each student develops and presents a research communication product or project, such as a public research talk, video, website, museum exhibit or blog. Each product or project will be evaluated by a mentoring team of three individuals, one of whom must be WSU faculty.

Elective Options, 3 credits

Students may choose from a wide variety of courses focusing on communication with a scientific focus.

Offered jointly through the Graduate School and Murrow College of Communication, the certificate is available on all WSU campuses through online and in-person classes.