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Program and Degree of Study

What degree should I choose?

You will see Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees when you are applying to graduate school. There is a difference in the type of degree and what you want to do with it, so be sure to pay attention to which degree schools offer.

An MA degree is usually, but not always, more liberal arts focused. This gives you more rhetoric and theory classes, and usually requires you to study within another fine arts area, whether this is a foreign language, literature, linguistics, or something else within the fine arts area. Not all schools will require a focus, but most MA degrees are more liberal arts focused than an MS degree.

An MS degree is usually, but not always, more technically driven. These programs will have courses focused on the more technical or practical side of professional communication. Many MS degrees will require internship credits and a focus within a specific industry, whether the focus is in engineering, the health field, software design, publishing, and other technically-driven industries. Not all MS degrees will be this technical, but most are more technically driven than an MA degree.

What program should I choose?

A number of different programs exist within professional communication. And don’t feel that your undergraduate degree defines the Master’s program you decide to choose. Most often, PWC students choose to stay within the professional writing field, but some go on to pursue other degrees (i.e. law school).

Most schools will have a specific name for the program it offers. Listed below are some of the more prominent programs that relate to professional and technical communication. You can use these program names to search for schools with these programs. See Graduate Schools for more information about graduate schools and their programs.

  • Composition
  • Rhetoric
  • Human Centered Design & Engineering
  • Information Design & Communication/Technology
  • Professional Communication/Writing
  • Scientific & Technical Communication
  • Technical Communication

Last Modified: 9/9/22 10:17 AM | Website Feedback