Applying to the M.S. in Technical Communication
Students may be admitted to the Master of Science in Technical Communication program from any undergraduate major. Undergraduate preparation should include the following qualifications (or equivalents):
- 3.0 overall undergraduate grade point average
- 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work
The application process for all NC State graduate programs is handled entirely through a web-based tool, Slate. Step-by-step information and Frequently Asked Questions are available as are telephone and chat-based assistance, should you encounter any problems as you create your application.
Under the "Academic Program" section, please enter MS in Technical Communication in the box that asks for the program and degree. Please note: The deadline for applying for admission and assistantship is February 1, and the deadline for admission only is June 15. All application materials must be received by this date. We accept admission for fall and spring semesters.
All the online application pages will be processed through the application system, Slate, and it will be made available to us and the Graduate School. Your application should include the following materials:
- The Personal Statement is a part of the online application process and must be submitted in your application form. A good statement will have something to say about these topics: why you want to earn a graduate degree in Technical Communication; what your intellectual interests are; what your research interests are. Explain your interest in the MS program and what special skills or experience you may bring to it. Please limit the personal statement to two pages.
- Resume: Please upload your current resume to the "Personal Statement and Resume" section of your application.
- Writing Sample: Please upload your writing sample to the "Personal Statement and Resume" section. If the sample is too large or contains numerous graphics, it may be necessary to send hard copies, which you can mail to the MS director at the address below. Please do not convert the sample to text only, as we would like to see the design as well as the content. The sample can be academic or work-related and should be the equivalent of 5-10 pages long.
- Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation can be submitted through your application portal under the "Recommendation" section. Through this interface, you cannot upload a recommendation letter. Under the "add recommender" link, you will be prompted to fill out your reference's information so the application portal can contact the person via email to submit his/her letter and complete a recommendation form for you. In addition, you can log back into your application portal and check the status of your recommendation letters through the "Edit" link at the end of the row. If you click "Edit", you will be given an option to "Send Reminder" to your reference as well. If you have a recommendation letter you would like to have uploaded into your application, please contact the Graduate School at email@example.com. Please provide three names and email addresses so that the application system can send a link to recommenders allowing them to complete their recommendations online. Recommendations can come from current or former professors, or if necessary, from current co-workers, preferably managers or supervisors to whom you report or have reported.
GRE scores: You should have your scores sent directly by ETS (the Educational Testing Service) to the Graduate School. Indicate that your scores should be sent to NC State University by using institution code 5496. (Department code is not necessary.) You will need to have taken the Graduate Record Exam general test within the past five years. For more information about the three parts (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical Writing) see the ETS website at: http://www.gre.org. We do not require the subject test in English. There are no absolute minimum cutoff scores, but our recent average for the GRE Verbal is approximately 155 and 4.5 in analytical writing. Students who are offered Teaching Assistantships typically have significantly higher than average GRE scores.
The test can be taken once in any calendar month. It can be retaken as well on the same schedule. We will keep your highest scores, and scores remain valid for five years.
Scores for the Verbal and Quantitative sections are machine scored and typically reach NC State within two weeks of your taking the test; however, the Analytical Writing portion of the test takes longer. Consequently, do not assume that your complete GRE scores can reach us in less than a month.
You can upload unofficial and official score reports under the "Test Scores" section of your application.
Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate institution you have attended should be uploaded with your application. This can be done under the "Education History" section of the application. If the department recommends that you be admitted, you will then be asked to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School.
- Official Electronic Transcripts should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Physical copies of official transcripts should be mailed to:
- Transcripts are considered official when they are directly received by the institution. Transcripts in open envelopes or electronic transcripts received by the student are considered unofficial as official transcripts must be sealed within an envelope with a signature or electronically directed to an educational institution.
If you are interested in being considered for a teaching assistantship position, be sure to correctly fill out the "Academic Program" section of your application. You can note this by answering "yes" to the first question under the "Financial Awards" section.
The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
1000 Main Campus Drive
Campus Box 7102
Raleigh, NC 27695
Teaching Assistantship: If you are interested in being considered for a teaching assistantship position, be sure to correctly fill out the "Academic Program" section of your application. You can note this by answering "Yes" to the first question under the "Financial Awards" section.
Completed applications are evaluated by members of the graduate faculty. Only after the faculty recommendation is reviewed and approved by the Graduate School is a candidate officially notified of the decision. Your official notification of the decision will be available online from the dean of the Graduate School. If accepted to the program, the M.S. program director will send you information about enrolling for classes. The M.S. director will also notify you if you have been awarded an assistantship.
The Department of English offers competitive teaching assistantships to about one third of its newly admitted MS students. These students will prepare to teach undergraduate courses in technical and business writing and will receive full tuition coverage along with health insurance and a modest annual stipend. Students must apply for assistantships during the process of applying for the MS program. Appointments will be made from applications completed by February 1.
The most recent estimated costs for full-time graduate students can be found here.
Further information on financial support from other sources can be found here. All students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is March 1st.
Additional sources of financial aid for international students may be found at the Office of International Scholar and Student Services.
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
2016 Harris Hall
Campus Box 7302
Raleigh, NC 27695-7302
(919) 515-2421 phone
(919) 515-8422 fax
Check Out Comments From Alumni:
"changed the trajectory of my career path..."
Since the time I entered the program in 2011, my income has increased by nearly 400%! This is astounding, especially when considering the current economic conditions, and not taking into account my gender or race (female and Hispanic).
The MSTC program changed the trajectory of my career path by folding me into a network of alumni and experts in the field who could nurture my transition from student to professional, which has been life changing for me and my family. You can not put a price tag on this type of experience.
Gaining a Masters in Technical Communication from NC State will provide students with the kind of opportunities that are largely believed to be extinct in this day and age; opportunities that provide life-changing careers in a rapidly-evolving technical world that happens to have a BIG communication problem.
– Renee Haran, MSTC 2015
"appreciated the MSTC curriculum's flexibility..."
I really appreciated the MSTC curriculum's flexibility, which gave me a strong foundation in rhetoric and practical experience in technical communication, as well as affording me the ability to get a certificate in Digital Humanities. In particular, I think that we have a really great, supportive faculty comprised of industry-leading researchers who are also effective instructors and just great people! The staff are dedicated, professional, friendly, and just make grad school life so much better, which I feel is a great program discriminator.
The people you meet at State, and in the MSTC cohort, are such a sharp, diverse, and friendly group. I am closer to my graduate friends than I was with my undergraduate friends, which I think is pretty rare for a masters program, and was a very welcome surprise to me.
Of course, for many students, I think that professional preparation is what drives their bottom line, and the program has helped me secure a full-time job at a great, international company with a competitive starting salary.
– Arthur Berger, MSTC 2017
"...propelled me into my career I now have and am extremely passionate about"
I was in the MSTC program class that started back in 2012. I think very fondly of the program for many reasons, but mainly the staff and the exposure to UX principles while the field of UX was still pretty new. Being a part of this program really propelled me into the career I now have and am extremely passionate about. It's crazy to think how much came from that initial connection to IBM through the pathfinder program, eventual evolution to Google, and now Editor-in-Chief of digital experiences at Bank of America HQ. I am so very thankful for the relationships, experience and skills I developed from the MSTC program.
– Alex Heath, MSTC 2014