Technical & Professional Writing (TPW)



Lindeman, NeilNeil Lindeman
Phone: (415) 405-0493
Office: Humanities 423






Technical and professional writers are in demand to link ideas, technologies and products with people who need to understand those developments or to use them. San Francisco State University’s TPW program can prepare you for that critical communications role through major, minor and certificate programs.

Technical and professional writers work in almost every field of industry and public life, including high-technology industries, business, government and research and nonprofit organizations. These career writers not only write and edit many types of documents in different media, but they also sometimes manage documentation and communication projects.

To be best prepared for success in such work, you will need to start with strong writing skills, then learn how to adapt them for the workplace and for changing technologies and employment needs. You will also need an intellectual framework for continuing professional growth and responsibility throughout your career.

As a TPW student you will combine TPW courses — which expose you to workplace writing forms, methods and issues — with interdisciplinary electives that further develop related communications skills and attitudes. You also can target a potential employment interest: if you are a major, you will choose a specialized concentration (your subject matter focus); if you earn a minor or certificate, you can use TPW studies to complement your education and experience in other fields.

After completing the TPW program, you can begin your writing career with important accomplishments and advantages: an academic degree or certificate in the field, improved and focused skills, an understanding of professional expectations for writers and a portfolio of relevant writing samples.

Note: Technical and professional writing major, minor and certificate students must earn at least a C or better in all courses that count towards the degree or certificate.


Technical and Professional Writing (B.A.) — 45 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Culminating Experience must be completed during one of the semesters of the student’s final (senior) year.

Review the Bulletin for further information.


  • TPW 400


You are always welcome to come in for advising about your course of study and career planning. However, based on University policy, there are three times during your progress through our program when you must seek advising.

  • First: The semester you enter the program. This should be when you take our “Fundamentals” course and/or when you declare yourself as a major, minor, or certificate student. At this session, we will set up an advising worksheet for your file. The focus of this session will be on reviewing program requirements, discussing your career interests and identifying a tentative schedule and electives.
  • Second: The semester before you enroll in any completion-level (600-range) TPW course work. At this session we will review your progress in the program, update your advising worksheet accordingly and discuss selection and scheduling of remaining course work.
  • Third: When you petition for graduation or apply for a certificate. At this session we will do a final review of your portfolio of writing samples and discuss career plans and professional development options.


Technical & Professional Writing Resources