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Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication & Rhetoric

Texas Tech University's online Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication and Rhetoric (TCR) students will learn and practice the methodologies for conducting research in technical communication and rhetoric, as well as gain experience creating online and on-page documents using visual and written communication. The program provides a broad approach to technical communication, offering classes in areas such as editing, design, rhetorical theory, online documentation, publications management, and usability testing.

Program Overview

  • 60 credit hours
  • Coursework is completed primarily online. Students must meet synchronously online once each week. The remainder of the coursework is completed asynchronously. In addition to coursework, students must attend an annual two-week workshop in Lubbock, Texas.
  • Students are required to enroll in one course each semester.
  • Semester-based courses align with the Academic Calendar of Texas Tech University. Application deadline is December 15th each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Areas of Emphasis
Program Website
Related Programs:
Master of the Arts in Technical Communication

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Contact the program coordinator by phone.

  • Name: Dr. Sean Zdenek
  • Phone: 806.742.2501

Application Process

  1. Apply to Texas Tech University's Graduate School.
    • Complete the Graduate Admissions Application.
      • The initial application fee is $60. Each subsequent application is $50.
      • International students must also submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score to the Graduate School. Scores must be less than two years old at the time of application. Learn more.
    • Submit official and current scores on the verbal and quantitative reasoning portions of the GRE Test. Texas Tech’s GRE code is 6827 and the Department Code is 2599 (English).
  2. Apply to the Technical Communication and Rhetoric graduate program by submitting the following materials to the Director of Graduate Studies in TCR by December 15th.
  3. Apply for financial aid and/or general scholarships.
    • Financial aid is distributed based on full-time enrollment and several other eligibility requirements. Your enrolled hours as of the 12th day of class in the fall and spring semesters determines your enrollment status for the semester, and financial aid is disbursed accordingly. Attending less than full-time could mean a reduction in aid. Learn more.
  4. Check your admissions status. Texas Tech University will notify you of your admissions status by updating the Applications tab in your Raiderlink.

Program Requirements

Prerequisite: Master's Degree

In addition to the coursework, you must attend an annual two-week workshop, take a qualifying exam, and write a dissertation. Get additional course information.

Coursework can be completed in two to three years. After coursework is complete, a qualifying exam will be administered. Upon passing this exam, you will write a dissertation, which usually takes between one and three years to complete.

Required Courses (12 credit hours)
  • Pedagogy (3-6 credit hours)
  • Research (3 credit hours)
  • History and Theory (3-6 credit hours)
  • Foundations (3 credit hours)
TCR Specialization Courses (24 credit hours)
  • Includes at least five theory courses
  • Includes at least two courses that emphasize the application of theory
Interdisciplinary TCR Electives (9 credit hours)
  • Course options to complete this requirement vary.
Minor (15 credit hours)
  • The minor is optional but offers an opportunity to enhance your ability to do dissertation research or teach a variety of classes. Students who do not choose a minor complete all 60 credit hours of coursework in technical communication and rhetoric.
Research Methods (9 credit hours)
  • Research methods courses enhance a student's ability to complete and evaluate research.
Learn more.