Career Opportunities

Science Writing is a diverse field, ranging from journalism and creative writing, to communication and public relations, to books that reach the best-sellers lists. To meet these opportunities, the MA in Science Writing and the Graduate Certificate in Science Writing present students with a range of credentials, courses and other experiences that present skills needed for the changing workplace.

Some students aim to work as salaried writers or editors for websites, newspapers, magazines or other venues. Other students choose the freelance route, writing or editing for magazines, organizations, agencies, and other clients. Still others join the thousands of science writers who work for colleges and universities; local, state, or federal agencies; hospital and research centers; technology, pharmaceutical, biotech, and other private companies, and associations or non-profits.

The Advanced Academic Programs offers career advising to students and graduates in Science Writing and other programs through its Career Services office.

The diversity of career options for science writers starts first with topic: Our students and graduates focus on subjects or fields as wide as the world of science itself. From space and oceans, to health and technology, from the history of science to the future yet revealed, topics are ever-changing. The success of our alumni demonstrates this diversity:

Molly Caldwell Crosby

Best-selling author Molly Caldwell Crosby’s books include American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History (a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” winner) and Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic (a recommended book in Scientific American and Discover.)

Michael Klesius

Michael Klesius was honored by Oliver Sacks for inclusion in Best American Science Writing in 2003.

Amy Fries

Amy Fries, an accomplished freelance writer and former blogger for Psychology Today, is author of Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers.

Gina Shaw

Gina Shaw, an award-winning freelance writer, has published articles for a wide range of professional organizations and magazines. Shaw profiled actress Sarah Jessica Parker for WebMD, recently wrote for Bon Appetit magazine, and is author of Having Children After Cancer.

Eric Vohr

Eric Vohr is co-author of Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out, which he wrote with Johns Hopkins doctor Peter Pronovost, a national expert in patient safety.

Brittany Moya del Pino

Brittany Moya del Pino, a former writer and editor at the National Cancer Institute, now successful freelances for a range of clients nationwide.

Nadia Whitehead

Nadia Whitehead earned a prestigious internship at Science magazine while a student in the program.

Kim Young

Kim Young is the education/communications coordinator for the York County Conservation District and author of PA Wildlife Journal: Birds and Mammals of Pennsylvania.

Rachel Pepling

Rachel Pepling is online editor for Chemical & Engineering News.

Matt Dozier

Matt Dozier is a writer and editor at NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Jennifer Huergo

Jennifer Huergo is at National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Adam Voiland

Adam Voiland writes for the NASA Earth Observatory website.

Students and graduates have published writing in Smithsonian, New York Times, Discover.com, Salon.com, Huffington Post, National Geographic, Atlantic.com, and Washington Post. Other graduates in Science Writing or the MA in Writing Program work or have worked at the National Red Cross, National Geographic magazine, AARP, The Nature Conservancy, the American Geophysical Society, and Smithsonian magazine.

The Science Writing Program regularly exchanges job notices among students and alumni. One of our required core courses for MA students is Contemporary Science Writing, which presents a range of forms and writing options that focus on the diversity of careers; the course recently covered review writing, museum writing, speechwriting, and grant writing. The final course in the MA program, Thesis and Careers in Science Writing, requires each student to develop a formal career plan to help them meet their writing and editing goals.