You are currently viewing an archived version of the Ferris catalog.
View the most current version.

Journalism and Technical Communication

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science
College(s): College of Arts and Sciences

Why Choose Journalism and Technical Communication?

Journalism and Technical Communication students learn about journalistic techniques applied to technical and professional communication. As with all concentrations in Technical and Professional Communication, they also learn the history and future of writing, understand the elements of writing and develop project planning skills. In addition, they analyze newspapers and print medium, contemporary news sourcces including the internet, journals, books, magazines, and speeches.

All TPC students identify a "content specialty concentration," a 21-credit grouping of courses that builds on their interest in a specific career area. While many TPC students enter the program with an associate degree in a technical area - for example, electronics or plastics technology - many develop their technical specialty based on an established area of expertise in the field of technical communication. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to select the best grouping of courses for their professional interests. The content specialty gives students a specialized background and typically opens the door to their first professional job.

Career Opportunities

Journalism and Technical Communication is a combination of writing, organizing, and communicating information. Students gain an understanding of communication media, technical and expository writing, desktop publishing, verbal communication, and a chosen technical or professional specialty.

Job opportunities continue to grow for graduates of this program. Nearly every industry needs employees who can communicate technical and professional information effectively to its customers and clients. Jobs also are expanding into marketing, advertising, and public relations fields.

Admission Requirements

First year student admission is open to high school graduates (or equivalent) who demonstrate academic preparedness, maturity, and seriousness of purpose with educational backgrounds appropriate to their chosen program of study. High school courses and grade point average, ACT composite score, and ACT reading and mathematics subscores will be considered in the admission and placement process. Transfer students must have at least 12 credits at the time of application with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA including an English and mathematics course, or they must provide their high school records and ACT scores for admission review.

General Education Requirements

All general University General Education requirements can be found here:

Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives:

Graduation Requirements

The Technical and Professional Communication program leads to a bachelor of science degree. Graduation requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all 300+ level ENGL courses, with a minimum 2.3 GPA in individual ENGL courses, and at least 120 credits including completion of all general education requirements as outlined on the General Education website. Students also must present a satisfactory portfolio for graduation.

More Information

Program Coordinator: Dr. Sandy Balkema
Phone: 231-591-5631

Department of Languages and Literature
Ferris State University
820 Campus Drive/ASC 3080
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2225
Phone: 231-591-3988

Required Courses
Credit Hours

Journalism and Technical Communication Requirements - 54 Credits

Advanced Technical Writing
Proposal Writing
Advanced Business Writing
Persuasive Speaking
Tech and Prof Presentation
Design Foundations
Journalism Internship
Special Topics in Tech Comm
History of Rhetoric - Style
Prof Technical Communication
Tech Communication Internship
4 TO 8
Tech Communication Seminar
Program Electives

Portfolio Approval

21 Credit Minimum Content Specialty
Writing for Mass Media
Publication Editing
Feature and Opinion Writing
Understanding Mass Media
Multimedia Design and Writers
Select One:
Broadcast Writing
Streaming Media Production
Web Design and Planning
Script Writing

General Education Requirements

Communicaton Competence - 12 Credits
English 1
English 2
Advanced Composition
COMM (achieved in Major)
Scientific Understanding - 7 Credits
Only approved "Z" courses may count toward this category (one must be a lab course)
Quantitative Skills
MATH 115 or higher OR
MATH 115 or higher proficiency OR
MATH ACT subtest score 24 or higher
Cultural Enrichment - 9 Credits
One course must be 200+ level
Maximum 5 credit hours of music and/or theater actvities may apply
Social Awareness - 9 Credits
Two different subject areas including at least one foundation course
One 200+ level course