A team of three students collaborating

The Technical Communication Certificate (TCC) has established itself as a program that meets industry and government agencies' demands for students with skills as communicators and for communication specialists. Because employers value well-developed communication skills, TCC courses will enhance success in co-op/intern positions and post-graduation careers. TCC graduates overwhelmingly confirm not only that the certificate gave them an edge over other candidates during the recruitment process, but also that the communication knowledge, skills, and attitudes they acquired while in the program helped them succeed in their jobs and helped prepare them for the diverse communication and management tasks in today's multifunctional team environments.

The Technical Communication Certificate, housed in the College of Engineering, complements all undergraduate degrees, but is especially designed to fit in well with an engineering degree. TCC students gain experience in career-applicable skills by

  • Receiving education in principles and processes for communicating about technical subjects (including problem solving methods, audience analysis, rhetorical analysis, conventions of format, and usability testing).
  • Gaining education in the fundamentals of written, oral, and visual communication (including organization, structure, style, mechanics, format, and delivery).
  • Learning effective interpersonal communication and management skills (including teamwork, interviewing, leading and facilitating groups, project management, and international communication).
  • Gaining opportunities to research and think analytically about contemporary issues and to consider ethical issues.
  • Using current technology to encourage effective communication in a variety of environments (including use of the web, distance communication, electronic publishing, group software, and layout and presentation software).

While the certificate is designed especially for engineering students, students from other fields sometimes seek out the program to enhance their career options. Students who complete the certificate will have the notation "Technical Communication Certificate" added to their transcripts.

Students in the program often take on leadership roles in other college or campus student organizations and projects, further developing their communication, team, and management skills.

Undergraduates who would like to enroll in the Technical Communication Certificate may download the TCC Application form (PDF). Email the completed TCC Application along with a PDF of your current DARS report to Laura Grossenbacher, Director of the Tech Comm Program, at lrgrossenbac@wisc.edu. Graduate students and non-degree-seeking students cannot enroll in the TCC.


  • A grade of at least B in Communication A or equivalent course or AP English credits (score of  at least 4 out of 5).
  • Four courses (12-credit minimum) in science and/or engineering, including at least one intermediate-level (minimum 200-level) course.
  • Three courses (9-credit minimum) in humanities, social sciences, and/or foreign language.
  • Overall GPA of at least 2.5.

Applications are accepted throughout the semester, though students are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible so they have ample time to plan their coursework. The program will notify all new admissions via email.

To graduate with the certificate in technical communication, students must complete at least 21 credits, with a minimum of 6 credits in technical proficiency courses and a minimum of 15 credits in both technical and non-technical communication courses.

In addition to course requirements, students must achieve at least a B in the required Engineering Communication (INTEREGR 397) and the Technical Communications Internship (E P D 398). All students must complete the program within five years from their application date. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor regularly to ensure they are on track to graduate with their certificate. Students cannot count courses completed on a pass/fail basis toward the certificate.

Substitution of courses substantively equivalent to those listed will be considered by the Technical Communication Curriculum Committee. Students must submit requests for substitution with supporting material before beginning the course.


A grade of at least B in Communication A or equivalent course or AP English credits (score of at least 4 or 5)
Select four courses (12-credit minimum) in science and/or engineering, including at least one intermediate-level (minimum 200-level) course
Select three courses (9-credit minimum) in liberal studies including a foreign language
Overall GPA of at least 2.5

Technical Proficiency

Select a minimum of one course each from two areas:6
Computer Science
Total Credits6

Computer Science

CBE 255 Introduction to Chemical Process Modeling3
CIV ENGR/​G L E  291 Problem Solving Using Computer Tools4
COMP SCI 200 Programming I3
COMP SCI 220 Data Science Programming I4
COMP SCI 300 Programming II3
COMP SCI 320 Data Science Programming II4
INFO SYS 371 Technology of Computer-Based Business Systems3
LSC 532 Web Design for the Sciences3


A A E/​INTL ST  374 The Growth and Development of Nations in the Global Economy3
CIV ENGR 491 Legal Aspects of Engineering3
CIV ENGR 492 Integrated Project Estimating and Scheduling3
CIV ENGR 494 Civil and Environmental Engineering Decision Making3
CIV ENGR 498 Construction Project Management3
ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory4
ECON 302 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory4
ECON/​A A E/​ENVIR ST  343 Environmental Economics3-4
ECON 467 International Industrial Organizations3-4
GEN BUS 301 Business Law3
GEN BUS 302 Business Organizations and Negotiable Instruments3
GEN BUS 365 Contemporary Topics1-3
INTL BUS 200 International Business3
INTL BUS/​GEN BUS  320 Intercultural Communication in Business3
I SY E 313 Engineering Economic Analysis3
I SY E/​PSYCH  349 Introduction to Human Factors3
I SY E 476 Industrial Engineering Projects3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering3
MARKETNG 300 Marketing Management3
MARKETNG 310 Marketing Research3
MARKETNG 415 Social Creative Marketing3
MARKETNG/​INTL BUS  420 Global Marketing Strategy3
M E 549 Product Design3
M H R 300 Managing Organizations3
M H R 365 Contemporary Topics1-3
M H R 420 Managing Change and Organizational Effectiveness3
M H R 612 Labor-Management Relations3
N E 571 Economic and Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Energy3
OTM 365 Contemporary Topics1-3
R M I 300 Principles of Risk Management3

Technical Communication Required Courses

INTEREGR 397 Engineering Communication3
E P D 398 Technical Communications Internship (Required. This course, completed in conjunction with the Technical Communication Internship, can be repeated for an additional credit, which will count toward elective courses in technical communication from EPD. Also, this course can be substituted with a special project completed as an Independent Study course. Only offered in spring.)1
Total Credits4

Technical Communication Electives

Select a minimum of 8 credits 18
Total Credits8

Elective Courses in Communication

E P D 275 Technical Presentations2
M E 231 Geometric Modeling for Design and Manufacturing3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
BSE 270 Introduction to Computer Aided Design3
BSE 375 Special Topics1-4
CBE 324 Transport Phenomena Lab3
CBE 424 Operations and Process Laboratory5
CIV ENGR 159 Civil Engineering Graphics2
COM ARTS 260 Communication and Human Behavior3
COM ARTS 262 Theory and Practice of Argumentation and Debate3
COM ARTS 266 Theory and Practice of Group Discussion3
COM ARTS 272 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
COM ARTS 355 Introduction to Media Production4
COM ARTS 368 Theory and Practice of Persuasion3
COM ARTS 575 Communication in Complex Organizations3
ENGL 201 Intermediate Composition3
ENGL 315 English Phonology3
ENGL 318 Second Language Acquisition3
GEN BUS 360 Workplace Writing and Communication3
HISTORY 201 The Historian's Craft3-4
HIST SCI 201 The Origins of Scientific Thought3
HIST SCI 202 The Making of Modern Science3
JOURN 425 Video Journalism4
JOURN 447 Strategic Media Planning4
LSC 515 Social Marketing Campaigns in Science, Health and the Environment3
JOURN/​POLI SCI/​URB R PL  373 Introduction to Survey Research3
JOURN 563 Law of Mass Communication4
L I S 601 Information: Perspectives and Contexts3
L I S/​LEGAL ST  663 Introduction to Cyberlaw3
LSC 350 Visualizing Science and Technology3
LSC 515 Social Marketing Campaigns in Science, Health and the Environment3
M H R 365 Contemporary Topics1-3
M H R 401 The Management of Teams3
PHILOS 210 Reason in Communication3-4
PHILOS 241 Introductory Ethics3-4
PHILOS 243 Ethics in Business3-4
PHILOS/​ENVIR ST  441 Environmental Ethics3-4
PSYCH 456 Social Psychology3-4
PSYCH/​I SY E  653 Organization and Job Design3
SOC 535 Talk and Social Interaction3
Independent Study courses by instructor approval only 2

Note: These E P D courses do NOT count toward the TCC:


 Special credits in Technical Communication include E P D 499 Senior Independent Study.

Senior Design or Capstone

Select one of the following:3-4
Capstone Design Course in Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design II
Biological Systems Engineering Design Practicum I
Biological Systems Engineering Design Practicum II
Operations and Process Laboratory
Process Design
Senior Capstone Design
Embedded Microprocessor System Design
Senior Design Project
Design Problems in Engineering
Geological Engineering Design
Industrial Engineering Projects
Industrial Engineering Design II
Engineering Design Projects
Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects I
Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects II
Capstone Project I
Capstone Project II
Nuclear Reactor Design
Economic and Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Energy


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Understand and apply principles and processes for communicating about technical subjects to diverse audiences.
  2. Understand and apply fundamentals of written, oral, and visual communication.
  3. Apply improved skills in interpersonal communication, teamwork, and management.
  4. Research, identify, and think analytically about social, global, economic, political, environmental, and ethical issues as they impact technical projects or engineering work.
  5. Use current technology to communicate effectively in a variety of formats and environments.
  6. Engage in real world experiences through communication internships and guest lectures.