Technical and Professional Writing  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

Image: San Francisco State University seal on a gold background

Technical and Professional Writing

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Paul Sherwin

 

Technical and Professional Writing Program

HUM 414
415-338-7025
E-mail: tpw@sfsu.edu
Web Site: www.sfsu.edu/~tpw
Director: Neil Lindeman
Advisors: Lindeman and Rehling

 

Faculty

Professor: Rehling
Associate Professor: Lindeman

 

Programs

B.A. in Technical and Professional Writing

Minor in Technical and Professional Writing

Certificate in Technical and Professional Writing

 


 

Program Scope

Technical and professional writers are in demand to link ideas, technologies, products, and services with people who need to understand those developments or to use them. The Technical and Professional Writing Program can prepare students for that critical communications role through major, minor, and certificate programs.

 

Technical and professional writers work in almost every field of industry and public life, including high-technology industries, business, government, and research and non-profit organizations. These career writers not only write and edit many types of documents in different media, but also sometimes design publications, manage and evaluate documentation and communication projects, and oversee development, production, and distribution processes.

 

To be best prepared for success in such work, students will need to start with strong writing skills then learn how to adapt them for the workplace and for changing technology and employment needs. Students also will need an intellectual framework for continuing professional growth and responsibility throughout their careers, including a solid grounding in humanistic studies, with an emphasis on analytical and ethical practices relevant for the workplace.

 

TPW students can combine TPW courses—which expose them to current workplace forms, methods, standards, and issues—with interdisciplinary electives that further develop related communications skills and attitudes. Students also can target a potential employment interest: Majors choose a specialized concentration (the subject matter focus); minors and certificate students can use TPW studies to complement their education and experience in other fields.

 

After completing the TPW program, students can begin their writing careers with important accomplishments and advantages: an academic degree or certificate in the field, improved and focused skills, an understanding of professional expectations and best practices for writers, and a portfolio of relevant writing samples.

 

Career Outlook

Depending on students' choices of subject matter focus and/or skills electives, students would be prepared for entry-level jobs as writers, editors, desktop or multimedia publishers, information developers and designers, and/or communications managers producing and overseeing technical documentation, content management systems, training or support materials, reports or proposals, and promotions or publicity.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Technical and Professional Writing

On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Core Courses

Course Title Units
TPW 400 GW Fundamentals of Technical and Professional Writing - GWAR 3
TPW 550 Professional Editing 3
TPW 555 Visual Rhetoric and Document Design 3
TPW 600 Individual and Team Writing 3
TPW 695 Internship in Technical and Professional Writing 3

Total Units for Core: 15 units

 

Skills Electives

Course Title Units
Select a minimum of 6 units from the list below and 9 additional units either from the list below or from interdisciplinary courses approved by your TPW advisor. Note: Skills electives cannot be from the department chosen for the subject matter focus. 15
TPW 200 Writing Practices in Professional Contexts  
TPW 470 Writing Professional Promotions
TPW 480 Writing Technical Documentation
TPW 490 Grantwriting
TPW 565 Advanced Technical Writing Topics
TPW 585 Technical Writing On-Line
TPW 600 Individual and Team Writing (elective for minor/certificate only)
TPW 685 Projects in the Teaching of Technical and Professional Writing
Optional interdisciplinary course work typically would cover applied writing or editing; linguistics; organizational communication; graphic design and production; multimedia or computer tools; foreign language for business; or special topics related to workplace writing.

 

Subject Matter Focus

Course Title Units
Select a single one of the tracks below and complete 15 units according to the instructions. Note: All focus courses must be 200-level or above, with at least 9 units at 300-level or above. 15
Communications Track Options: Courses selected from any single one of these departments: Communication Studies, Foreign Languages, Journalism, Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, Design and Industry, or Instructional Technologies.  
Technical Track Options: Courses selected from any single department in the College of Science and Engineering, any single department in the College of Business, or any single TPW advisor-approved department in the College of Health and Social Sciences.
Interdisciplinary Track Options: Courses selected to fit a customized concentration (based on an independently developed theme or on an existing interdisciplinary program) that is approved by the TPW advisor as relevant for technical or professional writing. (Examples: Arts Administration, Multimedia, Environmental Studies).

Total for Major: 45 units

Note: All units applied to the TPW B.A. must be earned with a grade of C or better.

 

Minor/Certificate in Technical and Professional Writing

The minor and certificate requirements are the same. In order to be accepted to an undergraduate certificate program, a student must have completed 56 semester units of undergraduate course work with a 2.0 (C) grade point average. A maximum of 6 TPW advisor-approved transfer units is allowed toward the minor or certificate.

 

Before completing the certificate, students must demonstrate appropriate writing competency by successful completion of the required 18 units of upper-division, writing-intensive TPW course work.

 

On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Core Courses

Course Title Units
TPW 400 GW Fundamentals of Technical and Professional Writing - GWAR 3
TPW 550 Professional Editing 3
TPW 555 Visual Rhetoric and Document Design 3
TPW 695 Internship in Technical and Professional Writing 3

Total for Core: 12 units

 

Skills Electives

Course Title Units
Chosen from skills electives courses described under the B.A. program, including a minimum of 6 TPW units. 12

Total for Minor/Certificate: 24 units

Note: All units applied to the TPW minor/certificate must be earned with a grade of C or better.

 

 

SF State Home