MATC Frequently Asked Questions
Graduate study and requirements
What is the difference between the onsite MATC and the online MATC programs at Texas Tech?
The admission requirements and degree requirements are essentially the same for the onsite and online MATC. The major difference is in delivery: Online students work from their own sites and connect via the Internet to the instructor and classmates. Onsite students meet in classrooms at Texas Tech University. In both versions of the program, courses are scheduled according to semesters and require synchronous as well as asynchronous discussion. Courses are taught by graduate faculty at Texas Tech University.
There is one difference: For the MATC, only the onsite version offers the thesis option. The online version requires a research paper, completed in English 5390.
Who enrolls in the online MATC?
Students enrolled in the online MATC have been working professional people who cannot
leave good jobs to attend school full time. Some are career changers, just getting
started in the field and using the graduate courses for on-the-job professional development.
The online course requires the self-discipline to prepare the reading and writing assignments while still meeting job responsibilities.
What time commitment is required for a course?
Students should be prepared to commit about 10-15 hours a week to one graduate course, including the time for synchronous discussion, reading the lecture notes and other assigned readings, and preparing assignments.
How long will it take to complete the MATC online?
Texas Tech will offer five to seven online graduate courses in technical communication each calendar year. A student who can take two courses during a semester plus one in the summer could complete the requirements in 2 1/2 years. However, most students enroll for just one course in a long term. At that rate, the 12-course degree program will take four years to complete. Some students may speed up completion by taking two approved graduate courses at another university for transfer.
What is the advantage of a master's degree?
Graduate study provides an excellent opportunity for professional development for
technical communicators. Some students in the distance program have used the skills
and knowledge gained in graduate study to lead their companies in new directions.
It also enhances the student's understanding of the research and theory in the field
and the ability to read critically. The master's degree can also qualify students
whose undergraduate major was something other than technical communication for careers
in this field.
The degree is a good long-term investment. Promotions are often tied to degrees and are certainly tied to performance, which should rise with the knowledge that advanced courses can offer.
Students with bachelor's degrees can earn good starting salaries, but students with graduate degrees may earn more or be more competitive for the best jobs.
Do I need an undergraduate major or minor in technical communication to qualify for admission to the master's degree program?
No. In fact, some of our best students have completed undergraduate work in fields other than technical communication. That work in another major can provide the technical knowledge that employers seek. We provide the communication skills at the graduate level. The MATC, in this respect, is analogous to the MBA (Master of Business Administration), which does not require an undergraduate business major for admission.
If I have an undergraduate major in a field other than technical communication, will I have to take leveling courses?
If you can demonstrate writing ability and the ability to complete graduate work, you should not have to complete undergraduate leveling courses. English 5371, Foundations of Technical Communication, is an introductory course that prepares students with a mixture of backgrounds for the advanced courses. The job experience of working professionals provides enough familiarity with the concepts, terms, and methods of the field to enable students to enter the program in most of the courses (excluding ENGL 5390).
Can GMAT or LSAT test scores substitute for GRE scores?
The Graduate School waives scores altogether only for students who already have a PhD. The scores are a requirement of the accreditation body.