Scientists must go beyond publishing in journals if they want their research to be relevant to society. However, academic training rarely covers how to communicate with the press, the public, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders. This certificate program in environmental communication and leadership gives graduate students in environmental disciplines the important leadership and communication skills needed to increase their influence and reach above and beyond academia.

Biological science encompasses the study of all living things and includes the study of basic organization and function, how organisms evolve, their roles in the natural environment, how hereditary information is transferred and the development of biotechnology. The biological sciences minor is a program designed to provide students with a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to their interests.

In the life sciences, employers need those who are skilled in understanding and interpreting data, and in particular demand are those who have experience using new, computational approaches and computer programs to process data. Through this certificate program in computational life sciences, students learn how to identify and interpret data that is generated from a wide range of fields in the life sciences. These fields include, but are not limited to ecology, botany, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, and animal behavior. Students learn about many types of data generated from sources such as DNA, RNA, protein, imaging, conservation and even from long-term ecological research sites. Students are introduced to a suite of computational approaches that are used to analyze, visualize and interpret this data. Finally, students delve into the ethical implications of collecting, analyzing and sharing the results of computational life sciences data.

Students in the computational life sciences graduate certificate program develop expertise in the understanding, interpretation and analysis of diverse data types generated from a range of life sciences disciplines, including ecology, botany, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, and animal behavior.


Evolutionary Medicine

With rising need for health science-related skills and an aging population in the United States, innovations in health and medicine are in demand. Evolutionary medicine is a new and burgeoning field situated between the life and social sciences that seeks to integrate the fields of evolutionary biology, genetics, medicine, global health and public health to transform our understanding of disease and improve human health. Students who complete this certificate program learn how to integrate perspectives from across fields to answer questions about health and disease in the context of human life history. Students are introduced to integrated approaches within the biological and social sciences that are capable of address an emerging, anticipated public need such as reemerging infectious disease, challenges with vaccines, the expansion of chronic disease and other growing public health crises.

The undergraduate certificate program in the history and philosophy of science is designed to give students an understanding of the traditional philosophical issues surrounding science and the historical development of concrete scientific theories and ideas. Philosophical questions about how we understand nature through science and how scientific claims gain authority are enriched when they are considered in a historical context. Such philosophical and historical study also often includes the examination of contemporary sciences and their place within the larger society, including the study of bioethics, policy and law. This certificate is a valuable addition for students in the sciences or humanities. It crosses disciplines to help students engage in unfamiliar and familiar paths of inquiry in new and interesting ways. The program is offered by the School of Life Sciences.