University Catalog 2024-2025

Science Communication (Minor)

The minor in Science Communication offered by the Department of Communication is available to undergraduate students interested in developing their understanding of and abilities in communication science to public audiences. It is open to students in all undergraduate majors on campus who want to deepen and broaden their knowledge of how citizens make sense of science and technology in their everyday lives. Required coursework includes 15 credit hours, including (1) an overview course that introduces major issues in contemporary debates about science communication and public engagement, (2) electives that allow students to develop further understanding of communication processes and practices, and (3) a capstone course that engages students on more advanced topics such as climate change, risk communication, environmental communication, and others.


Students interested in the Science Communication minor must contact the minor advisor before their junior year and/or before the completion of 90 credits toward undergraduate degree. To be admitted to the program, a student must have a GPA of at least 2.0. Application for admission to any University minor program is now available via MyPack Portal. Admission will be based upon the student’s academic record, and in most cases no longer requires departmental review. Go to Add a Minor to apply.


University Minor Declaration Form should be submitted to Registration and Records for inclusion of the minor on the student’s official record no later than during the registration period for the student’s final semester at NC State. The minor must be completed no later than the semester in which the student expects to graduate from his or her degree program. Students will receive official recognition on their transcripts for the completed minor.

Contact Person

Dr. Andrew R. Binder
Associate Professor of Communication
201 Winston Hall, Campus Box 8104

SIS Code: 16SCM

Plan Requirements

  • Completion of 15 credit hours. 
  • At least nine (9) credits must be completed at 300-400 level: three (3) credits for the 400-level capstone course and six (6) credits of 300-400 level elective courses.
  • A maximum of TWO (2) courses may be used (double-counted) towards departmental major requirements and/or requirements for additional minor(s).
  • No more than six (6) transfer credits may be counted towards the minor.
  • A grade of ‘C’ (2.0) or better will be required for all courses taken to fulfill minor requirements.
  • No coursework may be taken for S/U credit.

Required Courses (6 credit hours)

COM 289Science Communication and Public Engagement3
Capstone Course: Advised 400-level COM elective 13

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)2

Group I - Foundational Communication Skills
Public Speaking
Argumentation and Advocacy
Presentational Speaking
Introduction to News and Article Writing
Writing in Rhetorical Traditions
Communication for Science and Research
Analyzing Style
Group II – Understanding Public Communication Processes and Practices
Communication Media in a Changing World
Introduction to Persuasion Theory
Introduction to Public Relations
Language, Communication, and Culture
Survey of Rhetorical Theory
Critical Analysis of Communication Media
Communication and Gender
International and Crosscultural Communication
Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media
Advanced Group Communication
Rhetorical Criticism
Communication & Race
Communication Law
Environmental Communication
Ethical Issues in Communication
Communication and Conflict Management
Communication and Globalization
Visual Rhetoric
Organizational Communication
Nonprofit Leadership & Development
Advanced Topics in Gender and Communication
Climate Change Communication
Internet and Society
Advanced Topics in Public Relations
Literature and Science
Analysis of Scientific and Technical Writing
Adaptive Management and Governance
Meteorology for Media
Environmental Impact Assessment
Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society
Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values
Verify Requirement
At least six (6) hours of electives must be 300- or 400-levels.

Capstone course is recommended to be taken after at least 9 credits in the minor. 

(For this elective, COM 436, 479, future risk communication or advanced science communication course can be taken by permission)


Choose 1 course from EACH Group (2 courses total) AND choose 1 additional course from either of the 2 Groups. At least 6 credits must be completed at 300-400 level.

Note: Students who have officially declared the minor and who wish to take a course on the elective list for which they do not currently meet the prerequisites should express their interest in the course to the minor adviser to discuss the possibility of applying for a waiver of the course prerequisite(s).

Verify Requirement

This is a verify requirement and may not require additional hours. Students can fulfill this requirement through other academic requirements.
COM 301Presentational Speaking3
COM 321Survey of Rhetorical Theory3
COM 327Critical Analysis of Communication Media3
COM 362Communication and Gender3
COM 392International and Crosscultural Communication3
COM 395Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media3
COM 402Advanced Group Communication3
COM 411Rhetorical Criticism3
COM 417Communication & Race3
COM 421Communication Law3
COM 436Environmental Communication3
COM 441Ethical Issues in Communication3
COM 442Communication and Conflict Management3
COM 447Communication and Globalization3
COM 479Climate Change Communication3
COM 487Internet and Society3
COM 493Advanced Topics in Public Relations3
ENG 316Introduction to News and Article Writing3
ENG 323Writing in Rhetorical Traditions3
ENG 333Communication for Science and Research3
ENG 341Literature and Science3
ENG 425Analysis of Scientific and Technical Writing3
ENG 426Analyzing Style3
ET 455Adaptive Management and Governance3
MEA 488Meteorology for Media3
NR 484Environmental Impact Assessment4
STS 302Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values3