Technical and Professional Writing

College of Humanities
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 and Adviser: Louise Rehling

Faculty

Professor—Rehling

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, and products 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 in high-technology industries, in business, in government, and in research and non-profit organizations. These career writers not only write and edit many types of documents in different media, career writers also sometimes manage documentation and communication projects.

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.

TPW students will combine TPW courses—which expose them to workplace forms, methods, 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 for writers, and a portfolio of relevant writing samples.

NOTE: Technical and professional writing major, minor, and certificate students must earn at least a C or better in all courses that count towards the degree or certificate.

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 publishers, and/or communications managers producing technical manuals or training materials, reports or proposals, and promotions or publicity.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Courses Units
TPW 400 Fundamentals of Technical and Professional Writing 3
TPW 550 Professional Editing 3
TPW 555 Desktop Publishing for Professional Writers 3
TPW 600 Individual and Team Writing 3
TPW 695 Internship in Technical and Professional Writing 3
Any other TPW-prefix course (except TPW 698) 3
  Total for core 18
Subject Matter Focus
Courses selected either from a single department in a communications track or technical track described below, or from a single interdisciplinary program or theme.
18
Communications Track Options
Courses selected from any one of these departments: Design and Industry, Instructional Technologies, Speech and Communication Studies, Journalism, or Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts.
 
Technical Track Options
Courses selected from any department in Science and Engineering, any department in Business, or any TPW director-approved department in Health and Human Services.
 
Interdisciplinary Track Options
Courses selected from any interdisciplinary program or independently developed theme that is approved by the TPW director as relevant for technical or professional writing.
 
Skills Electives
Units selected from a skills electives list available in the TPW office or TPW director-approved
9
  Total for major 45

NOTE: Any TPW-prefix courses already counted for the core or chosen for the subject matter focus are not eligible as skills electives. Skills electives cannot be from the department chosen for the subject matter focus.

Skills electives include these TPW courses:

TPW 470 Writing Professional Promotions
TPW 480 Writing Technical Documentation and Procedures
TPW 490 Grantwriting
TPW 585 Writing for On-Line Presentation
TPW 600 Individual and Team Writing (elective for minor/certificate)
TPW 625 Advanced Topics for Technical and Professional Writers
TPW 685 Projects in the Teaching of Technical and Professional Writing

Additional skills elective courses offered by other departments treat communications fundamentals, editing/production, graphic design, training/non-print media, foreign language skills, and special topics related to workplace writing.

MINOR/CERTIFICATE IN TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING

The minor and certificate requirements are the same. For minors: a maximum of six units of course work in the minor may be double counted for the major. For certificates: a minimum additional 56 units of transferable college work is required. For both: a maximum of twelve transfer units is allowed, with TPW director's approval.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Courses Units
TPW 400 Fundamentals of Technical and Professional Writing 3
TPW 550 Professional Editing 3
TPW 555 Desktop Publishing for Professional Writers 3
TPW 600 Individual and Team Writing or 3
 TPW 695  Internship in Technical and Professional Writing or
 TPW 698  Supervised Writing Project
Any other TPW-prefix course (except TPW 698) 3
  Total for core 15
Skills Electives
Skills electives courses as described under the B.A. program.
9
  Total for minor/certificate 24

NOTE: Any TPW-prefix courses already counted for the core are not eligible as skills electives.



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