Iowa State’s undergraduate major and minor programs in Technical Communication teach both theory and practice. Students learn how to analyze audience, purpose, and context to communicate technical and scientific information to diverse user groups. Iowa State also offers an MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication, as well as a PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. Students have access to resources such as a media lab and a usability lab.

In Iowa State’s undergraduate program in Technical Communication, you learn to compose a wide range of print and electronic documents for use in business, industry, schools, and communities. Coursework for the B.S. and minor in Technical Communication helps you to understand scientific and technical information and teaches you strategies for producing texts to communicate that information to others.

Iowa State’s MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication features a wide range of courses in the history, theory, and pedagogy of rhetoric and writing; in communication theory and professional document analysis, design, and production and on a variety of special topics. An internship in professional communication is also available. Study in this specialization prepares students to teach business and technical writing, teach composition at the community-college level, write proposals and grants, produce manuals and in-house publications, and edit various kinds of documents.

The PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication focuses on the theory and practice of rhetoric and written communication in professional communities such as worksites, disciplines such as science, and social groups. Students complete a core of classes in theory, history, practice, pedagogy, and research methods, but then have wide flexibility to pursue their own research interests. The degree qualifies graduates for academic position in rhetoric and in business and technical communication as well as for work in the private sector as professional writing specialists, editors, and communications production managers.


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