Multiple Options

The Technical and Professional Communication program prepares students for careers in government, business, academe, and technical fields. From technical editing to document design to communication theory and research methods, the TPC program provides students with comprehensive skills and knowledge to prepare for careers in technical and professional communication or augment expertise in other areas.

Our degree and non-degree graduate programs can be taken entirely online, part-time or full-time, to maximize students' ability to integrate their academic work into their careers and other responsibilities.

Certificate in Professional Communication

The graduate Certificate in Professional Communication is a five-course program (15 credits) that introduces students and professionals to key topics, problems, and competencies in technical and professional communication.

The program is well suited to students and working professionals who need to develop their expertise in particular segments of professional communication (such as editing, multimedia, or training), or who seek broad familiarity with the range of professional communication skills and knowledge.

Working professionals (even those already holding graduate degrees) can complete the Certificate program to boost their communication capabilities in their current workplace, or to move into new professional areas involving communication.

Students enrolled in graduate degree programs in any area are also invited to apply to the Certificate as an add-on program, complementing their major-area work.

To earn the Certificate, students complete ENGL 6702 (Research in TPC) and four other TPC-area courses selected in consultation with the TPC graduate advisor. It is possible to focus in a specific area of the field or take courses in a wide variety of topics.

Master's Degree in English

The MA in English (Technical and Professional Communication concentration) is an advanced graduate degree (33 credits) that prepares students to enter the world of technical communication as knowledgeable and competent professionals. Our program combines breadth and depth; while learning about the wide range of TPC topics and concerns, you may also pursue more focused study in one or more areas of interest, such as

  • Technical editing and publishing
  • Communication media and technologies
  • Teaching, training, and pedagogy
  • Civic rhetoric/public discourse/leadership in specific professional contexts such as healthcare, science, and government; professional writing genres; and many other areas.

Providing a broader and deeper experience than the Certificate, the MA degree is well suited to students who wish to be communication leaders and experts in industry, the public sector, technology, industry, public health and medicine, or academe, or who plan to apply to doctoral programs. Our world-class faculty mentor and support MA students throughout their academic experience. Students can also take advantage of professional development activities, internships, and other learning opportunities outside of regular coursework.

MA students in the TPC area complete two required courses: ENGL 6702 (Research Methods in TPC) and ENGL 7702 (Research Design in TPC), plus nine additional courses selected in consultation with the TPC graduate advisor.

Up to four of these courses may be taken outside the TPC area (in another area of English or from another department). Our students frequently take courses in multicultural and transnational literatures, linguistics, and rhetoric and composition, among other areas.

TPC students may either complete a thesis (6 credits) or complete the comprehensive assessment project (CAP). Most students in the TPC area choose the CAP option.