Technical Communication

  • Master's
Location: Anywhere
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Why Technical Communication?

The Master of Science in Technical Communication is designed to help students improve the technical communication skills needed in today’s diverse workplace, across a variety of disciplines and professions.

Technical communication is a well-established field with a broad range of career opportunities. There is an ongoing need for expert communications professionals who can convey technical information to various types of audiences in different formats. Our online master’s degree is designed to improve your technical communication skills needed in today’s diverse workplace and provide you the opportunity to use those skills across a variety of disciplines and professions. With three concentrations to choose from, this graduate degree in technical communication can help advance your career in technical communication as a technical writer, usability expert, content strategist, or technical trainer.


More Details

Unique Features

  • Gain both practical knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of theory
  • Choose from three concentrations to specialize your focus
  • Industry-aligned faculty with in-depth topic knowledge
  • The online format provides flexibility and an interactive experience for working professionals
  • Classes run all year. You can start the program when it is convenient for you: fall, winter, spring, or summer

Program Objectives

  • Strengthen your ability to write clear and accurate technical information
  • Learn how to create end-user and developer documentation
  • Build on your editing skills to effectively edit both your work and the work of others
  • Understand the legal, ethical, and cultural issues pertaining to technical communication
  • Become familiar with the latest tools in the technical communication workplace
  • Discover how to design and create technical information for specific audiences
  • Acquire usability, user experience, instructional design, and content strategy techniques that are often required in this increasingly diverse field
  • Learn the nature and practical application of working within globally dispersed teams

Career Outlook

As companies diversify the way they convey technical and scientific information, technical communicators who can successfully convey this information to the people who need it enjoy solid job prospects. According to a study by the American Association of American Colleges and Universities, 89 percent of prospective employers value effective written and oral communication skills more than any other skill. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employment of technical writers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, primarily due to the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information as well as the growing presence of customer service and web-based product support networks.

Unique Transfer Credit Opportunities

About the Certified Professional Technical Communication-Foundation Opportunity:

Why consider a graduate degree from Northeastern University? We recognize the knowledge and competencies demonstrated by those earning their Certified Professional Technical Communicator-Foundation through the Society of Technical Communication. As a result, Certified Professional Technical Communicators have the unique opportunity to accelerate through the Master of Science in Technical Communication program by applying this credential in exchange for transfer credit.  

Successful applicants with their Certified Professional Technical Communicator-Foundation: 

  • Will receive 4 quarter hours of transfer credit - an 8% savings in tuition
  • Will complete only 4 required courses rather than 5 
  • Transfer credit is awarded for the following course: TCC 6100 Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing

What you'll study

General Requirements

Master of Science in Technical Communication General Requirements
TCC 6100 - Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing
TCC 6102 - Editing Technical Content
TCC 6110 - Information Architecture
TCC 6120 - Usability and User Experience

The following course should be taken last:

TCC 6850 - Technical Communications Capstone Project


Choose a combination of 2-10 quarter hours of electives from the list below and any courses from the concentration course lists:

TCC 6150 - Writing Portfolio
TCC 6200 - Ethics in Technical Communication
TCC 6480 - Instructional Design for Technical Communicators
TCC 6495 - Document Design
TCC 6640 - Wiki-Based Documentation
EDU 6184 - Interdisciplinary Foundations


If students prefer to focus their studies on a particular concentration, they may select 16-24 quarter hours from one of the concentrations and complement their studies with 2-10 quarter hours of elective courses, to meet the minimum 46-quarter-hour degree requirement.

Students are not required to complete a concentration. Any combination of 26 quarter hours from concentration and elective courses will satisfy degree requirements.


Concentration in Computer Industry Writing

Complete four of the following:

TCC 6430 - Writing for the Computer Industry
TCC 6440 - Advanced Writing for the Computer Industry
TCC 6400 - Structured Documentation
TCC 6450 - Managing Technical Publications
TCC 6410 - Online Documentation
TCC 6630 - Introduction to XML

Concentration in Social Media

Required Course

DGM 6285 - Interactive Marketing Fundamentals


Complete 16-20 quarter hours from the following:

CMN 6040 - Consumer Behaviors in the Online Environment
CMN 6045 - Leveraging Digital Technologies: Strategy, Assessment, and Governance
CMN 6065 - Implementation and Management of Social Media Channels and Online Communities
CMN 6075 - Digital Marketing Analytics
DGM 6290 - Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation
DGM 6525 - Research Methods for Global User Experiences
DGM 6550 - Search Engine Optimization: Strategy and Implementation

Concentration in Usability/ User Experience

Choose any combination of the following courses to complete 16 quarter hours:

DGM 6268 - Usable Design for Mobile Digital Media
TCC 6610 - Prototyping
TCC 6420 - Information Design for the Web
TCC 6470 - Web Accessibility for Technical Communicators
TCC 6490 - Usability Testing for Technical Communicators
TCC 6620 - Collecting User Data
TCC 6710 - Content Strategy

This program requires successful completion of a minimum of 46 credit hours that meet the degree requirements.

Did You Know?

Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).


The Master of Science in Technical Communication offers 3 concentrations, allowing students to align their studies with their personal interests and career goals. 

Average Time to Completion

1.5-2 Years



Entry Terms


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