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Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in English

There are many excellent schools that offer online bachelor's degrees in English. Let's take a look at some of these schools, what you should be looking for in an online English program, and some potential career choices after graduation.

Top Bachelor's Degrees in English Online

The following are the top 25 colleges and universities that offer online bachelor's degrees in English. To select schools, we look at a variety of data. Among the factors we consider are cost, accessibility, and flexibility.

1. Maryville University of St. Louis

LocationTuition & Fees% Receiving Financial Aid
St. Louis, MO$28,470100%

The fully online Bachelor of Arts in English degree offered by Maryville University of St. Louis allows students to adapt their learning to future career and academic goals. Not only are there internship opportunities, but many courses are taught by award-winning published authors. Students in this program develop important critical thinking and researching skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

2. The Baptist College of Florida

LocationTuition & Fees% Receiving Financial Aid
Graceville, FL$11,40090%

The Baptist College of Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in an online format. In addition to general courses in information technology and humanities, this curriculum includes an introductory student success course and courses in philosophy and biblical/theological foundations. Of the total 120 credit hours, 36 credit hours are dedicated to the English major.

3. Chaminade University of Honolulu

LocationTuition & Fees% Receiving Financial Aid
Honolulu, HI$25,37499%

There are three undergraduate concentrations offered to students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Chaminade University of Honolulu: writing, literature and criticism, and teaching. The English department is led by professors with an impressive array of awards and publications. The 120-credit-hour curriculum requires that students undertake various research and creative writing projects.

4. Nicholls State University

LocationTuition & Fees% Receiving Financial Aid
Thibodaux, LA$7,95295%

The online Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Nicholls State University offers four concentrations: literary studies, creative writing, writing and rhetoric, and film studies. There is a capstone course included in the curriculum in which students can show what they have learned and share their career or future academic plans. The program is four years and 120 credits in length.

5. Central Washington University

LocationTuition & Fees% Receiving Financial Aid
Ellensburg, WA$8,07290%

Central Washington University offers a 74-credit Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in professional and creative writing. It is 74-credits in length because students must have completed 100- and 200-level courses before transferring into this two-year program. Also, this program requires that students have taken a world language for two years in high school or one year in college prior to graduation. There is an interdisciplinary nature to this program that allows students to shape their studies to fit their interests and goals.

RankSchool NameLocationTuition & Fees% Receiving Financial Aid
6University of MemphisMemphis, TN$9,31798%
7Eastern Oregon UniversityLa Grande, OR$8,67998%
8Troy UniversityTroy, AL$8,90894%
9University of Massachusetts-LowellLowell, MA$15,18091%
10University of Maine at Presque IslePresque Isle, ME$8,03593%
11Ottawa University-OnlineOttawa, KS
12Adams State UniversityAlamosa, CO$9,44095%
13Mary Baldwin UniversityStaunton, VA$31,110100%
14Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityWaxahachie, TX$19,58298%
15West Virginia State UniversityInstitute, WV$8,21287%
16Florida International UniversityMiami, FL$6,54689%
17University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL$6,36890%
18Valley City State UniversityValley City, ND$7,62699%
19Arizona State University-SkysongTempe, AZ$10,31782%
20Mercy CollegeDobbs Ferry, NY$19,04297%
21California Baptist UniversityRiverside, CA$33,47895%
22Eastern Washington UniversityCheney, WA$7,32394%
23Saint Mary-of-the-Woods CollegeSaint Mary of the Woods, IN$29,960100%
24Indiana University-EastRichmond, IN$7,34495%
25Dickinson State UniversityDickinson, ND$6,76891%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year.

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Some Questions to Consider When Choosing an Online Bachelor's Degree

There are numerous things to consider when investigating online undergraduate degrees in English. Entrance requirements, curriculum, and program length are some important areas to consider. Here are a few questions and answers that will help in making an informed decision.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Bachelor's Degree?

It typically takes four years to complete a bachelor's degree. However, that number could increase or decrease depending upon maintaining a full-time or part-time status, taking overloads, enrolling in an accelerated dual degree program, attending classes year-round, or other factors. Online programs are designed to offer maximum flexibility.

Are All of the Courses Offered Online?

Many programs offer all courses fully online. Others may require some face-to-face components. It's important to confirm this when researching the program.

Online courses are offered in one of two formats:

  • Asynchronous - Students can access course materials at any time. There is no requirement that students meet at any given time as a group online to discuss coursework.
  • Synchronous - Students can access course materials at any time. However, there is a set time periodically during which students gather together online for discussion, lecture, or question and answer.

What Are the Typical Admission Requirements?

When applying to colleges with this online degree, it's important to understand that there are several steps in the process, some of which may be specific to the program. The more general requirements include the following:

  • Official high school transcripts
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completed application

Some colleges require minimum SAT or ACT scores or minimum high school GPA for acceptance.

Is the School Accredited?

Accreditation shows that a school or program has been evaluated by an outside entity and meets high standards of performance and achievement in meeting students' needs. While it isn't required, accreditation does show that the school seeks continuous improvement and is student focused. In addition, accreditation status can affect whether a college is eligible to receive financial aid funding from the federal government.

The two most common types of accreditation are institutional and programmatic.

  • Institutional accreditation - Institutional accreditation covers all areas and departments of an educational institution. Typically, colleges apply for accreditation, complete a self-study, host a visit by the accrediting body, and are evaluated in every department of the school.
  • Programmatic accreditation - Programmatic accreditation covers individual programs offered by post-secondary schools. In many cases, programmatic accreditation is sought after institution accreditation has been awarded. Examples of programs that might have programmatic accreditation are nursing programs, interior design programs, or library science programs.

There are regional, national, and specialized institutional accrediting bodies in the U.S. The six regional accrediting agencies typically work with public and private degree-granting colleges and universities. The national accrediting bodies usually work with for-profit schools, while specialized accrediting bodies often work with single-focus schools.

Overview of Typical Undergraduate English Programs

Individuals pursuing degrees in English usually have a love of reading and studying literature or writing creatively in one or more genres. Therefore, it's important to look at a program's concentrations, common courses, and other elements to make sure it's a good fit with an individual's interests.

Common Courses in English Programs

Online undergraduate English programs often include required courses and elective courses. The required courses usually include some courses in both writing and literature, while the elective courses can be in a variety of sub-topics in writing, literature, film, gender studies, or other subjects. However, the most common courses in English programs are in writing and literature.

  • Writing courses - There are numerous writing courses found in every English degree program. They range from expository writing to creative writing to research writing. In addition, virtually every literature class has a writing element as part of its design.
  • Literature courses - Literature courses in English degree programs can cover the gamut of time periods and locations. It's common for programs to offer courses in Shakespeare, women's literature, American literature, British literature, and world literature. There are also courses in literature in film, multicultural literature, and African-American literature.

Concentrations Offered in Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in English

Not every online bachelor's degree program in English offers a selection of concentrations from which to choose. However, concentrations can be available in writing, rhetoric, and creative writing. Some other concentrations that can be found are literature and criticism, teaching, literary studies, and film studies.

English Department Faculty Qualifications

Because writing is such a large part of almost every course in the English curriculum, it's important to look at the achievements of the professors who are teaching the courses. Take a look at their biographies to see where their original works have been published. Check to see if they have won any awards in their areas of specialization. Perhaps they have made presentations at meetings for professional organizations to which they belong. All of these things will help paint a professional picture of the professors who are responsible for educating and guiding English majors.

What Careers Can I Pursue With A Bachelor's Degree in English?

Having an undergraduate degree in English can open the door to many career opportunities. Below is a list of a few potential careers for English majors.

  • Author - Authors or writers produce written copy for a variety of outlets, including books, magazines, and plays in both online and print formats. They often select the topics to write about, conduct research, and submit their work to editors for feedback.
  • Editor - While authors create content, editors review it. They make sure the content is accurate and follows the guidelines for style. They may also rewrite some content for clarity. Editors also work with authors to develop ideas and stories.
  • Fundraiser - Fundraisers do more than raise money for their organizations. They also develop materials that promote their organization's goals and work. Fundraisers can research possible donors and develop effective ways to reach out to them.
  • Proofreader - Proofreaders make sure content is free from errors. They look at the content for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. They do not usually make suggestions about style.
  • Public Relations Specialist - Developing and maintaining the image of an organization and writing press releases to help mold the public's view of it are just two of the responsibilities of a public relations specialist. These individuals use their written and oral communication skills to draft speeches, act as liaisons between their organizations and the media, and utilize social media to track public opinion.
  • Reporter - Reporters answer the 'who, what, when, where, why, and how' questions about local, state, national, and international stories in a variety of media formats. They conduct interviews, vet sources, and check the accuracy of their stories. Many reporters do in-depth research on topics and present their findings as investigative reporting.
  • Teacher - In addition to the common duties of all teachers which include lesson planning and delivery, grading papers, professional development, and coordination with other faculty, staff, and parents, English teachers specifically help students develop their language arts skills. These skills include reading, writing, and spelling. English teachers often introduce their students to different genres of literature, such as poetry or drama, as well.
  • Technical writer - Technical writers produce instructional materials, manuals, pamphlets, or other guides to explain complex processes in a more understandable manner. They determine the needs of their users, do any necessary research, collect and review other documentation, and produce or revise the required content. They then distribute the content in the most efficient way possible.

Job TitleMedian Salary (2018)*Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Author/Writer$62,1700%
Editor$59,480-3%
Fundraiser$56,9509%
Proofreader$39,1404%
Public Relations Specialists$60,0006%
Reporter$43,490-10%
Teacher (High School)$60,3204%
Technical Writer$71,8508%

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Organizations for Individuals with Degrees in English

There are numerous professional organizations that support individuals working in careers related to English. Many benefits exist to joining a professional organization, such as the potential for continuing education or professional and career development. Perhaps one of the organizations listed below would be a good fit for someone with an online bachelor's degree in English.

  • American Society of Journalists and Authors - As the largest professional organization representing non-fiction writers in the U.S., the ASJA offers a variety of professional development-related services to its members. The society was founded in 1948, and the total for new members to join is $310.
  • Association of American Educators - The Association of American Educators was established in 1994 as a non-union organization for educators with a focus on student success rather than politics. It has members across the country. Annual professional membership is $198.
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals - There are a number of membership levels ranging from collegiate to retired, all of which have different dues amounts.
  • Editorial Freelancers Organization - Members of this organization include proofreaders, editors, writers, researchers, and others with similar skills. It is a non-profit organization. Guest registration is free, and it does not include access to member lists. A one-year membership is $145.
  • International Public Relations Association - The International Public Relations Association had an illustrious start. It was formally established at 10 Downing Street in London in 1955. There are two membership levels. The standard level costs £200, and the professional level costs £300.
  • National Association of Independent Writers and Editors - This organization began in 2007 as the National Association of Independent Writing Evaluators. Professional development, marketing support, and networking opportunities are a few of the resources offered by the NAIWE. Membership dues range from $99 to $149.
  • National Council of Teachers of English - The National Council of Teachers of English came into being in 1911. It has resources, groups, and communities for teachers of all age groups from elementary through college. There are student and standard membership options with regular and green options. The student option is $25 per year. The standard option is $50 per year. The green options cost slightly less. There is also a journals-only option which does not include membership.
  • Public Relations Society of America - With 30,000 members and 110 chapters, the Public Relations Society of America is one of the largest associations for public relations students and professionals across the country. Almost 375 colleges and universities have student chapters of the organization. Annual membership dues range from $50 to $260.
  • Society for Technical Communication - The Society for Technical Communication is the product of several organizations that merged between 1953 and 1971. Members represent many industries and countries around the world. There are four membership levels with dues ranging from $75 to $395 per year.