Risk Communication (Certificate)

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The rising importance of the field of risk communication stems from the need to name, understand and manage physical and social risks as we are faced with increasingly challenging decisions concerning stressed social and environmental infrastructures. 

The rising importance of the field of risk communication stems from the need to name, understand and manage physical and social risks as society is faced with increasingly challenging decisions concerning stressed social and environmental infrastructures.

Proficiency in risk communication requires understanding the complex interfaces of physical, biological, psychological and social systems. In response, the certificate program in risk communication combines the strengths of the three schools within the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences: the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences and the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

The program prepares students for a range of diverse careers in risk management, crisis communications and environmental public affairs. Specifically, students develop expertise suited to work as risk management specialists and environmental advocates, preparing them to translate complex scientific ideas and analyses into information that can be evaluated meaningfully by all members of society.

At A Glance

Risk Communication (Certificate)

Application requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

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Program requirements

The certificate in risk communication requires 15 credit hours (a minimum of 12 credit hours must be upper division). Eight credit hours must be unique and not already being counted toward degree requirements in communication or environmental science. Other electives can be chosen in consultation with an academic advisor. All courses used to satisfy requirements for the certificate must be passed with a "C" (2.00) or better.
Core Requirements -- 6 credit hours
Notes: ENV 201 is required for Environmental Science or Biology majors only.
Elective Courses (choose three) -- 9 credit hours
Depending on a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Degree requirements

The certificate in risk communication requires 15 credit hours, 12 of which must be upper division. Eight credit hours must be unique credit hours not already being counted toward the students' BA or BS degree requirements in communication or environmental science. To earn the certificate, a "C" or better must be earned in each upper-division course.

Required Certificate Courses:

BIO 130 Introduction to Environmental Science, SQ (4) or ENV 201 Fundamentals of Environmental Science (3) (for ENV or BIO majors)
COM 415 Risk Communication (3)

Elective Certificate Courses: (complete three courses)

COM 414 Crisis Communication (3)
COM 454 Rhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations (3)
IAS 340 Bioethics, HU (3)
IAS 407 Environmental Philosophy and Policy, L or HU (3)
IAS 409 Eco-Community Ethics, HU (3)
LSC 362 Human Environment (3)

Depending upon a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment requirements

Students wishing to pursue this certificate should consult an academic advisor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences or the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences to ensure the appropriate set of courses is taken and the required paperwork is submitted.

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Career outlook

Graduates of this program work with local government agencies and law enforcement, public relations organizations, advertising, marketing and insurance.

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