Frequently Asked Questions
This certificate program is designed to provide a flexible, highly accessible educational training opportunity to help individuals develop and maintain professional competencies and competitiveness in the workforce. Graduates of science communication programs have found employment in a diverse number of fields, including science writing, medical writing, grant writing, medical research, communications, marketing, grants management, program management, and more.
No. Participants can take the courses at their own pace, and may take up to three years to finish the program.
We recognize that many of you may never have taken a class online. You may be wondering if this program is the right choice for you. This is a valid concern and one that we carefully considered as we developed this program. We want technology to enrich your experience rather than be a hindrance, and we’ve put the support and resources in place to make that happen.
Upon enrollment, we will send you a packet of information clearly outlining how to access and use the online classroom system. You will also have access to our Information Technology online support staff, should you ever encounter a problem, as well as the contact information for each of your instructors and the program director.
We know it can be difficult to attend classes while also working, whether that be in the workplace or at home, as well as balance your busy personal life. That’s one of the main reasons we decided to offer this program completely online. You will not need to attend any sessions onsite, nor will you need to ‘attend’ a lecture online at a set time.
This built-in flexibility allows you to complete the coursework when it is convenient for you, perhaps first thing in the morning before you go to work or late at night after your children have gone to bed.
That being said, we know people are more likely to reach their goals if they have some structure in place. To help you stay on track, we’re offering each course over a set 8-week period. You will have one week to complete each of the class modules. Within each week, you get to decide when you want to engage with the course material.
We believe this provides you with the best of both worlds— flexibility and structure—setting you up to successfully complete the program in one year. We have also done our best to schedule classes around the major holidays and to give you some time off between each class.
Yes! Although your interaction will not be face-to-face, we have designed the courses in such a way that you will have ample opportunities to interact with your instructors and one another, particularly through online discussion forums. Many participants have said that interacting in this way has made their learning experience richer than a conventional classroom-based program.
Offering the program online also means that participants across the nation, as well as across the world, can participate. This creates a wonderfully diverse context for learning and discussing topics in science communication.
- Fall 1st 8 weeks: Science Writing Principles MHS 603 (3 credits)
- Fall 2nd 8 weeks: Writing for Scholarly Journals MHS 607 ( 3 credits)
- Spring 1st 8 weeks: Writing Proposals and Grants MHS 637 (3 credits)
- Spring 2nd 8 weeks: Writing for the Public MHS 627 (3 credits)
Yes, you will take the two fall courses in order, followed by the two spring courses. Each course builds on the skills and techniques of the previous courses.
International participants are not eligible for F-1 participant visa sponsorship from the University of Maryland, Baltimore due to the entirely online curriculum of the certificate program; however, students can participate in the program from outside the US without a need for a US participant visa.
Do you work at UMB? Apply for Tuition Remission!
If you are a faculty member, staff, or post-doctoral fellow at UMB you can apply for tuition remission. Tuition remission is a waiver of tuition and is available to benefit-eligible employees and their eligible family members who qualify and are admitted to schools within the University System of Maryland. The benefit applies to tuition only; all non-tuition expenses and fees are the responsibility of the student. To verify your benefits, please call UMB HR benefits at 410-706-2606 to see if you’re eligible for remission depending on your employee status. Please note that part-time/contractual employees do not receive the tuition remission benefit. Post-docs and employees can utilize the tuition remission benefit for up to 8 credits per semester. The program consists of 6 credits per semester, so you can have the whole program covered.