Technical and Professional Writing

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Technical and Professional Writing Program
HUM 414
415-338-7025
E-mail: tpw@sfsu.edu
Director and Adviser: Louise Rehling

Assistant 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 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 they 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 will also 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.

Career Outlook

Depending on the student's choice of subject matter focus and/or skills electives, s/he would be prepared for an entry level job as a writer, editor, desktop publisher, and/or communications manager producing technical manuals or training materials, reports or proposals, promotions or publicity, and so on.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Courses for this program are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference).

Units

Core Courses

TPW 400	Fundamentals of Technical and 
Professional Writing 3
TPW 402	Professional Editing		3
TPW 500	Desktop Publishing for Profes-
sional 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 depart-
ment in a communications track or tech-
nical track described below, or from a
single interdisciplinary program or theme. 18

Communications Track Options

Courses selected from any one of these depart-
ments: Design and Industry, Instructional
Technologies, Speech and Communication
Studies, Journalism, or Broadcast and Elec-
tronic Communication Arts.

Technical Track Options

Courses selected from any department in 
Science and Engineering, any depart-
ment in Business, or any TPW coor-
dinator 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
coordinator as relevant for technical or
professional writing.

Skills Electives

Units selected from among the courses listed 

below		9
Total for major		45
NOTE:Any TPW-prefix courses already counted for the core or chosen for the subject matter focus are noteligible as skills electives. Skills electives cannot be from the department chosen for the subject matter focus.

Skills Electives

Electives can be chosen from one or more of the categories listed here. All courses listed here are three units unless otherwise noted:

TPW Electives

TPW 460	Grantwriting
TPW 510	Writing Technical Documentation 
and Procedures
TPW 530	Writing for On-Line Presentation
TPW 590	Advanced Topics for Technical and 
Professional Writers
TPW 600	Individual and Team Writing 
(elective for minor/certificate)

Communications Fundamentals

ENG 416	Junior Composition or
ENG 419	Advanced Composition for 
Teachers
SPCH 351	Public Speaking (4)
SPCH 366	Persuasion (4) or
SPCH 365	Argumentation and Debate (4)

Editing and Production

BECA 660	Television Center News I
CW 640	Transfer Literary Magazine
DAI 326	Graphic Reproduction Technology I
DAI 470	Portfolio Presentation (1)
ENG 657	Grammar and Rhetoric of the 
Sentence
JOUR 330	Editing

Graphic Design

DAI 323	Industrial Visuals
DAI 423	Applied Graphic Design
DAI 626	Microcomputer Applications in 
Graphic Communication Technology
JOUR 450	Publication Design and Graphics

Training/Non-Print Media

BECA 670	Writing for Interactive Electronic 
Media
CINE 354	Short Format Screenwriting
EDT 619	Computer Graphics for Instructional 
Media
EDT 625	Instructional Video Production
EDT 627	Computer Applications in Instruction
SPCH 530	Communication in Organizational 
Training

Specialized Writing

BECA 370	Writing for the Electronic Media
BECA 560	Radio and Television News Writing
CIS 560	Science Writing
CLAR 497	Writing for Museums, Galleries, and 
Other Cultural Institutions (also
ANTH 497)
DAI 523	Advertising Design and Graphics 
Industry (2)
JOUR 300	Reporting
MKTG 432	Public Relations
MKTG 630	Advertising Campaigns

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 coordinator's approval.

Courses for this program are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page references).

Units

Core Courses

TPW 400	Fundamentals of Technical and 
Professional Writing 3
TPW 402	Professional Editing		3
TPW 500	Desktop Publishing for Professional 
Writers 3
TPW 600	Individual and Team Writing or
TPW 695	Internship in Technical and 
Professional Writing or
TPW 698	Supervised Writing Project		3

Any other TPW-prefix course (exceptTPW 698)		3
Total units for core		15

Skills Electives

Courses selected from the skills electives 
courses listed under the B.A. program.		9
Total for minor/certificate		24
NOTE:Any TPW-prefix courses already counted for the core are noteligible as skills electives.



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