MA in Technical Communication
The MA in Technical Communication (MATC) at Boise State offers practical advanced education in technical communication for students who wish to improve their skills and their understanding of the field. The MATC is a 34-credit program consisting of seven required courses plus electives, an internship, and a final assignment (a thesis, a project, or a portfolio).
Students first learn the theory of technical communication, drawing on such disciplines as rhetoric and composition, linguistics, cognitive psychology, sociology, and gender studies. Then students progress through courses in writing, editing, and ethics, followed by a course in visual rhetoric and information design. Next, students take courses in print and on-screen document production. Finally, students take a course in oral communication skills, for technical communicators speak and listen far more than they write. Students also complete a 3-credit internship
In addition, students choose from a number of elective courses, including Writing Software Documentation and Technical Publications Management.
We believe that Boise State’s MATC is unusual in its focus on humanistic concerns. The required course in the ethics of technical communication (ENGL 514) asks students to examine technical communication from a variety of ethical perspectives. Another required course, ENGL 517 Oral Communication for Technical Communicators, addresses an aspect of technical communication that is generally overlooked in other programs, even though technical communicators speak and listen more than they write. The MATC program is also unusual in that a high proportion of its students are non-traditional: professionals who have been out of school for some years and are returning to improve their skills or change careers.
All the courses are offered in the evenings in order to accommodate students’ work schedules.