Online Writing Schools and Courses

Learn about the various facets of writing that you can study through online programs, from technical writing to fiction or poetry. Find out how online writing programs work at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Get info on choosing a school, and explore some of the writing course topics you could study. Check the job outlook for technical writers and authors. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

With a degree in writing, you'll graduate with the highly sought after communication skills needed to work in any industry or company. Writers aren't just journalist, editors, novelists or magazine writers. They can write web content for businesses, copy found on packaging, instructions for putting together products or scripts for online videos. A degree program that incorporates computer instruction along with writing prepares an aspiring writer for all types of careers.

Programs Bachelor's, master's
Degrees B.A. in English Writing or Creative Writing, B.S. in Technical Communication, MFA in Creative Writing
Online Programs are available 100% online or combination online and on campus

Sources: University of Colorado Denver, Arizona State University, and University of Texas at El Paso

What Types of Online Writing Programs Are Available?

Some schools offer online certificates in technical writing. These programs usually require completion of three to five courses. A few colleges offer online master's degrees in technical writing or technical communication. Creative writing master's programs are available in a hybrid format. Many classes can be taken online, with a required on-campus residency.

How Do I Choose a School?

For a career that involves writing manuals or specialized documentation, consider pursuing a technical writing certificate or degree. Look for programs that are taught by experienced technical communications practitioners. If you'd like to obtain a master's degree, find out whether the school you're looking at offers a thesis or non-thesis option. Some creative writing master's degree programs offer occasional campus-based seminars, with publishing and student teaching opportunities. These schools offer writing courses, some of which are available online:

  • Arizona State University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Central Florida
  • California State University Dominguez Hills
  • Goddard College

What Kinds of Courses Could I Take?

Online technical writing certificate programs often include classes on policy documentation, graphic layouts and proposal writing techniques. Technical writing master's degree programs might explore digital document design, technical editing, newsletter writing, project management and usability measurement. Both certificate and master's degree programs usually culminate in a final project or portfolio.

What About Creative Writing Courses?

Common creative writing topics include narrative techniques, fiction studies, character development and contemporary poetry. You'll often focus on the development of your personal writing style; constructive criticism from peers and instructors is a major component of many programs. Most students are expected to prepare a final manuscript for potential publication. You might find these courses in a creative writing MFA:

  • Narrative practices
  • Experimental prose/poetry
  • Activist writing
  • Performance art and writing
  • Documentary poetics

What Can I Do After I Graduate?

You might find work as a technical writer, advertising copywriter or editor. In rare cases, you could work as a novelist or playwright. Technical writers often prepare manuals and documentation within the computer science, engineering and healthcare industries. Copywriters create written materials for advertising campaigns. Editors often review writers' work and select certain pieces for publication.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed technical writers is expected to increase by 11% from 2016 to 2026 (www.bls.gov). During this time, the number of working writers and authors is projected to grow by 8%, while editors will see a 1% decline in jobs. Writers and editors who understand new media technology may find the best job opportunities.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University

    Purdue University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Queens University of Charlotte

    Queens University of Charlotte responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Queens University of Charlotte:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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