Online English Degrees 2021

October 7, 2021 , Modified on May 26, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online English Degrees 2021 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Focusing on the study and interpretation of literary texts, bachelor's in English programs produce strong readers, writers, and thinkers. A highly versatile academic major, English prepares graduates for careers in diverse industries, including education, journalism, publishing, and business.

English majors commonly pursue careers related to writing and editing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that writers and authors earn an annual median salary of $67,120, while editors earn an annual median salary of $63,400.

This page ranks the best online bachelor's in English programs. It also includes other important information for prospective students, such as typical courses and scholarship opportunities for English majors.

Online Bachelor's in English Programs

#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
#3 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX
#4 Judson College Marion, AL
#5 Troy University Troy, AL
#6 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle, ME
#7 Columbia College Columbia, MO
#8 Clarion University Clarion, PA
#9 National University La Jolla, CA
#10 University of Memphis Memphis, TN is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Considering a Bachelor's in English Programs? Ask these Questions

Q. What kinds of jobs can you get with a degree in English?

A bachelor's in English degree prepares graduates to work in fields including writing, publishing, journalism, education, and advertising. Students also commonly pursue graduate study.

Q. How long does it take to get an English degree?

A bachelor's in English typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs that students can complete faster.

Q. Is English a BA or BS?

Most bachelor's in English programs confer a BA, though some technical writing and communications programs may confer a BS.

Q. How much does an online degree cost?

According to U.S. News and World Report, the average online bachelor's degree costs $38,496-$60,593. However, costs vary widely by factors like school, enrollment status, and location.

Why Get a Degree in English?

A bachelor's in English builds broad knowledge of American and British literature while teaching students how to interpret and analyze literary texts. Students gain writing, research, communication, and critical thinking skills. They also learn to form, critique, and defend complex arguments about literature.

Graduates can pursue roles in fields such as writing, editing, journalism, and education. An English degree also prepares students for graduate study in many academic fields, including the humanities and business.

Many colleges offer affordable bachelor's in English degrees online, which often give students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

How Much Does an English Degree Cost?

Tuition rates for bachelor's in English programs vary by factors like school, delivery format, and enrollment status. Public schools typically offer lower tuition rates than private schools, and online programs typically offer lower tuition rates than on-campus programs. Accelerated programs enable students to complete their degree faster, potentially saving money on tuition. Conversely, part-time programs take longer to complete and may cost more.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that students at public schools pay an average tuition rate of $17,797 per year. Students at private schools pay an average tuition rate of $46,014 per year.

Pursuing a bachelor's in English online can often save students money. For example, online students save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Our college affordability calculator helps students budget for college by factoring in tuition expenses, expected financial aid, cost of living, and other relevant financial details. Prospective students can enter this information to determine how much they can afford to pay for an online bachelor's in English program.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do English Majors Make?

A highly versatile major, English prepares graduates for a variety of career paths. English majors commonly earn teaching certification and pursue careers as high school teachers, earning a median annual salary of $62,870. Many graduates also work as writers and authors, earning an annual median salary of $67,120. English majors may also pursue jobs as technical writers and make an annual median salary of $74,650.

Earning advanced education can also help English majors advance to higher-paying careers. Some English majors go on to earn a graduate degree, preparing them to teach at the college level. These postsecondary teachers make an annual median salary of $80,790.

Outside of writing and education, English majors can also pursue careers in fields such as public relations and advertising. Public relations specialists earn an annual median salary of $62,810, while advertising managers make a median salary of $141,490 annually.


Courses in English

A bachelor's in English introduces students to the study of writing and literature, emphasizing both literary history and strategies for interpreting literary texts. Most programs focus primarily on British and American literature, though electives frequently cover topics in world literature. Other key courses focus on research, literary criticism, and literary theory.

Some English bachelor's degrees offer concentrations in areas such as creative writing and technical writing. Many English programs require candidates to complete a thesis, which may take the form of a scholarly research paper or a lengthy creative writing project.

Courses vary by program, but this list highlights three courses commonly found in bachelor's in English programs.

American Literature in the 20th Century

The course offers an overview of major literary developments in the 20th century United States. Students may examine regional movements, such as Southern literature and the Harlem Renaissance, along with larger trends, such as modernism and postmodernism.

Survey of African American Literature

The class focuses on African American literature from the colonial era through the present. Students explore the unique development of African American fiction and poetry in relation to slavery, the vernacular tradition, and other cultural factors. Coursework commonly covers major authors such as Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison.

Introduction to Creative Writing - Fiction

Many English programs offer elective courses in creative writing, typically focusing on either poetry or fiction. The course introduces the basic elements of fiction writing, including character, plot, setting, narration, and style. Students learn to analyze texts from a writerly perspective and create original stories.

TESOL Certification

Bachelor's in English graduates often pursue teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) certification, enabling them to instruct English language learners both in the United States and abroad. Often lasting 1-3 months, TESOL programs usually require at least 120 course hours.

More advanced TESOL certification programs may require candidates to hold at least a bachelor's degree. Many schools offer TESOL certification in both online and on-campus formats.

Scholarships for English

English bachelor's degree candidates can pursue financial aid opportunities to fund their studies, including student loans, grants, and scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. This list highlights three scholarship opportunities for English majors.

Beinecke Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Requiring a nomination from a faculty member, the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship Program offers significant funding to junior and senior students who plan to pursue graduate studies in the humanities, arts, or social sciences.

Amount: $34,000

Creative Black Womxn to Watch Scholarship

Who Can Apply: User experience design company Wongdoody offers this scholarship to Black women pursuing creative careers related to advertising, marketing, or experience design. Undergraduate applicants must hold at least junior standing.

Amount: $5,000

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Who Can Apply: Open to high school students of all ages, these scholarships award students in various creative writing fields, including fiction, poetry, drama, and memoir. All applicants must submit a sample of creative work.

Amount: Varies

Online Bachelor's in English Programs 2021

  1. University of Central Florida

    Orlando, FL



    The University of Central Florida offers 3 online English B.A. degrees in Creative Writing, Literature and Technical Communication, all focusing on the study of language, literature and writing. Students learn to read accurately, write clearly and think analytically. Sample courses include Theory and Practice of Creative Writing, Renaissance Poetry and Prose, Fiction Writing, Editing for Creative Writers, Writing for the Technical Professional, Literature of Science and Technology, International Technical Communication, Practical Criticism and Principles of Linguistics. To graduate, students must earn 120 credit hours and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduates are prepared for various professions such as copywriter, educator, journalist, playwright, publisher, higher education administrator, lawyer, librarian, international communications professional, publications specialist, technical editor or writer, and web content specialist. Or, they can pursue graduate studies in English and other disciplines. Online students have access to many UCF resources including financial aid assistance, success coaches, academic advisors, tutors, library services and career counseling. The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of College and schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of Illinois at Springfield

    Springfield, IL



    The online B.A. in English at the University of Illinois Springfield teaches students communication, analysis, presentation, editing, critical thinking, and creative and professional writing skills. Graduates will be able to write with confidence and precision, conduct professional research on academic, social and cultural questions, and be active in shaping the future of literature and culture. The English program prepares students for careers in many sectors, including education, business, media, museums, law and health care, as well as for graduate work at the master‘s or doctoral level. Students participate in interactive online learning communities and complete course work at their own pace within the same semester time frame as on-campus courses. Online students have access to the same educational resources, academic advisers and other course-related materials that on-campus students enjoy. All English majors are assigned academic advisors who assist students in developing their course of study. Courses cover literature, writing, and linguistics and include Early British Literature, Children's and Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing Poetry, Rhetoric and Composition in Digital Media, Poetry, Non-Fiction Writing and Editing. Classes are taught via a variety of tools, methods and strategies, including books, articles, websites and simulations, videos, images, quizzes and tests, asynchronous discussion forums, synchronous web conferences, projects and assignments. Class sizes can range from 15-40 students. To be accepted into the English program students must have completed 30 hours of lower division courses, 2 English composition and 2 literature courses, and 1 writing or rhetoric or grammar course. Advising, tutoring and career services are available. The University of Springfield Illinois is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

    Odessa, TX



    The online B.A. in Humanities degree at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is aimed at students interested in a broad arts and sciences degree with an interdisciplinary perspective unavailable through the combining of a traditional major and minor. Students create, with approval from a faculty adviser, an individualized study plan with an interdisciplinary theme, period, set of problems, specialization, or perspective from at least 2 concentration areas from Art, Communication, English, History or Music. The Humanities degree requires 120 total credit hours – 42 general education, 30 humanities, 24 concentration area and 24 electives. Students must also complete a capstone senior thesis project. Online classes are taught via the Blackboard learning management system by the same faculty instructors as on-campus classes. Students can listen to lectures and complete assignments when convenient. Courses are just 7.5 weeks long, with 6 start dates throughout the year. Financial aid is available to degree-seeking students who qualify. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. Judson College

    Marion, AL



    The B.A. in English at Judson College, available online, prepares graduates for any career requiring clear communication, graduate study and everyday life. The college's Distance Learning Program is designed for adult students whose circumstances prevent them from attending traditionally offered higher education. The program accepts transfer credit, credit by examination, assessment of prior learning, military education credit and contract learning. Students must complete at least 128 semester hours, including requirements for the General Education Core and English major. Many Distance Learning courses are offered in Moodlerooms, a learning management system that delivers content and activities. Other methods of course delivery include video, e-mail, mail, phone and fax. The course structure is provided by the learning contract, which contains instructor contact information, course description, required books, course objectives, learning activities, and method of evaluation and grade determination. Students have 2-4 months, depending on the contract, to complete each course, at their own pace. Up to 18 hours of courses may be selected for each enrollment period. The program offers courses that develop fundamental writing, speaking and critical thinking skills and address various literary periods and genres. Graduates are prepared for any profession requiring a mastery of language and many pursue careers in education, law, medicine, business and creative arts. A minor in journalism includes practical experience through internships with media outlets and the student newspaper. Additionally, Scrimshaw, the student literary magazine, presents the opportunity for creative and scholarly writing, editing and magazine layout. Judson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. Troy University

    Troy, AL



    The B.A. in English at Troy University is available 100% online and helps students develop clarity and directness in the spoken and written language, an understanding of language and meaningful communication, and an ability to use linguistic and literary fact in everyday life. The B.A. is 120 credit hours, and students must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Most classes last 9 weeks, instead of the traditional 16-week semester. There are 2 English minor options, in professional writing and creative writing. Troy uses the Canvas Learning Management System as a platform for online discussions, tests and collaborations with instructors and classmates. Courses include Contemporary American Literature, World Literature, British Literature, Creative Writing, Verse Writing, Forms and Theory of Fiction, Advanced Nonfiction Writing, Technical and Professional Editing, Linguistics and History of the English Language. Career opportunities include copy writer, desktop publisher, editor, librarian teacher, journalist, technical writer and creative writer. The school's virtual online community of students, faculty and staff on Trojan Café also offers information on academic, social, professional and collegiate resources and provides a series of student forums and message boards for students to connect. Troy offers academic advising, tutoring and career counseling support and will work with online students to explore financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Troy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  6. University of Maine at Presque Isle

    Presque Isle, ME



    The online B.A. degree in English from the University of Main at Presque Isle helps students communicate effectively, through proper writing, careful reading, critical thinking and effective speaking – all skills necessary for success. Professors who teach live courses also teach the online courses and all have a Ph.D. or terminal degree. Online students experience the same student-to-faculty ratio as on-campus students. Courses are offered 12 months a year, including 2 summer sessions, so students can take classes that fit their schedules. Classes include critical reading, creative writing, core composition, professional writing, and literary and film analysis. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, of which a minimum 39 are within the English program and 40 hours in General Education. A minor is optional. Participants are each assigned a full-time adviser who both teaches classes and ensures completion of the degree within 3-4 years. Graduates gain marketable skills such as critical analysis, interpreting data, creating persuasive arguments, writing concisely, meeting deadlines, organizing and synthesizing information and assessing an audience. They are prepared for careers in various fields, such as academia/education, writing (journalism, literature, film studies), nonprofit organizations, medicine, law and business. Possible jobs include English educator, journalist, public relations specialist, marketing professional, research analyst or poet. The University of Maine at Presque Isle is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

  7. Columbia College

    Columbia, MO



    The Bachelor of Arts in English program at Columbia College is designed to help students learn critical thinking and communication skills and better understand the human condition through literature. Critical thinking and clear communication skills can be applied across almost every profession -- whether it be writer, editor, sales person, consultant or lawyer -- or effectively be combined with other academic areas for a more specific concentration. Students earning a B.A. in English online must complete 120 credits to graduate, including courses in general education, ethics, foreign language, multicultural, literature and electives. They also must pass a senior seminar class with a grade of C or higher. Note only the literature, not creative writing, emphasis is available online. Online students receive support from an academic adviser through to graduation and may access career services for assistance with finding jobs and internships, writing resumes and practicing interviewing skills. They can also speak with military services staff for help using GI Bill and MTA benefits and advice on transitioning to college. The cost of tuition for an online degree is set at a discounted rate of $375 per credit hour for undergraduates. Military undergraduates pay just $250 per credit hour. To apply, students must complete an application, authenticate their identity, submit an official high school transcript, GED or evidence of satisfactory college work, and a FAFSA if they need financial aid. If applicable, students may also submit official score reports for Advanced Placement, CLEP or DSST to the registrar. Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. Clarion University

    Clarion, PA



    An online Bachelor of Arts in English degree at Clarion University will prepare students for everyday life and almost every profession, including law, communications, advertising, sales and political activism. Students can also easily pair the degree with another academic major to create a more focused concentration. Online English students are required to complete 120 credits to graduate, including 48 for general education, 27 for liberal knowledge, 3 for health and personal performance and 42 for the English major. Core requirements include courses in literature, creative writing and linguistics. All online students must attend an online orientation conducted by a hands-on facilitator in real time. Students have access to resources such as a library, online tutoring, disability support services and career services. Online students pay lower tuition rates: Tuition and fees for a full-time PA resident taking 12 to 18 credits per semester at the Clarion campus is $11,125 (tuition for a non-PA resident is $16,004); whereas the tuition and fees for a PA resident taking a full-time course load online is $9,805 (the non-PA resident tuition is $11,084). To apply, students pay a $35 application fee, submit an official high school transcript and send official SAT or ACT scores. Students may also submit a GED, if applicable, and if the student received the GED more than 3 years ago, SAT or ACT scores are not required. Students are encouraged to include an essay and letters of recommendation, but these are optional. Clarion University does not specify a minimum SAT score to apply; however, the average SAT score is between 1030 and 1070. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  9. National University

    La Jolla, CA



    The Bachelor of Arts in English degree at National University is available online and requires at least 180 completed quarter units, including 76.5 upper-division units and a minimum 70.5 units of general education requirements. The B.A. in English program emphasizes analysis, composition and communication skills, which are necessary to be successful in almost all fields, including law, journalism, sales, marketing, consulting, fundraising and government. Students also may choose to concentrate in Creative Writing, which includes courses in fiction, poetry and screen writing. National University provides year-round enrollment, with new courses beginning every month. English degree courses can be taken 100% online, with students having access to math and writing centers, the National University System Library, Student Concierge Services, academic advisers and staff in admissions and financial aid. National University offers one tuition rate for both online and on-campus courses; however, tuition discounts are available for military personnel and their dependents. To apply, students must complete an admissions application and enrollment agreement. All entering undergraduates with no prior college-level English and/or math courses must take an evaluation as part of the admissions process. Applicants must have graduated from high school, passed a high school level proficiency test or received a Certificate of Proficiency from a state Department of Education. First-time college students are also required to attend an orientation class before enrolling. Transfer students are admitted from regionally accredited colleges and universities if their cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher. The school is regionally accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

  10. University of Memphis

    Memphis, TN



    At the University of Memphis, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in English entirely online through UofM Global. Two concentrations are available to online students: African-American Literature and Professional Writing. African-American Literature focuses on close analytic reading and critical thinking skills, while Professional Writing emphasizes communication skills for careers in publishing, business and technology. Both degrees require 120 completed credit hours for graduation, half of which are general education requirements, 27 taken in the major while the remaining hours are lower and upper division elective credits. Online students have an advisor, just like they would if they took classes on campus, to help them navigate courses and keep on track for graduation. In addition, students have access to Smartstart learning readiness assessment, 24/7 online tutoring and resources detailing online success strategies. Students also can engage with peers and instructors through email, discussion boards and blogging. Beginning in the fall 2018, UofM Global recently lowered its online tuition rates to $420 per undergraduate credit hour. To apply, students are required to complete an application, pay a $25 fee, submit official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores completed in the last 5 calendar years of the term for which students plan to enroll. Students must have fulfilled numerous high school requirements, including English (4 units), visual or performing arts (1 unit), mathematics (3 units), social studies (2 units), and foreign language (2 units). The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Portrait of Reese Lopez

Reese Lopez

Reese Lopez is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the education field. After earning his BA in English from Evergreen State College, he worked as an English language instructor and tutor before joining Affordable Colleges Online. Reese lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also writes fiction and performs in the local music scene.

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