Certificate in Science Communication

Offered by: Faculty of Science

Coordinator: Dr. Leanne Stevens, Leanne.stevens@dal.ca 

Description: The focus of the Certificate in Science Communication is to develop the communication skills of science students, through courses focused on understanding the history of science in the media, ethics in science, and communicating science to non-scientists. This certificate is open to any student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc or BSc(MedSci)) in the Faculty of Science. 

Eligibility: Students currently registered in a Bachelor of Science degree offered by the Faculty of Science (BSc, BSc(Medical Sciences)). 

Admission to Certificate: To enrol in the Certificate in Science Communication, students must declare the certificate through Dal Online (https://dalonline.dal.ca > Web for Students > Admissions > Declare Major/Minor/Certificate) and notify the Certificate Coordinator.

To qualify for the Certificate, students must complete all course requirements, and the Portfolio of Science Communication.

To graduate with the Certificate, students must apply to Graduate with a Certificate at the time they apply to graduate from their degree program.


Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires completion of 15 credit hours of coursework, in addition to the prerequisites that any of the required courses have. The certificate will be awarded based on successful completion of all the student's degree requirements, as well as the following courses (and portfolio) required for the certificate (all with minimum grades of B).

1) Core requirements: Students must complete all three core requirements (9 credit hours total), with a grade of B or better in each.

 2) Topics in Communication: Students must complete at least 6-credit hours of communications-focused courses, with a grade of B or better in each, from the list below:


3) Portfolio in Science Communication (SCIE 4211.03): Students are required to register for this zero-credit hour course in the semester that they are submitting their completed portfolio for evaluation (typically, the final semester of their degree).

The portfolio is a record that can be shared with future employers and built upon into the future. It will include and document, at a minimum:

i) Two exemplary pieces of science communication. These pieces can be in any format and from courses or extracurricular activities, but cannot be from any of the three required courses (HSTC 2400, PHIL 2680, or SCIE 3211): written, blog post, infographic, podcast, video, etc. Students must provide a reflection/explanation of the pieces and describe how they effectively communicate science.

ii) Evidence of at least one public engagement in science communication, paired with a short essay outlining skills used in the engagement, challenges faced, and solutions achieved, and constructive self-criticism of the student’s performance. Examples include Soapbox Science, Let’s Talk Science, Science Slam Canada, etc.

iii) Reflection and critique of the courses completed as part of the certificate – outlining how each course contributed to their learning, skills learned, and areas for further growth and development related to science communication.

OPTIONAL: Students who have completed the coursework for the Certificate in Science Communication (items 1 & 2 in Certificate Requirements), have the option to ‘upgrade’ to the Certificate in Science Communication & Leadership. Students wishing to switch to the Science Communication & Leadership certificate must consult with the coordinators for BOTH certificates. At least six additional credit hours must be completed, including the SCIE 4444.03 Science Leadership capstone course. Consult the Academic Calendar for more information and full details on the Science Communication & Leadership certificate.

NOTE: Students can only receive ONE of the Science Communication or Science Communication & Leadership certificates. The two certificates are considered exclusionary.