Graduate Program in English - M.A. with Technical Certificate

All Master of Arts in English Programs share certain basic requirements (except as noted).

This program leads to an M.A. in English with a Certificate in Technical Writing. In addition to the requirements overviewed above, this program requires additional coursework in technical writing and editing as well as coursework in a technical or allied field. Those courses will be determined in consultation with the Director of Technical Writing, Dr. Ryan Weber. The program requires 12 courses (36 hours) for completion, 6 of which (18 hours) will be in literature. You will need to complete either a Capstone Project or a Thesis. The other course requirements are as follows:


Core Courses

The two core courses required for the graduate certificate in technical communication are

EH 501 Theory and Practice in Technical Communication (fall semester only). This class explores relationships between common practices in technical communication and the theories that legitimize those practices. It includes an introduction to research and theories about fundamental issues in technical communication which may then become the basis for further graduate study in technical communication.

EH 502 Problems in Technical Editing (spring semester only). This class offers advanced study of research and practice in common problems of technical editing, including documentation standards, document design, and management of complex editorial projects. It involves a collaborative project with professional writers in industry. Prerequisites: EH 501 or EH 302, or permission of the instructor.


Graduate Certificate students select two English or Communications graduate courses as the electives in the certificate program. At least one of these electives must be at the 600 level. Several courses have been approved for these electives:

EH 601 Writing Studies- A seminar in the teaching of writing, this course covers a variety of approaches and writing specialties, one of which is technical communication. Certificate students may take this course at any point in their graduate program.

EH 602 Practicum in Technical Communication - An internship in writing/editing, involving a combination of research and practical experience in a professional environment. Students must complete EH 501-502 to qualify for an internship, which requires considerable advance preparation.

EHL 505: Survey of General Linguistics

EHL 507: Advanced English Grammar Studies

EH 649 Special Studies when the topic is appropriate.

EH 540/440 Special Studies when the topic is appropriate.

Allied Fields

Two of the six courses in the Graduate Certificate must be in an "allied field," another discipline relevant to technical communication. These must be graduate courses taken in the last five years, and must be approved by the Director of Business and Technical Writing. Usually, the two courses are taken in the same discipline, although exceptions can be made. In some instances, students who wish to use the linguistics course in fulfilment of their language requirement may opt to use linguistics as their allied field, or linguistics may serve as one of the electives. The most important factor is that the courses expand and broaden the student's education in technical communication.

M.A. students in English pursuing this certificate may choose to do a master's thesis in technical communication instead of the two allied field courses.

Allied field courses have been approved in fields such as Linguistics, Management, Marketing, Psychology, Education, and Engineering Management.

For further information about UAH programs in technical communication, contact the Director of Business and Technical Writing, Morton Hall, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, or phone (256) 824-6320.

Visit the technical communication careers page.