Graduate Program Professional and Technical Writing

Student doing a writing workshop

Professional and Technical Writing Master's Degree Overview

Earn your master’s in Professional and Technical Writing and jumpstart your career as an expert technical communicator. Our curriculum is purposefully balanced to incorporate both theoretical and practical learning. Both inside and outside of the classroom, our students get involved in the vibrant Portland “Silicon Forest” community via class client projects, internships, and networking events, such as our monthly PSU Technical Communication Meetup, which provides graduate students with the chance to network with local technical writing experts.

Mix of In-Person, Hybrid, and Online Courses for Maximum Flexibility

To accommodate both working professionals and full-time students, most of our courses are offered during late-afternoon or evening hours, fully online, or as hybrid courses. Our small classes encourage a personalized experience. 

We encourage applicants from a variety of backgrounds, including recent college graduates in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM disciplines, those embarking upon new careers, as well as students from outside of the US.

Degree Details


  • M
    Masters
    On campus
    Flexible
    Total Credits
    48 (mix of online, hybrid, and on-campus courses)
    Start Term
    Fall, Winter, Spring

Professional and Technical Writing Master's Degree: Why PSU?

PSU's Master's in Professional and Technical Writing has a longstanding history and strong connections to industries throughout Portland. Our faculty are industry experts in their own right and make graduate students’ professional success their priority by engaging students with the resources they need to succeed after graduation.

PSU's location in downtown Portland puts it next door to thriving industries in health and technology, which makes it possible for our students to find competitive internships that often lead to employment. And with industries constantly moving into Portland, our program’s employment resources also continue to evolve with the local jobscape.

What can I do with a master's degree in Professional and Technical Writing?

Our graduate program advances students in their technical communication careers in a variety of fields, including technology, healthcare, science, government, business, education, marketing, and public relations. Our graduates have written for software companies, engineering firms, publishing companies, and for the City of Portland, and the Bureau of Environmental Services. We also see our graduates find employment as grant writers with nonprofits or as project managers. With technical communicators in constant demand, our graduates are well-positioned to enter, or re-enter the workforce when they graduate.

Recent graduates work in a variety of roles and fields, including:

  • Technical writer at a Portland software company
  • Research consultant at a national health insurance company
  • Account manager at a creative agency
  • Technical content specialist for an office at PSU

Technical Communication Meetup

Prospective students and current PSU students, alumni, faculty, and staff interested in technical communication are invited to attend Technical Communication Meetups.

The PSU Technical Communication Meetup is monthly during the academic year. The purpose of the meetup is to connect the PSU technical communication community, including students, faculty and staff, with the Portland and greater Oregon technical writing community. We meet monthly during the academic year. Contact Dr. Sarah Read at read3@pdx.edu to RSVP and for location information.

Curriculum

Our curriculum builds on the expertise and experience of scholars and professionals to teach students the latest and most relevant tools and methods to be effective as technical communicators. Students earn 48 credits across three categories of courses: Core Courses (16 credits), Technical Writing Electives (20 credits) and Open Electives (12 credits). The program culminates with completion of a professional portfolio or research-based thesis.

Accreditation

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).