Master of Arts in Technical Communication

Texas Tech University's online Master of Arts in Technical Communication, offered by the Department of English, is a great way to show your mastery of technical communication skills for industry positions in technical writing, writing, editing, and management - or for further graduate study. Specific aims of study include knowledge of the history, theory, research, genres, principles, techniques, and practices of technical communication.

The program emphasizes five broad areas of scholarship in its scholarship, coursework, and initiatives:

  • Rhetoric, Composition, and Technology
  • Technical Communication
  • Rhetorics of Science and Healthcare
  • Technology, Culture, and Rhetoric
  • Visual Rhetoric, New Media, and User-Centered Design.

The online version of the MATC parallels the onsite version in everything but medium. If you complete the online degree, your diploma will look just the diplomas of those who complete the onsite degree. Texas Tech's TCR program is a leader in innovative course delivery and pedagogy to meet the needs of working professionals.

Program Overview

  • 36 credit hours, a thesis option is available
  • Coursework is completed primarily online. Students must meet synchronously online once each week. The remainder of the coursework is completed asynchronously.
  • Students are not required to enroll in a certain number of courses each semester, so completion time varies by individual.
  • Semester-based courses align with the Academic Calendar of Texas Tech University. The graduate program reviews applications ONLY once a year for Fall admission. The deadline for ALL materials is December 15th.

Strengths of Our Program

Texas Tech offers:

  • Excellent facilities, including a usability lab, a multimedia lab, and a terrific building.
  • A large faculty of nationally and internationally-recognized experts in the field.
  • National leadership in computers and writing pedagogy
  • A record of student achievement and job placement
  • A program culture that emphasizes personal attention
  • An award-winning chapter of the Society for Technical Communication

Definition of Distance Learning and Program Goals

In distance learning graduate courses, students "meet" via the Internet rather than in classrooms at the university. Graduate distance learning courses are taught as organized courses on the semester schedule. Students are expected to meet course deadlines assigned by the instructor and to participate in a synchronous class discussion on one designated weekday during the semester. A graduate level course requires a commitment of approximately ten hours per week for participating in group online activities, for reading, and for working on course projects.

The online version of the master's degree in technical communication provides professional development for people working in technical communication. It also provides the qualifications for entering the career for people in other career fields. The specific goals of the graduate study are:

  • Knowledge of history, theory, research, genres, and practice of technical communication
  • Knowledge of principles and techniques in the field
  • Development of effectiveness in technical communication


Upon completing the MATC curriculum successfully, students should be able to do the following:

  • Create effective technical documents justified by relevant theory.
  • Analyze and respond appropriately to rhetorical situations and key issues in the field, including the differing goals and agendas of audiences, organizations, and societies.
  • Employ and justify user-centered approaches to technical communication.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the ethical, professional, and cultural issues that face technical communicators.
  • Use communication technologies and media appropriate to users and situations.
  • Write clear, correct, and stylistically effective prose.


Students' success in meeting the outcomes stated above will be measured through the following means:

  • A semester review by the Director of Graduate Studies in Technical Communication and Rhetoric
  • A portfolio of work presented to a committee of faculty for evaluation after the completion of 18 hours and in the last semester of MATC coursework.

Online Program

Texas Tech is proud to offer its MA in Technical Communication via distance education. The degree is identical to the one we have offered on-site since 1992; all degree, coursework, and exam procedures are identical to the on-site degree.

Application Process

1. Apply to Texas Tech University's Graduate School.

  • Complete the Graduate Admissions Application.
    • $60 initial application fee or $50 for each subsequent application (including changes of entry date, add/change program requests, or readmission requests).
    • Students planning to pursue a master's degree must submit Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores to the Graduate School. Scores must be less than five years old at the time of application.
    • International students must also submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score to the Graduate School. Scores must be less than two years old at the time of application.

2. Apply to the Technical Communication and Rhetoric graduate program.

3. Apply for financial aid and/or scholarships.

  • Financial aid is distributed based on full-time enrollment and several other eligibility requirements. Your enrolled hours as of the 12th day of class in the fall and spring semesters determines your enrollment status for the semester, and financial aid is disbursed accordingly. Attending less than full-time could mean a reduction in aid.

4. Check your admissions status. Texas Tech University will notify you of your admissions status by updating the Applications tab in your Raiderlink.

Program Requirements

Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree

The MATC requires 36 hours of courses. Up to 9 hours of these courses may be in a minor. In addition, you will submit a portfolio of your work to the faculty in your final semester. Texas Tech will normally accept 6 hours of approved graduate courses from another accredited university to apply to a degree.

The MATC emphasizes the breadth of coursework. Students will prepare broadly in the kinds of responsibilities that careers in technical communication require. It is a good choice for students with undergraduate majors other than technical communication or who wish to pursue a minor field of study along with technical communication.


All students will complete graduate courses in the following four categories, for a total of 12 courses or 36 hours.

Master of Arts in Technical Communication Degree Plan

Category A – Application (12 Hours)

  • ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical and Professional Communication
  • ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology
  • ENGL 5372 Technical Reports
  • ENGL 5373 Technical Manuals
  • ENGL 5374 Technical Editing
  • ENGL 5375 Document Design
  • ENGL 5376 Online Publishing
  • ENGL 5377 Theoretical Approaches (applied)
  • ENGL 5387 Publications Management
  • ENGL 5391 Grants & Proposals for Nonprofits
  • ENGL 5393 Grants & Proposals for Academy
  • ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication
  • ENGL *Any course of your choice that falls under "applied theory" as determined by the DGS and faculty.

Category B – Theory and Research (9 Hours)

  • ENGL 5384 Rhetoric of Scientific Communication
  • ENGL 5385 Ethics in Technical Communication
  • ENGL 5386 Written Discourse and Social Issues
  • ENGL 5388 Usability Testing
  • ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research
  • ENGL 5377 Theoretical Approaches (theory)
  • ENGL 5361 Intro to Rhetorical Theory
  • ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric
  • ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis of Text
  • ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR
  • ENGL 5368 Studies in Written Argumentation
  • ENGL 5381 Global Tech Comm
  • ENGL 5382 Theory and Research/Written Discourse of Health and Medicine
  • ENGL *Any course of your choice that falls under "theory and/or methods" as determined by the DGS and faculty.

Category C – Tailoring your Degree Program (12 Hours)

  • Any additional three courses from the list above or three courses from outside of TCR.

*Up to 9 hours can be outside the department as a minor*

Category D – Required Course (3 Hours)

  • ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication


Two or three courses (6-9 hours) may constitute a minor in a field other than technical communication. The minor should enhance your ability to understand and apply research related to communication or to complete job responsibilities. The minor courses may be taken in one department or may consist of a cluster of courses on related topics from different departments. The minor may be completed in the English Department in a field such as linguistics, rhetoric, or literature. The choice of a minor must be approved by the faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies as well as by the minor department. The minor department establishes its own policies about what courses constitute a minor and about examinations in the minor field.

MATC Portfolio

After completing 18 hours and in your final semester of the MATC, you will develop and present to the TCR faculty a portfolio demonstrating what you have learned in the program.

Program taught in:
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Last updated October 13, 2018
This course is Online
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Sep 2019
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