Online Master’s in English Programs 2021

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Students pursuing an online master’s degree in English develop critical, analytical, and creative-thinking skills that apply to practically any field of study. Online English degrees also train enrollees to clearly and effectively communicate ideas and analyses. These transferable skills can benefit degree-holders in various workplace settings.

Graduates of master’s programs in English often pursue careers as high school teachers and college professors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn median annual salaries of $62,870 and $80,790, respectively. Both types of educators earn median annual salaries higher than the median of $41,950 for all occupations.

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Top 10 Programs for English

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 New England College $13560
2 Northern Arizona University $8956
3 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin $4312
4 Heritage University $9240
5 Morehead State University $10422
6 Bowling Green State University $7632
7 Ohio University $9510
8 Texas Tech University $5400
9 The University of Texas at Tyler $4896
10 University of Nebraska at Kearney $5418


Leveraging your English degree

  • Is a master's in English degree worth it?

    A master’s in English can lead to career options in various fields. A master’s in English also meets the degree requirement for many professional and doctoral programs.

  • What can I do with a master's in English?

    A master’s degree in English qualifies holders to pursue doctoral programs. Graduates can pursue careers with an English degree such as teacher, writer, and editor.

  • Can you get an English degree online?

    Yes. Many reputable colleges and universities offer online English degrees at the master’s level.

  • Can I become a teacher with an English degree?

    Teaching remains one of the most popular English degree jobs. Some states require educators to complete a teacher training program.

Why Get a Degree in English?

Earning a master’s in English can lead to career paths in diverse professional fields, along with increased earning potential. According to BLS data, master’s degree-holders earn a median weekly salary of $1,545, compared to bachelor’s and associate degree-holders, who earn $1,305 and $938 per week, respectively.

Professionals with a master’s degree also enjoy lower unemployment levels than workers with less education. Master’s degree-holders can also pursue doctoral studies to access even higher earnings and lower unemployment rates.

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How Much Does an English Degree Cost?

The cost of earning an English degree depends on factors such as type of institution. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees for graduate students at public schools cost $12,171 for the 2018-2019 school year. Graduate studies at private institutions cost $27,776 annually for the same academic year.

Some colleges and universities offer in-state tuition rates to all online learners, regardless of residency status. This can save out-of-state students thousands of dollars in tuition. Online degree-seekers may also save money on costs associated with housing, transportation, and childcare.

Fellowship, grant, and scholarship programs can significantly reduce the cost of earning a master’s in English degree. Learners can apply for scholarships and financial aid programs to minimize student loans and reduce long-term debt.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

The calculation tool below can help students compare the cost of attending various colleges and universities. School websites usually contain much of the required information. In addition to the cost of tuition, learners should budget for books and fees, such as technology fees for online students.

College Affordability Calculator

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

How Much Do English Majors Make?

According to BLS data, English degree-holders earn a median salary of $50,000 per year. However, some jobs for English master’s degree-holders pay much higher salaries. For example, K-12 education administrators earn a median salary of $98,490 per year. The top-paying states for these administrators include New York ($141,020), California ($132,400), and Connecticut ($131,830).

Master’s degree-holders can also become high school teachers, who earn a median annual salary of $62,870, higher than the median for all English degree-holders. The highest-paying states for high school teachers include New York ($88,890), California ($86,900), and Massachusetts ($84,130).

Other high-paying English degree jobs for graduates include technical writer, editor, and postsecondary teacher.

Courses in English

English degree-seekers often specialize in an area such as literature, professional writing, rhetoric and composition, or journalism. Online English degrees typically comprise foundational coursework and specialization classes. Core classes explore topics such as approaches to literature, contemporary fiction, and literary analysis.

Master’s students pursuing an English degree must usually submit a thesis on a topic related to their specialization and professional objectives. Some English programs also require an internship experience, especially for aspiring educators.

Students in this course examine linguistic characteristics such as syntax, semantics, phonetics, morphology, and phonology. Learners use this knowledge to compare English with other languages. Degree-seekers learn how to identify typological patterns and language-specific or universal categories. The course prepares students to teach English as a second language.

The course provides an overview of traditional and emerging trends in literary theory and criticism. Students trace the development of key topics in the field by examining classical literary works by authors such as Aristotle and Plato. Learners also explore modern theoretical trends, such as gender studies and poststructuralist paradigms.

In this class, students examine the role of rhetoric in the history and development of modern liberal education. Coursework familiarizes enrollees with classic rhetorical texts by authors such as Plato and Cicero, along with more recent works by authors such as Kenneth Burke and Harold Bloom. Learners study the relationship between epistemology and rhetoric and the evolving definitions and construction of rhetoric.

Scholarships for English

Colleges and universities often support master’s students through fellowships and grants, some of which feature teaching or research duties. Online English degree-seekers can also explore financial aid opportunities from professional organizations and private nonprofits with an interest in the field.

  • Hannah Beiter Graduate Research Grants

    Who Can Apply: The Children’s Literature Association administers these grants to students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in English. Candidates must be conducting their thesis research in the field of juvenile literature.

    Amount: $500-$1,500

    Explore Here

  • Merv Aubespin Scholarship Fund

    Who Can Apply: The American Copy Editors Society offers this scholarship to college juniors and seniors and graduate students pursuing a degree in English or a related field. Applicants must aspire to a career in copy editing.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here

Online Master’s in English Programs 2021

See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. New England College

    Henniker, NH



    Currently certified English teachers or students interested in pursuing teaching certification in English can earn their master's online at New England College. The Master of Education online degree program offers an English concentration, which can be completed in 1-2 years. The program follows the New Hampshire State Certification Standards for teachers. Online graduate students at NEC can apply for financial aid through federal, state, institutional and private loans. Military students and their families can apply previous coursework and training towards their degree and receive discounts and other financial assistance.

  2. Northern Arizona University

    Flagstaff, AZ



    Northern Arizona University offers 3 different online master's degree programs in English. Students can enroll in a Master of Arts in English - Literature, Master of Arts in English - Professional Writing or Master of Arts in English - Rhetoric, Writing and Digital Media Studies. Graduates can pursue careers in the fields of curriculum development, publishing and educational research. NAU's online programs are offered in 2 formats: self-paced, with weekly start dates that allow students to complete classes within a 6-month subscription; or structured-and-guided, with set start dates and a faculty mentor to assist with asynchronous or scheduled class time learning.

  3. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

    Odessa, TX



    The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a 2-year online graduate degree in English for students interested in pursuing academic research in the field, or entering careers in the fields of education, law, public relations and publishing. The Master of Arts in English online degree program prepares students to enter PhD. programs. Current high school teachers interested in teaching advanced or college-credit courses can also enroll in this program. Online students can apply for federal, state, institutional and private financial aid to help pay for their degree at UTPB.

  4. Heritage University

    Toppenish, WA



    Students interested in teaching high school and college courses in English can earn their master's in English in an entirely online format at Heritage University. The Master of Arts in English program also prepares students to pursue their doctoral degree in English literature, composition theory or linguistics. Courses are asynchronous and available in an online or hybrid format. Graduates from Heritage's English master's program can work as teachers, journalists, editors or communications managers. The college offers financial aid to online students, including federal, state and private aid.

  5. Morehead State University

    Morehead, KY



    Morehead State University offers an online or hybrid master's in English degree with thesis and non-thesis options that are self-paced. Graduates from the online Master of Arts in English program can pursue careers in teaching, law, public relations or publishing. MSU online students pay the same tuition as in-state students and can access financial aid resources. The college's English department offers a range of scholarships. Online students can utilize MSU's Career Services to help prepare them for interviews, applications and resume writing, and internship placement.

  6. Bowling Green State University

    Bowling Green, OH



    There are 3 specialized degree tracks available for prospective students in Bowling Green State University's online master's in English program. The Master of Arts in English online degree is designed to prepare graduates for teaching, writing, editing or publishing careers. Students can pursue a general Master of Arts in English degree, a master's in English with a specialization in teaching or a master's of English in professional writing and rhetoric. Courses are asynchronous to suit an individual student's schedule, and BGSU offers

    Students can earn their master's in English degree at Ohio University through an online format in as few as 16 months. This program starts in May and courses run for 7 weeks. The program doesn't require applicants to take the GRE. Students can apply previous credit toward this degree as well. The Online English Master of Arts for Teachers degree program is designed to prepare secondary teachers to teach college-level English courses, either in their home state or through Ohio's College Credit Plus program.

  7. Texas Tech University

    Lubbock, TX



    Texas Tech University offers the opportunity for students earning their master's in English to develop a specialized thesis as an online student. The Master of Arts in English degree program also allows students to choose a broader course of study in English if they are interested in teaching high school, or to focus in an area of study for a future doctoral degree, or to prepare for a career in the literary world as a publisher or writer. Online students can choose to engage in TTU's Professional Development Curriculum, which prepares students for a future career.

  8. The University of Texas at Tyler

    Tyler, TX



    The University of Texas at Tyler provides an online or hybrid master's in English degree to students who have taken the GRE or have earned a recent master's degree in a field related to English. Applicants must have proficiency in a foreign language as well. Students in the program can choose to pursue a thesis track or non-thesis track. The Master of Arts degree in English program at UT Tyler prepares students to teach at community colleges, among other possible careers. Graduate students in the online program are eligible for financial aid.

  9. University of Nebraska at Kearney

    Kearney, NE



    Students with an undergraduate degree can earn a master's degree in English through an entirely online program offered by the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The program offers an emphasis in writing, and can serve as professional development for current teachers or professionals. Students interested in pursuing an advanced degree in writing may enroll as well, though the online Master of Arts in English degree program does not offer a thesis option. UNK provides financial aid resources for online students, as well as library services and career resources.

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