Last Updated on January 17, 2023
Best Technical Writing Schools
Explore the typical characteristics of a school with a strong program in technical writing. Read about three well-ranked schools with programs in this field, and find out what kinds of undergraduate and graduate technical writing degrees you could pursue at each school.View Schools
What Should I Look For In A Top Technical Writing Schools?
Top technical writing schools not only have good writing and communications programs; they also have modern facilities that address training in digital media. You’ll probably want to find a school that’s strong in your area of interest, whether that’s health communications or computer engineering. Look for special workshops, journal sponsorships, affiliations, writing institutes and library facilities that support your studies. Some schools have both on-campus and online programs.
What Are Three Top Technical Writing Schools?
Miami University in Oxford, OH
Miami University (MU) tied for 96th among national universities according to U.S. News & World Report in 2019. MU hosts several writing centers, including the Center for Writing Excellence for all students and the Center for the Study of Writing for graduate students and faculty. The Digital Writing Collaborative encourages work with digital technologies; in fact, some English department courses are taught in computer classrooms with plasma screens and document cameras. The English department shares a media lab with the Interactive Media Studies program.
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English/Professional Writing
Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN
According to U.S. News & World Report, Purdue tied for 56th among all national universities for 2019. Communications faculty hold federal research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services.
You can pursue a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in professional writing through the English department. The bachelor’s program requires a subject area minor outside of the English department, like computer science or communication. Professional writing graduate students may work for Purdue’s writing lab or pursue editorial board internships with publishing groups like Parlor Press.
Undergraduate and graduate programs in Purdue’s Department of Communications often examine topics related to professional writing. Relevant courses might include advanced reporting techniques, writing in the advertising industry, science news reporting and editing for publications. Media, technology and society, health communication and public relations management are among the graduate tracks available.
Purdue shares its writing knowledge through the Online Writing Lab (OWL), a resource available to students as well as the public. OWL offers specific tips for many writing forms, including professional and technical writing.
- B.A. in Professional Writing
- B.A. in Communication
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication (Online)
Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech tied for 187th among national universities according to U.S. News & World Report in 2019. To develop expert knowledge in your chosen field, a minor is required for the on-campus bachelor’s degree in technical communication. M.A. and Ph.D. programs are available either on campus or online; in these programs, you might take courses like production of technical reports and manuals, online publishing, grant writing and usability testing.
As a student, you could join an active chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. Texas Tech publishes the Technical Communication Quarterly journal and hosts the website of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. You can use Texas Tech’s Multiple Literacy Lab or the Usability Research Laboratory for your research. The following degrees are available:
- B.A. in Technical Communication
- M.A. in Technical Communication (Also available online)
- Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric (Also available online)
Ten Schools That Offer Technical Writing Programs
|ESTIMATED UNDERGRAD IN-STATE TUITION (2018-2019)*
|University of Arkansas at Little Rock
|Little Rock, AR
|Carnegie Mellon University
|Minnesota State University-Mankato
|University of Tennessee-Knoxville
|4 year, Public
|North Carolina State University
|4 year, Public
|University of Central Florida
|4 year, Public
|New Haven, CT
|Dixie State University
|Saint George, UT
|Georgia Southern University
|University of North Texas
*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education
Highlighted below are four outstanding schools for aspiring technical and business writers. Each school has earned high rankings from U.S. News & World Report and/or The Princeton Review for 2017.
Arizona State University in Mesa
|School Highlight: Arizona State tied at 129th in U.S. News & World Report‘s 2017 ranking of top national universities.
For 2017, ASU was on the list of Colleges That Create Futures from The Princeton Review. ASU offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Technical Communication through its School of Letters and Sciences. The program, which is the only undergraduate degree program in technical communication offered in Arizona, is housed on ASU’s Polytechnic campus.
Michigan State University in East Lansing
|School Highlight: The school offers more than 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate and professional study.
In 2017, Michigan State University (MSU) tied at 82nd in U.S. News & World Report‘s list of best national universities. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in professional writing is offered through the College of Arts and Letters. Once enrolled, students learn about advanced technical and digital writing, while honing their skills in editing and publishing. Courses might include topics in digital or visual rhetoric, professional and technical writing or Web authoring.
University of North Texas in Denton
|School Highlight: As of 2017, North Texas was designated one of America’s Top 50 Green Colleges by The Princeton Review.
The University of North Texas (UNT) was designated as a best western college by The Princeton Review in 2017. UNT offers a professional and technical communication major for undergraduates within its College of Arts and Sciences. This program focuses on communicating scientific and technical information, setting it apart from a broad communications major. UNT also offers a graduate degree in technical communications.
Boise State University in Boise, ID
|School Highlight: There are multiple degree and certificate programs available at Boise State University, which are offered through the school’s English department.
At Boise State, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Technical Communications Emphasis, an undergraduate certificate in Technical Communication, a Master of Arts in Technical Communication or a graduate certificate in Technical Communication. In these programs, students develop their written and oral communication skills, and they gain familiarity with emerging industry technologies like XML and single sourcing. Many courses are offered in alternative formats, such as in the evening or in online or hybrid formats. For 2017, Boise State was ranked a tier 2 national university by U.S. News & World Report, and its online graduate education programs were tied at #53.
Top Technical and Business Writing Programs
These universities also offer great technical and business writing programs:
- Iowa State University in Ames, IA, offers a B.S. in Technical Communication.
- James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, offers B.A., B.S., Master of Arts and Master of Science programs in writing, rhetoric and technical communication.
- Northeastern University in Boston, MA, offers an online master’s program in technical communication.
- Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Technical Communication and Rhetoric, available both on-campus and online.
- At Weber State University in Ogden, UT, undergraduates in the professional and technical writing program can submit research papers to the Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring journal.
Some of the best technical and business writing programs in the country are available at well-regarded universities around the country. Many of these programs provide instruction in the field within broader communications-related programs.
The Master of Arts in professional and technical writing offers a wide variety of courses in workplace and technical communication, nonfiction writing and publishing, and the teaching of writing from elementary school through college. The program welcomes applicants from all disciplinary backgrounds. Students may choose to complete a 36-hour degree that culminates in a traditional academic thesis or a 42-hour degree that culminates in an online portfolio.REQUEST INFOAPPLY NOW
Cost per credit hour: $383
Required Courses (9-15 hours)
Portfolio Requirements (Choose 9 hours)
RHET 7300 & 7311 are required;
Student may choose either RHET 7310, RHET 7312, or RHET 7313
Thesis Requirements (Choose 15 hours)
RHET 7300, 7311, 7390, & 7391 are required;
Student may choose either RHET 7310, RHET 7312, RHET 7313, or RHET 7314
Elective Courses (6-18 hours)
Cognate Courses (Choose 6 hours)
Applies to both THESIS and PORTFOLIO options;
May be chosen from the following:
• writing courses outside the student’s concentration area
• independent study or internship courses
• graduate-level courses in other departments
Portfolio Electives (Choose 12 hours)
Applies to PORTFOLIO option only; must be completed in addition to cognate courses.
Student may choose 12 hours of electives from any concentration within the MA program with the approval of the student’s portfolio supervisor.
Program Concentration Courses (15 hours)
Applies to both THESIS and PORTFOLIO options;
Students must choose 15 hours of electives in either the NONFICTION concentration or the TECHNICAL concentration.