Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communications

About the MSPTC Degree

The online MSPTC program was established in 1994. Our classes are designed to accommodate working professionals, allowing students the flexibility to complete their work at any time of the day. The professors who teach in our program are skilled in designing online courses with a suite of resources to provide engaging virtual classrooms. Our students bring their expertise to our classes as well, initiating lively discussions and information sharing as students and professors explore and learn together.

Program Mission

The MS in Professional and Technical Communication prepares students to be leaders in the technology-driven economy of the 21st century. The program emphasizes a research-driven approach to problem-solving using the most modern technologies, tools, and digital platforms.  Faculty and industry experts provide strong theoretical foundations within a practical framework of applied skills.

Core Values

MSPTC colleagues engage in the shared belief of an anytime-anyplace learning community that sustains a unique combination of academic and applied skills. The program builds on learning outcomes informed by core competencies. These competencies, demonstrated in the ePortfolio, allow us to assess and improve student learning, faculty methods, and program development.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 30 degree credits taken over a minimum of two semesters. Five core courses must be completed by all students; five elective courses allow students to specialize in selected areas of professional and technical communication. Students must design and maintain an ePortfolio of work completed within the courses and reviewed by the instructional faculty every semester. In the final semester before graduation, students are required to take PTC 691: ePortfolio Capstone Seminar and make an oral presentation showcasing their portfolio.

Five Core Courses (15 credits)

PTC 601 Advanced Professional and Technical Communication
PTC 603 Identity, Technology, and Communication
PTC 604 Communication Theory and Research
PTC 605 Elements of Visual Design
PTC 606 Advanced Information Design

Required Capstone Course (0 credits)

PTC 691 ePortfolio Capstone Seminar

Five Elective Courses (15 credits)

PTC 610 Research Methods for Information Design
PTC 620 Proposal Writing
PTC 622 Working in Team: Collaborative and Interpersonal Communications
PTC 624 Professional and Technical Editing
PTC 626 Hypertext Design Studio
PTC 628 Analyzing Social Networks
PTC 629 Theory and Practice of Social Media
PTC 631 Communication and Environmental Problem Solving
PTC 632 Content Management and Information Architecture
PTC 640 Health Communications
PTC 642 Corporate Media and Communication
PTC 644 Communication in Technology Transfer and Innovation
PTC 650 eLearning Design for Mobile
PTC 698 Selected Topics in Professional and Technical Communication
PTC 725 Independent Study in Professional and Technical Communication

For course descriptions, please visit the online catalog.

Admission Requirements

Students must have an undergraduate degree in any field with strong interest in science and technology and must submit the following:

  • a statement outlining how the degree will meet personal and professional objectives
  • a current resume
  • one letter of recommendation
  • a portfolio of work (three samples of writing, web development, CD-ROM, or other appropriate media that demonstrate abilities for clear expression)
  • graduate admission application
  • official transcripts of all prior work and certificate of graduation
  • GRE scores (required of all international applicants, all applicants who have earned their last degree outside of the United States, and students who wish to apply for merit-based financial support on individual basis; other applicants do not need GRE scores)
  • TOEFL scores of 550 (pencil and paper) or 79 (IBT) are required of all international applicants

For further information about applying for the MSPTC program, please visit the Office of Admissions.

All other inquiries about the program may be directed to:

Dr. Andrew Klobucar
Director MSPTC
332 Cullimore Hall