Best Online Master’s in English

Find Online Programs and Learn Where a Master’s in English Can Lead

Many English teachers, professional writers and editorial personnel can hone their skills and prepare for their advanced careers by earning an online master’s in English degree. These programs often allow students to learn about the theories and practices that drive English communications. Learn more about English master’s degrees below, including what is needed to be admitted into a program, the requirements students must meet to graduate and what students can expect to earn after obtaining this degree.

Best Online Master’s in English Degrees: 2017

Some of the top colleges and universities in the United States offer quality online master’s degree in English programs. Finding the information needed to make an informed decision about programs can be difficult with so many options. To help facilitate the decision-making process, the best schools have been ranked based on factors like cost, graduation rates and teacher-to-student ratios.

RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioGrad RateRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1University 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
2Northern 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
3Harvard 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
4University 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
5University 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
6University 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
7Syracuse 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
8University 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
9Wayne 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
10LIU 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
11Rutgers 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
12University 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
13Heritage 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
14St 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
15University 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
16University 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
17National 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
18The 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
19Miami 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
20Arcadia 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
21San 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
22Florida 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
23Murray 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
24North 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
25Converse 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
26Chatham 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
27University 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
28University 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
29The 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
30Southeast 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
31Texas 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
32Kent 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
33Chicago 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
34Wilkes 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
35University 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
36University 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
37Arkansas 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
38University 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
39Bowling 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
40Emporia 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
41University 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
42Louisiana 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
43Lindenwood 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
44New 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
45Appalachian 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
46University 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
47Hamline 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
48University 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
49University 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
50Western 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

Search Online Master’s in English Programs

Identifying well-suited programs is the first step to enrolling in an online master’s in English program. In order to help narrow down school choices, prospective students should utilize search tools to help compare options. The comprehensive search tool below can help users compare schools by size, type, tuition rates and how many degree programs are available.

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The Online English Master’s Degree Timeline

Online English master’s degree programs, which typically take two years to complete, can be as challenging as their traditional counterparts. From the application process to graduation requirements, schools often expect students to meet high standards and display competence in a number of areas. Learn about the application process and review a standard timeline for the completion of a full-time, two-year online English master’s degree below.

Application Process

While the requirements for an online English master’s program are not the same at every school, there are certain mandates students can expect when they apply. Some of these requirements are described below.

GRE Scores

Students interested in enrolling in an online master’s in English program must earn a satisfactory score on the GRE test. Special attention is paid to the analytical writing and verbal reasoning sections.

GPA

A minimum grade point average is usually required of applicants, although this minimum may vary among schools. Please review your desired program’s GPA requirements for specification.

Bachelor’s Degree in English

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in English when they apply to a graduate program. Some programs, however, will accept students who completed a minor in English.

Personal Essay

oProspective students may be required to write a personal essay that addresses their educational and professional objectives, accomplishments and why they’re interested in attending a specific school.

Resume

Having work experience as a writer, editor or English instructor can go a long way toward impressing a graduate admissions committee. Students may be required to submit résumés that outline their work experience as well as honors and scholarships received, research conducted, publishing credits, extracurricular activities and membership in English-related societies.

Recommendation Letters

Programs often require letters of recommendation to be submitted with an application. Faculty members or English-related employers are examples of acceptable recommenders.

Writing Sample

A fiction or nonfiction writing sample may be required when applying for online master’s in English programs. Examples of accepted samples include short stories, research papers about specific authors and critical analyses of literature.

Year 1 Milestones

The first year of an English master’s degree program typically familiarizes students with the advanced concepts they will be expected to learn and allows them to make decisions about topics in which they wish to give extra attention. Some of the milestones of this year are detailed below.

Choose a Concentration

In order for students to become experts in a specific area of interest, such as Renaissance literature, poetry, 19th century novelists or dramatic writing, they may be expected to choose a concentration and complete its required courses.

Understand Literary Criticism

Students will usually gain an advanced understanding of literary criticism, including how literary works are evaluated based on specific seminal theories. In addition, students may learn how to apply these concepts to works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Appreciate Literary Genres

From plays to sonnets and everything in between, forms of writing have their own unique rules. Students will typically learn how to evaluate pieces of writing in different genres based on the distinctive characteristics of that category.

Year 2 Milestones

During the second year of the program, students’ work generally becomes more focused and specialized, which may result in the milestones listed below.

Comprehend Scholarly Research Methods

Students who enroll in online English master’s degrees are often required to complete a scholarly research project, so they will need to understand how this type of work is conducted. In addition, they will typically learn how to evaluate literary studies in order to understand whether or not the research is sound.

Understand Context in Literary Work

oThe race, gender and cultural background of a writer, as well as the time period when a piece of writing was completed, can have a tremendous influence on how it is perceived. Online English master’s degree students usually learn how to look at a piece of writing through the lens of the author’s identity and lifestyle at the time the piece was written.

Master Rhetorical Techniques

No matter what career path graduates choose, knowing how to make effective arguments is an important skill to have. During their studies, students in an online master’s in English degree program will generally gain an advanced understanding of rhetorical theories and how these concepts apply to written and verbal communications.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to completing the necessary required courses, most online master’s in English degree programs have other conditions for students to meet before they graduate. Below are examples of requirements students can expect to fulfil in order to graduate.

Examination

Students may be required to complete an oral or written comprehensive examination designed to demonstrate their knowledge of the concepts they learned throughout their tenure in the program. The test may include a combination of material from a student’s concentration and the core courses of the program.

Foreign Language

oSome programs have a foreign language requirement, which means students may be expected to demonstrate written and verbal fluency in a language other than English.

Minimum Grade Point Average

Students in master’s degree programs can expect a minimum GPA requirement. Although this varies from one school to the next, a 3.0 minimum GPA on a 4.0 scale is common.

Thesis

Students may be asked to conduct research based on a topic, such as a type of literary style, a specific author, or a literary period, that has been approved by the English department. In addition to a written thesis that includes a complete bibliography, students may have to do an oral defense of their work.

Complete Coursework

Depending on the program, students may have a specific amount of coursework they will be required to complete, including core classes, electives and concentration courses.

After Your Degree: What to do with a Master’s in English

Online master’s in English degrees can give students a strong foundation that allows them to enter a number of different careers as well as go on to earn a doctorate. The research, critical thinking, and writing and editing skills that students develop during their studies often prepare them for careers in areas like academia, publishing, public relations and marketing. Below are some common professions these online master’s in English degree graduates can enter along with the salaries they typically command and occupational outlook.

Browse Master’s in English Careers
Professor of English

English professors teach often courses related to a variety of topics in the discipline, such as linguistics, comparative literature, poetry, English composition, playwriting and mythology. Job duties include giving course lectures, producing a class curriculum, creating and grading tests and assignments, and interacting with students inside and outside of the classroom.

Mean Annual Wage

$61,990

Growth Potential

13%

Technical Writer

These writers are usually responsible for creating communications that explain technical information in a way that laypeople can understand. This work may entail preparing instruction manuals and how-to guides for products, choosing photographs and diagrams that make understanding a product easier and revising content as needed based on users’ feedback or updates to the design.

Mean Annual Wage

$70,240

Growth Potential

10%

Managing Editor

Managing editors generally oversee the day-to-day operations of a print or online publication. One major responsibility of these professionals is to manage the activities of the staff, including setting rules for employees to follow, making assignments and disciplining workers as needed. In addition, people in this position often determine the editorial direction of a publication and make design and production decisions.

Mean Annual Wage

$56,010

Growth Potential

-5%

Source: BLS

Core Principles and Skills Learned in an Online English Program

Master’s in English

  • Composition Theory

    Some graduates may teach writing courses, so they will need to understand composition theories and practices. In addition, students who study composition theory may learn pedagogical models that can be applied to the teaching of writing.

  • Film Theory

    Courses on film theory often explore the different approaches to evaluating the aesthetic merit of films from writing to cinematography. The work of specific theorists is typically explored as well as how film theory applies to different cinematic time periods.

  • The Aesthetics of Poetry

    Educators who teach poetry courses often understand what makes a good poem and how the principles related to poetry differ from other styles of writing. The ability to deconstruct the meaning of poetry, as well as teaching others how to write it, is generally also important.

  • Drama

    Students may explore different elements of playwriting during their master’s degree program, which may include how to write and interpret plays. They may also gain a familiarity with the works of different playwrights and the ability to use critical standards to compare and contrast them.

Additional Resources

Students in online master’s in English programs can use resources to increase their knowledge and skills as they work on their degrees. The following are examples of resources that include helpful information as well as professional development opportunities.

American Copy Editors Society

This group’s membership is made up of about 1,000 copy editors around the United States. The organization offers access to conferences, news and professional awards.

American Medical Writers Association

This association promotes excellence among members of the medical writing profession around the world as well as offers publications, networking events and a professional certification.

American Society of Magazine Editors

The American Society of Magazine Editors has represented the needs of professionals since 1963. Members of this organization have access to a job board, development events and networking opportunities. In addition, this society provides awards for excellence in the industry.

International Society of Managing & Technical Editors

This society offers support to professionals at scholarly and academic journals. Its services include networking, professional training and research about the field.

National Council of Teachers of English

This association provides support for English teachers who educate students on the elementary, middle, secondary and postsecondary levels. This organization has a number of professional development tools for teachers, such as resource kits, online seminars and industry journals.