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    Dec 11, 2019  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
    
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Professional and Technical Communication, MA


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The MA program prepares students for positions as technical writers/editors, content developers, or usability professionals, most commonly working on teams to create user guides, web content, and proposals in companies within the information technology, consulting, and healthcare industries. Texas employs more technical communicators than any other state except California, and the DFW metroplex employs the sixth most technical communicators among metropolitan areas in the United States. The number of employed technical communicators should increase 10% from 2014 to 2024, which is greater than the 7% increase expected for all occupations and the 4% for all media and communication workers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-2017 edition).

Admission requirements and procedures

To be eligible for admission to the MA with a major in professional and technical communication, applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate semester credit hours prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree or a 2.8 GPA on all undergraduate work. The MA requires no foreign language competency.

The applicant must also submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit a score on the TOEFL examination. Applicants whose undergraduate degree is not in professional and technical communication may be required to take 3–6 hours of graduate leveling courses as approved by the graduate director. These courses would count as electives toward the MA degree.

Applicants for the MA with a major in professional and technical communication complete two parts. The applicant first files an application with the Toulouse Graduate School (available on the UNT Graduate School web site). The applicant then submits the following to the Department of Technical Communication Director of Graduate Studies:

  • a current resume or vita;
  • a 500–750 word personal statement in response to one of the following prompts:
    • describe a situation where you successfully used technical communication. How do you believe UNT’s MA with a major in professional and technical communication will complement what you already know about the field?
    • summarize the most recent article you read about technical communication. Discuss how this article informed your thinking about technical communication and then how UNT’s MA with a major in professional and technical communication will enhance your understanding of the field.
  • a writing sample or professional portfolio (optional).

These materials may be e-mailed to tcgrad@unt.edu.

Admission into the program is competitive. The graduate director reviews all application materials holistically, but GRE/TOEFL scores and percentile results are carefully considered with regard to student success.

Exceptional student admissions policy

Exceptional students are eligible for automatic admission into the MA program. Students who meet the following criteria are not required to take the GRE and will receive special consideration for departmental teaching fellow positions, research assistantships and scholarships:

  • must be a major in professional and technical communication programs and 9–15 hours away from graduation;
  • hold a 3.5 GPA in their major course work and a 3.25 GPA overall;
  • submit a resume and a 300–500 word personal statement that describes interests, career plans and purpose in working toward an MA. In the statement, students must mention that they wish to be considered for admissions under the exceptional student policy; and
  • submit a strong, comprehensive letter of recommendation from a current member of the technical communication graduate faculty. The letter must address the applicant’s maturity, character and integrity, and intellectual curiosity and/or scholarly potential.

The Director of Graduate Studies will verify that students meet the above criteria before formally admitting them into the desired program. Students who do not meet these criteria can apply under the department’s standard admissions procedures.

Financial support

Beginning full-time students who meet all qualifications may apply for financial assistance in the form of the academic assistantship; those who have already completed 18 graduate hours in an area offered by the Department of Technical Communication may apply for a teaching fellowship. Applications for both may be requested from the department by telephone at 940-565-4458, or the department web site at www.tc.unt.edu.

Degree plan requirement

During the second term/semester of graduate work toward the master’s degree, the student is required to file a degree plan with the department office. Students should obtain an appointment as soon as possible after the registration period during their second term/semester’s work.

Degree requirements


MA program, 30 hours

Practicum or thesis, 6 hours


Thesis requirement


The candidate for the MA degree with a major in professional and technical communication must write a thesis under Option II. A student is permitted to write a thesis only with the permission of the chair of graduate studies and a major professor.

Electives, 3 hours


  • 3 hours of graduate-level courses
  • Before registering in these courses, students must seek the approval of the department

Portfolio review and defense


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