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© Ugur Akinci
A full-fledged doctoral program that focuses exclusively on technical writing and communication is still a rare bird out in the market today.
Here are the top 3 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in the United States on technical communication – the highest academic degree you can get as a technical writer and communicator.
1) Illinois Institute of Technology
Name of the degree: “Ph.D. in Technology and Humanities” (used to be called “Ph.D. in Technical Communication”)
This is not a practical hands-on program that prepares technical writers for the real world of technical writing out there. However, if you’d like to be an academic and do research and teaching in a university setting in the field of technical communication then this might be what you are looking for. It is a 72-hour program beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students who have earned a master’s degree in a relevant field may transfer up to 30 credit hours.
2) University of Minnesota
Name of the degree: “Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication (RSTC)”
This is also a research degree aimed at preparing technical writing students for faculty positions. It is not designed to prepare technical writers to work in government and private sector.
Ph.D. candidates must earn a minimum of 42 credits in coursework, at least 27 of which must be taken in Writing Studies classes and seminars.
For more info: http://writingstudies.umn.edu/grad/phd/
3) Texas Tech University
Name of the degree: “DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION & RHETORIC”
The program provides a broad base to conduct research in technical editing, design, rhetorical theory, online documentation, publications management, and usability testing.
60 credit hours are needed to complete the program.