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Master of Arts in English (Rhetoric and Technical Communication)

This program provides students with theoretical and applied knowledge in academic, professional, and technical discourses. Students explore interrelationships between rhetoric and technical communication within social, technological, and cultural contexts to prepare for careers in public and private sectors, as well as further study in doctoral programs.

Students complete core courses in rhetoric, research, and technical communication. The program curriculum can include studies in the theory and practice of information design, genre,  usability, and  discourse analysis.  As part of this program, students examine contemporary issues surrounding literacy, technology, and pedagogical practices in teaching of writing. They become acquainted with the major issues, conflicts, and trends in professional communication.  And they investigate the ways to effectively apply theoretical concepts to professional communication in both organizational and academic contexts.

 As part of their program of study students complete either a thesis or professional essay, write a comprehensive exam,  and may opt to complete an internship in instruction or professional writing.

RTC graduate career opportunities include the following:

  • Professional writing (industry, government and non-profits)
  • Graphic communication
  • Proposal writing
  • Software documentation
  • Web design
  • Public relations
  • Editing
  • Teaching and training

What will I study?

Technical communications is one of the top occupations in terms of growth and projected demand. The US Department of Labor estimates that opportunities in technical communication will continue to grow faster than average. The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010-2011 edition) indicates that "Employment of technical writers is expected to grow 18 percent, or faster than the average for all occupations, from 2008 to 2018. Demand over this decade is expected to increase because of the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information and the growing presence of customer service and Web-based product support networks." The top employers in the state of Washington are software publishers, computer and data processing services, and the computer systems design industry.

M.A. in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Technical Communication is designed to prepare students to find employment in other industries, including architectural and engineering services, management and technical consulting services, scientific research and development, aerospace products and parts manufacturing and electronic instrument manufacturing. The M.A. also prepares students for further academic study.

For current information about program requirements, please see current EWU Catalog.

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