Best Online English Degrees 2022

by TBS Staff Writers, Nalea Ko
reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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English Degrees Online

Earning a bachelor's degree in English can lead to rewarding careers in fields like communications, journalism, and publishing. Graduates can pursue a variety of jobs, such as editor, author, copywriter, and technical writer. Many of these jobs offer higher-than-average salaries and strong projected job growth. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), technical writers earned a median annual salary of $72,850 in 2019, and the BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 7% between 2019 and 2029.

Earning a bachelor's degree in English online gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional responsibilities. Additionally, online learning lets students attend top programs throughout the country without relocating.

Featured Online English Degree Programs

The Best Online Bachelor's in English Programs

#1 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Writing and rhetoric

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

FIU offers an online English degree that requires 120 credits. Classes cover 19th century African American literature, linguistics and modern grammar, and creative writing. Students can take a writing and rhetoric track. This track requires nine credits in advanced business writing, writing and research, and scientific writing. 

Online learners can complete internships with sponsors throughout Florida. Students can gain experience in law, editing and publishing, and public relations. 

FIU accepts applications for the spring, summer, and fall. First-year students must submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students with 60 or more transferable credits must submit college transcripts. 

Available Scholarships: Students with a 3.5 GPA can apply for the $500 Online Distance Learning Scholarship.

#2 Online College in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Creative writing workshops

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

SNHU offers an online English degree with no scheduled class times. Enrollees learn how to plan arguments and analyze literary craft. They develop teamwork and research skills. Degree-seekers complete fiction, poetry, playwriting, and nonfiction workshops. Students also complete a learning experience or internship. 

SNHU fosters a writing community through a reading series, fiction contest, and writers spotlight. The school offers rolling admissions and charges no application fee. Learners can transfer up to 90 credits. 

Available Scholarships: Students from Belknap County pursuing an online bachelor's degree can apply for the Martha Van Hyland Scholarship.

#3 Online College in Florida

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Written communication skills

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

UCF offers more than 100 fully online degrees, including a 120-credit online English degree. The program emphasizes written communication skills. 

Students can complete the degree in English online. However, some electives require in-person class time. Enrollees take classes in theories and techniques of literature and technical writing. They also study creative writing theory and practice. 

Electives let degree-seekers study specific literary genres such as narratives of slavery, Native American literature, and Irish literature. Graduates may work as consultants, copywriters, journalists, or lawyers.  

Available Scholarships: The Phoenix Scholarship benefits students overcoming personal or family issues. Applicants must be in their junior year and need a 3.0 GPA. 

#4 Online College in Kansas

Ottawa University-Ottawa

School Information
Location Ottawa, Kansas
Admission Rate 15%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Ottawa, Kansas-based OU offers an online English degree that emphasizes multiculturalism and the power of words. The curriculum prepares students for graduate school. Learners study different periods of literature, including modern, Romantic, and Victorian. Online degree-seekers complete classes that run for eight weeks each term. 

Required classes include advanced expository writing or creative writing. Students also take theme-based classes such as baseball literature and literature of personal discovery. The online English program ends with an integrative project. 

Students can specialize in secondary education by taking in-person classes at campuses in Kansas or Arizona. 

Available Scholarships: The Life of Significance Award provides $100 per credit for up to 54 credits.

#5 Online College in Missouri

University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Mizzou offers an online English degree that lets students take mostly elective classes. Degree-seekers take two required courses: writing about literature and a writing intensive capstone. After completing core classes, students take electives such as creative writing, ethnic literature, and modern literature.  

The 120-credit program includes mostly self-paced online classes. Students complete the degree fully online. They develop communication, research, and problem-solving skills. 

Mizzou accepts up to 60 transfer credits. Applicants with fewer than 24 transferable credits must submit SAT or ACT scores. Admitted students can start in the fall, spring, or summer.  

Available Scholarships: The Diversity Award provides $2,500 to a student from a racial or ethnic minority community. Admissions considers all incoming students based on their academic records and standardized test scores.

#6 Online College in Arizona

Arizona State University-Skysong

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Analysis of literature and language, analysis of film and  media, a and writing

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Students can earn a degree in English online at ASU. Required coursework covers interpretive theory, rhetoric for writers, and English studies research. Online learners also take tracks in analysis of literature and language, analysis of film and media, and writing. Learners take 39 classes, which equates to 120 credits. Each class takes about 7.5 weeks to complete. 

ASU accepts transfer applicants with at least 12 credits and a 2.0 GPA. Out-of-state transfer students need at least a 2.5 GPA. Students can also apply by taking online courses and earning at least a 2.5 GPA. 

Available Scholarships: The Helen and Ong C. Hing Family First-Generation Scholarship awards one first-generation student about $2,400. Applicants must enroll in a program through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

#7 Online College in Maryland

University of Maryland Global Campus

School Information
Location Adelphi, Maryland
Graduation Rate 15%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Students enrolled in UMGC's online English program focus their studies on American literature or British literature. The American literature focus offers a curriculum on African American authors from modern literature and postmodern work. The British literature focus covers Shakespeare and the history of the English language.  

The 120-credit program features a vertical pathway that lets students apply upper-level courses toward a master's in teaching degree. Learners can transfer up to 90 credits.

Earning a degree in English online prepares graduates for careers in business, education, publishing, and law. Students can gain social and career connections through various clubs. 

Available Scholarships: The Better Together scholarship provides $1,800 to students every semester. Eligible applicants must live in Virginia or Washington, D.C.

#8 Online College in Missouri

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Narrative arts, fantasy and science fiction, and video literacy

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Maryville's 128-credit online English degree features a customizable curriculum with optional minors, majors, and internships. 

Learners study advanced creative writing, multicultural voices, and women's literature. They can further personalize their education with nine-credit tracks in narrative arts, fantasy and science fiction, and video literacy. Degree-seekers can also pursue minors in communications, education, and business.

Self-paced classes run fully online. Students qualify to earn up to 12 credits toward a master's degree through the Early Access program. This program provides graduate courses at undergraduate fees. Online learners can also complete internships at literary magazines or gain experience teaching and peer tutoring. 

Maryville does not require SAT or ACT scores or application fees. Learners can start in the fall, spring, or summer. 

Available Scholarships: The College JumpStart Scholarship, a merit-based award, provides $1,000 to students returning to school.

#9 Online College in Louisiana

Nicholls State University

School Information
Location Thibodaux, Louisiana
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Literary studies, film studies, children's and young adult literature, creative writing, and writing and rhetoric

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Nicholls features an online English degree that focuses on career preparation with five concentrations. Options include literary studies, film studies, and creative writing. 

Before taking concentration classes, learners study writing and research, world literature, and technical and professional writing. Courses follow eight-week sessions. Students also complete electives that include poetry, nonfiction, and film.

Degree-seekers complete a research project their senior year. They also receive career-support services to finalize their academic portfolio. Graduates may work in television, business, or education.

Available Scholarships: Full-time sophomores majoring in English can apply for the Charlene Crawley Scholarship. Applicants need a 3.4 GPA or higher.

#10 Online College in Arizona

Ottawa University-Surprise

School Information
Location Surprise, Arizona
Admission Rate 43%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: N/A

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Students pursuing OU's online English degree explore broad themes and literary periods. 

They begin their studies taking either contemporary literature or sports literature. The plan of study then includes English survey classes, dedicated writing classes, and theme-based classes in subjects such as environmental literature and literature of personal discovery. The program culminates with either a senior comprehensive exam or capstone project. 

Eight-week classes prepare students for graduate school. Students can pursue a master's in education with concentrations that include curriculum and instruction.  

Available Scholarships: The $500 Alumni Impact Scholarship goes to students recommended by a graduate.

Online Bachelor's in English Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Choosing an Online Bachelor's in English Program

An online bachelor's degree in English may include concentrations in areas like literature, communications, and technical writing. Some programs may focus on the technical aspects of the English language, preparing graduates to work as editors or technical writers, while others may emphasize creative writing, training students to work as authors or screenwriters. Most English programs require significant reading, writing, and discussion to encourage critical thinking.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's in English Program?

The curricula for bachelor's in English degrees varies by program, but most programs focus on building a foundation in English and American literature through interdisciplinary studies. Students may explore written composition, different types of literature, and literary criticism. The following list outlines common courses found in online English programs.

Mechanics of Writing

This course examines how to properly use the English language in written communication, covering conventions like grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Coursework trains students to write fluently, accurately, and effectively in English.

Linguistics

Linguistics courses explore the structure and meaning of language, studying how language is used by native speakers through phonetics, semantics, and syntax. These courses teach students to understand and describe how people use language to communicate.

Survey of English Literature

Often split into various periods throughout history, such as pre- and post-19th-century, the typical BA in English includes a broad survey of English literature, emphasizing quintessential authors like Shakespeare. Most BAs also cover American literature from influential historical periods.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in English Degrees

When researching prospective schools, students should always look for a school's accreditation status. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Schools may hold regional or national accreditation. National accreditation typically applies to for-profit vocational and technical schools, while regional accreditation applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only recognize degrees and credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many employers require or prefer candidates to hold an accredited degree. Students can verify a school's accreditation status through the Department of Education's database.

Online Bachelor's in English Careers

Graduates with a bachelor's in English can work in a variety of industries, such as communications, publishing, and journalism. They can also work as educators, interpreters, and translators. The following list outlines several common careers and potential salaries for graduates.

High School Teachers

High school teachers educate students in secondary schools. All states require public high school teachers to hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in one or more content areas, and to earn state licensure or certification. Private schools often don't require teachers to hold the same state-issued credentials.

Median Annual Salary

$61,660

Projected Growth Rate

4%

College Professors

College professors teach students in postsecondary schools. They may also conduct their own research and publish it in scholarly journals. Most four-year universities require professors to hold a doctoral degree, though many community colleges only require a master's degree. Postsecondary teachers are among the top earners in the field of education.

Median Annual Salary

$79,540

Projected Growth Rate

9%

Writers and Authors

A bachelor's degree in English is common among writers and authors, though it is not a requirement for most positions. Many writers and authors specialize in a particular genre -- like science fiction -- or a type of writing, such as screenwriting. Aspiring writers can gain valuable experience through an internship or mentorship, traditionally offered through organizations like newspapers, magazines, and publishing companies.

Median Annual Salary

$63,200

Projected Growth Rate

-2%

Editors

Many editors hold a bachelor's degree in English or a related field. They typically work in a particular industry, such as publishing, advertising, broadcast journalism, or internet publishing. Many editors get their start working for high school or college newspapers or radio stations as intern-reporters or editorial assistants.

Median Annual Salary

$61,370

Projected Growth Rate

-7%

Popular Asked Questions About English Degrees

What Kind of Jobs Can You Get With an English Degree?

Graduates with an English degree can work as writers, authors, editors, interpreters and translators, and public relations or communications professionals. They can also work as social media specialists, copywriters, or technical writers.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's Degree in English?

Graduates can pursue most entry-level writing and editing positions. They can also further their education with a graduate degree, expanding career opportunities.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's in English?

The typical bachelor's degree in English takes four years of full-time study to complete; however, many online English degrees offer accelerated schedules, which may allow students to graduate in 2-3 years.

Is an English Degree a BA or a BS?

Schools may offer a BA or a BS in English. The BS emphasizes technical coursework, while the BA incorporates more liberal arts requirements.

What Is an English Degree Called?

English degrees may also be called English lit, literature, or creative writing degrees.

Do English Majors Make Money?

While salaries vary by location, job, and experience, technical writers earn some of the highest average wages among graduates with a bachelor's degree in English. In 2018, they earned a median salary of $71,850.

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