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Technical Communication (MS)

[Program Overview] [Curriculum] [Admission Criteria] [Application Requirements] [Transfer Credits] [Accreditation] [Faculty] [Contact Information]

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Technical Communication is an innovative 32-credit program that provides advanced training in the professional practice and theory of technical communication. The program has been designed to:

  • help you succeed in this rapidly-evolving profession, within a global marketplace;
  • prepare you for upper-level positions in technical communication as managers, supervisors or consultants; and
  • enable you to solve complex communication problems for a variety of audiences, in a variety of media.

In addition to being useful to technical communication professionals, this program may also help people in a variety of fields, including education, graphic design, training, marketing, multimedia development, science and engineering. You learn how to use your knowledge in practical, on-the-job situations; and all of the professors combine academic excellence with their own real-world experience.

In keeping with Metropolitan State's commitment to working adults, the master's program in technical communication offers flexible scheduling with evening and weekend classes, and program flexibility to suit individual professional goals.

About Technical Communication

We are surrounded by technological change in our schools, in the workplace and in our homes. To many people, just trying to keep up with the pace of change is a major challenge. But with change comes opportunity. Technical communicators understand that opportunity. They fill the gap between people and technology, between specialized information and those who want to use it. It's a growing field that helps people cope with technology and technical information in a variety of settings.

In many ways, technical communication is a skill set that allows individuals to fill many roles within organizations.

Areas of expertise for technical communicators include:

  • document design
  • content development and design for digital media
  • writing and editing
  • project management
  • usability and usability testing
  • information management and
  • cross-cultural communication

The demand for technical communication skills and expertise has grown consistently, in all segments of industry, government and nonprofit organizations. There is also a growing need for professionals within the field to take leadership roles as managers, supervisors and consultants.

Advising

Academic advisors for this program are resident faculty who teach in the technical communication program. As a newly-admitted student, you confer with your advisor to lay out a course of study that includes:

  • prerequisite course work, if any;
  • a curricular plan--the recommended sequence of courses, based on your circumstances and the university's course scheduling; and
  • electives and focus area--special interests within the field of technical communication, if any, that you can address through course work and recommended electives.

Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available for students in the master's program. Students with assistantships help faculty with teaching, special projects and program administration.

Curriculum

Prerequisites

It is important that students in the program begin with a common set of skills and theoretical background. This can be achieved to a large degree through professional technical communication experience. If you lack this experience and have not completed a directly relevant course of study in your undergraduate degree program, you will need, at a minimum, the following prerequisite courses:

In addition, the technical communication program director may recommend that you complete one or more additional courses before beginning the master's program.

Requirements (32 credits)

Course work for the Master of Science in Technical Communication falls into two categories: core courses and electives.

Core Courses (20 credits)

Course work for the Master of Science in Technical Communication falls into two categories:

Core courses and electives

Technology-related class

Electives

To individualize the master's program, you select up to three 4-credit electives. These electives must be 500G-, 600-, or 800-level courses and must be approved by your advisor. You can select electives from fields such as writing, media studies, communication, business/management, computer science, natural sciences and ethics. Popular electives include WRIT 599G Topics in Technical Communication, WRIT 572G Document Design, MGMT 620 Organizational Behavior, DSCI 620 Project Management, MDST 580G Issues in Communication Technology, and WRIT 575G Environmental Communication. You may choose one independent study or an internship as an elective.  We particularly recommend internships if you have limited professional experience.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  • BA/BS from an accredited institution with course work relevant to technical communication. In some cases, professional experience may take the place of relevant undergraduate course work. (Students lacking both relevant undergraduate course work and professional experience may be asked to complete a recommended course of study as a prerequisite to graduate work.)
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale).

Application Requirements

  • Graduate Application
  • Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • Letter of application
  • Portfolio

See Applying to the Program for application packets and details on the requirements and deadlines.

Transfer Credits

With your advisor's permission, you may apply to your degree as many as two courses (no more than eight graduate credits) from other accredited graduate programs.

Accreditation

Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
312-263-0456

Faculty

Anne Aronson, Helen Correll, Craig Hansen, (Technical Communication Program Director), Maythee Kantar, Kathryn Kelly, Ed Lee, Alison McGhee, Brian Nerney, Becky Omdahl, Erica Rasmussen, Victoria Sadler, Shannon Skarphol Kaml, Gail Smogard, Suzanne Walfoort, and Kathy Wellington.

Contact Information

Communication, Writing and the Arts
Metropolitan State University
Energy Park Place, Suite 205
1380 Energy Lane
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-999-5940

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