Iowa State University

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The undergraduate program in technical communication addresses the natural relationship between practical communication and science/technology. Iowa State also offers an MA and a PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication.

The undergraduate program in technical communication meets the needs of its students, the university, and the community by addressing the natural relationship between practical communication and science/technology, since the dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge depends on well-trained communicators, enhancing the educational experiences of existing majors in the scientific, technical, business, and social science disciplines by offering a minor in technical communication, expanding the outreach mission of the university by attracting non-traditional students interested in pursuing careers in technical communication.

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 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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203 Ross Hall,
Ames, IA 50011-1201