Best Online English Degrees

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by TBS Staff Writers

Updated September 27, 2022

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 Best Online English Degrees

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University, located in Miami, provides numerous top-tier bachelor's degree programs. The public college supports distance learners across 36 online bachelor's programs. The bachelor of arts in English supports flexible, rigorous study.

The online English degree prioritizes flexibility. Learners work with academic advisors to create a course schedule meeting their career and academic goals. Students also have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

The school reports undergraduate tuition as $16,529. English students can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities while enrolled. The college reports that students receive an average of $8,958 in financial aid.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 39,863

Total Online Programs: 67

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Admission Rate: 58%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online English Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, four-year institution providing competitive study across 62 bachelor's degree programs. Located in Manchester, the private institution boasts 35 online bachelor's degree programs. Learners in the English program are prepared for the demands of the field through rigorous study.

The program prepares English students for a variety of careers. Students complete coursework relevant to the English field, with the option to choose electives and modify the curriculum. Students also have the option to choose a minor and select electives.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $30,756. Enrollees can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid through the college.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 106,762

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 35

Admission Rate: 88%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Online English Degrees

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Central Florida provides flexible study opportunities to distance learners across 47 degree programs. The college offers 19 online bachelor's programs, reaching 41,097 distance learners worldwide. Students seeking competitive, customizable study relevant to the English field will find the school's online BA in English and literature program to be an attractive option. The English program accommodates flexible study, so enrollees can learn at their own pace.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Enrollees also attend general education classes to gain a well-rounded education. Learners can individualize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates often benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $39,900 six years after completing their degree. Undergraduates pay a net price of $11,617 per year at the institution. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements, application materials, and financial aid opportunities should directly contact the English department.

University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 41,097

Total Online Programs: 47

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 44%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
69,402
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online English Degrees

Ottawa University

  • Ottawa, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Individuals seeking advanced online study should consider one of Ottawa University's 25 online degree programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 18 online bachelor's programs. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the English field can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in English program. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

During the English program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the English field. Students also fulfill general education requirements. Enrollees can customize their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates often increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $41,600 six years after finishing their degree. Students hoping to gain admission to the English program should connect with the English department to discuss admission requirements and application materials.

Ottawa University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 731

Total Online Programs: 25

Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Admission Rate: 15%

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,980
Out-of-state
$28,980
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
15%
Students Enrolled
731
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online English Degrees

University of Missouri

  • Columbia, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Missouri, a public, four-year institution, offers competitive bachelor's degree programs. The English program is one of 14 online bachelor's degree programs available through the institution. The bachelor of arts in English supports flexible, rigorous study.

Students in the English program complete coursework pertinent to the field. Students complete general and advanced coursework, with the opportunity to modify the curriculum. Enrollees can choose electives, minors, and other modifications to individualize their studies.

Currently, undergraduate English students pay $26,991 in tuition. Students can receive financial aid to offset the cost of their degree. Enrollees can expect to receive a financial aid award package of $10,464.

University of Missouri at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,722

Total Online Programs: 58

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Admission Rate: 81%

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,120
Out-of-state
$26,991
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
30,014
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online English Degrees

University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Adelphi, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online

Students seeking to enroll in a competitive bachelor's degree program should consider the University of Maryland Global Campus. The public college supports distance learners across 31 online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor's in English program supports flexible study.

Students benefit from a rigorous curriculum. The program curriculum equips students with industry-relevant knowledge. Enrollees can choose electives and minors to supplement their learning.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $11,976. Distance learners at the accredited school can qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid. The average financial aid award per student at this college is $4,484.

University of Maryland Global Campus at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 52,298

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 31

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,200
Out-of-state
$11,976
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
58,281
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 Best Online English Degrees

Maryville University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, Maryville University enables online learning across 52 online degree programs. Of these online programs, 23 offer an undergraduate-level education. For students looking to advance in the English field, the school's online bachelor of arts in English is a wise choice. The English program is a flexible option for working professionals and busy students.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing English-specific coursework. These classes incorporate general and advanced knowledge applicable to the English field. Learners have the option to modify their studies, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $44,100. Prospective students should contact the English department directly before applying, to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information.

Maryville University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,651

Total Online Programs: 52

Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Admission Rate: 83%

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online English Degrees

Nicholls State University

  • Thibodaux, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking advanced online study should consider one of Nicholls State University's 16 online degree programs. The college offers nine fully online bachelor's degree programs to undergraduate students. The bachelor of arts in English is a wise choice for students seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in English. The English program allows for full- or part-time enrollment, making it a flexible choice for working professionals and busy students.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the English field. Students complete classes relevant to the English field, as well as general education requirements. While enrolled, learners can customize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Graduates possessing a bachelor's degree can access more job opportunities, and grow their earning potential over time. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $37,200 six years after finishing their degree. Undergraduates pay a net price of $11,545 per year at the institution. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements, application materials, and financial aid opportunities should directly contact the English department.

Nicholls State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,388

Total Online Programs: 16

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 88%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,922
Out-of-state
$6,015
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
6,491
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online English Degrees

Ottawa University-Surprise

  • Surprise, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ottawa University-Surprise, located in Arizona, provides numerous top-tier bachelor's degree programs. Distance learners can choose from 15 fully online bachelor's programs. Distance learners looking to earn an online degree in English can enroll in the bachelor of arts in English program.

The English program enables flexible study. Learners complete industry-specific classes, with the option to add electives and modify their coursework. Students can work with their academic advisor to change classes and select electives.

Undergraduate English students can expect to pay $27,350 in tuition. English students can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities while enrolled.

Ottawa University-Surprise at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 806

Total Online Programs: 18

Online Bachelor's Programs: 15

Admission Rate: 43%

Average Tuition
In-state
$27,350
Out-of-state
$27,350
Retention Rate
36%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
806
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online English Degrees

Columbia College

  • Columbia, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Missouri, Columbia College enables online learning across 33 online degree programs. 23 of these online programs offer an undergraduate-level education. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the English field can enroll in the online bachelor of arts in English program. Learners in the English program benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full- or part-time.

During the English program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the English field. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $36,300 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Those interested in learning more about admission requirements, application materials, and financial aid opportunities should directly contact the English department.

Columbia College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,568

Total Online Programs: 33

Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,912
Out-of-state
$10,912
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,913
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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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