Mercer University offers a Master of Science in Technical Communication Management (MSTCM) through its School of Engineering. The MSTCM program can be completed fully online, without any required campus visits. In addition to asynchronous instruction elements, this program uses Zoom video conferencing to facilitate live online lectures, which students must attend once per week in the evening Eastern time (live classes are typically 90 minutes long). In addition to the live lectures, students are expected to view other course materials and contribute to discussion forums on as weekly basis.
The program features small classes, with an average of seven to 12 students per class, to ensure that each student receives one-on-one mentorship and support from course instructors. This program is designed to prepare students for advanced and managerial roles in engineering, government agencies, instructional design, software development, financial services, and user experiences, as well as new media, marketing, and social media.
The Master of Science in Technical Communication management requires 30 credits to complete. Student who take two courses per year can graduate in approximately two years, while students who take one course per term (including summer) typically graduate in four years. On average, students in the program have 12 years of professional experience. Coursework explores both the history and practice of communication – including theory – and covers industry-specific practices in technical communication project management.
Curriculum is divided between core class requirements (7-8 classes), electives (1-2 classes) and a capstone (1 class). Core classes cover major subjects from across the technical communication industry, such as usability and managing multimedia, history and theory of technical communication, instructional design, visual communication, managing people and projects, and more. If they choose, students may substitute an additional elective in place of one required core class. Students also have one free elective course, which enables them to explore special topics in technical communication and scientific communication management. Elective choices will vary based on the student’s academic and professional needs; with advisor approval, students may take courses in technical communication, from another department, or even another institution.
The program culminates with a capstone course, entitled Project Research, which is a substitute for a master’s thesis. The capstone is a collaborative project where students work in teams (2-3 students) and complete a significant research project that may result in a professional conference presentation or publishable manuscript. Student teams typically work with a client, with the Project Research faculty instructor serving as a supervisor of each team’s progress. Examples include mobile device testing for usability or creating multimedia products that can be used to solve organizational communication programs.
Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Online Master of Science in Technical Communication Management
Department: School of Engineering
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses synchronous and asynchronous instruction - students meet online once a week for 90 minutes
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Full-time: program can be completed in ~2 years; Part-time: program can be completed in ~4 years
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone project research course
Credits Required: 30 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Usability; Managing Multimedia; Managing People and Projects; Advanced Technical Communication; History and Theory of Technical Communication; Visual Communication; Instructional Design; International Technical Communication
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Work Experience: Experience working in the field of technical communication or a related discipline
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Estimated Tuition: ~$21,000 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $700 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states