Careers in nearly all fields require some form of writing or editing. Professionals in various fields write political speeches, sports broadcasts, movie scripts, fiction novels, instruction manuals, advertising slogans, and social media posts. As a result, graduates with an English degree can pursue careers in nearly any industry. Graduates may write sports columns, edit for fitness magazines, create public statements for companies, and prepare scripts for business proposals.
Many writing and editing careers require a bachelor's degree. However, candidates can use skills gained during English programs to excel in professions without education requirements. For example, graduates of programs that emphasize fiction writing can become fantasy authors and apply their knowledge related to plot, character development, and story structure.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects writer and author positions to increase 8% from 2016-2026 and technical writing positions to grow 11% during the same time frame. This growth is due in part to an increase in online writing options and advances in technology that require manuals.
This page explores these positions and other roles for graduates who have earned an English bachelor's degree online. The sections below also detail English program traits and explore professional associations in the field.
The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in English Degree Programs
Affordable Online Bachelor's in English Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the following online English programs based on each program's quality, available online English classes, faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation. We also considered each school's reputation for providing quality online programs.
1. The Baptist College of Florida
BCF first opened its doors in 1943. The school originally provided seminary training to both men and women. Over the years, BCF expanded its academic offerings to include liberal arts majors. In recent years, the college has embraced online learning. Students can earn any of BCF's associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees entirely online. Full-time students without any prior college education can graduate in four years.
The online bachelor of arts in English program's 120-credit curriculum includes a blend of general education, major, and religious courses. In class, students analyze advanced grammar, the history of the English language, and creative writing. Online BCF students take courses asynchronously, allowing them to continue working full or part time while earning their degrees. New students can enroll in the fall or spring semesters.
Prospective students can apply to this bachelor's degree in English online program either online or through the mail. BCF accepts the GED. In addition to official transcripts and GED scores, applicants submit ACT or SAT scores, a pastoral recommendation letter, and an academic recommendation letter. A private college, BCF charges the same per-semester tuition rate to all students, a boon for students who study full time. The college provides more than 100 merit- and need-based financial aid awards each year to eligible students.
BCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
2. Indiana University East
Part of the Indiana University System since 1971, IU East awards over 60 bachelor's and master's degrees. The university's seven schools educate the next generation of teachers, nurses, social workers, and business professionals. Adults returning to school choose IU East's online degree-completion programs for their rigor and asynchronous curricula. Full-time students can earn their bachelor's degrees in 2-3 years.
The online BA degree in English, technical, and professional writing at IU East features a 60-credit curriculum that students can complete in two years if they study during the summer. In class, students hone their writing skills by taking courses in grammar and usage, introduction to critical practices, and technical editing. The major also includes literature courses that compare with most peer programs.
This bachelor's degree in English also includes a senior seminar in which students synthesize their new knowledge and skills by completing a capstone project. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.
Prospective students without 60 transferable credits may still apply, as IU East offers many general education courses online. The university does not require standardized test scores or recommendation letters. A public university, IU East charges in-state students 40% less tuition than out-of-state students. All distance learners also pay an online learning fee for each credit they attempt. As of August 2019, IU East does not award need-based grants or merit-based scholarships to online students.
IU East is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
3. Thomas Edison State University
Trenton, New Jersey
Both first-time and returning college students choose TESU for the university's excellent associate, bachelor's, and master's programs. From its Trenton, New Jersey campus, TESU serves nearly 19,000 students, the majority of whom earn their degrees entirely online. The university's generous transfer credit policy means that incoming students who already possess associate degrees can earn their bachelor's in two years.
The 120-credit BA in English program focuses on analyzing literary devices, genres, and historical impact. The program's general education curriculum covers global learning, human cultures, and natural science. In the major, students take three required courses before selecting six English electives from nearly 40 options that include Chaucer, creative writing, and science fiction. The program concludes with a liberal arts capstone course.
In addition to transferring credit from other regionally accredited colleges or universities, TESU students can earn credit by creating academic portfolios or passing exams. Prospective students can possess either a high school diploma or GED. Applicants under 21 cannot apply unless they join the armed forces. TESU grants waivers to this requirement in certain circumstances.
Applicants to the bachelor's degree in English online program do not submit test scores or recommendation letters. Students who take more than 10 credits each semester qualify for a flat tuition rate, which saves them money compared to part-time students. Incoming students interested in university-funded financial aid should apply by the July 31 or the January 31 deadlines.
TESU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
4. University of Houston – Victoria
The University of Houston System comprises four institutions in and around Houston, Texas, including UHV. UHV's three schools educate over 4,000 students in the arts and sciences, business administration, and human development. Students can earn most degrees either on campus or entirely online. Full-time students with some prior college education can graduate in just two years.
The bachelor of arts degree in English program at UHV includes coursework in professional writing, foreign language, and gender studies. Students customize their degrees through a specialization and elective credits. For the specialization, in-state online students can earn a secondary teacher certification. The certification program includes student teaching and courses in instructional design and child development. Students who earn certification can complete their degrees on the same timeline as the general bachelor's program.
Prospective students can apply for the summer, fall, or spring semesters. Freshman applicants should possess a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and an 18 on the ACT or 940 on the SAT. UHV does not accept the GED. UHV uses the same GPA cutoff for transfer students. Texas residents save nearly 70% on tuition compared to their out-of-state peers. Incoming students apply to all university-funded scholarship opportunities by submitting their FAFSA results. Students can also research private scholarships on the UHV website.
UHV is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
5. Louisiana State University – Alexandria
A member of the LSU system, LSUA serves over 3,300 undergraduates. The university offers certification programs that help experienced professionals become Louisiana public school teachers or pharmacy technicians. In online programs, some students can graduate within two years depending on their prior education.
Students in the bachelor of arts in English online program at LSUA earn 120 credits. Transfer students may apply up to 60 previously earned credits toward their degrees. In the major, students analyze literature, drama, and significant African American writers. Transfer students who need additional general education credits may take them online. LSUA uses Moodle to deliver online course content and tutoring resources. Students remain in good academic standing by maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Prospective students can apply for one of seven annual start dates, making LSUA a strong choice for students who want to begin coursework as soon as possible. Applicants must possess a high school diploma that reflects a minimum 2.0 GPA. Other application requirements include ACT or SAT scores.
Although a public university, LSUA charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all students regardless of residency. The university awards need-based aid to eligible students who submit FAFSA results. active duty military personnel automatically receive additional tuition assistance.
LSUA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
6. West Virginia State University
Institute, West Virginia
A historically black university that dates back to 1891, WVSU now educates an ethnically diverse mix of students on campus as well as online. The university awards six online undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree. Most full-time online students graduate in four years.
The BA in English technical writing program at WVSU blends English literature courses with technical writing, practical English writing, and editing courses. The 120-credit program also includes 35-40 credits of general education courses and 35-40 elective credits. Electives allow students to complete a second major or minor such as health sciences, criminal justice, or business administration. WVSU extends this flexibility by allowing its English students to design a cognate, or a related field in which students specialize in a topic.
WVSU accepts applicants with high school diplomas or GEDs. High school graduates must possess a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. First-time freshmen applicants also submit ACT or SAT scores. WVSU considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis, and transfer students can apply up to 72 credits toward their WVSU bachelor's degrees.
Compared to on-campus students, online students save over 50% on tuition. Also, out-of-state students do not pay a higher tuition rate than in-state students. WVSU does not award scholarships or grants to online students.
WVSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
7. Arizona State University – Skysong
ASU provides a rigorous education to more than 60,000 students studying at its nine Arizona campuses and online. The university operates over 12 colleges and schools that award over 700 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Undergraduate students who enter ASU as freshmen can earn their degrees in only three years if they follow ASU's Fast Track Option. Transfer students can earn their degrees in just one year.
The online bachelor of arts in English program at ASU offers a unique curriculum in which all courses last seven weeks. The major curriculum includes coursework in critical reading, literature, and composition. Students personalize their degrees through electives. Transfer students can apply up to 90 outside credits toward their ASU online English bachelor's degree. ASU helps online students find internship opportunities in their home communities.
ASU offers start dates every two months. The university does not accept the GED, and applicants must possess either a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or a minimum 22 ACT score. The university maintains more rigorous admission requirements for out-of-state applicants. Incoming transfer students without ACT or SAT scores take the ACCUPLACER exam to determine initial English and math course placement. Arizona residents save 20% on tuition compared to their out-of-state peers. Online students do not qualify for university-funded scholarships or grants.
ASU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
8. University of Illinois at Springfield
Located in the heart of the state capital, UIS educates nearly 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Prospective distance learners should consider UIS for its 20 years of experience educating students online. The university has won multiple awards for its online programs. Only transfer students may apply to UIS's online bachelor's programs. As a result, full-time distance learners can earn their degrees in 2-3 years.
Students enrolled in the online bachelor's in English and modern languages program hone their writing, editing, and critical thinking skills. Major courses include early British literature, linguistics, and a capstone. Online students benefit from academic advisors who work with them throughout their time at UIS. Students who graduate with a 3.7 GPA receive an honors diploma.
UIS accepts new online students in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The university considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis, and prospective online students should possess at least 30 transferable credits. Application materials include a form and undergraduate transcripts that reflect prior coursework in English literature and composition. Even if they do not meet all requirements, some candidates may receive conditional admission.
Although a public university, UIS charges the same credit-based tuition rate to all online students. Illinois residents may qualify for financial aid through the Aim High Scholarship Program.
UIS is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
9. Heritage University
Located on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington, Heritage's roots date back to the early 20th century. Today, the university partners with local community colleges to help students transfer between associate and bachelor's programs. Out-of-state students should consider Heritage for the university's three online programs, all of which provide asynchronous learning. First-time college students who study full time can earn their bachelor's degrees in just four years.
The online bachelor of arts in English program offers a 120-credit curriculum that includes general education courses, major courses, cross-disciplinary courses, and electives. The major emphasizes coursework in English composition, applied syntax, and literary theory. The program concludes with a capstone course wherein students either perform independent research or produce a creative work. Recent bachelor's degree in English graduates work as librarians, grant writers, and journalists.
Heritage accepts new students in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Prospective students can possess either a high school diploma or GED. The university does not require standardized test scores or recommendation letters. Transfer students may apply up 60 outside credits toward their Heritage bachelor's degrees.
A private university, Heritage charges the same tuition rate to all students. Incoming students who possess a minimum 2.75 high school GPA can apply for the Moccasin Lake Foundation Scholarship. Heritage offers additional scholarship opportunities for strong students.
Heritage is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
10. University of Colorado Denver
At CU Denver, many undergraduate programs include online, on campus, and hybrid options, allowing students from all over the world to earn bachelor's degrees. More than 11,000 students at CU Denver earn their degrees entirely online, making the CU Online campus one of the largest distance learning programs in the region. As the university accepts transfer credit, most online undergraduate students earn their degrees in 2-3 years.
Students choose the English writing, rhetoric, and technology program at CU Denver for the flexible online learning it provides and the many ways they can customize their degrees. This bachelor's degree offers over 20 electives, from which students select seven courses. Possible electives include topics in writing, multimedia composition, and an internship that students complete at a business or government agency in their home communities.
CU Denver's online English bachelor's degree program accepts new students in the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Prospective students can submit either a GED or high school diploma. For freshmen applicants, the university requires ACT or SAT scores. Colorado residents save over 60% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international online students. Each undergraduate college awards scholarships to both on-campus and online students. New students apply for scholarships through their CU Denver online accounts.
CU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
11. Clayton State University
At CSU, transfer students with associate degrees can complete their bachelor's programs without having to pause their lives or careers. Advisors work closely with online students to ensure that students take an appropriate course load and graduate on schedule. Online students use the asynchronous BrightSpace platform to submit work, view lectures, and interact with professors and peers. Transfer students who study full time can graduate in two years.
The BA in English online program at CSU requires students to analyze writing, advanced composition, and cultural rhetoric. After completing core coursework, students select one of five concentrations, including Britsh literature before 1660 and American literature after 1850. Students who need to take additional general education courses to meet graduation requirements can complete them online through CSU.
Applicants to CSU online bachelor's degree in English program submit high school transcripts or the GED, ACT or SAT scores, and the application fee. The university does not require recommendation letters. Online students pay a special per-credit tuition rate approximately 10% less than the on-campus tuition rate. New students can access an online scholarship database to apply to both university-funded and private scholarship opportunities.
CSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
12. Ottawa University – Online
OU educates approximately 4,800 students. Only 800 complete their degrees in person. The rest take all online courses. The university offers 19 online undergraduate programs and eight online graduate programs accessible to students living all over the world. With its generous credit transfer policies, OU attracts prospective students looking for bachelor's programs that fit around their busy schedules. Full-time undergraduates who enroll at OU as freshmen can earn their degrees in four years.
In the online bachelor's in English program, students gain many in-demand skills that they can apply to either careers or a master's in English program. As a Baptist-affiliated university, OU requires that all students complete some coursework in religious topics. All classes last eight weeks, and new students can start courses at multiple points throughout the year. Throughout the bachelor's degree in English online program, students can contact a university help desk at any time.
OU accepts applications on a rolling basis. Admission requirements include official high school or college transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. OU awards transfer credit for prior college coursework, military service, exams, and portfolios. OU charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all students. Active duty service members save approximately 50% on tuition. OU does not award other university-funded financial aid to online students as of August 2019.
OU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
13. University of Maine at Presque Isle
Presque Isle, Maine
UMPI first opened its doors in 1903 as a teacher preparation college. Since then, it has expanded considerably and has held membership in the University of Maine System since 1965. Nowadays, the university awards 29 undergraduate degrees and five certificates, three of which students can earn entirely online. Unlike some peers, UMPI allows prospective online students to sample online learning without formally applying. Full-time students without transfer credit generally graduate in four years.
The online English bachelor's degree emphasizes five competencies that include critical reading, professional writing, and core composition. Major courses within the 120-credit curriculum include contemporary world literature, creative writing, and introduction to professional communication. Online students use Blackboard to view recorded lectures and submit assignments.
Prospective students should possess either a high school diploma or GED. UMPI does not award transfer credit to students with fewer than 60 transferable credits. Maine residents save approximately 40% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international students. Additional fees apply to online students. Incoming freshmen and transfer students with a minimum 3.0 GPA automatically receive a merit scholarship. Other university-funded scholarship opportunities require a separate application and FAFSA results.
UMPI is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.
14. Nicholls State University
In addition to operating its Thibodaux, Louisiana campus, Nicholls offers over a dozen online programs that convey associate and bachelor's degrees. The university's division of distance education oversees online courses, all of which last eight weeks. Online student support services include counseling, test proctoring, and video tutorials. Unlike some other online colleges and universities, undergraduates without prior college experience can earn their degrees in just three years at Nicholls.
The online bachelor of arts in English program offers three specializations: literary studies, writing and rhetoric, and creative writing. Each concentration provides the same flexibility, as the program delivers all coursework asynchronously. The 120-credit bachelor's degree in English online program concludes with a capstone course wherein students create a final academic or creative project.
Nicholls accepts online students at five points throughout the year. Applicants must possess a high school diploma. Other application requirements for prospective freshmen include ACT scores. All newly admitted students take an in-depth orientation course before beginning academic courses. Although a public university, Nicholls charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all online students. However, the university charges a distance learning fee for each credit online students attempt.
Nicholls is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
15. University of Maryland – University College
Prospective students interested in online education should explore UMUC's academic offerings. The university educates over 90,000 online students in 32 bachelor's and 18 master's programs. Unlike some other online universities, UMUC professors travel to military bases around the world to help deployed active duty military personnel make the most of distance learning. Full-time students can graduate in between two and four years depending on their prior college experience.
The online English bachelor's degree at UMUC features a 120-credit curriculum that allows transfer students to apply up to 90 outside credits. Major coursework includes standard English grammar, Renaissance literature, and postmodern American literature. Students stay in good academic standing by maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA. In-state students planning for careers as Maryland educators can apply this degree toward a master of arts in teaching program at UMUC.
UMUC accepts both high school diplomas and GED scores. Applicants do not submit standardized test scores or recommendation letters. In-state students save approximately 40% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international students. active duty military personnel and their dependents pay the in-state tuition rate. Prospective students may apply for the UMUC Completion Scholarship, which helps gifted transfer students earn bachelor's degrees.
UMUC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
16. Central Washington University
Prospective students who already possess associate degrees or significant transfer credit should consider the online programs at CWU. Online students receive general and program advising, as well as video tutorials that teach them how to use the Canvas online learning system. New students also benefit from two video conferencing sessions with CWU advisors during their first year. Transfer students can earn their degrees in two years.
The English: professional and creative writing program features a 74-credit curriculum wherein students build upon the knowledge and skills they gained during their associate programs. This online bachelor's degree in English features coursework in rhetoric for professional writers, poetry and poetics, and writing and editing for publications. Students can supplement their major by completing a minor in one of five areas such as technical writing or linguistics.
Prospective students can apply for summer, fall, or spring admission. Application requirements include official undergraduate transcripts. Current CWU students interested in the bachelor's in English can apply after fulfilling the university's general education requirements. All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency, and full-time students who reside in Washington save money compared to their part-time peers. CWU awards over 300 university-funded scholarships each year to eligible undergraduate students.
CWU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
17. Valley City State University
Valley City, North Dakota
Valley City, North Dakota-based VCSU brings online education to students well beyond the borders of the Roughrider State. The university offers eight online certificates, 11 online bachelor's degrees, and two online master's degrees. These flexible programs use asynchronous learning so that distance learners can continue working while earning their degrees. Students without prior college experience can earn bachelor's degrees in four years.
Aspiring English teachers living in North Dakota should consider VCSU's English education online program. Students can complete coursework at any time and can also earn a credential in English language learning or library and information science. Students use Blackboard to view lectures and submit assignments. VCSU works closely with students to find appropriate practicum and student teaching sites in their home communities. The program qualifies graduates to receive an initial North Dakota teaching license.
Before applying, out-of-state residents should research whether North Dakota teaching licenses transfer to their home states. VCSU accepts new students in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. New students interested in university-funded scholarship opportunities should submit a separate scholarship application and FAFSA results.
VCSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
18. University of Memphis – UofM Online
Although UofM dates back to 1912, the university has embraced online learning. UofM Global offers sixty undergraduate and graduate programs that students can complete entirely online. Incoming students can earn credit from prior college coursework, exams, and academic portfolios. Online students also benefit from online technology, academic, library, and financial aid services. Most online students graduate in 2-4 years.
The online bachelor's degree in English program at UofM offers two concentrations: African American literature and professional writing. The latter appeals to students who plan to pursue technical writing careers. Unique elective courses include children's literature, studies of popular texts, and the graphic novel. Online students can speak to academic advisors at any time. Academically gifted students can enter the university's honors program. This program requires an honors thesis as a capstone.
Prospective students can apply for the fall or spring semesters. UofM considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. All new online students take the Smart Start assessment program to hone the skills necessary to succeed as a distance learner.
UofM charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all students. Full-time and part-time students benefit from guaranteed tuition, as their tuition does not increase as long as they remain enrolled. UofM awards over a dozen university-funded scholarships each year to undergraduate students. New students can also research private scholarship opportunities on the UofM website.
UofM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
19. University of Central Florida
At UCF, prospective students can explore over 80 online bachelor's and certificate programs. Florida residents can enroll in hybrid programs, taking some courses online while taking others at one of UCF's 11 campuses throughout the state. Students can connect with a success coach at any time to receive personalized academic advice or troubleshoot problems with online learning. The university accepts transfer credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities. Transfer students who study full time can graduate in two years.
UCF offers three bachelor's degree in English programs: literature, technical communication, and creative writing. All three programs feature the same rigorous core curriculum. The literature program emphasizes persuasive writing skills and prepares students for graduate study or careers in journalism. The technical communication major stresses in-demand technical writing skills. Finally, the creative writing program attracts students preparing for careers as playwrights, journalists, or educators.
UCF uses rolling admission, and applicants can apply for start dates up to one year in the future. Prospective students should possess associate degrees or adequate transfer credit. Undergraduate transcripts should reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA. Florida residents save over 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international students. UCF's academic departments award scholarships to eligible students. Incoming students interested in scholarship opportunities submit a separate application and FAFSA results.
UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
20. Western New Mexico University
Silver City, New Mexico
From its Silver City campus, WNMU helps online students earn associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Each semester, students choose from more than 200 entirely online courses. Unlike some peers, WNMU offers most online courses in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Full-time online students can earn their degrees in four years.
Students in the online bachelor's degree in English program can earn either a BA or BS. In the BA program, students take additional electives in the social sciences, while students in the BS program complete coursework in the natural sciences. Both programs feature the same general education and major course requirements. The 36-credit major features coursework in British literature, advanced creative writing, and Shakespeare.
Prospective students can apply for the spring, fall, or summer semesters. Application requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores, ACT or SAT scores, and FAFSA results. Standardized test scores or Accuplacer results determine students' initial English and math course placements. Out-of-state online students pay 20% more tuition compared to in-state students. As long as students maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, their tuition does not rise.
WNMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
21. Eastern Oregon University
Le Grande, Oregon
At EOU Online, students can choose from 17 bachelor's programs, 20 minors, and three certificates. In-state students can also earn their degrees in a hybrid format at one of EOU's 11 Oregon campuses. Online students gain access to multiple resources, including in-person advising, tutoring, and a writing center. Online students can earn their degrees in two or four years depending on the number of transfer credits they possess.
The bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in English/writing program at EOU includes a core curriculum that features coursework in fiction writing, American literature before 1865, and professional writing. Oregon residents planning for careers as postsecondary education teachers can supplement their degrees by completing a teacher education program. Students can shorten their time in school by taking CLEP exams or submitting academic portfolios that demonstrate content mastery.
EOU accepts new students in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Admission requirements for freshmen applicants include GED scores or high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must possess at least 30 credits that reflect a minimum 2.25 GPA. Although a public university, EOU charges the same credit-based tuition to all students regardless of location. Oregon residents may qualify for merit-based scholarships.
EOU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
22. East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tennessee
Students interested in hybrid bachelor's degree completion programs should consider ETSU. Formally a teacher training college that first opened in 1911, ETSU now offers dozens of bachelor's programs, 15 of which students can complete either entirely or mostly online. Students who start their degrees as freshmen can graduate in four years.
The mostly online BA in English literature program at ETSU requires some class meetings on the university's Johnson City campus. The flexible curriculum offers two tracks: the standard pathway and the initial Tennessee teacher licensure pathway. Both accept freshmen and transfer students. In the standard major, students take courses in Shakespeare, world literature, and descriptive linguistics. In the teaching major, students complete a 24-credit minor in secondary education. Some courses use asynchronous learning, while others use synchronous learning.
Prospective students can apply for the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Transfer students should possess at least 60 credits from regionally accredited colleges or universities. As the online bachelor's degree in English program accepts only Tennessee residents, all students pay the in-state tuition rate. Students who take 15 or more credits each semester do not pay additional tuition. Students may qualify for the Tennessee Hope scholarship or one of ETSU's institutional scholarships. These scholarships require separate applications and FAFSA results.
ETSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
23. Mercy College
Dobbs Ferry, New York
Originally a strictly Roman Catholic institution when it first opened in 1950, Mercy College now accepts students from all religious and cultural backgrounds. The college operates four campuses through the New York City area and charges some of the lowest tuition rates of all New York state private colleges. Full-time students entering Mercy as freshmen can earn their degrees in four years.
The 120-credit online BA in English program at Mercy helps students prepare for technical writing careers. Students can complete the program entirely online or through a hybrid format in which some courses take place on Mercy's Dobbs Ferry, Manhattan, or Bronx campuses. Students in the program complete required courses before selecting electives such as the Bible as literature, Hemingway, or science fiction. The final semester includes a capstone seminar in literary research and writing.
Prospective students submit high school or college transcripts and a completed application. Mercy does not require standardized test scores or recommendation letters. Transfer students can apply up to 75 outside credits toward their online bachelor's degrees in English. Mercy charges a per-credit tuition rate to part-time students and a flat tuition rate to full-time students. This tuition structure saves full-time students thousands of dollars. Mercy awards dozens of merit-based scholarships to eligible students each year.
Mercy is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
24. Granite State College
Concord, New Hampshire
One of the four colleges that make up the University System of New Hampshire, GSC operates seven campuses throughout the state in addition to a robust distance learning presence. Prospective transfer students researching online bachelor's completion programs should consider GSC, as transfer students make up over 80% of the college's student body. As a result, most students earn bachelor's degrees in two years.
The English language arts (BA) program at GSC features three teacher certification options: early childhood education, general special education, and elementary education. Each of these certifications prepares students to educate children with mental or physical disabilities. Graduates qualify for an initial New Hampshire state teaching license. GSC offers graduates career counseling services for one year.
GSC accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants without high school diplomas can submit GED, TASC, or HiSET scores. New bachelor's in English students can start their degrees in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. In-state students and non-residents pay similar tuition rates, making GSC a strong choice for out-of-state students. The college awards seven institutional scholarships. GSC participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which awards additional tuition assistance to active duty military personnel and veterans.
GSC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education. The teacher education program holds accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.
25. National University
La Jolla, California
At NU, students can earn associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees entirely online, as the university offers more than 100 distance learning programs. Full-time students without prior college experience can graduate in four years. Some transfer students can earn their degrees from NU in one year.
The bachelor of arts in English program at NU offers two tracks: a generalist option and a track that awards initial California teacher licensure. The program provides tremendous flexibility. Besides one required course, the curriculum allows students to select courses from over two dozen English electives. Students can enroll in courses like representation in the media, nature writing, and the origins of English. Students who do not select the teacher licensure track can complete an optional concentration in creative writing.
NU uses rolling admissions. As classes start every four weeks, new students can begin their coursework as soon as possible. Students in the teacher licensure program must live in California so that they can complete student teaching in California public schools. A Yellow Ribbon school, NU awards tuition assistance to veterans and active duty military personnel.
NU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The teacher education program holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The Advantages of an English Education
Candidates with an online bachelor's degree in English often pursue positions as editors and writers. Other graduates become public relations specialists who create advertisements, press releases, and social media posts for companies. English graduates can also write speeches and journalistic pieces, become news reporters, or pursue paralegal professions.
In addition to these careers, English majors can pursue roles that require only an associate degree, such as announcer and self-published author. The BLS projects growth for many of these professions. For example, the BLS projects public relations specialist and technical writing positions to increase 9% and 11%, respectively, from 2016-2026.
Bachelor's programs also prepare students for graduate studies, which can lead to advanced positions. For example, many colleges require postsecondary teachers to hold a master's degree. Also, K-12 schools may require instructional coordinators, who shape English curricula for classrooms, to hold a graduate degree.
The following section explores some bachelor's-level positions in the field, detailing each position's responsibilities and average salary by experience level.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Associate Degree in English||$42,000|
|Bachelor's Degree in English||$58,000|
English Degree Salary Information
After earning an English bachelor's degree online, graduates can write novels, instructional manuals, and news reports. Graduates can also help companies with editing, public relations, and advertising.
Professionals with an English degree can pursue career options in various fields. For example, reporters can focus on an area such as sports, international news, theater, or travel. Individuals who provide public relations or advertising services can work with restaurants, game companies, floral shops, television networks, and nonprofit organizations. Candidates for any of these careers should understand grammar and writing structure, boast strong research skills, and demonstrate attention to detail.
- Editors may assign or approve articles for publication and make formatting decisions. These professionals review drafts and either offer critiques or make changes to the text. Editors ensure final products are grammatically, structurally, and factually accurate. Companies may also hire editors to review public submissions and determine which pieces to accept.
- Writers and Authors
- Writers and authors create fiction and nonfiction books, as well as articles, scripts, speeches, and advertisements. These pieces often require research and citations. Writers work with deadlines and incorporate editor feedback. Specific positions include copywriters, biographers, and children's authors. Approximately 64% of writers and authors are self-employed and can work remotely.
- Public Relations Specialists
- Public relations specialists design promotions that reflect positive company images. They may construct press releases, write speeches, and correspond with the public. These professionals may also oversee social media efforts and preview advertising materials. Public relations specialists can work in advertising, education, business, and government settings.
- Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts
- These professionals work with television networks, newspapers, and radio stations to provide information on current events. Responsibilities include gathering facts and public opinions on local and worldwide occurrences and editing work for grammatical correctness and factual accuracy. Individuals should boast strong communication skills and hold a relevant degree, such as an online bachelor's degree in English.
- Technical Writers
- Technical writers create guides and manuals that help the public understand programs, processes, and concepts. Candidates may use visual elements, such as charts and pictures to express ideas. These writers may revise instructional materials based on public reactions or product alterations. Companies often require technical writers to have expertise in the field about which they write.
Salary by Experience Level for English Careers
|Writer or Author||$50,000||$49,000||$50,000||$65,000|
|Public Relations Specialist||$39,000||$45,000||$57,000||$61,000|
|News Analyst, Reporter, or Correspondent||$50,000||$66,000||$51,000||$108,000|
Choosing an Online English Degree Program
Prospective students should consider factors such as cost, admission, school size, and program requirements when choosing where to pursue their online bachelor's degree in English. In-state public institutions typically offer the lowest tuition rates. Additionally, students attending nearby schools can more easily fulfill on-campus requirements. However, the flexibility of online learning means students can consider geographically distant institutions with programs that fit their interests and career goals.
- Program Cost: Students must pay for college expenses, including tuition, fees, and books, while also managing living costs. Learners should only consider schools that fit their budget. Choosing a school outside your financial capacity can lead to delayed tuition payments, which can hinder future enrollment. Choosing a less expensive program can also prevent excessive student loan debt.
- Transfer Policies: Students with previous college credit should consider schools that participate in transfer agreements. These agreements often allow learners to apply previous coursework toward major or general education requirements, rather than electives. Generous transfer policies can reduce both graduation time and total program cost.
- School Size and Type: Learners who prefer interactive learning environments can select smaller schools with low student-to-faculty ratios. Students should also consider school type, since some private schools integrate religious philosophies into coursework. Additionally, private institutions typically charge higher tuition rates than public schools.
- Program Length: Learners who want to graduate quickly can consider programs with accelerated enrollment options or fewer credit requirements. Other students may need a slower learning pace to balance family, professional, and academic responsibilities. These students should choose programs that allow part-time enrollment and offer tuition guarantees that prevent yearly tuition increases.
- On-Campus Requirements: Online programs may include on-campus components such as orientations, labs, and seminars. Some departments require multiple campus visits per year. Prospective students should consider travel time and the frequency of in-person components to determine whether the program fits their lifestyle.
Accreditation for Online English Degrees
Accreditation indicates a school has been reviewed and approved by a recognized accrediting agency. These agencies must hold approval from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Students should only consider accredited institutions, since accreditation verifies the institution offers quality programs. Many employers and graduate schools only accept degrees from accredited schools. Additionally, students at unaccredited colleges and universities do not qualify for federal aid. Choosing an accredited school ensures your time and financial investments result in a degree with practical value.
Schools may hold national or regional accreditation. Generally, national accreditation applies to vocational or trade programs. Regional accrediting agencies evaluate institutions within their geographic region. Regional accreditation is older and more prestigious than national accreditation.
Individual programs can receive accreditation from a field-specific agency. Since English programs rarely hold programmatic accreditation, students should search for programs at regionally accredited institutions. Regional accrediting agencies include the Higher Learning Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Some online bachelor's degrees in English offer concentrations that relate to certain careers. For example, a fiction concentration prepares students to write novels, while aspiring advertisers can benefit from earning a media writing specialization. Candidates pursuing a bachelor of English online should search for concentrations that are relevant to their career goals.
This concentration may explore multiple fictional styles or focus on one type, such as screenwriting or poetry. Students typically explore topics such as literary devices, plot and character development, and publication. Coursework may cover specific genres, such as fantasy.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: A fiction concentration prepares students for careers as novelists, playwrights, and screenwriters.
Students specializing in nonfiction prepare to write factual pieces such as biographies, essays, news articles, and social science texts. Coursework may emphasize research and citation formats, writing styles, and editing techniques.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Graduates often work as journalists, reporters, and authors of scholarly books and articles.
Students examine famous U.S. writers such as Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. Departments may divide this information by time period or writing type, such as short stories, poetry, and novels. Learners also examine literary traits of American writers and their evolution over time.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Graduates with an American literature specialization can write reviews and analyses of American writing styles or pursue certification to teach literature in K-12 classrooms.
Editing and Publishing:
This concentration explores modern publication, including digital opportunities and varied editions. Coursework often covers legal concerns, such as public domain and copyrights. Students may explore editing strategies and entrepreneurial aspects of professional writing. Departments may require an internship.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Students prepare for careers as editors and book publishers.
Media writing students explore various writing formats, including magazine and web articles. Learners may study technological opportunities for news writing and advertising, along with research and editing techniques for contemporary pieces. This concentration may cover grant writing and expository works.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Graduates often create advertising or news publication pieces for print and virtual sources.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in English?
An online bachelor's degree in English typically requires 120 credits, which most full-time students complete in four years. Learners with previous college credits can shorten this time frame by choosing programs with generous transfer policies. Students can also take course loads that exceed full-time requirements.
Learners with busy schedules can study part time. However, this choice generally increases degree completion time.
Personalizing your learning pace can impact the overall program cost. For example, tuition can increase each year, which could increase total college expenses for part-time students. Additionally, schools may charge fees or higher per-credit tuition rates for students who take course loads above or below full-time status.
Institutions may also offer accelerated enrollment options that allow students to earn credits more quickly. Other programs use a cohort format, in which learners progress through the curriculum in groups. Cohort programs do not permit individual learning paces.
Courses in an Online Bachelor's in English Program
Introduction to Literature
Students explore literary techniques for writing and analyzing fictional works, including relevant terminology. Departments may focus on a specific genre, such as novels and poetry, or provide theoretical examinations of several genres. The class may also address stories' historical and sociological contexts and examine strategies for finding literary meaning.
This class provides a foundational understanding of creative formats, such as short stories, novels, and poetry. Students may also learn to use creative elements in nonfiction writing. This course often requires several writing assignments and workshops, during which learners obtain peer feedback. Students often analyze techniques used in famous writing examples.
These courses focuses on Shakespeare's works, typically with consideration to each piece's historical context. Students may examine the impact of these works on the English language, as well as their influence on literary genres such as tragedy and romance. This course may address character development and thematic choices within Shakepeare's plays.
Students explore rules for word usage and learn to create effective and structurally sound sentences. This class helps learners choose appropriate and clear phrases and formats to convey intended meanings. Coursework may examine grammar throughout history, along with current approaches to semantics and syntax.
This course trains students to present complicated information in ways readers can easily understand. Coursework may focus on medical or scientific documents or may cover general formats and techniques for technical guides. Students learn to identify and assess audiences to choose the most effective methods for delivering information.
Paying for Your Online Bachelor's in English Degree Program
Paying for an online bachelor's degree in English varies on a student-by-student basis, with tuition costs depending on the college or university. Learners should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine what types of federal aid and how much federal aid they might qualify for. Federal aid provides degree-seekers with loan and grant opportunities. Many English students choose to explore scholarship opportunities since they do not need to pay those awards back after graduation, unlike student loans.
Scholarships for Accounting Students
Who Can Apply: Available to undergraduate and graduate students with a declared major in English, communications, photography, journalism, or creative writing, the Bodie McDowell Scholarship requires applicants to possess outdoor knowledge. Candidates must also commit to a career in outdoor communications after graduation.
Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
Who Can Apply: The ACES Merv Aubespin Scholarship provides financial assistance to five students majoring in journalism, creative writing, communications, or English. Applicants must be juniors and plan to pursue a career in copy editing through a full-time copy editing internship or job.
Amount: $1,000 to $2,500
Who Can Apply: Offered as part of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, the Carl and Christine Huebner Scholarship serves graduating high school seniors and home-schooled students planning to major in creative writing, music, visual arts, or performing arts. Applicants must meet a 2.6 minimum GPA and live in Iosco County.
Who Can Apply: Offered to full-time college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors pursuing a degree in creative writing, English, or a related field, the Go on Girl! Aspiring Writer Scholarship requires applicants to meet a 2.5 minimum GPA. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens of African descent attending a historically black college or university.
Who Can Apply: The Kathleen Fisher Memorial Scholarship provides annual awards to students across the country majoring in English, creative writing, journalism, horticulture, or plant science who meet the 3.0 minimum GPA requirement. Applicants must provide a letter of support from a faculty member and plan on pursuing a career in garden media communications.