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Technical Communication – Master of Applied Arts

Technical Communication – Master of Applied Arts2019-08-08T14:25:10-06:00

The Master of Applied Arts (M.A.A.) in Technical Communication helps students to improve their understanding of how to identify, develop and guide others in the creation of quality writing. It is for students who want to advance their careers in government, business and industry through improved writing skills and through preparation to supervise and train others to become better writers. This program is also designed for students who are seeking to put their technical expertise to work as technical communicators, as well as students who are already working as technical communicators and who wish to move into supervisory positions or otherwise advance their career. Issues explored in the Technical Communication program include publications management, organizational behavior, user-centered design and effective written communication.


Students must complete an Application for Graduate Admission, including all required application materials, by the by the end of the first week of classes of the preceding academic term. Students may enroll provisionally before being notified of their acceptance into the M.A.A. in Technical Communication.

Application materials required for the M.A.A. in Technical Communication are:

  • Letter of intent that summarizes the skills, experiences, and competencies students can bring to the program. Students should also explain why they are applying to this program, which of the two options (Writing Studies or Technical Communication) the student intends to enroll in, and what their goals are for their work in the program. The letter should also discuss the portfolio materials (see below), explaining the audience, context, and purpose for which they were written.
  • Curriculum Vitae or resume.
  • Portfolio, 10 to 15 pages total length, that includes two or three writing samples. Students applying for the Writing Studies option should include at least one academic paper. Students applying for the Technical Communication option should include at least one example of workplace writing. Students in both options are encouraged to prepare a portfolio that shows the range and quality of their writing.
  • Undergraduate G.P.A. of at least 3.0, as indicated on undergraduate transcript submitted to the Graduate School.
  • Three letters of reference from professors, supervisors, or other suitably qualified personnel. These may sent directly to the address below.

Conditional Admission

Students whose undergraduate G.P.A. does not meet the minimum of 3.0, but who meet all other admission requirements for the program, may be conditionally admitted to the M.A.A. in Written Communication. Upon successful completion of their first nine hours of graduate study with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, students will be fully admitted into the program.

We prefer that students send application materials for the M.A.A. in Technical Communication as email attachments to Dr. Michael Charlton.

Application materials and letters of recommendation may also be sent to this address:

Department of English & Modern Languages
Graduate Admissions
Missouri Western State University
4525 Downs Dr.
St. Joseph, MO 64507

Student writing

Technical Communication (Master of Applied Arts, M.A.A.)

Required Courses
ENG 609Graduate Research in Written Communication3
COM 601Professional and Organizational Communications3
or MGT 604 Organizational Behavior Management
ENG 620History and Theory of Rhetoric3
EPR 620Proposal and Grant Writing3
Select one of the following options:6
Option A:
Capstone Project
Additional Graduate Elective
Option B:
Concentration Requirements
ETC 600Technical Communications Theory and Practice3
ETC 616Internship in Technical Communication3
Select nine credit hours from the following:
Convergent Media Theory and Practice
Professional Writing for Media
Convergent Media Law and Ethics
Interactive Design
Writing for Management and Supervision
Seminar in Professional Writing for Teachers
Technical Editing
Publications Management
Instructional Design
Seminar in Professional Writing
Documenting Procedures
Total Credit Hours33

Graduation Requirements

  1. Filing an approved Application for Graduation.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all required coursework as listed on the approved Program of Study.
  3. Earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no more than 6 credit hours of C in all required coursework.
  4. Official approval of required Master Educator Experience (or capstone).

Are you ready to declare a program of study? Download, sign and submit the form(s) to the program director.

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