Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Updated November 9, 2022

A ranking of the best online English degree programs. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

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Choosing a university and degree program in an English-related field requires extensive research. Prospective students must consider the curriculum, online vs. on-campus options, and future applications in a variety of professions. This guide is designed to make the process easier by providing an in-depth look at traditional and online English schools at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.

The ABC's of English Degrees

By exposing students to works of great literature, English degree programs train them to become better readers, writers and critical thinkers. At the associate level, English majors study types of literature such as novels and drama. Bachelor's degree programs impart communication and critical thinking skills through the study of English literature. Related courses could encompass grammar, composition and rhetoric. At the graduate level, students delve further into literary genres, authors, time periods and movements, and they may choose a specialization, such as English teaching.

Studying for Online English Degrees

Like the traditional classroom curriculum, online English degrees provide a foundation in critical analysis, writing, communication and literature. There are numerous English degrees offered completely online or in hybrid programs, as this course of study is well-suited to virtual learning. Students can watch lectures, read course material and submit research papers online through a course management system. Professors conduct interactive exams or allow students to download and submit exams electronically. Students interact in online forums or through programs such as Skype or FaceTime. Online English studies offer exposure to remote teamwork and electronic modes of communication, which are useful skills in the modern workplace.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Top Online Schools for English Majors

An English degree is a good starting point in a number professional industries, and it usually begins with a four-year degree. Earning that degree online allows students to continue pursuing personal and professional interests while getting their start in the career of their choice. To help find the right degree program for your needs, we did some research and have our list of the best colleges for English majors based on the student services available, programs offered and other factors.

#1 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Northern Arizona University

  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible bachelor's degree in English that suits your schedule? Located in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University is a public institution supporting undergraduate enrollees across dual modalities. Online study is an attractive option for working professionals and busy learners.

The bachelor of arts in English prepares students for the demands of the field through a personalized online curriculum. Upon enrolling, students pursue coursework alongside classmates, instructed by top-ranked instructors in the field. Students complete coursework relevant to the field, with the option to choose electives and modify their course load based on their career goals. Beyond the classroom, students can work with their academic advisor to explore experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and faculty-driven research. Students receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources during their time at college.

The school boasts numerous internal and external funding opportunities available to eligible students, reporting that 95% of all enrollees receive aid. Prospective students should speak with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,018
Out-of-state
$16,613
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
30,733
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, National University connects distance learners across 40 bachelor's degree programs. The California-based institution makes bachelor's degree programs available for online study, reaching 8,769 distance learners.

These programs, such as the bachelor of arts in English, equip students with the skills needed to succeed in their field of choice. Students in the English program benefit from a supportive online learning community, while completing industry-relevant classes. The rigorous curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, equipping learners with valuable knowledge. Students can also pursue collaborative opportunities with peers and faculty through research projects, internships, and externships.

Students benefit from academic advising, as well as other institutional resources, throughout their program. These resources contribute to student success, reflected in the college's 29% graduation rate. Prospective students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to discuss internal and external funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The college reports that 33% of all degree-seekers receive some form of financial aid, to offset the cost of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
16,670
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

St. John's University

  • Queens, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a convenient, quality online education? St. John's University, located in Queens, offers one online bachelor’s degree program. The private institution supports distance learners in the English field.

The bachelor of arts in English is an ideal choice for students seeking to advance in the field. Students in the program benefit from a supportive online learning community, while completing industry-relevant classes. The program curriculum equips students with general and advanced knowledge, preparing them for the demands of a career in English. In consultation with an academic advisor, students can customize their coursework and choose electives to suit their career goals.

Students can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources throughout their program. These resources contribute to student success, reflected in the college's 63% graduation rate. The school reports the average cost per credit as $1,318. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The institution notes that 100% of all students are awarded aid, easing the cost of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$41,378
Out-of-state
$41,378
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
21,718
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Mercy College

  • Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Mercy College, a private school located in Dobbs Ferry, New York, provides quality online education across 14 bachelor's degree programs. All of the college's bachelor's degree programs are available in an online modality.

The bachelor of arts in English is an attractive option for learners seeking flexible study relevant to the English field. Students in the English program benefit from a supportive online learning community, while taking industry-relevant classes. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining industry-relevant knowledge throughout their program. Students can also pursue collaborative opportunities with students and faculty through research projects, internships, and externships.

English students benefit from institutional support, including faculty mentors, academic advising, and career services. The college prioritizes the success of enrollees, boasting a 44% graduation rate. Prospective students can learn more about funding opportunities through the financial aid office. According to the institution, 96% of all students are awarded aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,934
Out-of-state
$18,934
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
10,557
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Wilkes University

  • Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in English from Wilkes University guides students interested in the field toward industry-relevant skills and educational opportunities. The program connects students with a robust online learning community. The rigorous curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, equipping learners with valuable knowledge. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize their coursework to suit their career goals.

Students can also take advantage of institutional resources, such as career services, and experiential learning opportunities to better prepare for their future career in the English field. These resources contribute to student success, as the college reports a 63% graduation rate. Students in the program can expect to pay $1,235 per credit. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. On average, 99% of all enrollees receive financial aid to defray the cost of education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,814
Out-of-state
$35,814
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
4,680
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

  • Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers an industry-relevant education to undergraduate students looking to advance in the English field. The private college provides education to 347 online students from its main campus in Indiana. The online modality enables students from across the world to benefit from competitive, flexible study.

The bachelor of arts in English is one of several top-ranked programs, preparing students for the demands of the English field. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework while attending industry-specific lectures in a virtual classroom environment. The program curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, covering topics relevant to the English field. Students hoping to advance their understanding of the English field can pursue internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities. Learners can receive career guidance throughout the duration of their program, benefiting from career workshops and other institutional resources.

The college boasts numerous internal and external funding opportunities available to eligible students, reporting that 100% of all enrollees receive aid. The college provides numerous internal and external funding opportunities to make the pursuit of an education more affordable.

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,950
Out-of-state
$29,950
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
1,094
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Heritage University

  • Toppenish, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Heritage University connects distance learners across on-campus and online bachelor's degree programs. Of its 36 bachelor's degree programs, one is available online.

Students interested in a career in English will find the flexibility of the bachelor of arts in English to be beneficial. The English program connects students with a robust online learning community. The curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework and equips students with a well-rounded education. Depending on their career goals, students can modify their coursework and choose electives.

Learners can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. The college reports a 41% graduate rate. Prospective students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to discuss internal and external funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The college reports that 100% of all degree-seekers receive some form of financial aid, to offset the cost of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,988
Out-of-state
$17,988
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
971
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#8 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible undergraduate education in English? Consider Nova Southeastern University's bachelor degree in English. A leader in online education, the private college reaches 9,298 distance learners worldwide in 10 subject areas. The college supports 9,298 students across its online bachelor's degree programs, making it a leader in online education.

The bachelor's in English is an attractive option for learners seeking flexible study relevant to the field. Students in the English program collaborate with classmates and faculty members through a virtual classroom environment. Students attend lectures alongside classmates, while completing industry-relevant coursework. Beyond the classroom, students can pursue faculty-led research projects, as well as internships to better prepare for careers. Learners can receive career guidance for the duration of their program, benefiting from career workshops and other institutional resources.

Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid to their educational costs. Interested students can discuss eligibility requirements with the Office of Financial Aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,150
Out-of-state
$31,150
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
20,576
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Bowling Green State University

  • Bowling Green, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Bowling Green State University, a public college in Ohio, provides flexible educational opportunities to learners from all walks of life. A leader in online education, the public college reaches 5,815 distance learners worldwide in eight subject areas. While 147 bachelor's degree programs can be pursued at its main campus, the school also supports eight online degree programs.

The bachelor of arts in English provides learners with a premier education. Students can choose to enroll full or part time, as they advance through the program. The curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, covering topics relevant to the English field. Outside of the classroom, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and externships, as they prepare for a career in English. Throughout their studies, learners receive personal and professional guidance from the institution, benefiting from academic advising, career services, and other departments.

The college reports that 95% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. The college provides numerous internal and external funding opportunities to make the pursuit of an education more affordable.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,278
Out-of-state
$17,267
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
17,733
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Granite State College

  • Concord, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online

A leader in online education, Granite State College connects distance learners across 36 bachelor's degree programs.

The BA in English language arts enables flexible study through an interactive online learning environment. The English program connects students across a virtual classroom setting, enabling collaboration at a distance. The curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework and equips students with a well-rounded education. While completing coursework, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, to further their knowledge of the English field.

English students can work with academic advising and career services to receive guidance throughout their studies. These resources contribute to the college's 19% graduation rate. The Office of Financial Aid can connect students with internal and external funding opportunities. The college reports that 84% of all degree-seekers receive some form of financial aid, to offset the cost of a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,536
Out-of-state
$8,760
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,005
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#11 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Lindenwood University

  • Saint Charles, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Lindenwood University, a private college in Missouri, connects students with a quality, flexible online education. The private college boasts 89 degree programs, with five programs available online.

The BA in English is one of several top-ranked programs, preparing students for the demands of their chosen field. English students can pursue full-time or part-time study while connecting with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. Students complete general education courses and advanced classes, equipping them with knowledge relevant to the English field. Students interested in furthering their industry knowledge can pursue research, internships, and externships. Distance learners receive support from academic advisors, faculty mentors, and career services throughout the course of their program.

Enrollees in the program can expect to pay $486 per credit. Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid to their educational costs. Prospective students can speak with the financial aid office to learn more.

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,000
Out-of-state
$18,000
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
8,392
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Dickinson State University

  • Dickinson, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Dickinson State University offers competitive online degree programs for learners seeking flexible study. The public college offers 43 bachelor's degree programs, 23 of which can be pursued online.

Students seeking a career in English will find the bachelor of arts in English to be a wise option. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework while attending industry-specific lectures in a virtual classroom environment. The program curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, covering topics relevant to the English field. Students hoping to advance their understanding of the English field can pursue internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities. Enrollees can access institutional resources, including career services and academic advising, while attending the college.

Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid to their educational costs. Students interested in pursuing funding can speak with the Office of Financial Aid to learn more.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,522
Out-of-state
$9,782
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
1,350
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Dominican University

  • River Forest, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in River Forest, Dominican University provides online educational opportunities to 1,635 distance learners worldwide. Of its 63 bachelor's degree programs, two are available online.

The bachelor's in English is an ideal choice for students seeking to advance in the English field. The program enables remote study through a virtual classroom environment. Students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and externships, while completing coursework. Learners can modify their classes based on their specific career goals, while pursuing experiential learning opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the field.

Throughout the duration of the program, students access institutional resources geared toward student success. The institution reports a 64% graduation rate. The financial aid office can provide information on funding opportunities and help determine student eligibility. Of all enrollees, 100% are awarded financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$33,950
Out-of-state
$33,950
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
3,029
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#14 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Miami University

  • Oxford, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio, supports top-ranked degree programs reaching students worldwide.

Learners interested in advancing in the English field will find the BA in English studies to be a wise option. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework while attending industry-specific lectures in a virtual classroom environment. Students gain knowledge of the industry through coursework stipulated by the program curriculum. Students can explore experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and externships, to further their knowledge of the field. Students receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources during their time at college.

Eligible students can receive internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their degree. Interested students can discuss eligibility requirements with the Office of Financial Aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,324
Out-of-state
$31,392
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
19,716
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Converse College

  • Spartanburg, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students interested in a career in English will find the flexibility of the BA in English from Converse College to be beneficial. Enrollees gain access to a supportive online learning community, learning alongside peers and top-ranked faculty through a virtual classroom setting. Enrollees complete coursework and can further their knowledge of the field through internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities.

Students can also receive guidance from career services and academic advising. These resources contribute to the institution's 58% graduation rate. Students can meet with the financial aid office to discuss funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The college reports that 99% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,890
Out-of-state
$18,890
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
1,455
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#16 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Minnesota State University, Mankato

  • Mankato, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a premier bachelor's degree program that suits your schedule? Consider Minnesota State University, Mankato. The college provides in-person and online educational programs to students across 112 bachelor's degree programs. The college also offers five online bachelor's degree programs, supporting 6,348 distance learners.

The bachelor's in English connects learners from all walks of life with premier educational opportunities relevant to the English field. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework while attending industry-specific lectures in a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees can also pursue internships and other experiential learning opportunities to further prepare for the demands of a career. Throughout their studies, learners receive personal and professional guidance from the institution, benefiting from academic advising, career services, and other departments.

Enrollees can explore their eligibility for scholarships and other forms of financial aid in consultation with the financial aid office. To learn more about available scholarships and eligibility, schedule a meeting with the financial aid office.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,394
Out-of-state
$15,686
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
14,325
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#17 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Canisius College

  • Buffalo, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students at Canisius College can choose from several subject areas, such as the top-ranked bachelor's in English. In the English program, students connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual learning environment. The program curriculum equips students with industry-specific skills and knowledge, preparing them for the demands of a career in the field. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize their coursework to suit their career goals.

During their studies, enrollees can connect with academic advising, career services, and other resources geared toward student success. These academic supports contribute to a 73% graduation rate. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities, and determine eligibility. On average, 97% of all enrollees receive financial aid to defray the costs of education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$27,940
Out-of-state
$27,940
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
3,102
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#18 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

Hamline University

  • Saint Paul, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hamline University, a private college, provides online learning opportunities to students across the country. A leader in online education, the school boasts an online enrollment of 626 students.

These programs, such as the BA in English, equip students with the skills needed to succeed in their field of choice. In the English program, students connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual learning environment. The curriculum combines foundational and advanced coursework, preparing students for the demands of a career in English. To deepen their knowledge of the field, students can pursue collaborative learning opportunities such as research projects and internships.

While enrolled, students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. The college reports a 70% graduate rate. Students interested in scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities should meet with the financial aid office. The college reports that 100% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$41,734
Out-of-state
$41,734
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
3,404
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Monroe, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Louisiana at Monroe, a public college in Louisiana, connects students with a quality, flexible online education. The college provides in-person and online educational programs to students across 38 bachelor's degree programs. Students can also pursue distance learning across 14 subject areas.

The bachelor's in English provides learners with a premier education. The program facilitates interactive learning through a virtual classroom environment, where students can work and collaborate with colleagues and faculty. Learners complete coursework relevant to the English field, with the option to choose electives and modify their course load based on their career goals. Students can pursue additional opportunities, such as faculty-driven research projects and internships, to further prepare for their future career. Students benefit from institutional resources geared toward student success, such as academic advising, career services, and relevant workshops.

Eligible students can receive internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their degree. Prospective students can speak with the financial aid office to learn more.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,788
Out-of-state
$17,888
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
8,673
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#20 Online English Degree Programs and Majors

University of Colorado Denver

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Consider the University of Colorado Denver BA in English writing, rhetoric, and technology. The college supports both in-person and online programs. Of its 41 bachelor's degree programs, 12 are available through remote study.

The program enables students to learn at their own pace, allowing for part-time or full-time study. The program facilitates interactive learning through a virtual classroom environment, where students can work and collaborate with colleagues and faculty. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, with the option to select electives and modify their classes to suit their career goals. Learners can also pursue internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities to prepare for the demands of the English field. Students can benefit from institutional resources during their time in school, and they can find personal and professional guidance through career services and other offices.

The college reports that 82% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Interested students can explore scholarships and eligibility requirements with the Office of Financial Aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$24,408
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
24,910
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Program Highlight: Online Bachelor's Degree in English

Students earning a bachelor's degree from online English schools learn to interpret literature and apply language in ethical, strategic and articulate ways. Additionally, students explore how to apply models of literature to leadership and management in a business environment. Electives could include classes in technical writing or film as literature.

A bachelor's degree consists of about 120 credit hours. Depending on the school, students may choose 18 hours of electives to specialize in a particular area. Full-time students can usually complete a bachelor's degree in four to five years. In online English schools, students attend classes virtually through a learning management system, communicating with peers and instructors via email, online chat, phone or other electronic media.

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Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Associate Online English Degrees

It takes two years to complete an associate degree in English, depending on a student's availability. The curriculum typically includes coursework in communication, fine arts and humanities, along with general education courses in math, social sciences and physical sciences. Some programs require a foreign language as well. Associate degrees in English can be useful for graduates interested in teaching at the preschool level, complemented by studies in early childhood education.

The following table describes a few of the courses offered in an associate-level online English degree program:

  • Intro to American Literature

    Introduces great writers of the U.S. from the colonial period to the present, including Hawthorne, Whitman, Dickenson and Twain.
  • Intro to British Literature

    Analyzes work of important British writers from the medieval period to the present, including Chaucer, Milton, Swift, Pope and Blake.
  • Shakespeare

    Includes a critical study of selected works of Shakespeare, including how they were influenced by social and cultural issues.
  • Intro to Academic Writing

    Prepares students for scholarly research: planning and organizing material, revising and editing reports for college courses.

Bachelor's-Level Online English Degrees

It takes a full-time student about four years to earn a bachelor's degree in English. Students combine literature courses with expository writing courses, with electives such as creative writing. The major lends itself to Internet-based studies because most of the work required involves reading, researching, composing, revising and editing papers. A bachelor's degree may qualify graduates to teach English in private schools or in programs focused on adult literacy and high school equivalency (HSE or GED) diplomas.

The curriculum can vary at different colleges, but the following courses are examples of subjects found in online programs.

  • Contemporary Literature

    Studies how post-1950s literature around the world addresses contemporary issues. Analyzes different methods and theories of textual criticism.
  • Advanced Academic Writing

    Teaches writing skills for all types of papers, from short reports to dissertations for academic or professional purposes.
  • Public Speaking

    Prepares students to deliver formal presentations. Includes cultural conventions and speech, perceptions of others, verbal and nonverbal messages, oral presentation techniques and persuasion.
  • Creative Writing

    Studies the tools of the craft, terms and techniques while writing a variety of poems and short stories.
  • Literature Resource and Theory

    Examines different strategies of reading, comprehending and engaging with 20th century literary texts. Covers literary criticism, such as poststructuralist theories and their legacy.
  • Analytical Writing

    Approaches issues and claims presented in visual, oral or written arguments. Teaches students to research and compose analytical and argumentative essays, with a focus on source-based writing.
  • World Literature

    Explores literature from antiquity to the 17th century, emphasizing the literary and aesthetic value of writing from all parts of the globe.

Master's-Level Online English Degrees

A master's degree in English takes approximately two years to complete, although this may vary with graduate opportunities, such as teaching or research assistantships. The degree could qualify graduates for roles as community college English instructors and for various writing careers.

Students explore British and U.S. literature in a variety of genres, authors, time periods and movements. Students explore literary analysis, literary criticism and research methods. Some schools offer concentrations in comparative literature, creative writing, linguistics or English education. Most master's programs in English require students to complete a thesis project for graduation that they must present before a committee.

The following table presents some of the core courses in a master's-level online English degree program:

  • Linguistics

    Covers speech sounds and patterns, including how words are formed and organized into sentences, how language is understood, and how language changes. Topics include morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics and phonology.
  • Medieval Literature

    Explores literary traditions associated with the diverse cultures of early and late medieval England. Includes major genres, themes and styles.
  • Renaissance Literature

    Covers a wide variety of literature from 16th century. Examines science, religious fundamentalism, colonialism and capitalism by reading works like Utopia and The Faerie Queene.
  • Rhetoric and Composition

    Instructs students in writing essays, emphasizing different rhetorical modes such as comparison, narrative, description, analysis, argument, classification and cause and effect.
  • Writing Nonfiction

    Develops skills necessary for professional communicators preparing written material for print or electronic media.
  • Old English

    Studies Old English, the Germanic language spoken by Anglo-Saxons in Britain from middle of the 5th century until around the end of the 11th century.
  • English Language History

    Examines issues of language use, the construction of standard and nonstandard English, literary language, spelling reform, pidgins and creoles, and important variations of English around the world.
  • Multi-Ethnic Literature

    Explores a selection of multiethnic literatures of the U.S. through a comparative framework. Includes fiction, poetry, autobiography, personal essays and cultural studies by African American, Asian American, Native American and Latin writers since the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Early American Literature

    Reviews the poetry, fiction and nonfiction written in and about the United States before the end of the Civil War.

Online English Degrees at the PhD Level

An English doctorate prepares students for many roles in academia, either teaching or conducting research. Most programs take a minimum of five years to complete. The curriculum combines graduate level classes, comprehensive examinations and a dissertation, which requires significant scholarly research presented to a panel of reviewers. Doctoral students may be able to teach introductory courses in composition or literature for undergraduates. In addition to specialized studies in British and American literature, doctoral candidates also study language and composition.

What Can You Do With an Online English Degree?

An English degree provides a foundation for several types of careers. Many English majors move on to careers as teachers, editors, authors, technical communicators or copywriters. The skills in research, analysis and communication that English students develop can translate to a variety of other fields, ranging from marketing to law. The list below highlights some potential career paths for those devoted to English studies. Occupations such as teaching may require additional education or professional credentials.

Featured Careers

College English Language/Literature Teachers

College English and literature teachers instruct postsecondary students on the English language and works of literature. Their focus can range from linguistics to comparative literature. They not only teach, but also conduct research on the subject matter. They can be employed by universities or colleges, on both physical campuses or in the realm of online education.

Median Salary: $60,040
Median Hourly: $NR
Est. Growth: 12.2%
No. Employed: 72,680
Minimum Education: Doctoral/Professional

Lawyers

Lawyers advise and represent people, businesses and government entities in a wide range of legal matters. Their specialties can range from criminal matters to contract law to civil matters. They draft and interpret legal documents, and represent individuals or entities in court. They also work in defense against litigation, and advise or direct litigation against other people or entities.

Median Salary: $113,530
Median Hourly: $54.58
Est. Growth: 9.8%
No. Employed: 581,920
Minimum Education: Doctoral/Professional

Editors

Editors plan, advise and review content prior to publication. They can work for individuals, publishers, newspapers, magazines, websites or trade publications. They review content for grammar and factual accuracy. In many cases, editors work closely with writers through all stages, from the planning phase all the way to final publication, guiding the course of overall projects. Many editors work in offices, but a growing number work from home.

Median Salary: $53,880
Median Hourly: $25.90
Est. Growth: -2.4%
No. Employed: 99,040
Minimum Education: Bachelor's

Technical Writers

Also called technical communicators, technical writers create documents such as training manuals or journal articles, with the goal of making complicated content easier to read and understand. These writers develop, gather and disseminate information to employees, customers, clients, manufacturers and designers. Technical writers can work full-time as in-house employees of a business or governmental agency, or on a freelance, contract basis.

Median Salary: $65,500
Median Hourly: $31.49
Est. Growth: 14.8%
No. Employed: 46,160
Minimum Education: Bachelor's

Writers/Authors

Writers and authors gather and create content for a wide range of media and resources, including manuscripts, books, magazines, trade publications, educational materials, movies and television programs. They can work for publishers, studios, academic institutions or work for themselves as freelancers or independent authors. They may work with a single, specific editor and publisher, or with many different professionals depending on the project.

Median Salary: $55,940
Median Hourly: $26.89
Est. Growth: 3%
No. Employed: 41,990
Minimum Education: Bachelor's

Popular Resources

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