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Technical and Professional Communication

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

Why Choose Technical & Professional Communication?

Technical and Professional Communication students learn the history and future of writing, edit technical manuals, understand the elements of writing technical documents, and develop project planning skills. In addition, they analyze technical 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.

A wide variety of content specialty concentrations are possible, including electronics, automotive technology, computer information systems, plastics technology, medical writing, applied mathematics, visual communication, technical training, and applied biology. These concentrations are not, however, the only areas of specialty allowed by the program; students are encouraged to work with their advisor 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

Technical and professional 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: http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/courses/GenEd-bachelor.pdf

Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives: https://wwws.ferris.edu/academics/gened/courses/

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 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
E-mail:

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

Technical & Professional Communication - 120 Minimum Credits

Major Courses - 53 Credits
Advanced Technical Writing
3
Proposal Writing
3
Advanced Business Writing
3
Fundamentals-Public Speaking
3
Persuasive Speaking
3
Tech and Prof Presentation
3
Design Foundations
3
Special Topics in Tech Comm
1
History of Rhetoric - Style
3
Prof Technical Communication
4
Tech Communication Internship
4 TO 8
Tech Communication Seminar
4
*Must take ENGL 280 at least 3 times
Program Electives
15
Portfolio Approval
Content Specialty:  21 credit minimum
Consult with program advisor for approval of appropriate course work

General Education Requirements

Communication Competence - 12 Credits
English 1
3
English 2
3
Advanced Composition
3
COMM - achieved in major
Scientific Understanding - 7 Credits
Only "Z" courses may count toward this category, on must be a lab.
Quantitative Skills
MATH 115 or higher OR
MATH 115 or higher proficiency OR
MATH ACT subtest score 24 or higher
Cultural Enrichment - 9 Credits
Only CE courses
One course must be 200+ level
Maximum 5 Credid hours of music and/or theater activities may apply
Social Awareness - 9 Credits
Only SA courses 
Two different subject areas including at least one "foundation" course
One 200+ level
Global Conciousness & Race/Ethnicity/Gender
Each student must complete one course form the list of qualifying courses presented in the FSU catalog. This may also count toward fulfilling the Cultural Enrichment or Social Awareness requirement.
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