Online English degrees are ideal for those with a deep appreciation for the English language and who enjoy learning about the history of literature.
A degree in English can be a great way to take your passion for words and turn it into an enjoyable, challenging career.
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From teaching to writing and editing, the skills you learn throughout your online English degree program can apply to a number of different career paths.
Online Bachelor’s in English Degrees
An online bachelor’s degree program in English will provide you with a solid foundation to build the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the professional world. Through the course of your degree program, you will participate in a disciplined study of literature and focus on advanced writing and critical thinking skills.
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In addition to the general education courses required to earn your bachelor’s in English degree, you will take specialized classes that may include:
- Studies in World Literary Genres
- Composition and Creative Writing
- Literary Research
- Literary Theory
After graduation, you will be prepared to take on a professional position as a writer, communications specialist, journalist, or editor. Additionally, the communication skills learned throughout this program are a valuable asset when applying for jobs across a variety of different industries.
If you enjoy writing, you could opt to become a writer or novelist. If you prefer more of a research role, a journalist position may suit you better. Perhaps you have a knack for teaching and inspiring others, in that case, you may want to look into teaching English at various levels.
Common Online Bachelor in English Concentrations
English is a vast discipline covering many forms of media, periods, and theories. Programs often allow students to complete a concentration in one area, such as:
- Creative Writing: This specialization focuses on the art of writing fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction. Students study contemporary masterpieces and write creative pieces.
- Digital Humanities: Learn how to use computational approaches and tools to analyze literature. Coursework often includes topics like digital media, online archives, and humanities computing.
- Film Studies: This concentration explores film theory, cinema history, and the relationship between movies and literature. Potential classes include major film movements, gender and sexuality in film, and playwriting.
- Technical Communication: This specialization teaches students how to produce professional and technical documents, such as memos, reports, and white papers. Students frequently learn about topics like grant proposal writing and technical editing.
- Women’s and Gender Studies: Study representations of gender and sexuality in literature and other forms of media. Classes typically cover subjects like feminist theory, novels written by women, and social constructions of gender.
Many students use their concentrations to pursue relevant careers, while others continue their studies of these topics in graduate school.
English Careers & Salaries
Those who have an interest in working in the field of English can find work in a number of different industries. Many English graduates pursue work in teaching and writing; however, the communication skills learned throughout the course of your studies can be an excellent bridge to working in a variety of fields. From business to the arts, an English degree is a versatile tool to reach your future goals.
Below we have put together a short list of popular career opportunities and their median annual salaries to give you an idea of the options available after you graduate from an online English degree program according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Director of Publications||$70,140|
|Web Content Managers||$63,225|
|English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Teachers||$56,064|
Regardless of the English specialty you choose to work in, you may make more or less than the numbers above based on your individual skills and experience. Please keep in mind that some employers look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a few of these positions.
When considering an online degree in English, it is important to also have an understanding of the projected outlook for the specific career path you wish to pursue. If you are interested in using your degree to teach within a postsecondary institution, the BLS projects that there will be a 12% increase in employment over the next 10 years.
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With salaries above the national average across all occupations and an overall positive job outlook, those pursuing a degree in English appear to have a bright future ahead of them. View a list of the top 40 English careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
BA in English Online Curriculum & Courses
The classes needed to earn an English bachelor online vary based on the school, faculty research areas, and available concentrations. However, many programs offer courses on similar subjects, such as:
- African American Literature: This class examines representations of identity, race, and slavery in key texts produced by African American authors from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
- American Literary Foundations: You’ll investigate significant authors, genres, and texts that contributed to the development of American literature.
- Children’s Literature: This class explores literature written for children and young adults, including graphic novels, picture books, and poetry.
- Ethnic American Literature: You’ll explore the cultural significance of literature and film produced by African American, Asian American, and Latinx writers.
- Introduction to Professional Writing: Learn how to analyze and write professional documents using digital tools, rhetorical principles, and research.
- Medieval Literature: You’ll study British literature produced between the fifth and sixteenth centuries, such as ballads, legends, and romances.
- Rhetorical Theory: This class discusses significant thinkers of rhetorical theory, ranging from Aristotle to contemporary scholars like Andrea Lunsford.
- Shakespeare: This course focuses on plays written by William Shakespeare, their historical contexts, and their contemporary uses.
- Victorian Literature: You’ll explore how British texts produced during the Victorian era reflect cultural and political changes.
- Writing Fiction: You’ll study genres, techniques, and tropes used in creative fiction writing and produce original stories.
Additionally, many English programs encourage students to complete a senior capstone project or thesis on a literary topic.
How to Choose an Online Bachelors Degree in English Program
Choosing a school to complete your English education is a major decision and there are several factors to consider during the process.
- Accreditation: Accreditation is an essential aspect of a reputable online accounting degree program. Check to see if your chosen school is accredited.
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: Since communication with your professor and classmates in an online environment typically consists of emails, message boards, and virtual lectures, a small class size will help to ensure that you are getting individualized attention and support throughout the duration of your courses.
- Academic Advising and Student Services: Since online English degrees are typically offered as an alternative course option through traditional brick-and-mortar colleges, online students should have access to student advising and support services. These unique services are designed to provide students with the extra support they need to reach their full potential in their education.
- Cost: The cost of each program is also an important factor as you may be on a strict budget. Compare various programs to see which one fits your budget.
- Degrees Offered: Be sure to check with each school you are considering to ensure they offer your chosen degree program. Also, compare the various programs’ coursework to ensure the coursework fits with your desired career goals.
Not only do you want to ensure that the school offers a high-quality curriculum, but online students should also have access to a variety of student services that can help them succeed.
Bachelor Degree in English Admissions Requirements
All programs offering English degrees online require prospective students to complete applications. Admissions criteria differ between schools, but here are some common documents you may submit:
- High school transcript: This paperwork lists your GPA and completed classes.
- Letters of recommendation: These letters attest to your academic skills and personal qualities.
- Portfolio: This collection of documents may include academic essays, creative projects, and other writing you’ve produced.
- Resume: This document lists your education, skills, and volunteer or work experience.
Some English programs may require you to submit ACT or SAT scores, but many schools don’t ask for standardized test scores.
Online English Degrees Accreditation
Regardless of your degree program, you want to attend a college that has been accredited by a recognized accreditation agency.
By enrolling in an accredited English degree program, you help to ensure that the curriculum meets expected quality standards and that your degree will be recognized within the professional workplace. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes a number of regional accrediting agencies, as well as several national agencies that evaluate specific degree programs in a postsecondary institution.
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For a complete list of recognized accrediting agencies and their contact information, you can check out the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
You may qualify for financial aid that can help you pay for your online English bachelor’s degree. Many foundations and nonprofit organizations offer grants and scholarships for students interested in literature and writing. Some of these programs require applicants to submit essays or creative pieces. Additionally, colleges and universities frequently provide financial aid for incoming students.
The federal government also provides financial aid for eligible students. This assistance can come in the form of grants, student loans, or work-study funding. You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you fit the criteria.
English Professional Organizations
You can access career development resources by joining a professional organization. English majors often belong to these associations:
- Modern Language Association (MLA): This organization supports research and teaching in English and the broader humanities. MLA hosts a prestigious annual conference, compiles a vast research database, and publishes four scholarly journals.
- National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): This association provides professional development opportunities and teaching resources for current and future educators.
- TESOL International Association: This organization supports English language teachers by offering events, educational webinars, and networking opportunities.
Many professional organizations also offer mentoring programs for students.
Is English a Good Major?
Yes, English is a good major for many undergraduate students. This versatile degree allows students to explore literature from cultural, historical, and theoretical lenses. You can expand your knowledge of cultures and human behavior as you hone your literary analysis skills.
English majors also develop many valuable soft and technical skills. Most English classes focus on writing research papers and other documents, enabling you to develop your communication and communication abilities. Additionally, studying literature from many perspectives can broaden your worldview and increase your capacity to empathize with others.
What Can You Do With an English Degree?
Graduates who earn an English bachelors degree pursue diverse career paths. People who excel at writing often become authors, copywriters, or technical writers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, authors and writers earn a median salary of $69,510.
Other English majors apply their knowledge of rhetoric in advertising and marketing roles. Data from the BLS shows that the demand for market research analysts will increase by 19% over the next decade. Additionally, many graduates become teachers at the K-12 level or, if they earn graduate degrees, in higher education. Postsecondary teachers earn $79,640 on average.
Should I Major in English?
For students that are considering enrolling in college to major in English, there are a number of options available for pursuing a degree.
In addition to community colleges and traditional universities, many of the nation’s top schools offer high-quality online English degree programs. So how do you know if pursuing an English degree online is the right choice for you?
If you are a self-motivated student with high organizational skills, the flexibility of online learning can be a great option for continuing your education. There are many advantages to enrolling in an online degree program for English, including:
- Flexible scheduling options that allow you to balance family and career obligations
- Access to classes taught by leading English and literature experts across the country
- Options to complete your education in less time through accelerated classes
- State-of-the-art learning platforms for an interactive student experience
With degrees in English offered as a virtual option through accredited universities, those who complete an online degree program are now able to benefit from the same level of quality education and support as traditional, on-campus students.
How Long Does It Take to Get an English Degree Online?
Your enrollment status and the program timeline will determine how long it takes to obtain an English bachelor degree online.
Most colleges and universities require students to complete at least 120 credit hours, which equates to around 40 3-credit hour classes. Full-time students who follow a traditional 16-week semester typically graduate in 4 years.
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Some schools offer classes year-round in 8-week quarters. Students may complete these programs in less time, enabling them to launch their careers sooner. By contrast, part-time students may finish in 5 to 6 years.
What Are Some of the High-Paying Jobs for English Majors?
Many English majors secure lucrative positions after graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are five high-paying jobs for graduates with English degrees:
- Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers: $133,380 median salary
- Public relations and fundraising managers: $119,860
- Technical writers: $78,060
- Writers and authors: $69,510
- Market research analysts: $63,920
Senior positions like fundraising manager typically require several years of work experience. Additionally, earning a relevant graduate degree in a field like marketing or technical communication may boost your earning potential.
What’s the Difference Between a BA vs. BS in English?
A BA and BS in English cover similar topics, but there are a few differences to keep in mind:
|BA in English||BS in English|
In most cases, the specific type of English bachelor’s degree you earn won’t significantly impact your career trajectory.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelors in English vs. Communications Degree?
Communication and English majors both work with media but are distinct fields.
|Bachelors in English||Bachelors in Communications|
Researching curricula and career paths for each degree can help you pick the best fit.
Is an English Major Worth It?
Yes, an English major is worth it for many students. This degree enables students to analyze a broad range of literature, such as medieval poems, graphic novels, and science fiction stories. These texts help students gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between literature, history, and culture.
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An online English bachelor’s degree can unlock many career paths. Graduates often share their passion for literature by becoming teachers. Others apply their communication skills and creativity in marketing and sales roles. The BLS expected a 12% increase in jobs in English teaching positions along with a 4% increase for writers an authors over the next 10 years. Additionally, English majors can go to graduate school to become lawyers.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in English Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona State University offers a BA in English that can be completed fully online. The program requires the completion of 39 courses for a total of 120 credit hours. Most courses are conducted in an asynchronous format. Classes are 7.5 weeks long, and there are six start dates offered each year.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
California Baptist University offers a BA in English. The program is fully online. It is designed as a degree completion program for students who have already met their general education requirements. The program requires the completion of 49 major units. On average, it can be completed in 16 months.
California Baptist University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
Central Washington University offers a BA in English Professional and Creative Writing and a BA in English Language and Literature. The degrees may be further customized for career goals through electives. Most courses are fully online and follow a quarter-semester schedule. With transfer credits, either degree can potentially be finished in just 2 years.
Central Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Eastern Oregon University offers a BA and a BS in English and Writing. Both degrees can be earned entirely online, but internship opportunities are available. To earn either degree, 180 credit hours must be completed, and up to 135 qualifying credit hours may be transferred in. Courses have synchronous and asynchronous components. The program offers many electives to customize the degrees.
Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Florida International University offers a BA in English with a Writing and Rhetoric track that can be completed fully online. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Courses follow a regular semester schedule, with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Potential courses in the curriculum include Linguistics-Modern English Grammar and Advanced Business Writing.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Indiana University – East offers a BA in English with a concentration in Technical and Professional Writing. The program is fully online. Classes range from 6 weeks long to a full semester and are offered in the fall, spring, and summer. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours, and up to 90 qualifying credit hours may be transferred in.
Indiana University – East is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers a BS in English and Writing. The program is entirely online, and courses are conducted in an asynchronous format. It requires the completion of 120 credit hours, and up to 75% of the credit hours may be transferred in. Courses are 8 weeks in long, and there are several start dates offered throughout the year.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Louisiana State University – Alexandria offers a BA in English that can be earned fully online. Courses have synchronous and asynchronous components. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Courses are 7 weeks in long, and there are multiple start dates offered each year. Potential courses in the curriculum include Studies in Shakespeare and Major Writers in World Literature.
Louisiana State University at Alexandria is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Maryville University offers a BA in English through an entirely online program. A minor may be added to further customize the degree toward personal career goals. Courses follow a regular semester schedule, and there are start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Students may be able to begin work on a graduate degree while earning their BA.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Mercy College offers a BA in English. Many of the courses are fully online, but some have on-campus components. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Courses follow a regular semester schedule. Students can potentially begin work on a graduate degree while earning their BA and finish both in just 5 years.
Mercy College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Nicholls State University offers a BA in English with concentrations in Literary Studies, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Writing and Rhetoric, and CYA Literature. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Courses are fully online and 8 weeks long. There are multiple start dates offered throughout the year. The degree may be further customized through electives.
Nicholls State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Ottawa University offers a BA in English. The program also offers an optional Secondary Education concentration. All courses are fully online and offered in 8 week blocks. Potential courses in the curriculum include Protest Literature, Advanced Expository Writing, and Literary Criticism. A capstone experience is required during the final year.
Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University HQ ranked Regent University in the top 50 best online programs for English bachelor’s degrees. Regent University offers a BA in English that can be earned entirely online or on campus. The program requires a minimum of 120 credit hours and offers several concentrations, including Biblical Studies, Communication, and Writing. Courses are conducted in an accelerated format.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University offers a BA in English. The program is entirely online and conducted in an asynchronous format. It requires the completion of 120 credits, and up to 90 qualifying credits may be transferred in. Courses are 8 weeks long, and there are six start dates offered each year. Potential courses include World Mythology, Profession of Writing, and Literary Theory.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers a BA in English. The program is fully online and offers a choice between semester-based courses or 7 week, accelerated courses. Classes are taught through a Christian worldview. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Potential courses include Advanced English Grammar, Creative Writing, and World Masterpieces.
SAGU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
OnlineU named Texas Tech University among the best schools in the country for ROI on an online bachelor’s in English. TTU offers a BA in English that can be earned entirely online. Many courses meet virtually and are scheduled in the evenings for working students. The program offers three concentrations: Creative Writing, English Teaching, and Literature and Language.
Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Troy University offers a Bachelor’s in English through a fully online program. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours, including an 18 semester hour minor. Courses are 9 weeks long, and there are five start dates offered each year. Potential courses include World Literature, American Literature after 1875, Advanced Grammar, and History of the English Language. Classes are conducted in an asynchronous format.
Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Arkansas one of the best schools in the country for online bachelor’s degrees. U of A offers a BA in English that can be earned entirely online. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours and can typically be completed in 4 years. It offers three concentrations: Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Creative Writing, and Topical Studies.
The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Central Florida as one of the ten best schools in the nation for online bachelor’s programs. UCF offers a BA in English – Literature. The program is fully online. Courses are conducted in an accelerated format and offered during the fall, spring, and summer.
The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Illinois – Springfield offers a BA in English. The program is available fully online or on campus. Tuition is the same for all students, regardless of residence. Courses are offered in full- and half-terms. Potential courses include Novel Mysteries Revealed, College Writing and Civic Engagement, and Topics in World Literature. Elective courses may be chosen to customize the degree.
UIS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Maine – Presque Isle offers a BA in English with a concentration in Professional Communication and Journalism. It can be earned through the school’s YourPace program.
This is a competency-based program that provides the opportunity to work at one’s own pace and earn credits for previous education and work experience. Sessions are 8 weeks long, and the program can potentially be completed in just 12 months.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a BA in English. The program is entirely online. Courses are 8 weeks long, and there are multiple start dates offered throughout the year.
The program requires the completion of 120 credits, and up to 90 credits may be transferred in. Students choose a focus in American Literature or British Literature, or they may mix and match the classes to better fit their interests and career goals.
UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Massachusetts – Lowell as one of the best schools in the country for online bachelor’s degrees. UMass Lowell offers a BA in English that can be earned entirely online. The program requires the completion of 120 credits, and up to 90 credits may be transferred in. Courses follow a semester schedule.
The University of Massachusetts – Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Memphis offers a BA in English. Those who want to earn their degrees entirely online may choose a concentration in African American Literature or Professional Writing. The program requires the completion of at least 120 credit hours. Courses are developed by on-campus faculty, and online students earn the same degrees as those on campus.
The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Missouri – Columbia’s online bachelor’s degree programs among the best in the nation. The school offers a BA in English that can be earned fully online. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours, and up to 60 qualifying credit hours may be transferred in. Courses follow a semester schedule.
The University of Missouri – Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in English Online
Earning a Bachelor of English can help you translate your passion for reading and writing into career potential. This degree can teach many useful skills, like critical analysis, proofreading, and research.
English is one of the most versatile degrees. Graduates find jobs in a broad range of industries, including business, education, entertainment, legal, marketing, and nonprofit administration. Adding a concentration to your major may prepare you to work in one of these sectors.
You can start your journey as an English major today by investigating accredited online programs.