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Professional and Technical Communication

Master’s Degree Program


Graduate opportunities

The Master of Arts degree in Professional and Technical Communication at the University of North Texas features a rigorous curriculum that increases your ability to write, think and communicate strategically.

Our degree program caters to students from all academic backgrounds who have strong motivation, time management skills, self-discipline and a high energy level.

The program has a 15+ year reputation of excellence and holds an impressive job placement record. Our graduates work for AT&T, Apple, Microsoft, Sabre Airline Solutions, Hewlett Packard and GE Healthcare. Recent graduates generally started their careers with a $50-$55K annual salary.

Technical and professional communication is a broad and flexible career field. It centers on any communication addressing technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures or environmental regulations. Technical communicators are valued because they make information more useable and accessible, and, in doing so, advance a company’s or organization’s goals. Key job sectors include information technology, manufacturing, engineering, defense, aerospace and pharmaceuticals.

Our curriculum also prepares you to enter a doctoral technical communication program. Recent graduates have earned fellowships at some of the nation’s premiere programs.

Gain new perspectives

Our rigorous curriculum balances the study of complex theories with practical application. We also enable you to customize the program to meet your learning priorities. Courses on the principles of technical communication; technical writing editing and style; professional presentations; document design; and communication and information technologies equip you with cutting-edge knowledge and skills that are immediately applicable to industry.

In addition to electives, you will specialize in a technical field (cognate) and complete an internship at a major organization (practicum). Our night courses are designed around a flexible schedule that enables professionals to balance their work and personal lives with a strategic career investment.

Our faculty members are active researchers and recognized scholars with industry experience, which is infused into their instruction. Their progressive research has examined usability, social media and science communication.

We also offer course work leading to a Graduate Academic Certificate in Teaching Technical Writing. The certificate caters to non-majors in rhetoric, literature, creative writing and cultural studies who teach foundational courses in technical writing.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You must meet the general admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School® and the following program requirements:

  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Experience in the field or up to 9 credit hours of undergraduate course work in professional and technical communication (The director of graduate studies will determine the prerequisite course work based on your educational background.)
  • 300- to 500-word personal statement describing your interests, career plans and purpose for working toward an M.A. degree

The GRE scores of accepted applicants range from the 50th to the 99th percentile on the verbal section and from 4.0 to 6.0 on the analytical writing section. If your native language is not English, you must also submit a TOEFL score.

The graduate school’s admission requirements are available in our catalog or on the Graduate School website. An application checklist for our program is on our website.

Degree requirements

You have two options to earn a master’s degree in Professional and Technical Communication.

Option I: 36-credit-hour program with written exam

  • 15 credit hours of core courses
  • 6 credit hours of topics courses
  • 6 credit hours of practicum
  • 9 credit hours of cognate field graduate-level courses
  • Comprehensive written exam

Option II: 30-credit-hour program with thesis

  • 15 credit hours of core courses
  • 3 to 6 credit hours of topics courses
  • 6 credit hours of a thesis course (TECM 5950 Technical Communication Master’s Thesis)
  • 6 to 9 credit hours of cognate field graduate-level courses
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Oral prospectus defense

If you choose Option II, your thesis needs to be approved by the director of graduate studies and a major professor.

Teaching Technical Writing Certificate

The Graduate Academic Certificate in Teaching Technical Writing requires four courses consisting of 160 student-teacher contact hours. If you earn the certificate and then decide to further your education, all of the 5000-level courses will count toward the M.A degree. The GRE is not required for admission into this certificate program, but the TOEFL is required for all international students. This program does not lead to certification for Texas public schools.

Financial assistance

Beginning full-time students who meet qualifications may apply for an academic assistantship. Those who have competed 18 graduate credit hours in an area offered by the department may apply for a teaching fellowship. More information about employment opportunities is at our website. Information about scholarships and other financial assistance programs is on the Financial Aid site.