Science Communication M.S.


The Science Communication (SCIC) Master's program is a graduate program comprised of one track: science writing. Students combine a background in scientific research with a desire to communicate science to the general public. The program focuses on the practice of conceiving, reporting, writing, and editing articles on scientific, medical, environmental, and technological subjects for newspapers and magazines, online news outlets, universities and federal agencies, and special publications directed at general readers. The program in science writing offers intensive training in news, features, multimedia storytelling, profiles and essays, and investigative reporting. Graduates receive a Master of Science (M.S.) in science writing. For more information about our graduation rates and other information, please visit our website.


Course Requirements

The program accepts 10 students per year. Enrollment in science writing classes is strictly limited to students enrolled in the program. The program consists of one academic year of full-time study, beginning in fall quarter, followed by a full-time summer internship lasting a minimum of 10 weeks. Science Notes, the UCSC online science magazine, is produced annually by the graduate students. Please see the current issue and an archive of past issues on our website.

The program consists of a required sequence of six courses covering the main skills of professional journalism:

SCIC 201AReporting and Writing Science News


SCIC 201BThe Science Feature


SCIC 201CProfile and Essay Writing


SCIC 201DPolicy and Investigative Reporting


SCIC 201EMultimedia Science News


SCIC 202Writing and Editing Workshop


Assignments in each course are overseen by practicing journalists and editors, and many course projects are published regionally and nationally. In addition, students must complete at least two part-time writing and reporting internships during the academic year at media organizations and news offices, through formal arrangements overseen by the Science Communication Program. The six required courses, plus two course-equivalent internships constitute the eight courses (40 credits) required during the academic year. The final requirement is a full-time professional internship in science journalism or public outreach at a venue approved by the program director, for a minimum of 10 weeks. A total of 40 credits are required for the degree.

Admission to the Science Communication Graduate Program

Students who have an intimate acquaintance with the theory and practice of science, an aptitude for writing, and a strong desire to communicate science to the general public are ideal candidates for the program. All applicants must have a prior degree in science or engineering (B.S./B.A., M.S., or Ph.D.) to be eligible. Other admission requirements are: full-time research experience of at least six months duration; official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test scores; and at least three references from faculty or supervisors familiar with the applicant's research and communications skills. Applications and instructions can be found online through the UCSC Graduate Division website.

Further Information

Details about the Science Communication M.S. program may be obtained from the Science Communication Program office, our website, or by sending e-mail to scicom@ucsc.edu.