Online Technical Writing Courses at Accredited Schools

Penn Foster Career School, the school below with the highest overall ranking, is effective at equipping students via its technical writing courses to be successful technical writers, business writers, writers, creative writers, etc. and connect them to future employers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, at present there are 46,270 people employed as technical writers alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $65,610. Writers and authors make on average $64,560 per year and there are about 43,390 of them employed today.

Technical Writing Organizations Technical Writing Common Job Tasks
  • developing content using any number of multimedia formats
  • making their living by selling their written content to book and magazine publishers
  • suggesting revisions
Popular Journals & Magazines

Ranked by Excellence

Technical Writing Courses at Penn Foster Career School

Program Name: Freelance Writer
Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations. The Freelance Life Explains the publishing industry; how to identify staff-written and freelance articles, market a freelance product, submit a professional manuscript, and work with agents and editors.

Instruction Set 2

The Writing Habit, Part 1 Explains how to discover ideas from other articles, identify types of freelance articles, recognize the difference between objective and subjective writing and the essential elements of all objective articles, how to recognize the most marketable types of fiction and keep a notebook or journal for writing projects. The Writing Habit, Part 2 Review basic grammar elements, learn how to distinguish connotation from denotation, increase your vocabulary, use language effectively, critique and revise your own writing, and write a short feature article. Supplement: Winning With Words

Instruction Set 3

The Business of Writing Explains how to generate ideas for articles, understand specialized markets, research markets for your article, write a query letter, understand the copyright laws, set up a home office, keep accurate records of correspondence with editors and publishers, and tax receipts. Reference Sources for Writers Learn how to use library resources, search the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature and other resources, recognize the available specialized periodical indices, use professional directories to locate expert sources, contact recognized experts for information and/or interviews, and understand the Internet’s resource potential. Supplement: Parts of Speech

Instruction Set 4

Reading for Writers (study guide) Learn to identify writing techniques and structural differences in fiction and nonfiction, trace the genesis of a piece of writing from initial concept to completed work, and how to critique others’ work for structure, focus, and market. Textbooks: • Pocketful of Prose, Volume II • Telling Stories / Taking Risks Supplement: Word Usage

Instruction Set 5

Using the Writer's Market (study guide) How to quickly find information in the Writer’s Market, understand the terms used in it, how to request writer’s guidelines from publications, locate suitable markets in the guide, and judge the marketability of your work. Textbook: Writer's Market Supplement: Sentence Skills

Instruction Set 6

Becoming a Professional Learn to assemble a writer’s resume, conduct a successful interview, get commissions and assignments from editors, present your manuscript to an editor in a professional manner, supply photographs to accompany articles, guard against accusations of libel, and maintain high ethical and professional standards. Becoming a Specialist Discover how to analyze your life and educational experiences, know the requirements of the writing trade and technical publications and house magazines. Learn how and when to specialize in more than one type of freelance writing, how to present editors with credentials qualifying you as an expert in your area, how to discuss your specialty with editors to obtain publication opportunities, and learn what it takes to maintain expertise in your specialty area. Supplement: The Elements of Style Once you’ve reached this point in your studies, you’ll be able to choose an area to specialize in and complete a graded assignment. The assignment will be a short article or story, a proposal, outline, or synopsis for a piece that you could send out for publication. These options are available: • Option 1: Literary Fiction The materials include an introduction to fiction, an overview of children’s literature and the short story, and instructions on planning a novel. • Option 2: Genre Fiction The materials include an introduction to the fiction genre, and an overview of the mystery, science fiction and fantasy, romance, and horror genres. • Option 3: Nonfiction The materials include an introduction to nonfiction, an overview of the essay, feature writing, writing for the media, and writing for business.

Program description: Learn the skills you need to begin a career as a Freelance Writer — at home, at your own pace, with Penn Foster Career School.

You need certain skills to begin a career in Freelance Writing. The Penn Foster Career School Freelance Writer Program helps you learn them quickly and conveniently.

You will learn about:

* The business of writing and getting in the writing habit
* Reference sources for writers, types of fiction
and nonfiction
* Using the Writer’s Market
* Submitting manuscripts and working
with agents and editors

Technical Writing Courses at DeVry University

Program Name: Bachelor's in Business Administration - Technical Communication
Advanced Composition
Course Number ENGL-135
Credits 4.0

This course builds on the conventions and techniques of composition through critical reading requirements and longer, more sophisticated reports, including a documented library research paper. Assignments require revising and editing for an intended audience. Students are also taught search strategies for accessing a variety of print and electronic resources.

Technical Writing
Course Number ENGL-216
Credits 4.0

Students apply composition principles to develop common report formats, including formal lab reports and common types of applied writing. Audience analysis, development of effective technical style, organization methods and graphic aids are emphasized. Classroom activities include planning, reviewing and revising writing.

Professional Communication
Course Number ENGL-230
Credits 3.0

This course enhances students’ writing and presentation skills for academic applications and professional communication in the workplace. Students analyze the needs of divergent audiences, and craft messages using technology tools and media appropriate for distance and group communication. An emphasis on collaborative work further prepares students for the contemporary work environment.

Dramatic Literature
Course Number HUMN-428
Credits 4.0

This course introduces the dramatic genre and enables students to analyze and evaluate both written plays and live performances. Through reading plays and critical texts from various historical periods and writing critical papers, students learn to assess formal elements of dramatic writing together with thematic content and historical context. Students watch live or filmed performances, extending their ability to develop critical understanding of theater as a social and artistic phenomenon. Prerequisite: ENGL-135

Comparative Religions
Course Number HUMN-448
Credits 3.0

Through study of the world’s major and minor religions, indigenous religions and cults, this course helps students understand the varieties and commonalities of human religious experience, with emphasis on both individual and group phenomena. Students compare the core elements of religion through analysis of religious belief in practice, and as they are depicted in philosophy, theology and the social sciences. Students also learn to formulate their own views on the role of religion in human affairs. Prerequisite: ENGL-135

Technology, Society, and Culture
Course Number HUMN-432
Credits 3.0

In this capstone course, the relationship between society and technology is investigated through reading, reflection, research and reports. The course identifies conditions that have promoted technological development and assesses the social, political, environmental, cultural and economic effects of current technology. Issues of control and ethical considerations in the use of technology are primary. Discussion and oral and written reports draw together students’ prior learning in specialty and general education courses. This course must be taken at DeVry. Prerequisites: Senior status, and successful completion of all General Education requirements except courses with the prefix CARD

Social Psychology
Course Number PSYC-315
Credits 3.0

Students In This Course Explore Ways In Which Individuals Think About, Influence, Are Influenced By And Otherwise Relate To People. Individual Behavior In The Context Of Social Groups And Forces Is Emphasized. Coursework Provides A Basis For Scientifically Addressing Key Issues Of This Field. Prerequisite: Psyc-110, Socs-185, Socs-187 Or Socs-190

Statistics for Decision-Making
Course Number MATH-221
Credits 4.0

This course provides tools used for statistical analysis and decision-making in business. The course includes both descriptive statistics and inferential concepts used to draw conclusions about a population. Research techniques such as sampling and experiment design are included for both single and multiple sample groups. Prerequisite: MATH-114

Course Number BUSN-319
Credits 3.0

In This Course Students Apply Principles And Strategies For Marketing Products And Services To Industrial, Commercial And Governmental Entities. Topics Include Ways In Which Market Information And Product Life Cycle Affect Product And Production Design; Forecasting Techniques; Interdependencies Between Marketing And Operations Functions; And Selling Skills. Prerequisites: Busn-115 And Math-114

Course Number BUSN-379
Credits 3.0

This course introduces corporate financial structure and covers basic capital budgeting techniques, including discounted cash flow analysis. Funds sources and financial resource allocation are analyzed. Spreadsheet software packages are used to analyze data and solve case-based problems. Prerequisite: ACCT-212

Principles of Economics
Course Number ECON-312
Credits 3.0

This course introduces basic concepts and issues in microeconomics, macroeconomics and international trade. Microeconomic concepts, such as supply and demand and the theory of the firm, serve as foundations for analyzing macroeconomic issues. Macroeconomic topics include gross domestic product (GDP), and fiscal and monetary policy, as well as international topics such as trade and exchange rates. The course stresses analyzing and applying economic variables of real-world issues.

Principles of Management
Course Number MGMT-303
Credits 3.0

This course examines fundamental management theories and traditional managerial responsibilities in formal and informal organizational structures. Planning, organizing, directing, controlling and staffing are explored. Prerequisite: BUSN-115

Managerial Accounting
Course Number ACCT-346
Credits 4.0

This course introduces how managers use accounting information in business decision-making. Topics include standard cost systems, budgeting, break-even analysis, relevant cost issues, and the effect of state and federal taxes on decision-making. These principles apply to all types of businesses, including the service industry, manufacturing and merchandising. Students use spreadsheet applications to analyze and provide solutions to challenges faced by management in today’s business environment. Prerequisite: ACCT-212

Fundamentals of E-Commerce
Course Number ECOM-210
Credits 4.0

This course provides an in-depth overview of the issues, technology and environment of electronic commerce. Knowledge gained facilitates more comprehensive and contemporary exploration of future coursework in marketing, operations, finance, business law, and database and website management. Challenges and opportunities of electronic business are discussed. Prerequisite: BUSN-115

Federal Tax Accounting II
Course Number ACCT-424
Credits 4.0

This course addresses the special tax issues of corporations, partnerships, S corporations, gift taxes, estates and trusts. Tax forms, tax software, the Internet, spreadsheets and word processing programs are used to research, solve and analyze tax problems relating to corporate and partnership income taxes. Prerequisite: ACCT-324

Project Management
Course Number MGMT-404
Credits 4.0

This Course Enhances Students’ Ability To Function In A Project Leadership Role. While Exploring The Project Life Cycle, They Gain Experience In Budget And Timeline Management. Project Management Software Is Used To Design Project Schedules Using Methods Such As Bar Charts, Program Evaluation Review Technique (pert) And Critical Path Method (cpm) To Produce Project Plans To Apply To The Solution Of Case Studies. Prerequisites: Math-221 Or Math-233, And Upper-term Status

Creative Writing – Honors Option
Course Number ENGL-220H
Credits 4.0

This alternative to ENGL-112 is offered in a workshop setting. Students explore modes of written self-expression, including poetry, fiction and drama, to experience various literary genres and produce short creative works. They also learn to apply constructive feedback to the rewrite process. A student writing anthology is produced, and the course culminates in a study of the literary marketplace. Prerequisite: Permission from the academic administrator / 4-4

Advanced Composition
Course Number ENGL-135
Credits 4.0

This course builds on the conventions and techniques of composition through critical reading requirements and longer, more sophisticated reports, including a documented library research paper. Assignments require revising and editing for an intended audience. Students are also taught search strategies for accessing a variety of print and electronic resources. Prerequisite: ENGL-112 / 4-4

Culture and Society
Course Number SOCS-185
Credits 3.0

This course explores the role of culture in social organizations. Social institutions, and the issues of race and gender within social structures, are analyzed in the context of multicultural societies and increasing global interaction. Basic sociological principles and research findings are used to support analysis of cultural and social issues. / 3-3

Career Development
Course Number CARD-205
Credits 5.0

Career planning strategies and resources are explored to prepare students for a successful job search and to maximize potential for advancement and long-term professional growth. Students perform self-assessment and goal-setting activities, and apply research and evaluation skills to execute job search and career advancement strategies. Each student assembles a professional portfolio highlighting achievements, goals and concrete plans. This course must be taken at DeVry. Prerequisite: Upper-term status / 2-2

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Course Number COLL-148
Credits 5.0

This course focuses on identifying and articulating skills needed for academic and professional success. Coursework provides instruction and practice in critical thinking and problem-solving through analysis of critical reading and reasoning, as well as through examination of problem-solving methodologies. Students learn to work in teams, to identify and resolve problems, and to use research effectively to gather and evaluate relevant and useful information. / 3-3

Algebra for College Students
Course Number MATH-114
Credits 4.0

This Course Focuses On Systems Of Linear Equations; Radical And Rational Expressions; And Functions Where Linear, Quadratic, Exponential And Logarithmic Functions Are Emphasized Using Application Problems And Modeling. The Minimum Requirement To Pass This Course Is 80 Percent, And Grades Of C And D Are Not Assigned. Eligibility To Enroll In The Course Is Based On Placement Results, Or Successful Completion Of Math-092 Or Math-102. / 4-4

Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab
Course Number BIOS-105
Credits 4.0

This course provides a “road map” perspective of human body structure and function. Topics include cell structure and function, and a survey of all major systems of the human body. The connections and inter-working relationships among systems are introduced. Lab work includes computer exercises and simulation activities, as well as observation related to topics covered. / 5-4

Financial Accounting
Course Number ACCT-212
Credits 4.0

This Course Focuses On Ways In Which Financial Statements Reflect Business Operations And Emphasizes Use Of Financial Statements In The Decision-making Process. The Course Encompasses All Business Forms And Various Sectors Such As Merchandising, Manufacturing And Services. Students Make Extensive Use Of Spreadsheet Applications To Analyze Accounting Records And Financial Statements. Prerequisites: Comp-100 And Math-114 / 4-4

Data Analysis with Spreadsheets with Lab
Course Number BIS-155
Credits 4.0

This course focuses on analyzing business situations using current spreadsheet software. Using data derived from real-world business situations, students learn to use appropriate spreadsheet software features to organize, analyze and present data, as well as to make business decisions. Through personal database technology such as Access, the course also introduces basic database concepts. Prerequisite: COMP-100 / 4-3

Introduction to Business and Technology
Course Number BUSN-115
Credits 3.0

This course introduces business and the environments in which businesses operate. Students examine the roles of major functional areas of business and interrelationships among them. Organizational theories and techniques are examined, and economic, cultural, political and technological factors affecting business organizations are evaluated. / 3-3

Computer Applications for Business with Lab
Course Number COMP-100
Credits 3.0

This course introduces basic concepts and principles underlying personal productivity tools widely used in business such as word processors, spreadsheets, email and web browsers. Students also learn basic computer terminology and concepts. Hands-on exercises provide students with experience in use of PCs and current personal productivity tools. / 3-2

Database Essentials for Business with Lab
Course Number BIS-245
Credits 5.0

Students in this course learn to design relational databases and to build database applications, including tables, queries, forms, reports and macros. Also addressed is implementation of basic database security, backup and recovery procedures. Generating reports and meeting business requirements are emphasized. Prerequisite: BIS-155 / 5-4

Perspectives on Technology
Course Number TC-160
Credits 4.0

This course presents an overview of characteristics that help define, analyze and communicate about technology. Tools and techniques are introduced to facilitate recognition of technology’s processes and methods, as well as its organization, management and development. The relationship between science and technology is fundamental to explorations of the course. Prerequisite: MATH-114 / 4-4

Rhetorical Strategies for Technical Communication
Course Number TC-220
Credits 4.0

Students in this course use audience and context analysis, determination of purpose and other rhetorical strategies to create technical documents for persuasive and informative purposes. Major emphasis is placed on logic, argument, evidence and various appeals in producing documents containing sound reasoning and effective language.Studies include logical fallacies; social, ethical, political and practical influences; and ways of incorporating quantitative and qualitative information into documents. Prerequisite: ENGL-135 / 4-4

Document Design
Course Number TC-310
Credits 4.0

This course presents fundamentals of information design using software products tailored to the design process. Students learn each software product and then apply their skills to design and present projects. Key topics are technical design theory including contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity; typology and linear components; and page layout. Rhetorical elements of information design focusing on purpose, audience and context are incorporated into each project. Prerequisite: ENGL-227 / 4-4

Advanced Technical Writing and Editing
Course Number TC-320
Credits 4.0

This course prepares students to write and edit technical and business documents for both the manufacturing and software development sectors. Students are introduced to the range of communication tasks performed by professional technical writers and editors, including engineering and software documentation, training and marketing materials, and corporate communication documents. Topics include document structure and formats, information gathering techniques, usability testing principles and practical guidelines for editing technical documents. Prerequisite: ENGL-227 / 4-4

Visual Design
Course Number TC-360
Credits 4.0

This course presents elements of visual design in technical communication using appropriate software. Students learn various software products, and then apply their skills to designing and presenting visual design projects. Coursework addresses visual design theory, minimalism, visual rhetoric and visual ethics. In addition, students incorporate visual design theory into document designs. Prerequisite: TC-310 / 4-4

Marketing and Corporate Communications
Course Number TC-420
Credits 4.0

Students in this course apply rhetorical strategies and composition principles to create marketing literature,investor communications, media releases and executive presentations. The course includes current communication issues in business, such as globalization, cross-cultural influences, technological advances, ethics and regulatory requirements. Students develop and present oral and written reports in a variety of media and channels. Client practitioner involvement is used as available. Prerequisites: BUSN-319 and TC-220 / 4-4

Proposal and Grant Writing
Course Number TC-430
Credits 4.0

In this course students explore procurement processes in industry and government, as well as grant funding in the nonprofit and government sectors, with particular emphasis on the technical writer’s role in these processes. Students also learn how businesses and government agencies purchase products and services, including types of contracts used; how companies and other organizations prepare bids and proposals; and how proposals and grant requests are reviewed. Issues of ethics and fairness are addressed. Proposals and grant-request documents for both the private and public sectors are developed. Prerequisite: TC-320 / 4-4

Scientific and Medical Writing
Course Number TC-450
Credits 4.0

This course addresses communication and information design in health care, science, public policy, patient education, scientific journalism and related fields. Students prepare a range of documents presenting their analysis of data and other information on medical and scientific issues for a general audience. In addition, student groups work on team projects for actual or simulated clients. Prerequisite: TC-320 / 4-4

Web Design
Course Number WGD-232
Credits 4.0

This Course Introduces Fundamentals Of Web Design Principles And Web Content Management. Topics Include The User Interface, Web Page Conceptualization, Page Structure, Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (xhtml), Cascading Style Sheets (css), Wysiwyg Editors, Scripting And Web Accessibility Standards. Prerequisite: Wgd-229 / 4-4

Program description: With a growing demand for technical writers and editors in fields like law, medicine, science, and technology, technical communication careers are expected to increase faster than the average for all professions through 2010*. Earn your business degree with a specialization in Technical Communication, and you can qualify to write for software companies, prepare content for the Internet, interpret technical material for a general readership, and produce user guides, instruction manuals, and training materials.
When you specialize your business degree in Technical Communication, your coursework may include these career-enhancing courses:

Marketing and Corporate Communications – Addressing current communication issues in business, such as globalization, cross-cultural influences, technological advances, ethics, and regulatory requirements, this course guides students as they apply rhetorical strategies and composition principles to create marketing literature, investor communications, media releases, and executive presentations.
Visual Design – Through visual design theory, minimalism, visual rhetoric, and visual ethics, this course presents elements of visual design in technical communication using appropriate software. Students learn various software products and then apply their skills to designing and presenting visual design projects and documents.
Web Design – In this course that focuses on user-centered design, appropriate use of design elements, and applying information design theories, students learn to use a variety of software products and apply their skills to designing and presenting a web page.
Proposal and Grant Writing – In this course students explore procurement processes in industry and government, as well as grant funding in the nonprofit and government sectors, with particular emphasis on the technical writer's role in these processes. In addition to issues of ethics and fairness, topics include types of contracts used; how companies and other organizations prepare bids and proposals; and how proposals and grant requests are reviewed.
Scientific and Medical Writing – Addressing communication and information design in healthcare, science, public policy, patient education, scientific journalism, and related fields, this course prepares students to create a range of documents presenting their analysis of data and other information on medical and scientific issues for actual or simulated clients.

Technical Writing Courses at Arizona State University

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Technical Communications
Course Number n/a
Credits 0.0

Program description: In the BS in Technical Communication degree program, delivered fully online, students learn how to produce, design and manage information, using technologies both traditional and developing. Software and electronics companies, media corporations, financial institutions, government agencies, non and for-profit organizations are some areas that employ technical communicators. The curriculum brings together information, writing, multimedia, and communications technology to prepare students for careers as technical writer/editors, publication managers, information designers, instructional and training developers, and more.

Technical Writing Courses by State & City

Top 20 US Technical Writing Schools (campus and online)

Columbia University in the City of New York
Total Programs 192
Number of Subjects 141
Rank in USA 4th
Brown University
Total Programs 135
Number of Subjects 88
Rank in USA 9th
University of Southern California
Total Programs 251
Number of Subjects 166
Rank in USA 10th
Northwestern University
Total Programs 197
Number of Subjects 139
Rank in USA 11th
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Total Programs 67
Number of Subjects 67
Rank in USA 12th
New York University
Total Programs 204
Number of Subjects 146
Rank in USA 13th
Dartmouth College
Total Programs 88
Number of Subjects 68
Rank in USA 14th
University of Virginia-Main Campus
Total Programs 106
Number of Subjects 103
Rank in USA 16th
Vanderbilt University
Total Programs 144
Number of Subjects 81
Rank in USA 17th
The University of Texas at Austin
Total Programs 169
Number of Subjects 141
Rank in USA 18th
Johns Hopkins University
Total Programs 178
Number of Subjects 136
Rank in USA 19th
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Total Programs 215
Number of Subjects 164
Rank in USA 23rd
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Total Programs 243
Number of Subjects 168
Rank in USA 26th
Emory University
Total Programs 112
Number of Subjects 89
Rank in USA 30th
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Total Programs 279
Number of Subjects 183
Rank in USA 31st
Boston University
Total Programs 6
Number of Subjects 124
Rank in USA 32nd
University of Georgia
Total Programs 197
Number of Subjects 156
Rank in USA 38th
Carnegie Mellon University
Total Programs 167
Number of Subjects 115
Rank in USA 44th
Michigan State University
Total Programs 220
Number of Subjects 164
Rank in USA 45th
University of California-Irvine
Total Programs 120
Number of Subjects 90
Rank in USA 49th