Rankings

Best Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs 2021

Best Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs 2021

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Highly transferable skills in communication, editing, and critical thinking allow writers to excel in journalism, advertising, corporate communications, and popular writing, including mediums like novels and screenplays.

Writers and authors earn a median annual salary of $63,200, with top earners working in the performing arts and sport industries. While employment in newspaper, book, and magazine publishing is projected to decline between 2019-2029, writers enjoy growing opportunities in online publications and services.

This page contains important details for distance learners considering an undergraduate writing program. Read on to learn more about online education formats, curriculum requirements, learning outcomes, and admissions criteria for the 10 best technical and creative writing online degrees.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs

#1 Florida International University Miami, FL
#2 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#3 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#4 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
#5 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
#6 Indiana University-East Richmond, IN
#7 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
#8 University of Wisconsin – Superior Superior, WI
#9 University of Colorado Denver, CO
#10 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR

The Best Online Bachelor’s in Writing Programs

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4

Nicholls State University 

Thibodaux, LA Apply Now

About this school

Opened in 1948 and one of only a few universities serving the bayou area, Nicholls educates approximately 6,500 students. The institution offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The school's online bachelor of arts in English offers concentrations in creative writing, literary studies, film studies, writing, and rhetoric. Core courses begin with English 220, then continue through literature electives, topped off by a capstone component. Students qualify for careers in numerous communications fields, from writing to journalism.

High school graduates must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and a 21 ACT composite score or 1060 SAT composite score (Louisiana high school graduates). Alternatively, a 23 ACT composite score or 1130 SAT combined score. Transfers must have an associate's degree, or at least 18 credits with a minimum college GPA of 2.0.

Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
Online Enrollment
49%
5

Clayton State University 

Morrow, GA Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1969, CSU offers 35 undergraduate degrees, eight graduate degrees, and six associate degrees to more than 7,000 students. The school's online component offers most degree programs.

Students enrolled in the bachelor of arts in English degree program pursue writing or literature concentrations. Core courses for both concentrations include world, British, and American literature. Upper-division core classes focus on literary and writing studies, critical theory, and a senior capstone project.

Freshmen applicants must submit high school transcripts with minimum SAT scores of 480 in Evidence-based Reading and Writing and 440 in Math; or a minimum ACT composite score of 17. Transfer applicants must submit an official transcript from previously attended universities or colleges. Credits may be accepted from regionally accredited colleges and universities, with a minimum grade of C.

Graduation Rate
30%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
Online Enrollment
54%
6

Indiana University-East 

Richmond, IN Apply Now

About this school

IU East offers 44 online degrees and certificates, providing an affordable, flexible education with the cache of an Indiana University degree. IU East created its online learning niche more than a decade ago.

The school's bachelor of arts in English, technical, and professional writing, emphasizes topics including scientific, argumentative, and professional writing, as well as literary interpretation, and grammar and usage. Armed with critical thinking and organizational skills, graduates qualify for careers including technical writers, documentation specialists, copywriters, and editorial assistants.

Freshmen applicants must submit an official high school transcript; SAT and ACT scores optional. Transfer applicants must submit official college transcripts.

Graduation Rate
41%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
Online Enrollment
78%
7

Chaminade University of Honolulu 

Honolulu, HI Apply Now

About this school

Chaminade University is Hawaii's only Catholic university and one of three Marianist higher-education institutions in the United States. Marianist philosophy focuses on knowledge acquisition, and spiritual expression and growth.

The school's bachelor of arts in English online stresses creativity, analysis, and critical thinking. The program offers writing, literature and criticism, and teaching concentrations. Classes explore American and English literature, creative, expository and poetry writing, and senior seminars. Graduates may pursue graduate studies or professional careers requiring robust writing skills and clear and effective communication.

Applicants must submit at least one official transcript (high school or transfer) and a brief written statement. High school GPAs must be 2.5 or higher. Competitive transfer applicants require a 2.0 cumulative GPA in college classes.

Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
39%
Online Enrollment
52%
8

University of Wisconsin – Superior 

Superior, WI Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1893, UW-Superior enrolls more than 2,600 students annually. The school's online component offers more than 50 undergraduate programs and 11 graduate programs.

The university's online bachelor of arts in writing blends professional, creative and applied writing coursework, enabling students to build a strong writing foundation. Experienced instructors teach fiction, social media writing, and technical writing. Graduates qualify for careers as copy editors, grant writers, journalists, columnists, and technical writers.

First-year students and transfer applicants must submit transcripts; GPA not specified. SAT or ACT scores optional. Credits may transfer from other colleges. Special consideration provided to service veterans with at least 180 days of active duty; military transfer credits available.

Graduation Rate
36%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
Online Enrollment
47%
9

University of Colorado 

Denver, CO Apply Now

About this school

Taught through CU-Denver's College of Liberal Arts and Science, bachelor of arts in English writing, rhetoric, and technology offers instruction in written communication, reading and analysis, and critical inquiry.

Program requirements include introductory English and multimedia courses, a language theory/sociolinguistics class, and two advanced topics. Subjects focus on different writing styles, language theory, grammar, and rhetoric. Students may pair this degree with a bachelor of arts in computer science, either as a double major or a minor. Internship options are also available.

CU-Denver considers a 50% range of GPA and ACT/SAT tests for freshman admission. Freshmen applicants must submit official high school transcripts. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.4 GPA from a regionally accredited college.

Graduation Rate
48%
Percent Receiving Loans
31%
Online Enrollment
28%
10

Eastern Oregon University 

La Grande, OR Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1929, EOU enrolls more than 2,800 students annually and offers 37 degrees and 22 100% online degrees.

EOU Online's bachelor of science/bachelor of arts in English/writing offers a well-rounded combination of writing, literature, and media courses. Students obtain transferable skills and real-world experience through partnerships with nonprofit organizations, independent publishers, and K-12 schools. The degree includes capstone requirements. The BA component adds a foreign-language requirement, while BS students add science credits to their coursework.

Applicants must submit appropriate transcripts. High school students require a minimum 2.75 GPA; students transferring with more than 30 credits require a 2.25 minimum college GPA. The degree accepts up to 135 transferable credits.

Graduation Rate
33%
Percent Receiving Loans
50%
Online Enrollment
67%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Writing Degree?

A bachelor's degree in writing helps students develop skills related to the written word. These include technical skills in writing, grammar, and editing as well as related skills like literary analysis. Writing programs often include workshops, where students receive feedback on writing projects from peers and professors.

A bachelor's degree in writing helps students develop skills related to the written word.

While aspiring novelists and authors are the most likely candidates for enrollment, writing degrees often attract diverse groups of students interested in both creative and technical careers. The degree is well suited for those interested in journalism, marketing, technical communication, or public relations. Writing graduates can also go on to law or business school.

By emphasizing a combination of hard and soft skills, online writing degrees turn students into competent verbal and written communicators, critical thinkers, and creative problem-solvers.

Choosing an Online Program

Because online programs allow students to attend college without being limited by their geographic location, distance learners can find it challenging to narrow down a long list of potential schools. Check out the link below for tips on choosing the best online program for your unique needs.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look for in an Online College

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Writing Program?

Curricula for creative writing online degrees typically consist of general education, major core, and elective courses. The major core is made up of lecture courses and peer workshops, focusing primarily on literature study, writing craft, and writing critique. Other courses may cover editing, technical writing, and other genre- or career-specific skills.

Writing Curriculum

  • Multicultural Literature: A course on multicultural literature strives to increase understanding of various peoples, typically with a focus on broadening the student's exposure to different experiences, values, and belief systems. Students read, study, and discuss historical and contemporary works of multicultural literature, often with an eye toward historically oppressed groups. Topics include key historical figures and the development of various genres.
  • Technical Writing: A technical writing course teaches students how to effectively and professionally communicate technical subjects. Students learn how to research, draft, and edit technical reports, proposals, instructions, and professional correspondence. Coursework typically requires a combination of studying written material and completing practical assignments.
  • Creative Writing: Writing degrees often require several creative writing courses, including an introductory course and several workshops. In workshops, students write short pieces of fiction or poetry and then share with their peers and professor, who provide critique and feedback. Coursework strives to develop each student's creative voice and technical ability.

Writing Careers

A bachelor's in writing provides highly transferable skills in communication, critical thinking, and analysis. Whether you decide to seek traditional employment or work on a freelance basis, every industry needs talented writers and editors to help reach audiences, communicate effectively, and sell products and services.

The list below highlights three popular occupations for writing degree graduates. In many ways, however, a graduate's career options are limited only by their ingenuity and determination. With additional study, work experience, or professional certification, skilled writers can pursue positions in many creative and technical fields.

Writers

Writers and authors create original written content for media, including books, magazines, advertisements, performing arts, movies and television, and online publications. Writers may be employed with a single organization, such as a marketing agency, or they may work with a variety of clients as a freelance contractor. Tasks commonly include research, writing, and editing.

There is no industry standard entry-level requirement for this career, but employers often prefer writers with a relevant bachelor's degree and prior experience. Writing jobs are highly competitive. Writers need strong creative, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Median Annual Salary: $63,200

Technical Writers

Technical writers create digital and hard-copy materials that communicate complex information to a target audience. These professionals commonly compose instruction manuals, journal articles, assembly instructions, and other support documentation. Tasks include researching products, determining user needs, collaborating with tech professionals, and drafting and editing written materials.

A bachelor's degree is usually required to work as a technical writer. Many employers prefer writers with work experience or knowledge of a related technical field. Optional professional certification is available from organizations like the Society for Technical Communication. Technical writers need excellent critical thinking, teamwork, and organizational skills.

Median Annual Salary: $72,850

Editors

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise written material for publication in books, magazines, newspapers, and websites. Job duties vary depending on the type of media an editor works with or the type of editing they do. Common tasks include reviewing story ideas and submissions, revising errors in text, verifying facts, and approving final versions of content.

Employers typically prefer editors with a bachelor's degree in communication, journalism, or English. Relevant work experience may be required for editor positions dealing with specific subjects, like fashion, finance, or technology. Editors must be meticulous and detail-oriented, with strong interpersonal and creative skills.

Median Annual Salary: $61,370

Writing Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are an invaluable resource for personal growth, career development, and community networking. Membership can be especially beneficial for college students looking to expand their professional networks and make connections. Take a look at three of the top professional organizations for writing professionals below.

  • Association of Writers & Writing Programs AWP is a nonprofit literary organization providing support, advocacy, and resources to approximately 50,000 writers and 550 university creative writing programs. Students can apply for membership at a reduced rate. Benefits include access to job listings, current and archived issues of The Writer's Chronicle, and a mentorship program.
  • National Association of Independent Writers & Editors NAIWE is a professional association for writers, editors, and other related professionals. The association focuses on helping members build portfolios and create multiple streams of income. Membership benefits include access to a personal NAIWE webpage, an exclusive job board, professional development resources, and writing opportunities.
  • Authors Guild With a history dating back to 1912, the Authors Guild is the nation's oldest and largest professional organization for writers. The guild advocates for the right of all authors to create without interference and to receive fair compensation. Membership benefits include legal assistance, website services, and career resources. Students can join at a reduced cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Writing Program?

A bachelor's degree typically takes about four years of full-time study to complete. Students who have transfer credits or enroll in summer classes often finish faster.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Writing?

Baccalaureate writing degrees prepare graduates for career opportunities in fields like marketing, journalism, communications, and publishing.

How Much Do You Make as a Writer?

Income potential varies by occupation, employer, and geographic location. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), writers and authors make a median salary of $63,200 per year.

What Is a Bachelor's in Writing?

A bachelor's in writing is a versatile humanities degree that develops skills in critical and creative thinking, writing and editing, and literature analysis.

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