Technical Communication, Human Needs

Prepare for a career that bridges the relationships between people and technical systems. 

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Master of Science in Technical Communication

NC State’s Department of English established the first Master of Science degree in Technical Communication in the southeastern United States. Since its inception in 1988, our program has earned a national reputation, with its faculty recognized as one of the strongest in the field. 

We’re located in the heart of North Carolina’s high-tech region, close to a number of tech industry giants’ headquarters, the internationally-renowned Research Triangle Park and other top-flight universities.

Meet the Faculty

Enhance Your Career

We prepare professional communicators for careers that bridge the relationships between people and technical systems: web design and development, software and hardware documentation, industrial training and development, medical communication, environmental and agricultural communication, technology transfer, organizational information management and human-computer interface design, to name a few.

A Master of Science degree in Technical Communication can help you better navigate the rapidly changing high-tech world where you’re already immersed. It can position you to advance into a management role. Or it can prepare you for doctoral education such as NC State’s interdisciplinary Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media program.

We’ve designed our program to meet your needs. Core courses will give you a critical understanding of the role of communication in science and technology, as well as practical competence in communication techniques. Electives allow you to customize your studies to meet your needs and interests.

Since many of our students work full-time, we offer our core courses at night. And you can access NC State’s inter-institutional relationship with area schools such as Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill to take electives that count toward your degree. 

Career Opportunities

Our Students

Featured Student

Hurricane Warnings

Laura Zdanski studies how hurricane warnings are communicated to the public. 

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We admit 10 to 20 students each year, many of whom already work as technical communicators. Many work part- or full-time in industry, government and higher education institutions.

Roughly half of our students have undergraduate degrees in technical, natural and social sciences; the other half have humanities degrees. Many earned double majors or dual degrees that combined technical or scientific studies with humanities.

Our students maintain an active, vibrant student association that hosts speakers, training opportunities and social events. Many become active in student chapters of professional organizations, and as alumni, they continue those memberships and relationships.

Check Out Comments From Alumni:

Story 1

"the alumni network... has provided incredible support and encouragement."

The MSTC program at NCSU is incredibly unique because it targets both working professionals and students who want the graduate school experience. The flexibility to take night classes so we can work during the day combined with opportunities to conduct independent research allowed me to take full advantage of every opportunity to both explore industry and academia. That isn't an option for a program that is online or a certificate. Furthermore, I feel that we learn skills with great depth; technology changes rapidly, so rather than focus on learning specific software, the program focuses on teaching us which tool we should choose to learn and how to learn it quickly. In addition to the classes, the alumni network in the RTP area (and beyond) has provided incredible support and encouragement. When I was working at my internship, I worked with technical writers, information developers, and usability designers who were graduates of my program. They were able to provide amazing guidance for both career development and job skills while I worked with them. I don't know of any graduate program like ours, with as much career (academic or industry) support from the school, classmates, and alumni.

                                                 – Laura Zdanski, MSTC 2017

Story 2

"...opened the door to many new professional opportunities."

My MSTC degree has been extremely valuable. I learned a lot by working with a network of top-notch faculty and peers in the MSTC program. As a teaching assistant, the program afforded me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the technical and professional communication through teaching it to students of other disciplines. The knowledge, experience, and connections I made through my time at State ultimately opened the door to many new professional opportunities.                                                               - Christopher Sanchez, MSTC 2018

Story 3

"professors really want all of their students to succeed..."

The MSTC program has been invaluable to my career. It gave me the ability to find what technical fields I'm interested, while also combining my passion for writing. Having a general knowledge of several technical communication professions allowed me to speak knowledgeably in job interviews, as well as allowing me to dive into assorted projects at work. MSTC stands out because of the professors and the content of courses. The professors really want all of their students to succeed and genuinely care about them as people. The program allows students to gain a solid understanding of the different careers within technical communication, while preparing them to succeed in the corporate world or in academia.                                                                 – Alyssa Andersen, MSTC 2017

Story 4

"...so much more than technical writing."

MSTC comprises so much more than technical writing. You’re provided with such a diverse, enriching curriculum that not only includes technical documentation, but UX/UI design, instructional design, web/software design/development, rhetoric, linguistics, ergonomics, behavioral psychology, social psychology, gestalt psychology, graphic design, digital media. What a valuable experience, with faculty who are willing to provide you with the very best, and help you every step of the way.
                                        - Jade Phillips Joyner, MSTC 2017

Story 5

"highly valued in the industry..."

It is because of the MSTC degree that I found a full-time job as a Technical Writer. This degree is highly valued in the industry and corporations have very high regard for a specialization in Technical Communication field. I have found this degree extremely valuable in helping me transition from my previous job to my current one, and develop my knowledge in the field of technical writing. Having had no previous degree in the field of technical communication, I believe that this degree will help me in directly applying my knowledge at my workplace.           
              – Sreeranjani Kuppuswami Pattabiraman, MSTC 2016