Online Master's Programs in English

Updated on: 12/13/2018

Enrolling in a master's degree in English online offers graduate students the chance to fine-tune their education and specialize their skills in a profession of their choice. The advanced skills obtained in research, critical analysis, and writing present students with a variety of career options after graduation.

The media and communications profession continues to grow at rates comparable to the average profession. Online media platforms and digital writing professions evolve continuously, ensuring that the demand for professionals educated in these mediums will increase as well. Below, is a list of some of the most promising graduate programs in English, information regarding what a master's in English online offers you, and how you can meet your professional goals.

What Are the Best Online Master's Programs in English?

Identifying the best English master's programs online can prove challenging. Many of the nation's top colleges and universities offer an English master's program online, and nearly every student looks for something different. To simplify this part of the process, the list below serves as a ranking of schools and programs based on a number of factors, including graduation rates, tuition costs, and the services provided to students. The ranking gets its data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and published materials provided by each institution.

Rank School Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratio Grad Rate Ranking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 University of Washington-Seattle Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
34%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
9
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
81%
Ranking SCORE 99.84
Read more

After the completion of an undergraduate program, students are often left wondering what they should do next. For students interested in furthering their education under the English discipline, perhaps a graduate program at the University of Washington, Seattle Campus, may be the answer. The master of arts in English will either lead students into successful careers or into a doctoral program. Both master’s students and doctoral students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge by taking charge of a classroom setting and teaching certain courses as they complete their own curriculum. Graduate students will be able to stay on top of their academic schedule by utilizing UW’s academic advisement staff members.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2 Northern Arizona University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 99.65
Read more

Students fresh out of their undergraduate English programs may be interested in considering continuing their learning in a graduate program at Northern Arizona University. Students will be able to continue with their field of interest and expand on concepts with which they are already familiar. The goal for graduate-level English students at NAU is to further develop compositional and literary analysis skills, allowing for a greater understanding of language and writing relate to people on a cultural level. Students who finish their graduate program in English-literature will have the opportunity to pursue careers in higher education, editing and publishing, or public relations.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3 Harvard University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
97%
Ranking SCORE 99.53
Read more

Students pursuing a master of arts degree in English from Harvard University will continue their graduate studies in the English doctoral program. Because Harvard only permits students with the intent to finish their Ph.D. to enter into the master’s program, all accepted students can be certain that they will be studying alongside peers with similar aspirations, creating a productive and like-minded academic environment. Students working through these programs will develop a broad understanding of English composition, literature, and cultural theory. The English department’s faculty members have several years of experience in an academic environment, and are ready to help students achieve an enjoyable graduate experience.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4 University of Southern California Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
90%
Ranking SCORE 99.34
Read more

Graduate students attending the University of Southern California may continue their education in either an English writing program or an English literature program. Both programs will allow students to hone their knowledge of the English language, both in terms of interpretation and composition. Graduate students will also have the chance to become the teacher of one or more lower-level undergraduate courses, allowing them to prepare for a possible career in higher education. While the University of Southern California has a history that dates as far back as 1880, it is also constantly updating their curriculums to ensure students are receiving the most up-to-date knowledge possible.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5 University of Arizona Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
77%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 98.63
Read more

The English master degree is part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. Part-time and full-time students taking classes in person connect with instructors at the Tucson, Arizona campus. In addition to majoring in a graduate English degree, students can earn a master's degree or graduate certificate in fields like creative writing, literature, teaching post secondary English or English applied linguistics. Education and community events that encourage robust discussions that center around English, communications and language come in the form of quarterly symposiums, prose series and learning fellowships.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
6 University of North Texas Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
48%
Ranking SCORE 97.54
Read more

The University of North Texas awards master's degrees in English. Adults who want to work in communications can also earn a master's degree in creative writing at the university. The Master of Arts in Philosophy has built in concentrations in areas like American literature, British literature or Anglophone literature. Students who have majored in English at the university have had works published in area and national journals. Among the four speaker series that English majors can attend are the departmental lecture series, visiting writer series or the American studies colloquium. Master's degrees take 30 to 33 credits to finish.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7 Syracuse University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
82%
Ranking SCORE 97.46
Read more

Syracuse University confers a Master of Arts in English through its College of Arts and Sciences. Literature, English, film, novels, videogames and screen studies are key areas that instructors delve into. Class sizes are kept small to encourage developmental interactions between students and instructors. These interactions are made possible via seminars, class discussions, advanced seminars and watching films. In addition to exploring and examining modern literature and film, students learn about classical and historic literature. To graduate, students must complete three papers and at least 30 credit hours of study.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
42%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
84%
Ranking SCORE 97.38
Read more

Interdisciplinary and intercultural study areas that the English master's degree program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are committed to are in British literature, American literature and Anglophone literature. English majors also study about American, British and Anglophone film. Research and criticism are expected of students. After students are accepted into the graduate program, they can participate in campus and department discussions and speaker events. Internships and career counseling are support services that could help English majors advance their careers. Students could also get their work published in one or more of the university's scholarly journals.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
9 Wayne State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
80%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
28%
Ranking SCORE 96.91
Read more

The Master of English degree at Wayne State University uses criticism, research, analysis and theory to teach adults how to examine literature, poetry and film. Another takeaway that students are encouraged to develop during the program is a strong communications, oral and written, ability. Graduates can step into education, creative arts, business and law career fields. Within the English department, graduate students can major in African American literature, composition, creative writing, rhetoric, film and media studies and related fields. To graduate with a Master of Arts in English degree, students must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
10 LIU Post Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
92%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 96.88
Read more

LIU Post's Master of Arts in English degree is a 36 credit hour program that combines the exploration of American and British literature. Critical reading and writing skills are developed and sharpened during classes. In addition to a thesis, students are required to take a course in research and criticism, texts in context and the critical tradition. Time periods reviewed by instructors go back to the Middle Ages. Adults who graduate with the master's English degree can teach English at elementary and secondary levels. They might also work in corporate or nonprofit communications. Creative arts is another area that graduates enter.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11 Rutgers University-New Brunswick Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
79%
Ranking SCORE 96.86
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
12 University of Kentucky Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 96.82
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
13 Heritage University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 96.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14 St John's University-New York Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 96.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
15 University of Wisconsin-Madison Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
36%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
82%
Ranking SCORE 96.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
16 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
38%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
79%
Ranking SCORE 96.34
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
17 National University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
1%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
23%
Ranking SCORE 96.27
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
18 The University of Alabama Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
67%
Ranking SCORE 96.14
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
19 Miami University-Oxford Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
64%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
80%
Ranking SCORE 96.11
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
20 Arcadia University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 96.06
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
21 San Jose State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
34%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 96.05
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
22 Florida State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
42%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
75%
Ranking SCORE 95.98
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
23 Murray State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
70%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
54%
Ranking SCORE 95.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
24 North Carolina Central University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
81%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 95.65
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
25 Converse College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
54%
Ranking SCORE 95.63
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
26 Chatham University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 95.62
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
27 University of Hawaii at Manoa Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
61%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
56%
Ranking SCORE 95.60
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
28 University of South Carolina-Columbia Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
72%
Ranking SCORE 95.58
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
29 The University of Texas at El Paso Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
35%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
38%
Ranking SCORE 95.49
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
30 Southeast Missouri State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
46%
Ranking SCORE 95.43
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
31 Texas Tech University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 95.42
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
32 Kent State University at Kent Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 95.36
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
33 Chicago State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
46%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
21%
Ranking SCORE 95.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
34 Wilkes University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
96%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 94.96
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
35 University of Central Arkansas Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
85%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 94.95
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
36 University of Maine Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 94.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
37 Arkansas Tech University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 94.84
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
38 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
61%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 94.80
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
39 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
70%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 94.78
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
40 Emporia State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 94.69
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
41 University of Central Missouri Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
60%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 94.64
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
42 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 94.60
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
43 Lindenwood University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 94.56
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
44 New England College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 94.41
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
45 Appalachian State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 94.40
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
46 University of Northern Iowa Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 94.30
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
47 Hamline University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 94.30
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
48 University of Southern Mississippi Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
74%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 94.29
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
49 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
49%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
54%
Ranking SCORE 94.20
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
50 Western Kentucky University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 94.19
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo

What to Know About Online Master's in English Coursework

The typical online master's in English literature and writing provides students with exceptional critical thinking skills in addition to strong communication and writing skills. While some graduate programs in English only admit students who intend to complete doctoral degrees, many master's programs prepare students for careers in teaching, academia, and other professional settings immediately upon graduation.

Though the content of online English programs does not typically differ from on-campus programs, the flexible structure may allow students to take a more condensed course load. Many online master's programs in English enable full-time students to finish in one year or less. Many programs even allow employed students to take courses part time while still completing the degree in less than two years. In total, online master's degrees in English typically include between 30-40 credits, though this number depends on the institution.

What Common Courses are Offered in a Master's in English Program?

Each master's program in English presents a unique set of courses and objectives, though certain courses appear commonly across the board. The sample curriculum below includes some of the most common courses provided by top graduate English programs. These options may vary depending on the course, school, and/or specialization.

Critical Theory

Critical theory requires students to take knowledge from a variety of disciplines and apply it to the English program. Whether this comparative study takes the form of literary analysis or another form, the practice helps students develop critical thinking and translation skills.

Cultural Studies

Courses in cultural studies prepare students to understand cultures through the lens of multiple disciplines. By drawing from multiple disciplines, students create a clearer picture of what forces, institutions, and processes contribute to a society's makeup. In addition to critical thinking and problem-solving skills, cultural studies graduates develop a better understanding of diversity and community.

American Literature

American literature focuses on the literature produced by American authors, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. It often requires students to apply knowledge from other disciplines, but, most of all, it provides students with a strong foundation in both writing and literary analysis. Students also gain an understanding of the topics and issues that American authors faced throughout history.

Professional Writing

Nearly every profession values professional writing skills. Students hone their ability to craft and edit meaningful and powerful professional communications in these courses. Many professional writing courses enable students to specialize or focus on a specific field, such as financial writing, public relations, and/or medical writing.

Postmodernism

Many view postmodernism as a rejection of, or departure from, the assumptions of modernism. Postmodern literature and/or analysis typically amounts to an exercise in skepticism, questioning things like moral systems. Courses in postmodernism require students to observe the institutions and power structures in place that governed thinking in the past.

What Specializations are Available in a Master's in English Program?

Built into many online master's programs in English, specializations or concentrations allow students to focus their degree into a particular area of study. While the available concentrations vary depending on the program, the list below includes some of the more common options.

Contemporary Literature

A specialization in contemporary literature focuses on the writing of contemporary authors and poets and deals with the issues deemed important or integral to modern society. The specialization typically narrows the scope of material to post-World War II.

Creative Writing

A creative writing specialization provides students with an intensive study in the creation and editing process of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. It also helps prepare students who plan to teach creative writing professionally. Some creative writing specializations allow students to choose a specific genre to explore in depth.

Women/Gender Studies

Students specializing in women and/or gender studies explore texts using an gendered or genderless lens. This approach allows students to consider and analyze the influences and/or conditions under which women and genders were represented in texts, typically with consideration to both time and place.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

While some online master's programs in English include capstone projects that require students to develop a project that incorporates various skills and coursework from the program, a master's thesis serves as the most common final project. A master's thesis serves as a research project and/or paper that prepares students for the rigorous research and writing demands of a doctoral degree in English.

For students not pursuing a doctorate in English, a master's thesis allows for a deep dive into a specific research topic. In addition to whatever expertise the specific research topic provides, the intensive study of a thesis provides students with skills in independent work, demanding research, and scholarly writing.

How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master's in English Program?

After ensuring that the prospective institution holds regional accreditation — which students can verify through the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs — learners should also consider the diversity of a program's faculty and course offerings. A varied and inclusive institution may allow for more opportunities. Students should also pay attention to the degree conferred, since some English graduate programs only admit students seeking a doctorate. Online applicants should also note any residency requirements and graduation rates.

Applicants can also look at a faculty's qualifications and publications to get a clearer picture of the program's strengths. In addition to aligning a student's interests with a faculty or faculty member, students might also identify a graduate mentor or supervisor — or even find potential courses or specializations of interest. Furthermore, students should review the awards and honors bestowed upon an institution's faculty members.

Career Opportunities With a Master's in English Degree

An online master's degree in English provides graduates with a diverse and flexible set of skills, qualifying them for many different careers. Gaining exemplary verbal and written communication skills prepares graduates for careers in publishing and/or communication, and expertise in literature and literary criticism gained from an online masters in English literature paves the way for a career in academia.

While a master's degree in English provides graduates with the credentials necessary to acquire many different positions, it does not guarantee eligibility. Some positions require additional training, licensure, and/or certificates to qualify for employment. Some positions even require a specific degree concentration.

Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers educate college and university students in various disciplines and concentrations. The subjects a professor teaches depend on the English graduate's concentration or specialization. While colleges and universities typically require teachers to hold doctoral degrees, many community colleges allow graduates with master's degrees to fill teaching positions.

Median Salary: $76,000 per year

Currently Employed: 1,314,400

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: +15%

Writers and Authors

Copywriters, creative writers, content writers, and bloggers make up just some of the career options available to writers. Though a bachelor's degree is the typical requirement for entry level positions, advanced degrees enable writers to attain more competitive positions and higher salaries. The writing profession highly values the research skills, writing proficiency, and knowledge writers gain from a master's degree in English.

Median Salary: $61,820 per year

Currently Employed: 131,200

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: +8%

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers oversee the presentation, maintenance, and improvement of their client or employer image. This typically requires managers to create communications that accurately present a company's or client's message. Fundraising managers serve a similar function, but they tend to run fundraisers and campaigns that satisfy specific interests and goals. Many of these positions demand applicants with advanced degrees in a communications field, such as English. Government and high-profile organizations often require candidates with substantial experience in addition to a master's degree.

Median Salary: $111,280 per year

Currently Employed: 73,500

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: +10%

Technical Writers

Technical writers prepare the text and written information for various professional documentation. This might include instruction manuals and/or how-to guides. Technical writers research, collect, and organize the necessary information. They then recreate it in concise and understandable language for the end user. Advanced degrees prepare technical writers with advanced research and writing skills. Some positions require additional training and/or degrees depending on the intended industry and position.

Median Salary: $70,930 per year

Currently Employed: 52,400

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: +11%

Interpreters and Translators

In a globalized society, interpreters and translators are in high demand, as they not only transmit text and information from one language to another but also transfer meaning, tone, and context. A bachelor's degree typically counts as the minimum requirement for these positions, as well as fluency in at least one other language. A master's degree in English provides more opportunities with higher earning potential.

Median Salary: $47,190 per year

Currently Employed: 68,200

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: +18%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

What's the Expected Job Growth for English Careers?

English degrees provide graduates with a very broad and flexible career outlook. This allows graduates to enter several different fields, typically depending on their interests and educational path. Overall, the projected job growth looks promising for most professions available to graduates with English master's degrees. Postsecondary teachers, interpreters and translators, and technical writers all project substantial job growth through 2026. Other professions such as writers and communication workers fall in line with the average national job growth projections.

Professional Organizations for Careers in English

For graduates with master's degrees in English, professional organizations offer many professional and financial benefits in addition to a stable network of peers. For recent and current graduates, these organizations offer access to industry resources, training opportunities, and networking events. Many of these organizations also offer career assistance, such as job boards, and member services.

  • Modern Language Association

    The MLA publishing program provides its members with access to resources, conferences and conventions, and a network of professionals working in the languages.

  • American Society of Journalists and Authors

    The ASJA national membership is made up of nonfiction writers from nearly every field. ASJA represents its independent writers and freelancers in the fight for better employment standards and offers member services.

  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs

    The AWP advocates for and provides benefits to its membership, which consists of writers and teachers. The association offers access to helpful professional resources, conferences, training programs, and a network of writing professionals.

  • National Writers Union

    The NWU is both a labor union representing freelance writers and a helpful resource for writers. It also connects writers to individuals and organizations looking for writing services. In addition to joining a network of freelancers, members receive access to insurance, grievance assistance, and press passes for various events.

  • The American Literature Association

    The ALA advances the study of American authors and literature by enabling its members, both professionals and new graduates, to thrive in the study and teaching of American literature. The ALA hosts a major annual conference and provides its members with access to resources, training programs, and a network of like-minded professionals.

How to Pay for a Master's in English Degree

English graduate students benefit from several different financing options. In addition to federal financial aid, which should serve as the first route a student explores, many schools, programs, and professional organizations offer funding opportunities for promising English students. The list below highlights some of the most common financing options.

Federal Financial Aid

Most students receive some form of federal financial aid. The application process costs nothing and offers students the opportunity to receive grants and loans. Some students also receive low interest rate loans after applying for the Federal Application For Federal Student Aid, or FASFA.

Program Scholarships

Many English graduate programs offer financial rewards to exceptional students. Some scholarships, such as entry scholarships, require no application; others require students to complete applications, essays, and/or submit work experience proof to qualify. Kent State University, for example, offers several scholarship opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing English degrees.

Professional Scholarships

Professional scholarships come from associations promoting and/or supporting the industry. Many organizations provide financial opportunities to outstanding or deserving students — some to students in specific fields, others to students in certain regions. Many of the organizations that work within the literature and/or writing profession offer scholarship opportunities to students taking advanced degrees in English. For example, the Children's Literature Association supports English graduate students with financial scholarships of up to $5,000.

Work-Study Programs

The availability of work-study programs depends on the school and program, but many graduate students help fund their education by working with the school they attend. For graduate students, some schools offer work opportunities in the form of teaching or research assistantships. At UNC Greensboro, for example, assistantships pay between $8,000 and $12,000 per year, and work ranges between 10 to 20 hours per week.