In all careers, we are called upon to write carefully, thoughtfully, and precisely. In scientific and technical fields, this is of the upmost importance, because communicating difficult-to-understand material requires more than content-knowledge, but rhetorical strategies and the ability to make your writing count. Scientific and technical communication involves valuable tactics that do more than state “just the facts,” but provide nuanced and powerful representations of information and values through rhetorical analysis, user-centered design, and the visual representation of data. Students who complete the Undergraduate Certificate in Scientific, Technical, and Professional Communication (STPC) will be able to communicate their work and the work of others through effective written, oral, and multimedia communication.

The School of Writing, Literature and Film and the School of Arts and Communication support the STPC with courses like Writing for Media, Interpersonal Communication, and New Media Futures. Taking two required courses for the certificate (Science Writing and Technical Writing), you’ll then choose 12 credits from a list of core courses, take a Writing Intensive Course, and then choose 8 more credits from a list of electives. Capping off your experience will be a one-credit portfolio course, where you’ll edit and collect your work to show off your writing and communication skills.                                                                                                      

Also available via Ecampus.

Required Courses (6 credits)

WR 327. *Technical Writing (3)

WR 362. *Science Writing (3)

Core Courses (12 credits)

Select at least 12 credits from below:

COMM 218. *Interpersonal Communication (3)

COMM 316. Advanced Persuasion (3)

COMM 322. Small-Group Problem Solving (3)

COMM 324. Communication in Organizations (3)

COMM 326. Intercultural Communication (3)

NMC 240. Survey of Social Media (3)

NMC 260. New Media Futures (3)

WR 201. *Writing for Media (3)

WR 214. *Writing in Business (3)

WR 303. *Writing for the Web (3)

WR 330. *Understanding Grammar (3)

Writing Intensive Course (3–4 credits)

Complete one WIC course of 3 to 4 credits, preferably from the primary discipline and major program of study.

Electives (Up to 8 credits)

Select up to 8 credits from below:

AG 351. *Communicating Agriculture to the Public (3)

COMM 402. Independent Study (1–2)

COMM 414. Communication Research Methods (3)

COMM 416. Ethnography of Communication (3)

COMM 426. Intercultural Communication: Theories and Issues (3)

COMM 437. Health Communication (3)

COMM 454. Advanced Argumentation (3)

COMM 464. Rhetorical Criticism (3)

FES 493. Environmental Interpretation (4)

WR 402. Independent Study (1–2)

WR 414. Advertising and Public Relations Writing (4)

WR 448. Magazine Article Writing (4)

WR 462. Environmental Writing (4)

WR 466. Professional Writing (4)

WR 493. ^The Rhetorical Tradition and the Teaching of Writing (4)

WR 495. ^Introduction to Literacy Studies (4)

WR 497. Digital Literacy and Culture (4)

Capstone Portfolio (1 credit)

COMM 435. Scientific, Technical & Professional Communication Capstone (1)

WR 435 Scientific, Technical & Professional Communication Capstone (1) Ecampus


* Baccalaureate Core Course

^ Writing Intensive Course (WIC)

Major Code: C750

For more information about the certificate, please contact Ehren Pflugfelder at