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Application Procedure

Master's students must apply for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. There is a $55 fee required with the application.

How to Apply

The following are the steps in the application process (Instructions for steps 1-4 can be found on the School of Graduate Studies' Apply page).

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Provide a copy of your transcript(s).
  4. Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation.

All supplemental items (steps 5-7 below) will be submitted online through the Graduate School's application system. Once you have created an account, filled out the online application, and paid the application fee, the Graduate School will email you with instructions for uploading the supplementary items (writing samples, letter of intent, and curriculum vitae).

  1. Send a letter of intent. This letter (1-2 pages, single-spaced) should describe your interest and experience in technical writing and professional communication, as well as your future goals in the field. A well-written letter should also address why you are interested in the specific program to which you are applying. 

In your letter you should demonstrate at least some familiarity with the technical communication field. Please read and reference the following touchstone articles in your letter of intent; discuss the ways in which your goals and interests intersect with ideas raised in these articles:

  • A humanistic rationale for technical writing: Positioning technical writing as humanistic and rhetorical, this 1979 article is one of the most influential and heavily cited articles in the field.
  • Relocating the value of work: This 1996 article argues for technical and professional communicators to convey more clearly the value of our expertise, rejecting classification as low-skill support workers and instead embracing and articulating our role as critical information brokers.
  • Has technical and professional communication arrived as a profession: Exploring the role of technology in the professional identity of the field, this 2005 article acknowledges the centrality of ever-changing technologies to our work but concludes that "people [...] are the ultimate end, not the technology" (p. 369).
  • Disrupting the past to disrupt the future: Winner of the 2017 Nell Ann Pickett award, this article calls the field of technical writing and communication to embrace social justice and inclusivity as part of its core narrative. Co-authored by Dr. Rebecca Walton, this article reflects our program's explicit commitment to social justice broadly defined.
  1. Upload two samples of your professional writing. These samples should demonstrate your ability or potential to work in the field of technical and professional communication. Write a half-page introduction to each sample, explaining the context (your role as the writer, your audience, your purpose, etc.) 
  2. Upload a current CV (curriculum vitae). This CV should include your academic and professional writing experience.

This material will be read by the faculty, who will assess your application to decide whether you are ready to write at the level expected for scholarly assignments in a graduate seminar. The samples you submit should therefore be chosen and presented with that purpose in mind.

Our Master of Technical Communication Admissions Committee evaluates applications, prioritizing those who show familiarity with the field, interest in issues of social justice (broadly defined), and the ability to contribute to a respectful online learning environment. Ideal applicants demonstrate an eagerness to shape and be shaped by the program, critically examining their own positions.

International Students

International students must complete additional requirements found on the the "International Student Requirements" tab on the School of Graduate Studies' Apply page


There are two deadlines for the online Master of Technical Communication Program: March 1 for admission in summer or fall and November 1 for admission in spring. For the master's programs in English, American Studies, and Folklore, the main deadline is January 15. All application materials should arrive at Utah State by the March 1 or November 1 deadlines to be considered.

Additional Questions

Please address additional questions to Dr. Jared Colton, Director of Graduate Studies in the English Department. E-mail: Phone: (435) 797-8412