University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

BA in Technical Writing and User Experience

This program prepares students to work as technical writers and user experience analysts. These are both growing fields in the 2020s. More specifically, this versatile and practical degree draws on disciplinary knowledge from Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS) to prepare students for careers in technical writing, user-experience research, professional writing, content strategy, information design and development, and web authoring. The degree also prepares students for other careers with intensive writing demands. Graduates will be qualified to take positions in industry, government, education, and the military, as well as in a variety of non-profit settings. The degree may further prepare students for graduate work in rhetoric and writing, technical writing, the teaching of writing law, and other areas.

Marketable Skills

Students will develop the following skills:

  • Communication: Reach mutual understanding through effective exchange of information, ideas, and feelings
  • Organization: Use resources effectively and efficiently in order to stay focused on different tasks
  • Writing: Communicate using text in a clear and concise manner

Students learn to analyze digital communication strategies to make sure that they are user-friendly, and they learn to compose and organize technical documents. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Technical Writing and User Experience prepares students to communicate effectively and ethically in todays technologically and culturally diverse environments. Students with this degree will be able to navigate complex writing situations and to design technical information and digital experiences for multiple audiences and purposes.

Degree Plan

Minor required18
This program requires the selection of a minor.
University Core Curriculum
Complete the University Core Curriculum requirements. 42
Technical Writing & User Experience Major15
Required Courses:
Intro to Tec Wrt and User Exp
Methods for Inquiry & Design
Foundations of User Exp
Senior Writing Practicum
Web Authoring
Prescribed Electives:15
Select five from the following
Workplace Writing
Issues in Tech & Rhetoric
Special Topics in Writing
Technical Writing
Adv Composition:Rhet Theory
Advanced Composition: Argument
Free Electives:6
Select any two upper-division courses from the following
ENGL-Any Upper-division ENGL course (recomented ENGL 3300, 4314, 3349, 3352)
RWS - Any Upper Division RWS course
Introduction to Translation
Legal Translation
Translation in Business
Translation in Healthcare
Basic Multimedia Writing
Intermediate Multimedia Writng
Writing for PR & Corp Comm
Open Electives
Select additional hours to complete a total of one hundred twenty hours
Foreign Language
Select six credit of Foreign Language. All six credits must be in the same language sequence. 116
Block Electives
Complete twelve upper-division hours from the blocks below, with three to six hours each12
Total Hours120

University Core Curriculum

The department may make specific suggestions for courses which are most applicable towards your major.

All courses require a C or better

I. Communication (six hours)

The objective of the communication component is to enable the student to communicate effectively in clear and correct prose or orally in a style appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience.
Select six hours of the following: 6
For students whose secondary education was in English:
Written and Oral Communication
Writing About Literature
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition 2
Rhetoric, Composition & Comm
For students whose secondary education was not in English:
Expos Engl Compos-Spkr Esl
Res & Crit Writng Spkr Esl
Total Hours6

II. American History (six hours)

The objectives of the history component are to expand students’ knowledge of the origin and history of the U.S., their comprehension of the past and current role of the U.S. in the world, and their ability to critically evaluate and analyze historical evidence. U.S. history courses (three hours must be Texas history) include:
HIST 1301History of U.S. to 18653
HIST 1302History of U.S. Since 18653
Total Hours6

III. Language, Philosophy & Culture  (three hours)

The objective of the humanities component is to expand students' knowledge of the human condition and human cultures, especially in relation to behaviors, ideas, and values expressed in works of human imagination and thought. Through study in disciplines such as literature and philosophy, students engage in critical analysis and develop an appreciation of the humanities as fundamental to the health and survival of any society.
Select one of the following:3
Intro-African Amer Studies
Latina/o Presence in the U.S.
English Literature
English Literature
Intro to American Fiction
Intro to American Drama
Intro to American Poetry
Making of the "Other" Americas
World History to 1500
World History Since 1500
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduct to Religious Studies
Seeing & Naming: Conversations
Introduction to Womens Studies
Global Feminisms
Total Hours3

IV. Mathematics  (three hours)

The objective of the mathematics component is to develop a quantitatively literate college graduate. Every college graduate should be able to apply basic mathematical tools in the solution of real-world problems.
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Trigonometry and Conics
Math in the Modern World
Math for Social Sciences I
Calculus I
Precalculus 1,2
Math for Social Sciences II
Statistical Literacy
Elementary Statistical Methods
1 A higher-level course in the calculus sequence can be substituted.
2 TCCN MATH 1314 will also satisfy this requirement.
Total Hours3

V. Life & Physical Sciences  (six hours)

The objective of the study of the natural sciences is to enable the student to understand, construct, and evaluate relationships in the natural sciences, and to enable the student to understand the bases for building and testing theories. The courses listed are for non-majors; the major courses in the discipline can be substituted for the non-major sequence. A minimum of two semesters of lecture and one semester of laboratory associated with one of the courses, or two semesters of combined (3 credit) lecture-laboratory courses (Only six hours apply toward the required 42.):
Select one of the following:1-4
Astronomy Lab I
Elem Astronomy-Solar System
Elem Astr Stars & Galaxies
Introductory Biology Lab
Human Biology Laboratory
Topics in Study of Life I
Organismal Biology Laboratory
Introductory Biology
Human Biology
General Biology
Organismal Biology
Human Anat/Physio Lab I
Human Anat/Physio Lab II
Human Anat/Physiology I
Human Anat/Physiology II
Laboratory for CHEM 1305
Laboratory for CHEM 1306
Intro General Chemistry Lab
Intro Organic & Biochem Lab
General Chemistry
General Chemistry
Intro to General Chemistry
Intro Organic & Biochemistry
Environmental Sci. Lab
Non-major Lab for ESCI 1301
Intro to Environment Science 2
Intro to Environmental Sci
Laboratory for GEOG 1306
Physical Geography
Lab for GEOL 1313
Lab for GEOL 1314
Principles of Earth Sci - Lab
Laboratory for Geology 1212
Principles of Earth Sciences
Principles of Earth Science
The Blue Planet
Natural Hazards
Intro to Physical Geology
Intro to Historical Geol
Fundamentals of Nutrition
Wellness Dynamics
Microorganisms and Disease
General Physics I
General Physics II
Laboratory for PHYS 2320
Laboratory for PHYS 2321
Introductory Mechanics
Introductory Electromagnetism
Total Hours 6

VI. Political Science  (six hours)

The objectives of the political science component are to expand students’ knowledge of the origin and evolution of the U.S. and Texas political systems, focusing on the growth of political institutions, and on the constitutions of Texas and the United States; and to enhance their understanding of federalism, states rights, and individual civil liberties, rights, and responsibilities.
Required Courses:
POLS 2310Introduction to Politics3
POLS 2311American Gover & Politics3
Total Hours6

VII. Social and Behavioral Sciences  (three hours)

The objective of the social and behavioral science component is to increase students' knowledge of how social and behavioral scientists discover, describe, and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, events, and ideas. Such knowledge will better equip students to understand themselves and the roles they play in addressing the issues facing humanity.
Select one of the following:3
Intro-Phys Anth/Archeolog
Intro-Cultural Anthropology
Cultural Geography
Intro to Linguistics
Econ for Engrs & Scientists
Asian American Studies
Interpersonal Communication
Mass Media and Society
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Introduction to Ed Psychology
Action Research in Classrooms
Introduction to Linguistics
Cultural Geography
Community Service
An Intro. to Linguistics
Lang. Inside & Out: Sel Topics
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Cultural Geography
Total Hours3

VIII. Creative Arts (three hours)

The objective of the visual and performing arts component is to expand students' knowledge and appreciation of the human imagination as expressed through works of visual art, dance, music, theatre and film. Through study in these disciplines, students will form aesthetic judgments and develop an appreciation of the arts as fundamental to the health and survival of any society.
Select one of the following:3
Art Appreciation
History of Art I
History of Art II
Chicana/o Fine Arts Appreciat
Dance Appreciation
Intro-Art of Motion Pict.
Music Appreciation
Jazz to Rock
Music, Culture, and Society
Introduction to Theatre
Total Hours3

IX. Component Area Option (six hours)

The objective of the institutionally designated option component is to develop the critical thinking skills and academic tools required to be an effective learner. Special emphasis is placed on the use of technology in problem-solving, communications, and knowledge acquisition.
Select two of the following:6
Intro to Global Business
Public Speaking
Business/Profession Comm
Intro-Computational Thinking
Computer Programming Sci/Engr
Eng Innovation and Leadership
Introduction to Leadership
Inquiry in Math & Science
Seminar/Critical Inquiry
Total Hours6

4-Year Sample Degree Plan

RWS 1301Rhetoric & Composition I3
Core-Natural Sciences + Lab4
Core-Language, Philosophy, & Culture3
HIST 1301History of U.S. to 18653
RWS 1302Rhetoric & Composition 23
POLS 2310Introduction to Politics3
Core-Natural Sciences3
Core-Component Area Option3
HIST 1302History of U.S. Since 18653
POLS 2311American Gover & Politics3
Core-Creative Arts3
Core-Social & Behavioral Sciences3
Foreign Language3
RWS 3305Intro to Tec Wrt and User Exp3
RWS 3367Foundations of User Exp3
Foreign Language3
RWS 3354Methods for Inquiry & Design3
Major-Prescribed Elective3
Major-Free Elective3
Block Elective3
Major-Prescribed Elective3
Major-Prescribed Elective3
Block Elective3
Open Elective 3
Major- Prescribed Elective3
Major- Prescribed Elective3
Block Elective3
Open Elective 3
Minor-British Literature Since 18003
RWS 4300Senior Writing Practicum3
RWS 4320Web Authoring3
Minor-American Literature3
Block Elective3
Total Hours121