Wayne State University

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. If you need to print out the requirements for this concentration, here is a  PDF version. 


This program is new in Fall 2019--please visit the Graduate School admissions page for more information on when applications become available. 

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) a 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.

Preference will be given to applicants who have worked for at least two years in government institutions, non-government organizations, or private firms that focus on emergency preparation and response, health communication, or risk assessment and management.

Application deadlines:

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


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