The Graduate Degree Audit is your official degree plan throughout the course of the program. You can find a copy of your degree audit from the campus website. This audit is based on curriculum established by the MATC faculty, and, a copy of the “unofficial” degree plan is available so you can track yourself. Please be aware that courses rotate during various years and semesters, and certain courses may not be available while you are here. However, we will offer other interesting and useful courses. We (and you) want the MATC program to be flexible to coincide with the “times.” The MATC Director has some discretion to recommend to the Graduate College to substitute some courses for others. As you work through the curriculum, if there are problems with courses in conjunction with your Degree Audit, let the MATC Director know.
The MATC program is a 30-hour degree, which translates to 10 three-hour courses. The only required courses for everyone are Foundations in Technical Communication and Rhetorical Theory (or Composition Theory). We advise those students who want to enter or return to the professional world to take the internship route. This requires taking the internship course, ENG 5312, plus an additional course. For those students who plan to go onto doctoral programs, we recommend writing a thesis. However, not all doctoral programs require theses, and many students who plan to go out into the work world find writing a thesis as a means of further researching a particular aspect of technical communication that interests them.
Although you may have been asked when you filled out the graduate application to designate a minor to go along with your Technical Communication major, you do not have to minor. However, you are welcome to minor in another program or discipline. Please keep in mind that not every program or discipline has a minor, and that often programs that do allow a minor at the graduate level require a number of undergraduate courses before you can take a graduate course. If you choose to minor, please talk it over with the MATC Director to make sure it is an appropriate minor that works in conjunction with the MATC program. However, the MATC Director does not advise about courses or have anything to do with the requirements of the minor. The Graduate College can recommend an advisor in that program or discipline for you. The advisor in that program or discipline helps you make decisions about what courses to take.
Each semester, the MATC program has typically offered two or three online/hybrid courses in Round Rock and two or three face-to-face classes in San Marcos. As our enrollments grow we will likely be adding more courses per semester. We typically offer one course during the summer session I and one course in summer session II, although that may also increase depending on interest and enrollments. A student can complete a MATC degree taking only online/hybrid courses, but it may take longer to complete the degree than for students who take both online/hybrid Round Rock courses and face-to-face San Marcos courses. At some time in their graduate school experience, almost all Round Rock students go to San Marcos for courses and almost all San Marcos students go to Round Rock for courses.
A good class participant is a student who has a thorough knowledge of the required assignments, makes thoughtful comments and responses, asks thoughtful questions, and shows an eagerness to engage in the work of the course. We expect good class participation from our graduate students. Many of you have terrific ideas and experiences to share, which we want you to share, but please be considerate of your classmates and don’t try to talk over them or take over the class from the faculty member. Participation is part of your grade whether you are in a face-to-face course or an online course. Also, keep up with class assignments deadlines and other important deadlines. Procrastinating can affect your grades and your progress through graduate school.
After you have tracked your work on the unofficial degree plan, contact the MATC Director about your questions. Please be specific and provide the details pertaining to your question. Although we would like to think we know everyone, we cannot keep up with all the details of your specific situation. For instance, please do not just ask something like: “Does the course I took two years ago fit into my degree plan?” Always provide the Director with your unofficial degree plan filled out to the fullest with the names and numbers of the courses you have taken (or expect to take), and then pose your question. Always include your student ID number on email correspondence for questions like ones about your degree. In some other matters you will need to contact the Graduate College.
The MATC TRACS site and the MATC email distribution list is a way to communicate information among everyone in the program. Once you activate your Texas State email address, we will no longer send emails to your personal email account. In the same vein, we keep an alumni distribution list. Once you graduate, we will add your personal email address to the alumni distribution list. Our alumni are a great networking resource and help out the program in many ways.
Our program is a graduate program, not a vocational program. That does not mean that you won’t learn some software; it is that we won’t be focusing on it solely in any course.
Theory is a model of a way of doing and thinking about things. Graduate school is about learning theory and about doing and learning about research in your field.
Journals in any academic discipline are the “conversation” among people in any field that contain the most relevant and up-to-date information. See the handout with the list of journals in our field. Also each year the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) compiles a categorized bibliography of scholarship—journal articles, books, reviews—that are of interest to technical communication practitioners, educators, and scholars.
Like in the sciences, articles, journals, and books in the Liberal Arts that are “peer-reviewed” are ones that have been reviewed by other specialists and experts in the field. Peer-revision ensures accuracy, research validity and verifiability. Traditionally most journals have been paper copy but increasingly these are online and peer-reviewed.
We typically recommend that students who are interested in going onto doctoral programs write a thesis, but other students may find some particular aspect of the Technical Communication field that they want to pursue in-depth as well. You cannot simply register for thesis hours. First you have to find a chair among the MATC faculty to direct your thesis. You and the chair work together to come up with a committee of two other MATC faculty members and to find an appropriate thesis topic. Once the faculty member agrees to chair/direct the thesis, you need to contact the English Department Administrative Assistant to set up a thesis section in which you will register.
Thesis A is for developing the research proposal for your thesis. There is a form from the Graduate College to fill out. You can find it here:
You will need to do the following: