Online Writing Degree Programs
Bachelor's and master's degree programs in writing can be taken online but usually require an on-campus residency component. Discover what you can learn in these online degree programs, what your focus options are and what kinds of career opportunities may be available to graduates.
What Writing Degrees Can I Complete Online?
Those interested in pursuing undergraduate study can obtain either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Creative Writing or a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing; however, these programs are not typically offered entirely online. If you're looking to study writing at the graduate level, many master's degree programs are delivered partly or completely online. Students in these programs can concentrate on general creative writing or narrow their focuses to more specific areas of study, such as popular fiction or children's books. Master's degree programs may include a residency requirement, in which you are required to spend anywhere from one week to one summer per year on campus.
While completing your online classes, you will need frequent access to the Internet, and it is recommended you have a high-speed connection. Using chat rooms, you will be able to participate in class discussions. In some programs, your active and frequent participation is expected and can make up a significant portion of your grade.
|Online Options||Bachelor's degree programs in English or creative writing are rare; master's degree programs in creative writing or specific types of writing are more widely available|
|Common Areas of Study||Character and plot development, point of view, poetry, nonfiction, genre writing|
|Career Options||Staff writer, editor, freelance writer, novelist, teacher|
|Median Salary (2018)||$62,170* (for writers and authors)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||8% growth* (for all writers and authors)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn About?
You will be taught more than how to create technically correct writing. You'll start by learning how to accept criticism and how to critique and edit the works of other writers. You'll go on to learn the fundamentals of writing, such as how to build suspense, elicit emotion and create dialogue. From there, you will be taught how to develop characters, plots and points of view in your writing. You will use these skills during the course of your program to ultimately create a work serving as your final project or thesis.
Bachelor's degree programs are often broad, focusing on English or creative writing, whereas many Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs concentrate strictly on composing fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Currently, there are MFA programs that allow you to focus on a specific genre, such as romance or fantasy. Some programs may teach you how to market your finished products. There are also bilingual programs that provide you with the tools to work in and write for non-English-speaking markets.
What Kinds of Careers Can I Pursue?
Bachelor's degree holders have the necessary skills to pursue work in a variety of sectors, including editing, grant writing for nonprofit organizations and staff writing for journals, magazines or websites. You may also find work on a freelance basis as a writer or editor. Many graduates pursue a creative writing MFA as a means to start a teaching career. Other MFA holders go on to start their own publications, become screenwriters, write novels or become playwrights.