Graduate Program | Cognate Disciplines blue line

"In this program, students are given the unique opportunity to combine outside coursework with core WRTC classes, which gives the major a hybrid appeal. As an undergraduate student, I was able to combine astronomy and physics classes with technical writing, user documentation, publications management, and intercultural communication classes, among others. I was able to build a robust skill set through the core courses and electives offered in WRTC. For example, I have taken courses in Web coding, hypertext theory, and technical editing, all of which have helped me to become a well-rounded professional who is ready to confront any industry or job market."

-Raphael Perrino

Cognate Disciplines
To be competitive in many of today's scientific or technical disciplines, technical communicators must possess substantial knowledge of the scientific or technical field in which they are working. Through the WRTC Master of Science program, students have the opportunity to gain that background while refining their skills as technical communicators.

Master of Science candidates must successfully complete at least nine credit hours of course work at the graduate level in an approved cognate discipline: biology, chemistry, communication sciences and disorders, computer science, dietetics, geography, geology, health sciences, integrated science and technology, kinesiology, mathematics, medical technology, nursing, physics, or psychology. Master of Arts candidates are also encouraged to gain competence in a technical or scientific area before entering the professions. The advanced proficiency gained by the student in the selected cognate area will complement the student's education in WRTC course work.

For approval to begin study in a chosen cognate discipline, Master of Science students should already possess a Bachelor of Science or comparable work-world experience in the proposed technical or scientific field and seek approval to enroll in cognate course work from the cognate discipline department and the WRTC graduate coordinator. Students who want to take course work in a cognate discipline that does not currently offer graduate studies may do so through independent studies with graduate faculty in the chosen field, distance learning with graduate programs at other accredited colleges or universities or graduate courses available through the College of Integrated Science and Technology. Independent studies with faculty in a cognate discipline department must be approved by the head of that department and by the WRTC graduate coordinator.

Note: the Graduate School allows up to nine credit hours of transferred course work from institutions other than JMU to count toward a student's graduate degree at JMU.