Master of Science in Technical Communication

The Department of English and Technical Communication offers both an on-campus (traditional) and online Master of Science in Technical Communication.


Most of your courses will be traditional "classroom" courses that require you, your classmates and your teacher to come to campus at specified times and meet for lectures, discussions and other activities. Some of your courses, however, will be completely online. We believe that a technical communication student needs to learn how to function successfully in online environments.


If you choose this option, all of your courses will be either online synchronous (with live meetings in Adobe Connect or some other virtual environment) or online asynchronous (with recorded lectures and submission of work on Blackboard). On rare occasions, you may have to come to campus for degree-related business, although, if necessary, we can usually find ways around a campus visit.

Degree requirements

The course requirements are the same for both versions of the degree: 10 courses totaling 30 credit hours:

  • TCH COM 4520 Help Authoring 
  • TCH COM 5510 Technical Editing
  • TCH COM 5530 Usability Studies 
  • TCH COM 5550 Advanced Proposal Writing
  • TCH COM 5560 Web-Based Communication
  • TCH COM 5610 History of Technical Communication
  • TCH COM 5620 Research Methods in Technical Communication 
  • TCH COM 6440 Advanced Theories of Visual Technical Communication
  • TCH COM 6450 Advanced International Technical Communication
  • TCH COM 6600 Foundations of Technical Communication 

Click here for catalog descriptions of these courses.

If you have a graduate teaching assistantship for four semesters, you will have to teach one course and take three courses each semester. In that case, you will have to take two additional courses (e.g., Teaching of Technical Communication) beyond the ten specific courses required for the degree.

Download "Becoming a GTA" to learn how you can fund your program in technical communication.

In your final semester, you will have to take a comprehensive exam. You may choose to do a thesis instead of the exam, but in that case, you will have to take six hours of thesis research in addition to the 10-course sequence.

Departmental Contact

Dr. Kristine Swenson