Minor in Professional and Technical Writing

The Bay Area needs well-trained technical writers and editors. The high-tech companies of Silicon Valley require people who are able to write quality manuals, reports, and web updates; write clear business reports and promotional materials; communicate effectively both with consumers and within the company; and understand each step of the publication process. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for technical writers will continue to increase for the foreseeable future, especially in regions of the country like ours.

So what is Professional and Technical Writing (PTW)? Simply put, PTW is writing done in a workplace environment designed to persuade, inform, or instruct. While “professional” generally applies to business writing and “technical” generally applies to writing about technical topics, most professional writers would find the distinction superficial because they are frequently required to do both. 

SJSU’s program (formerly called “Career Writing”) has been going strong for over 30 years and our graduates work at nearly every major tech firm in the Bay Area. We have a strong job-placement record and help coordinate paid internships with local employers during the summer and the school year.

To see descriptions of these courses, check the general course descriptions. Faculty usually provide a more extensive description of the courses when they are offered.

Check with the Program Coordinator at least once each semester to track your progress.


Director of Undergraduate Professional and Technical Writing

Mark Thompson
(408) 924-4433
Faculty Offices 110


Important Form(s)

For students matriculating prior to Fall 2017:

Minor in Professional & Technical Writing (PDF)



Course Requirements


Note: Click on courses for pop-up descriptions.

Requirements in the Minor
9 units
  ENGL 106
ENGL 107
ENGL 129
Editing for Writers
Professional Technical Writing
Introduction to Career Writing

*Note: ENGL 103 is not required but strongly recommended for your first semester of the minor.
9 units

Elective Requirements in the Major
9 units
  Select 9 units of advisor approved electives. May include ENGL 103.