Arizona State University offers an online Master of Science in Technical Communication program through its College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. An entirely online program, there is no residency requirement to complete the degree. The university uses an online learning management system, which allows students to access course materials, communicate with peers and instructors via discussion boards and online messaging, and submit assignments online.
The online Master of Science in Technical Communication program requires students to complete 36 credit hours of study across 12 classes*. Each class lasts seven and a half weeks, and the entire program can be completed in approximately 24 months*. Curriculum is split between required core classes, restricted electives, and a culminating experience course (either a thesis or applied project). The MS program introduces students to advanced concepts in the design, creation, and management of communications beyond just verbal skills. Curriculum covers major areas of study such as critical thinking, analysis and research, technical communication practices and processes, technology, and rhetorical/theoretical knowledge.
Today’s ability to communicate effectively requires not only traditional verbal skills, but also skills in visual communication, digital media, and the tools used to create and produce communication. Through a blend of theory and practice, students develop an understanding of topics across technical communication, including content strategy, information and user design, visual communication, user experience, inter- and cross-cultural communication, and more. Core classwork consists of two courses that introduce students to rhetoric and technical communication, as well as research in technical and applied communication. After completing the core curriculum, students may select from a set list of elective courses to augment their study.
To complete their degree requirements, students must either research and write a thesis or submit an applied project. The thesis is approximately a 60 page paper of original research that demonstrates the student’s knowledge of technical communication. The applied project requires the student to conduct research and create a deliverable product (e.g. website, report). The applied project has two parts: a workplace deliverable and metacognitive analysis. The workplace deliverable includes an information product designed for a specific purpose and target audience. The metacognitive analysis is an analysis and description of the project that covers how the student applied their classroom learning to the product’s creation, and summarizes what the student learned during the program.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
Online Master of Science in Technical Communication
Department: College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in approximately 24 months
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis or applied project course
Credits Required: 36 credits (12 courses)*
Example Courses: Applied Rhetoric and Technical Communication; Research in Technical and Applied Communication; Principles of Visual Communication; Principles of Technical Editing; Grant & Proposal Writing
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 in last 60 hours of bachelor's degree
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission
Estimated Tuition: ~$19,692 + fees**
Cost per Credit Hour: $547 per credit hour (not including books & minimal university fees)*
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states
*Note: Credit, course, and tuition information as of 12/2018
**Tuition is calculated based on credits and the current cost per credit hour. Estimated tuition represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year, and does not include additional fees. Please see the school website for the most up-to-date tuition costs.