Certificate in Teaching Technical Writing | Technical Communication

Certificate in Teaching Technical Writing

Earn our graduate certificate in teaching technical writing. Enhance your marketability. Distinguish yourself from the competition. Secure the academic job of your choice.

  • FACT--The Modern Language Association saw a 37% drop in faculty positions advertised on the association's electronic jobs list for the 2009-2010 academic year. (June 2009).
  • FACT--The job recession has greatly impacted academic jobs in literature and language, leaving job seekers "chasing a rapidly shrinking pool of jobs" that will last at least several more years (June 2009).
  • FACT--An analysis of the jobs published in MLA's Job Information List suggests that applicants for language and literature jobs would benefit from a secondary specialization in professional and technical writing (February, 2011).
  • FACT--Less than a third of technical writing teachers had their highest degree in the field. The remaining respondents represented degrees in 16 other disciplines, primarily literary or cultural studies (Dayton, 2004).

The goal of the graduate certificate in teaching technical writing is to prepare future academics who specialize in another content area, such as composition/rhetoric, literature, creative writing, and cultural studies, to also have a strong competency in the growing field of professional and technical communication.

Who should earn this certificate?

This graduate certificate caters to non-majors. Teaching technical writing requires an acute attention to the stylistic and rhetorical standards and practices that govern workplace writing--these practices often run counter to traditional humanities-based writing training. Understandably, these emphases are not part of the curricula in rhetoric/composition, literature, creative writing, and cultural studies programs.

Our certificate in teaching technical writing equips you with the skills you need to teach a variety of foundational courses in technical communication, including introduction to technical writing, technical editing, technical style, document and Web design, and professional report and proposal writing.

What courses do I take?

Students earning the graduate certificate in teaching technical writing must take four courses (12 hours).

Required Courses:

  • TECM 5195 - Editing Technical Documents
  • TECM 5550 - Studies in the Teaching of Technical Communication

Elective Courses (choose any 2 of the following):

  • TECM 5170 - Grants and Proposals
  • TECM 5190 - Style and Technical Writing
  • TECM 5191 - Digital Literacies for Professional Communicators
  • TECM 5200 - Project and Content Strategies for Communication Professionals
  • TECM 5280 - Designing Technical Documents
  • TECM 5290- Design and Development of High Tech Training Material

How quickly can I complete the graduate certificate in teaching technical writing?

All of required courses are offered once an academic year as part of the regular rotation in professional and technical communication. You can fulfill the certificate requirements in one academic year if you are committed to taking 6-credit hours a semester.

Am I eligible for a teaching fellowship?

Yes. Every semester we offer at least 30 sections of TECM 2700, our popular service course in technical writing that enrolls a variety of academic majors, including engineering, biology, English, and criminal justice.

Read about our department's employment opportunities and then download the application materials.

For information regarding gainful employment data, CLICK HERE

Could my certificate coursework count as electives for my graduate degree?

Yes. Students often have to take up to 36 hours of electives as part of their graduate coursework. These courses can be taken outside your current department. Meet with your Director of Graduate Studies to determine if the 12-hours required for the certificate in teaching technical writing meet your program's elective requirements.

Could my certificate coursework count toward a graduate degree in professional and technical communication?

Yes. The required coursework for the certificate will fulfill some of the core and elective requirements for the MA in professional and technical communication. If you wish to join our graduate program, you will need to take the GRE and meet the College of Arts and Sciences entrance requirements before proceeding with courses beyond those needed for the certificate in teaching technical writing.

I'm a current graduate student in professional and technical communication. Could I earn this certificate?

Yes. Students already admitted into the MA program can also earn the certificate. However, MA students who leave the program before completing the degree cannot just earn the certificate, even if all the required coursework has been completed.

What are the admissions procedures?

The admission procedures for a graduate certificate differ from a graduate degree. GRE scores, letters of reference, a personal statement, and a resume are not required. Applicants, however, must follow these procedures:

  • U.S. citizens/permanent residents submit application, application fee, and official transcripts to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies.
  • International applicants submit application, application fee, and official transcripts to the International Admission Office. TOEFL scores must be also submitted. Applicants who have undergraduate degree from a U.S. college/university or who have successfully completed an intensive English program may be exempted from the TOEFL.

UNT's Toulouse Graduate School and the Department of Technical Communication's Graduate Studies Director will notify students of their admission status.

I'm a current UNT graduate student. How do I apply for the certificate in teaching technical writing?

Current UNT graduate students can register for any of the courses required for the certificate in teaching technical writing. However, admission to a UNT graduate program does not imply admission to a Graduate Academic Certificate Program.

Current UNT students must also complete the "Application for Concurrent Graduate Academic Certificate Programs" (PDF) for each certificate sought. This application does not require an admission fee.

Do I receive an actual certificate of completion? Does the certificate appear on my transcript?

Yes and yes. Contact the TC Graduate Studies Director after you've completed all the required coursework for the certificate in teaching technical writing. A verification of completion form will be sent to the graduate school. The graduate school sends your formal certificate via US Mail within 12 weeks. The Academic Certificate credential will also be posted on your UNT transcript.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact Dr. Jordan Frith, Graduate Studies Director, with any questions about the certificate in teaching technical writing.

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