Master of Technical and Scientific Communication at Miami University
Important Note: 11/2009
We are sorry to report that, because of changing economic and other conditions in the university, the department and other university officials have agreed to suspend the MTSC program at this time. It is unlikely that the program will admit students again in the near future. If you have questions about the closure of the program, please don’t hesitate to direct them to Dr. Kerry Powell, Chair, Department of English.
Technical and scientific communication is a diverse and well-established discipline with many opportunities for graduates. Technical and scientific communicators help specialists in many fields communicate with a variety of audiences. Some inform specialists in a particular scientific or technical field about the accomplishments of other specialists. Others make technical and scientific information understandable and useful to customers, corporate executives, legislators, and the public. Miami’s program trains communicators in the nuances of language and persuasion, in digital and print media, and in project management. The MTSC at Miami prepares students to work in the settings they choose.
Technical and scientific communicators work for business, industry, government, and non-profit organizations. Some work as freelancers, while some work for consulting firms that create technical and scientific communications for other organizations.
What is Miami’s Master of Technical and Scientific Communication program like?
Miami University offers a graduate degree program leading to the Master’s of Technical and Scientific Communication (MTSC). The MTSC program emphasizes a problem-solving approach to communicating and managing information on specialized subjects. Its purpose is to prepare students for careers in which they’ll help professionals in scientific, technical, and other fields communicate their knowledge clearly and effectively. This web site describes the MTSC program and provides more information on technical communication.
What are the special features of Miami’s MTSC program?
- The MTSC program is practice-oriented, based in theory, and focused on technology. Throughout, the curriculum focuses on professional practice. However, practical communication problems are grounded in theory, especially rhetorical principles. You may prepare your assignments in a technical and scientific computer laboratory, using equipment and software used in the professional world. A semester-long internship is an importmant component of the program.
- The program takes a broad, problem-solving approach. You will study all apects of the communication process, from defining objectives through planning, drafting, testing, revising, producing, and evaluating the communication. The strategies the program teaches are applicable to communication problems in a variety of media.
- The program prepares you for management responsibilities. In a special seminar, you study strategies for managing publication projects, policies, and departments.
- The program’s curriculum is interdisciplinary. The program’s eight required courses are taught in two departments: communication and English. Three required graduate electives may be taken in a variety of fields, depending on your career objectives and content area. The student population also comes from diverse disciplines, such as the environmental sciences, computer technologies, chemistry, English, and medical technology.
- The coursework is individualized. You may tailor your course of study to your interests and career objectives. To ensure that each student receives substantial attention from the faculty, Miami admits a maximum of fifteen students each year.
- The program offers graduate assistantships. Five MTSC teaching assistantships and one computer laboratory assistantship are available on a competitive basis each year. Assitantships and other forms of financial aid are also available throughout the University and through the financial aid office.
Who should apply?
The MTSC program is well suited to anyone with the interest and ability to pursue a career in technical and scientific communication, regardless of undergraduate major. Among the majors that provide good preparation for the program are:
- natural and social science, engineering, computer science, and other technical fields
- English and other humanities
- art, journalism, film, and other communication fields.
The MTSC program is open to people who have not studied deeply in science or technology. However, in order to graduate, you must possess a minimum level of technical knowledge appropriate for the career you plan. This knowledge can be achieved in your undergraduate studies or in supplementary undergraduate courses you take here at Miami.
The MTSC program is also well suited to the needs of professional technical and scientific communicators, especially those wishing to expand their career opportunities. Although some MTSC graduates will apply for entry-level positions in the profession, the program aims to help all of its graduates advance rapidlyincluding those who have started their careers before entering the program. The program also welcomes applications from those changing careers as well as those who would like to pursue post-graduate study in technical and scientific communication.
What are the opportunities for MTSC graduates?
There are numerous job opportunities available for MTSC graduates. Currently, there is substantial demand for people trained at the graduate level to communicate technical, scientific, and other specialized knowledge. The positions held by MTSC students and graduates reflect the many roles for which the program prepares students.
Revised 1999, Jessamyn Burns Wendell; 2001, Kimberly Harper; 2006, Karen Shimizu and Jean Lutz; 2009, Dana Leonard and Jean Lutz