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Arts & Sciences

Department of
Communication, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences

Graduate Certificate in Scientific and Professional Writing

Overview

The ability to communicate professionally is a fundamental necessity in a society where information has become the most powerful currency. Students currently enrolled in NMT graduate programs, as well as professionals from the state of New Mexico and beyond, will profit from this advance degree option that hones their communication skills specific to their professional demands and, more generally, allows them to achieve mastery of a variety of modes of communication.

 

Learning Outcomes for Graduate Certificate in Scientific and Professional Writing

1. Students will demonstrate graduate-level writing and editing.

2. Students will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of key scholarship and research, history, current issues, and cultural matters in scientific and professional writing.

3. Students will demonstrate a graduate-level ability to connect theory with practice in one or both of the following ways:
(a) creating effective documents in scientific and professional genres,
(b) performing proficiently in the use of software technology.

4. Students will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of ethical issues for scientific and professional writers.


The Program

The Certificate covers fundamentals of graduate writing (including science writing), communication, and public speaking, and it allows for individual tailoring.

The Certificate requires a minimum of 18 credit hours of course work:

• ENGL 501 (3), COMM 560 (3), TC 502 (3), TC 511 (3)
• Additional credits of advisor-approved graduate hours (6)


Required Courses

ENGL 501, Graduate Writing Seminar (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisite: Proficiency in written and spoken English. Graduate standing or consent of instructor
Intensive pratice in academic writing for graduate students. Focuses on writing and revision. Reviews the history and development of science writing and surveys the professional environments in which scientists are expected to publish. Students should come with a draft of a substantial piece of work, such as an article, chapter, or grant proposal.

TC 511, Persuasive Communication (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Instruction in theories and practices of effective persuasive communication. Course content will include extensive audience analysis and planning, drafting, and revising persuasive documents, with a heavy emphasis on funding and research proposals for targeted audiences.

TC 505 Science Writing (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
This course provides an overview of science writing genres designed to reach multiple audiences (e.g., specialists, policymakers, students, the public) and is useful both to students pursuing a career as a professional science or technical writer and to students in the sciences hoping to improve their communication skills. Course topics include, but are not limited to, popular science writing (e.g., writing for mainstream magazines and newspapers), public information (e.g., press releases, websites, science blogs, informational videos), and academic research writing (e.g., journal articles, abstracts, and grant proposals). This course will also include a community service project providing students with an opportunity to generate real-world documents for a research facility at New Mexico Tech.

COMM 560, Professional Public Speaking (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
Theory and practice of ethical and professional speech communication. Research, writing and presenting professional presentations. Designing and using effective visuals, including posters and electronic presentation aids. Conducting group presentations and discussions about ethical and cross-curriculum issues in historical, cultural and workplace context. Design, schedule and present a formal research colloquium.


Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

COMM 570, Communication in Engineering (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisite: Graduate enrollment in Engineering
Advanced communication writing courses linked to engineering disciplines, focusing on graduate and professional genres (e.g., conference abstracts, journal articles, and conference presentations). Emphasis on communicating technical information to a variety of audiences.

COMM 575, Communication in the Sciences (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisite: Graduate enrollment in Sciences
Advanced communication writing courses linked to science disciplines, focusing on graduate and professional genres (e.g., conference abstracts, journal articles, and conference presentations). Emphasis on communicating technical information to a variety of audiences.

ENGL 511, Graduate Creative Writing (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Professional-level writing in fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction or plays. Focuses on the genre of the student’s choice. Students write often, revise frequently, learn and apply methods of creative writing instruction.

PHIL 521, Professional Ethics (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Introduce students to the concepts, theory, and practice of ethics and effective written and oral communications. Study cases and apply classical moral theory to decisions encountered in professional careers.

SPAN 520, Advanced Spanish Reading & Comprehension (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Creative writing in Spanish. The class explores the poetic and musical legacy of the Spanish speaking countries, and writes poems, short stories, or a small literary piece in Spanish.

TC 521, Professional Writing Workshop (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Emphasis on the development and writing processes of professional communication documents, which might include computer software documentation, websites, videos, policy and procedural manuals. Students gain practical experience working on an in-depth documentation project with clients and developing materials for users.

TC 512, International Professional Communication (3 credits, 3 class hours).
Producing efficient and effective information for audiences situated in different geographic locations is a major concern of companies and organizations, both large and small. This course develops the knowledge and skills needed to analyze and solve the problems posed by a world that is increasingly diverse, interconnected, and driven by knowledge, technology and the capacity to learn and adapt to new and ever changing contexts and situations. During the course, students will produce artifacts that demonstrate development and accomplishments as an international professional communicator. Extra work is required for graduate credit.

TC 561, Data Visualization (3 credits, 3 class hours)
Knowing how to communicate information graphically and in such a way as to intuitively engage its audiences is a fundamental skill to have in a world permeated by data. This course develops the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate, plan and produce aesthetic, ethical, and functional data displays—graphs, charts, technical illustrations, maps, interactive displays, and others—for people engaged in science, technology, business, government, and academia, as well as for semi-specialized and lay audiences. Extra work is required for graduate credit.

Department Chairs
Dr. Douglas Dunston
Dr. Susan Dunston
Dr. Alexander Prusin
humanities.nmt@gmail.com

Department Secretary
Liza Apache
lapache@nmt.edu
Department of Communication, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Fitch Hall
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801

Phone: 575-835-5445     Fax: 575-835-5544