Texas State University offers a Master of Arts in Technical Communication degree through its Department of English. This fully online program can be completed without any in-person visits to campus. Through the program’s learning management system, students can access assignments and course materials, submit work, and communicate with instructors and classmates. The program also incorporates synchronous instruction, which means students are expected to be online at specific times to participate in virtual classrooms through video conferencing and other technologies.
The online Master of Arts in Technical Communication requires 30 credits, and can be completed in one year of study when enrolled full time or two years when enrolled on a part-time schedule. The program introduces students to the fundamentals of technical communication, teaching them how to become effective communicators in scientific, professional, and technical contexts. The curriculum emphasizes broad skill development in areas such as software documentation, digital media design, technical editing, usability testing, and more.
Students can choose either a thesis track or an internship track, completing approximately eight to nine courses, depending on the track they select. Curriculum is divided between a foundational course, a theory course, technology-focused courses, and prescribed electives for either the thesis or internship. The foundational course introduces core concepts and practices of technical communication. Students may select from either a rhetorical theory or composition theory course to fulfill their theory-based requirement.
The technology-focused courses vary, offering students two options. They may complete nine hours of coursework or six hours of coursework with an additional class in ethics. With these technology classes, students can select courses that best align with their professional development needs. Example courses include Digital Media and the Web, Digital and Print Document Design, Computers and Writing, International Technical Communication, and Digital Literacies.
Students in the thesis track must also complete nine hours of electives, while those in the internship track must complete 12 elective hours. As opposed to the technology courses, which are dedicated to skill building and development, electives explore the principles, theories, and practices behind technical communication and its related fields. Examples of potential electives include Language Problems in a Multicultural Environment, Studies in Language and Linguistics, and Principles of Technical Communication.
The degree program culminates with either the thesis or internship. The internship is an applied learning experience that requires students to complete research, editing, writing, and design services for a real-world client. The thesis is an original piece of academic scholarship that requires students to research and write a publication-worthy thesis on a selected topic within the field of technical communication.
Texas State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Online Master of Arts in Technical Communication
Department: Department of English
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses synchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Full-time: program can be completed in 1 year; Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years
Start Dates: Four starts per year - Fall, Spring and Summer (I and II) admission
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis or Internship, and a portfolio comprehensive exam
Credits Required: 30 credits (8 to 9 courses plus thesis or internship)
Example Courses: Foundations in Technical Communication; Digital Literacies; Digital Media and the Web; Ethics in Technical Communication; Technical Editing; Software Documentation; Rhetorical Theory; Composition Theory
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 2.75 in last 60 hours of undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA 3.0 in undergraduate Writing, English, or Technical Communication courses (in 12 or more credit hours)
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; statement of purpose; portfolio of writing samples; letters of recommendation optional
Estimated Tuition: ~$9,834.60 + fees (in-state); ~$22,284.60 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $327.82 per credit hour (in-state); $742.82 per credit hour (out-of-state)
State Authorizations: Program does not accept students from Delaware and Pennsylvania - students living in Kentucky, New York, and Washington, D.C. should check with program in regards to internship requirements