Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Technical Communication Certificate

Writing Studies Department
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate credit certificate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2021
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 8
  • Degree: Technical Communication Certificate
The certificate in technical communication provides students with proficiency in four areas of technical communication: written, oral, visual, and digital. Students take at least two required upper division courses and complete a capstone project as part of one of the courses. The courses are designed to teach students practical skills for communicating complex technical information to a variety of audiences and to complement their career plans.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
At least 8 credits in the certificate must be taken at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Students may earn a BS, a minor, or a certificate in technical writing and communication, but none of these may be combined.
Core Course
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 4 credit(s) from the following:
· WRIT 3562W - Technical and Professional Writing [WI] (4.0 cr)
or WRIT 3562V - Honors: Technical and Professional Writing [WI] (4.0 cr)
Elective
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
· WRIT 3257 - Technical and Professional Presentations (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3441 - Editing, Critique, and Style (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3577W - Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet [TS, WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3671 - Visual Rhetoric and Document Design (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3672W - Project Design and Development [WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4431W - Science, Technology, and the Law [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4501 - Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4573W - Writing Proposals and Grant Management [WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4662W - Writing With Digital Technologies [WI] (3.0 cr)
Capstone Project
Students take the capstone project concurrently with the WRIT elective that they take for the certificate program. The project must be developed in consultation with the instructor of the selected elective course, who will also evaluate the project. All work must be completed within the same semester. If necessary, an outside reader with subject matter expertise will be invited to also provide input.
The capstone project extends an assignment in the selected course to (1) to further develop and reflect on what students have learned through their certificate coursework and (2) to provide them with a tangible product that can be used for job applications. Project formats include a paper, report, podcast, video, scientific poster, or electronic presentation. Students can consult the department advisor for details.
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 1 credit(s) from the following:
· WRIT 3291 - Technical Communication Certificate Capstone Project (1.0 cr)
 
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· College of Liberal Arts


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· Technical Communication Certificate
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WRIT 3562W - Technical and Professional Writing (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01235
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course introduces students to technical and professional writing through various readings and assignments in which students analyze and create texts that work to communicate complex information, solve problems, and complete tasks. Students gain knowledge of workplace genres as well as to develop skills in composing such genres. This course allows students to practice rhetorically analyzing writing situations and composing genres such as memos, proposals, instructions, research reports, and presentations. Students work in teams to develop collaborative content and to compose in a variety of modes including text, graphics, video, audio, and digital. Students also conduct both primary and secondary research and practice usability testing. The course emphasizes creating documents that are goal-driven and appropriate for a specific context and audience.
WRIT 3562V - Honors: Technical and Professional Writing (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01235
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course introduces students to technical and professional writing through various readings and assignments in which students analyze and create texts that work to communicate complex information, solve problems, and complete tasks. Students gain knowledge of workplace genres as well as to develop skills in composing such genres. This course allows students to practice rhetorically analyzing writing situations and composing genres such as memos, proposals, instructions, research reports, and presentations. Students work in teams to develop collaborative content and to compose in a variety of modes including text, graphics, video, audio, and digital. Students also conduct both primary and secondary research and practice usability testing. The course emphasizes creating documents that are goal-driven and appropriate for a specific context and audience. Honors section includes discussion on scholarly readings in technical and professional writing as well as a final project that must be addressed to a real-world audience.
WRIT 3257 - Technical and Professional Presentations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
In this course students develop oral presentation skills for technical or professional topics. Areas of study in the course include visual communication, audience analysis, presentation strategies, and presentation of complex research material. The course emphasizes use of digital technologies. Recommend that students take Comm 1101 or equivalent first
WRIT 3441 - Editing, Critique, and Style
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01667
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
In this course, students will increase their understanding of how language works and will learn to make choices about language, style, and punctuation to create messages that are clear, concise, and useful. The course emphasizes technical communication, but the skills learned can be applied to any communication situation. Editing practice will include three levels of editing to make the documents comprehensible and useful in which students will not only polish their grammar and punctuation skills, but they will also learn how to explain and justify changes they make in documents. Topics also included in the course are editing methods for both paper and electronic copy and editing for organization and visual design.
WRIT 3577W - Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet (TS, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course examines the rich and complex ways people are seeking to inform and persuade others via the internet. Western rhetorical theories have adapted to address spoken, written, visual, and digital communication. The internet incorporates aspects of all of these modes of communication, but it also requires us to revisit how we have understood them. Students in Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet will reinforce their understandings of rhetorical theories and the internet as a technology. The class will also ask students to read current scholarly work about the internet, and develop the critical tools needed to complement, extend, or challenge that work.
WRIT 3671 - Visual Rhetoric and Document Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course approaches the challenges of document design by drawing upon principles from rhetorical theory and scholarship. In practical terms, this means that the design questions addressed in this class are understood in terms of specific audiences and specific contexts. Students in this class will pursue a blend of critical analysis ? drawing on rhetorical principles ? and document design. While Visual Rhetoric and Document Design assumes no baseline design training, class assignments will encourage students to put theory into practice and develop documents that reflect current best practices in print and digital spaces.
WRIT 3672W - Project Design and Development (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
If you want to put design thinking, agile project management, teamwork, writing, research, analysis, and critical thinking on your resume, join Project Design and Development. You will study, plan, research, design, and develop technical communication materials in a design-thinking, collaborative-writing environment. You?ll work in teams to create a user manual and information graphic, promotional materials, and a social media campaign while planning and documenting your projects and productivity. You will leave the course with knowledge and skills you can put to work in any organization: small business, nonprofit, and corporate. The course develops competencies that the National Association of Colleges and Employers has named as most-valued by employers: critical thinking, written communication, collaboration, digital technology, leadership, and professionalism.
WRIT 4431W - Science, Technology, and the Law (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
In this course students explore the effects of scientific and technological development on the law?and the effects of the law on scientific and technological development. In particular, students will read and discuss government regulation, constitutional guidelines and rights, and federal and state court precedents regarding privacy, intellectual property (patients and copyright), and health law. Specific topics include the following: Search warrants and Four Amendment rights, electronic surveillance law, national security and foreign intelligence, copyright and fair use, citizens? access to creative works, informed consent, medical expert testimony in the courtroom, and the right to medical treatment. Students will have the opportunity to express their opinions and display their analytical skills in three take-home essay exams. Students from all majors are welcome, including those students interested in law school.
WRIT 4501 - Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Principles/concepts of human factors/usability testing. Developing objectives, criteria, and measures. Conducting tests in lab, field, and virtual environments. Using software programs to analyze qualitative/quantitative data.
WRIT 4573W - Writing Proposals and Grant Management (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Research funding sources. Interpreting RFP or program announcement. Letters of intent. Grant preparation, following guidelines of RFP or program announcement. Proposals for nonprofits or research/business.
WRIT 4662W - Writing With Digital Technologies (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02724
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
WRIT 4662W is an advanced level Writing Studies course that explores various digital writing technologies and provides multiple opportunities to assess writing situations and make appropriate decisions about digital form and production. Students will learn the basic building blocks of writing in Internet environments (text, sound, images, video) as well as the vocabularies, functionalities, and organizing structures of Web 2.0 environments, how these impact understanding and use of information, and how to produce these environments (i.e., multimedia internet documents) for interactivity and use. This course includes design projects and practice with apps, markup language, content management systems, video, and social media. prereq: Jr or sr or instr consent
WRIT 3291 - Technical Communication Certificate Capstone Project
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Prerequisites: #
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
The capstone project is taken in conjunction with a concurrent WRIT course for the Technical Communication Certificate. The project extends an assignment in the selected WRIT course to further explore an aspect of technical communication. Students develop their project in consultation with the instructor of the selected course. Project formats include a paper, report, podcast, video, scientific poster, or electronic presentation. prereq: instr consent