Please join the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science for courses that will help you improve your communication skills, build stronger relationships and improve teamwork. All courses are offered at Stony Brook University. Core 1-credit offerings include instruction on crafting a clear and vivid message, and using improvisation exercises to improve connection with your audience. Subsequent courses help students learn best practices for communicating science via writing, using digital media, connecting in the community, engaging key audiences, storytelling and communicating health sciences. For more information, please call (631) 632-2130.

Communicating Science courses are open to graduate students in STEM disciplines at Stony Brook University. Tuition is covered for PhD students (fall or spring semesters) if they’re currently supported full time by their program (TA/GA/RA or Fellow) and have a full Graduate Tuition Scholarship. Enrollment in the course requires pre-approval from your Graduate Program Director. Masters students can also enroll and pay tuition as normal. Register now through SOLAR. If you have questions, please email

Fall 2017 Course Offerings

The Advanced Certificate in Health Communications

This certificate program is designed to prepare public health workers, health professionals, journalists, and other communications professionals to communicate health-related issues to the public directly or through the press. The certificate is offered jointly by the Program in Public Health and the School of Journalism.

The 18-credit certificate will help graduates qualify for employment in academic settings, research facilities, public health organizations, or health care institutions. Graduates also may serve as health communication experts in media, consulting and public relations settings. Working professionals will gain communication skills that will enhance their skills and help them advance within their fields.

Students must complete the following courses:

  • HPH 585 Introduction to Biostatistics & Epidemiology (4 credits)
  • HPH 500 Contemporary Issues in Public Health (2 credits)
  • HPH 508 Health Systems Performance (3 credits)
  • JRN 500 Communicating Science: Inside the News Media (3 credits)

Each student must complete 6 credits from the following list:

  • JRN 501 Distilling Your Message: Communicating Science (1 credit)
  • JRN 502 Writing to be Understood: Communicating Science (1 credit)
  • JRN 503 Improvisation for Scientists: Communicating Science (1 credit)
  • JRN 504 Using Digital Media: Communicating Science (1 credit)
  • JRN 505 Connecting with the Community: Communicating Science (1 credit)
  • JRN 506 Advanced Writing: Communicating Science (1 credit)
  • HPH 551 Intro to Health Communication (3 credits)

Students can apply to the program throughout the academic year and will be able to matriculate in the Fall, Spring, or Summer. For more information, please call (631) 632-2130.

The Master of Science Program in Journalism

The Master of Science Program in Journalism at Stony Brook University focuses on coverage of health, science, the environment and technology. It offers a small student-centered program designed to serve a wide range of people, including those with journalism backgrounds and those with science or health backgrounds who are seeking other career options. Teachers with real-world experience, working in an up-to-date $1.3 million newsroom, help students build their skills in print, video, broadcast and multimedia. Proximity to New York City gives our students access to valuable internships and a wide range of visiting lectures.

The program, started in July, 2011, is a 40-credit program that can be completed by fulltime students in three semesters and one summer, although students may choose to take more time. In most cases, students will enter the program in the summer semester. As the only journalism masters degree program in the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook’s program charges less than comparable programs in private universities.Our students will learn to cover the issues shaping our future — issues like climate change, health care policy, stem cell research, food safety, clean energy sources, and computer security. We take advantage of the rich resources in science and health at Stony Brook and its affiliated institutions, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But although we focus on coverage of science and related fields, the skills learned will serve our graduates well no matter what kind of journalism they pursue.

Learn more