Teaching Technical Communication Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Technical Communication, offered by the Department of English, helps students seeking to build their credentials as teachers of technical communication. In particular, it is designed to serve students wishing to retool their English degrees to develop teaching expertise in technical communication and to support international institutions needing to provide faculty and students with instruction in how to teach technical communication. The certificate requires a minimum of 15 hours of either online or onsite courses, including two courses in the theoretical foundations of technical communication and rhetoric and a third course on teaching technical and professional communication. Students choose two elective courses in the Technical Communication and Rhetoric program to complete the certificate—one from the advanced theory courses and the other from advanced practice courses.

Program Overview

Definition of Distance Learning and Program Goals

In distance learning graduate courses, students "meet" synchronously and asynchronously online, 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 synchronous class discussions 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.

Building from the Certificate to the MA in Technical Communication

All of the courses in the certificate also apply to the MA in Technical Communication, so students wishing to develop their credentials even further can apply to continue their studies and enter the MATC program. Texas Tech is proud to offer its MA in Technical Communication both onsite and online. The degree is identical to the one we offer on- site.

Strengths of Our Program

Texas Tech's Technical Communication and Rhetoric program offers

  • A well-established degree program and faculty in technical communication
  • A classification as the representative M.A. program nationwide in Education in Scientific and Technical Communication: Academic Programs That Work, ed. Michael L. Keene (Society for Technical Communication, 1997). Chapter 3.
  • 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

Application Process

Applying for the Certificate in Teaching Technical Communication has two steps.

Step 1

  • 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.

Step 2

Submit all of the following materials in one email to english.tc@ttu.edu. Email subject line must read "Certificate Application" or similar:

  • Completed Graduate Application for Admission form
  • Current resume/vitae
  • Three letters of reference
  • Distance Learning Agreement (if you're applying to an online program)
  • A 500-700 word essay indicating the following:
    • Your interest in teaching technical communication
    • Any previous experience teaching technical writing
    • How the certificate fits in with your career goals and objectives, specifically how it will advance your career
    • If applicable -- if you are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program, how completing the course in the graduate certificate complements your degree plan

Deadlines for Application

CTTC applications are accepted at any time, but the graduate program reviews applications ONLY once a year for Fall admission. The deadline for ALL materials is December 15th.

Distance Learning Agreement (all online applicants)

All online program applicants need to sign and return our Distance Learning Agreement, which indicates that you understand our requirements for technology, time, and honor.

General Note About Application Review

All applicant packages are evaluated holistically, which is to say that every piece of the application package contributes to the applicant's overall desirability. Specifically, we are looking for no specific test scores, GPAs, or resume experiences, but are instead looking for applications that contain synergistic arguments for the applicant's good fit with the program and its objectives.

Financial Aid

Students in certificate programs are not directly eligible for financial aid, and typically students who are not taking at least two courses per semester are not eligible for aid. However, part-time students in the CG&P program may be eligible for scholarship funding through the Helen Devitt Jones Foundation.

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the Certificate in Teaching Technical Communication take a minimum of 15 credit hours of courses (5 courses). Of those, nine hours are taken in three required (core) courses and six hours are electives chosen from advanced theory and practice courses. All courses are offered both onsite and online.

Core Courses (3 courses/9 hours)

  • ENGL 5371Foundations of Technical Communication, (offered Fall)
  • ENGL 5366Teaching Technical Professional Writing, (offered Spring)


  • ENGL 5361Introduction to Rhetorical Theory (offered Annually)
  • ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric, (offered Annually)

Elective (Choose one from each category: 2 courses/6 hours)

Advanced theory courses (At least one course per semester is offered)

  • ENGL 5365Studies in Composition
  • ENGL 5368Studies in Written Argumentation
  • ENGL 5369Discourse and Technology
  • ENGL 5377 Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication
  • ENGL 5382Theory and Research in the Written Discourses of Health and Medicine
  • ENGL 5384Rhetoric of Scientific Literature
  • ENGL 5385Ethics in Technical Communication
  • ENGL 5386Written Discourse and Social Issues
  • ENGL 5381 Global Technical Communication

Advanced practice courses

  • ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication (offered Annually/fall)
  • ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical and Professional Writing (offered Annually/spring)


  • ENGL 5361 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory (offered Annually)
  • ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric (offered Annually/fall)


  • ENGL 5365 Studies in Composition
  • ENGL 5368 Studies in Written Argumentation
  • ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology
  • ENGL 5377 Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication
  • ENGL 5382 Theory and Research in the Written Discourses of Health and Medicine
  • ENGL 5384 Rhetoric of Scientific Literature
  • ENGL 5385 Ethics in Technical Communication
  • ENGL 5386 Written Discourse and Social Issues
  • ENGL 5381 Global Technical Communication


  • ENGL 5372 Technical Reports
  • ENGL 5373 Technical Manuals
  • ENGL 5374 Technical Editing
  • ENGL 5375 Document Design
  • ENGL 5376 Online Publishing
  • ENGL 5378 Graduate Internship in Technical Communication
  • ENGL 5383 Grants and Proposals
  • ENGL 5387 Publications Management
  • ENGL 5388 Usability Testing

While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in reporting courses, policies, and other statements, the University reserves the right to make changes at any time without notice.

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Last updated October 13, 2018
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