Technical and Professional Writing Track

The Technical and Professional Writing Program can be completed through traditional seated courses or entirely online.

Master of Arts, Writing

Rhonda Stanton, Graduate Director
Siceluff Hall, Room 209
Phone 417-836-6511


The MA in Writing pursues several objectives: to develop research methods used to study the teaching of writing or the practice of writing in business and industry; to improve students' professional writing skills; to train effective writing teachers and professional writers; to collaborate with area schools, businesses, and industry on issues related to written communication and literacy.

Program description

The 33-hour program includes a core of 18 hours and one of two tracks: (1) rhetoric and composition or (2) technical and professional writing.

Admission requirements

Due Dates: For students applying for Summer and Fall semester, priority consideration will be given to applications received by March 1; for Spring, by October 1.

Admission to the program is based on the following components and Application Requirements/Deadlines:

  1. A bachelor's degree with extensive preparation in English (the course work equivalent of an English minor);
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.00 overall;
  3. A completed Missouri State University Graduate Application; and
  4. The following materials must be submitted:
    1. Personal Statement (a 200- to 250-word description of the reasons and goals behind your interest in English graduate studies);
    2. At least two letters of recommendation from individuals able to speak of the applicant's academic achievements and potential;
    3. A writing sample (a 10-15 page critical paper in English or portfolio of writing samples);
    4. Graduate Assistantship application if the prospective student would like to be considered for this award (submitted directly to the English Department).

Applicants will be notified by mail once their application is complete. Students who do not meet 1 and 2, above, but show high promise, may be admitted conditionally. As conditions of admission, they may be required to take extra courses or make up deficiencies (including weaknesses in writing) or they may have other requirements stipulated.

Accelerated Master's requirements - available only for the MA, Writing, Technical and Professional Writing track

Admission Requirements:

  1. Junior standing, with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher;
  2. Undergraduate major in Professional Writing;
  3. A minimum GPA of 3.25 in all Professional Writing courses, and a minimum of 9 hours in Professional Writing with no grade below B in Professional Writing courses;
  4. Recommendation from two Professional Writing faculty members.

Once accepted, students may take up to 12 credit hours at the 600 level that will apply to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in Professional Writing. Before enrolling in a course to be counted as both undergraduate and graduate credit, undergraduate students must be accepted into the accelerated master's program and complete a Mixed Credit Form. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed before the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the course(s) to apply to the accelerated degree.

Core requirements (18 hours)

  • ENG 700 Introduction to Research Methods in English (3 hrs)
  • ENG 604 Advanced Writing: Nonfiction (3 hrs)
  • ENG 628 Rhetorics for the 21st Century or ENG 684 Topics in Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENG 684 Topics in Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENG 777 Professional Editing (3 hrs)
  • ENG 725 Seminar: Composition and Rhetoric (3 hrs)

Additional degree requirements

  1. Track Options and Requirements. The tracks described below outline a minimum of 15 additional hours of graduate-level course requirements and electives. Students should choose electives with an awareness that at least half the credit hours applied toward the 33-hour minimum must be in courses numbered 700 or above. Students must choose a program track before filing a Program of Study.
  2. Language Proficiency. The language requirement may be met through a number of options: (a) completion of 12 hours of undergraduate course work in a foreign language with at least a "C" average; (b) completion of a second intermediate college course in a foreign language with a grade of “C” or higher; (c) passing a reading competency test administered by the Department of Languages, Cultures and Religions; (d) completion of 3 hours in graduate-level linguistics courses (in addition to any linguistics counted in the track); (e) completion of 6 hours of undergraduate course work in computer languages with at least a "C" average). A student whose native language is not English will be considered to have met the language requirement.
  3. Research Requirement. A student may satisfy the research requirement by completing a thesis or by completing a degree paper deriving from an appropriate course taken to satisfy a degree requirement.
  4. Colloquia. Students are expected to attend and participate in academic and professional activities. These may be scheduled by the department or may include university and community events (scholarly conferences, professional workshops, lectures, and presentations).
  5. Comprehensive Examination. Graduate students in the MA in Writing must submit a portfolio of writing projects (which should include thesis or degree paper) developed during their studies.  They must pass a review of this portfolio during the last semester of course work or later.  Details regarding the content of the portfolio, preparation, passing criteria, and schuduling are available on the English department website. 
Technical and Professional Writing Track

In addition to the core and degree requirements listed above, students choosing the Technical and Professional Writing track must complete the following courses:

  • ENG 771 Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENG 774 Professional Writing Internship ( 3 hrs)
  • ENG 775 Designing Technical Documents (3 hrs)

And 6 hrs from the following:

  • ENG 672 Writing Grant Proposals (3 hrs)
  • ENG 678 Writing for the Health Professions (3 hrs)
  • ENG 679 Writing for the Web (3 hrs)
  • ENG 694 Technical Writing Internship (3 hrs)
  • ENG 726 Issues in Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENG 770 Teaching of Technical and Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENG 773 Writing for the Computer Industry (3 hrs)
  • ENG 799 Thesis (6 hrs)
  • Graduate-level courses in ENG or approved cognate (3 hrs)

Rhetoric and Composition track

In addition to the core and degree requirements listed above, students choosing the Rhetoric and Composition track must complete the following courses:

  • ENG 627 History of Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • ENG 720 Seminar: Composition Theory (3 hrs)
  • ENG 721 Theory of Basic Writing (3 hrs)

And 6 hours from the following:

  • ENG 623 Writing Center Theory and Practice (3 hrs)
  • ENG 629 Composition and Rhetoric in High School and Junior College (3 hrs)
  • ENG 704 Teaching Writing Online (3 hrs)
  • ENG 722 Literacy Theory and Composition (3 hrs)
  • ENG 792 Linguistics in Rhetoric and Composition (3 hrs)
  • ENG 799 Thesis (6 hrs)
  • Graduate-level courses in ENG or approved cognate area (3-9 hrs)

Additional requirements

There are additional degree requirements as well.

Technical-Professional Writing track comprehensive exam resources

Comprehensive exam protocols vary by program. The most up-to-date information can be found on the English Department Graduate Students Blackboard site. You can locate the link to this site under My Organizations when you log in to Blackboard. If you still need access to this Blackboard site, please contact the English Department Graduate Director or your advisor.