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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 02, 2022
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Public Communication of Science and Technology

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The program allows students to pursue a relevant internship and offers a capstone experience that will pull the various threads of their study together. Many of the courses satisfy the Writing requirement; select courses also satisfy the Diversity, Creative Work, Historical Analysis, and Literature requirements. As we develop other courses for the certificate, we aim to design them to satisfy other DSAS GERs.

Students who plan to complete this certificate are strongly encouraged to pursue a major or minor in science or in math.

Students need a total of 18 credits, including 15 credits in relevant writing-intensive courses from the list of courses that count. Students who complete their 3-credit relevant in-major W course in science with a C or better can instead complete 12 writing-intensive credits and up to 6 credits of non-writing intensive courses from the list of certificate electives. Double counting of credits will be consistent with the current Dietrich School and University policies. Eligible in-major W courses will be posted on the PCST Web page.

Capstone Course (3 credits)

Grade Requirement

Students are expected to achieve a minimum grade of C in each course required for this certificate.


The Writing Institute is willing to work with departments that want to develop appropriate writing-intensive courses for this certificate. We are also happy to hear from departments that believe they already have a qualifying course.

New Courses and Experiential Learning
This certificate will require that we create the PCST Capstone course: a projects-focused course that will also invite faculty from other departments or centers to join the course for a week or two to share their expertise with undergraduates, often engaging them in cutting-edge work that is usually available only to graduate students.

To enhance our offerings for students invested in this area, we also plan to create Grant Writing for Research, a course that will better serve students who know that they will need to write grant proposals to support their work (they are currently taking Grant Writing with students who want to learn about nonprofit work).

We are proposing these courses in Spring 2020, so that they will be in place during AY 20-21. The other ENGCMP courses listed for this certificate already exist and are offered regularly. They are popular with students in the natural sciences, Engineering, and SHRS.

Students will have the option of completing a writing-intensive internship (ENGCMP 1900). Students may, for example, pursue an internship at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, where they would provide educational and background material about research studies, write descriptions of research studies for the database in terms lay people can understand, create social media posts that meet regulatory criteria, and read researchers’ manuscripts and put them into understandable news release and video forms. We already have several possible internships for students with this set of interests and we will work on identifying more.

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