Risk and Crisis Communication


Communication is essential to the effective preparation, response, and recovery from natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, toxic spills, and other such crises and emergencies. The online certificate program provides professionals and students with graduate-level training in research-based knowledge and best practices of risk and crisis communication especially within the context of public health emergency events.

Professionals currently working in and students wishing to work in government institutions, non-government organizations, or private firms that focus on emergency preparation and response, health communication, or risk assessment and management will benefit from this online program.


Admission to the program is contingent upon acceptance to the Graduate School and the Department of Communication. The application requires a:

(a) transcript of undergraduate degree, and if available graduate degree, coursework showing a minimum GPA of 3.0 ('B' average); and

(b) 500-word statement of purpose presenting the academic and professional preparation for the program, academic/ professional goals, and how the program helps achieve these goals.

International applicants whose native language is not English may also be required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent score.

To apply visit the Graduate School admissions page.

Application Deadlines

Fall semester (September start): August 1; Winter semester (January start): November 1.

Coursework and Requirements

The program requires 12 credits of coursework as noted below. One course substitution may be allowed with a strong rationale for the change and approval of a faculty adviser. All classes are 3 credits.

  • COM 7160: Crisis Communication
  • COM 7162: Risk Communication: Theoretical and Practical Approaches
  • COM 7170: Health and Risk Communication
  • COM 7172: Risk Communication: Disasters, Hazards, and Mass Media

All program courses are offered online.

More information about the program requirements is available in the Graduate Certificate Handbook.


Students admitted to and enrolled in the program pay Michigan in-state tuition (see here, Section 3.9, p. 7). A tuition calculator is available here (choose In-State and Graduate Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts).


For more information send email to communication@wayne.edu.

A flyer for the program is available here.