Best Online English Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Write your way into a exciting career with one of the nation’s best online bachelor’s in English degrees.

Are you fascinated by the way stories can shape cultures, and vice versa? Do you want to learn how to hone your writing and communication skills to become part of that storytelling legacy? Are you as equally passionate about the written word as you are about cultural expression?

Then a degree in English is just for you!

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Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

What kind of online bachelor’s in English degree should you get?

Though each of these 25 programs will give you a comprehensive introduction to literature, as well as its histories and theories, no program is just like the other.

For example, some of these programs specialize in creative writing. Meaning, while you study the great works of literature from around the world and across time you will also develop your own creative projects. Other programs emphasize pedagogy, setting you up for a career in teaching upon graduation.

Here at College Choice we believe that fit equals success. So find the program that best reflects your passion and career goals. And regardless of which program you choose, know that all of these degrees can be completed fully online.

Distance education is flexible, affordable, and adaptable way to advance your education and career. For those reasons, be sure to check out College Choice’s Most Affordable Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with an online Bachelor’s in English degree?

A degree in English can lead to innumerable career options (more on that below). Which means that nailing down an average salary can be tricky.

For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors make nearly $62,000 a year on average. But say you don’t see yourself writing the next great American novel. Instead, you’re interested in writing compelling marketing content. Well, marketing managers make more than $129,000 annually.

The vocational opportunities are endless - as are the payoffs.

Which is to say, a degree in English provides an excellent return on investment.

What can you do with a bachelor’s in English degree?

As we noted above, a BA in English can serve you across many industries and sectors. From healthcare to non-profits, everyone is looking for one who can tell compelling stories and communicate passionately and effectively.

And though a degree in English may seem like a throwback to the days of Elizabethan collars, English majors actually find themselves at the forefront of evolving trends and technologies. With one of these degrees in hand you can become a digital marketer, content creator, B2B writer, social media expert, journalist, and much more.

These programs below also prepare you for graduate school. So for those of you who want to earn an advanced degree in English, rhetoric, education, or creative writing, you will graduate fully prepared for the rigors of a master’s program.

What are the requirements for an online bachelor’s in English degree?

To earn a bachelor’s in English, you will first need to complete two full years (approximately 60 credits) of general education classes, including those in the humanities, social science, and math.

Once those are out of the way you will dive into English foundations, such as British and American literature classes. And from there you will further specialize by exploring world literature, poetics, African American literature, the novel, and women writers.

You may even gain some hands-on experience at some of these schools. Internship and capstone projects are often required. We’ve been sure to note which.

What are the best online bachelor’s in English degrees?

Though some of these English programs are housed within small liberal arts colleges and others through large research universities, they all share one thing in common: they offer the best online English BAs in the country.

To find the best we first found every program in the nation that offers the degree online. From there we brought in crucial determining factors such as academic reputation and student retention. Retention rate is a clear sign of student satisfaction. Finally, we considered affordability by looking at tuition and financial aid.

What we found after such exhaustive research are the 25 best online BA in English degrees in the U.S.

Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Central Florida

    Orlando, FL




    The University of Central Florida is located in Orlando but has a highly regarded online community as well. UCF is a research-based university and is home to some of the largest research and training parks in the nation. More than 65,000 students attend UCF.


    UCF offers an online BA in English with a focus on literature. This program has spawned copywriters, editors, journalists, librarians, and writers alike. You’ll study under the tutelage of scholars who are experts in language, literary theory, and writing alike. UCF’s core curriculum is comprised of classes such as:

    • Theory and Techniques of Literary Study
    • Creative Writing for English Majors
    • Research and Writing about Literature
    • Plus a foreign language


    U.S. News & World Report calls the University of Central Florida one of the nation’s “Most Innovative Universities.” Likewise, UCF’s online programs are consistently included among the top in the US, recognized for not just their academic excellence but their service to distance and non-traditional students.

  2. University of Illinois at Springfield

    Springfield, IL




    The Springfield member within the wider University of Illinois System is home to approximately 5,500 students. UIS offers around 30 undergraduate program plus its 20 graduate degrees, making it modest in size but a still highly regarded public school.


    When you earn a BA in English from UIS you will explore everything from the fundamentals of linguistics and language making to digital technologies in English studies. This broad-based degree readies you not just for a career in education and writing, but graduates have also gone on to find rewarding careers in business, law, healthcare, and much more. Core requirements include:

    • Research Methods in English Studies
    • Children’s and Young Adult Literature
    • Creative Writing (both Poetry and Fiction)
    • Rhetoric and Composition in Digital Media


    UIS has been offering online classes for nearly two decades, making it a national leader in distance and online education. And not only is the program long established, but it’s nationally ranked too. Its programs are consistently included among the top online programs in the US.

  3. University of Massachusetts Lowell

    Lowell, MA




    Based outside of Boston, the Lowell member within the wider University of Massachusetts System serves more than 18,000 students. UMass Lowell offers around 200 academic and professional degree programs, with notable strengths in the areas of engineering, education, tech, and criminal justice.


    Whether you want to pursue professional or creative writing, UMass Lowell has the program for you. This online BA in English covers the full spectrum of British and American literature and literary traditions. In addition to that foundation, as a UMass Lowell student you will have the opportunity to explore far reaches within literary studies. For example, electives include:

    • English Studies in a Digital Environment
    • The Rise of the Novel
    • Great Books of the Modern Period
    • The Horror Story


    The University of Massachusetts is a highly ranked system of education. The Lowell campus is no different. It excels particularly well in the area of distance education, frequently making the prestigious rankings put out by U.S. News & World Report. For example, U.S. News includes UMass Lowell’s online bachelor degrees as among the best in the nation.

  4. Arizona State University

    Phoenix, AZ




    Arizona State University is one of the nation’s brightest research universities. The Tempe campus is the largest within ASU, with more than 70,000 students. It is also the oldest campus, having been founded as a teachers college before the nineteenth century.


    ASU offers a fast-track online BA in English degree. Condensed into 39 classes, each class being just a little over seven weeks long, you can earn your degree in just three years. But ASU doesn’t skimp on quality. You’ll be trained to read, write, and analyze across print and digital genres through a curriculum that includes:

    • Critical Reading and Writing about Literature
    • World Literature
    • Topics in Contemporary Literature
    • Classical Backgrounds of English Literature


    For many years in a row ASU has been given the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s list, “Most Innovative Schools in America.” The university’s huge research contributions and its renowned online programs have earned this it this accolade. Indeed, some of ASU’s online degrees are considered among the top 5 best of their kind nationwide.

  5. California Baptist University

    Riverside, CA




    California Baptist University is a private, Christian school. It’s steeped in the liberal arts, but offers an array of graduate programs too. Cal Baptist is located in Riverside, CA and has nearly 10,000 students.


    CBU’s BA in English is an online program that trains students for well-rounded study in the humanities. Graduates have gone into a range of sectors, including everything from business to community advocacy. In addition to survey courses covering British and American literature as well as creative writing, you’ll have the opportunity to explore all areas of literary study through electives such as:

    • Multicultural Literature
    • Children’s Literature
    • Literary Theory and Criticism
    • Language Structure and Acquisition


    CBU has been offering online degrees for many years and has become a standout in innovative distance education. For example, its online bachelor’s programs are ranked among the top 25 best nationwide. Further, those programs are considered some of the best for active military who are studying from afar.

  6. University of Memphis

    Memphis, TN




    The University of Memphis is a public research university. More than 21,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students attend the university, which is organized into over a dozen schools and colleges.


    The University of Memphis provides two ways to study English online. You can earn a BA in African American Literature or a BA in Professional Writing. Both programs cover British literature to and since 1750 as well as American literature. And both programs offer flexible online learning, through which you can earn the degree at your own pace. Other sample courses include:

    • English Composition
    • English as a Second Language
    • Literary Heritage
    • Children’s Literature


    When you earn a degree from University of Memphis you are earning a degree from a nationally ranked university. Indeed, the school has been praised by the likes of Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and more. In conjunction with its academic reputation, the University of Memphis is also known for its commitment to sustainability and student diversity.

  7. University of Colorado - Denver

    Denver, CO




    The University of Colorado in Denver is a public, research-driven school home to more than 18,000 students. UC Denver is comprised of two campuses, one downtown and the Anschutz Medical Campus. The latter is the state’s largest research university, bringing in hundreds of millions in research dollars each year.


    For those who want to focus on developing their writing skills, UC Denver offers a BA in English Writing program. This program is equal parts critical reasoning and creative development. Graduates have attained wide-ranging careers in a range of industries after graduating from UC Denver. For example, students have become:

    • Grant writers in the non-profit sector
    • Editors in publishing
    • Journalists
    • Copywriters in business and advertising


    UC Denver is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its overall rankings, it is also known for being a top public school and for having online programs that are among the top 100 best of their kind.

  8. Clarion University of Pennsylvania

    Clarion, PA




    Located in Clarion, PA, Clarion University is a public school and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Clarion, comprised of three colleges, offers a range of academic and professional programs across all degree levels.


    Clarion offers a BA in English program that is a distinctive combination of critical literacy studies and multicultural awareness. In addition to foundational core classes covering English studies and writing for the major you will also take a class in each of the programs specialization areas:

    • Literature
    • Creative Writing
    • Writing
    • Linguistics


    There is more than one way to study English online at Clarion. You should also consider the online BS in Liberal Studies degree with an English concentration. This is an ideal program for those who want a broad education that also promotes personal development. You’ll also be able to tailor the program to your specific career goals.

  9. Nicholls State University

    Thibodaux, LA




    Nicholls State University is located in Thibodaux, LA. It is a public university and a member of the highly regarded University of Louisiana System. Around 6,000 students attend Nicholls and are enrolled in one of the University’s six colleges.


    Nicholls offers a BA in English program that provides a broad foundation in both languages and literatures. Whether you want to study great writing or produce it, Nicholls offers many ways to engage literature. There are three ways to concentrate, too, in:

    • Literary Studies
    • Creative Writing
    • or Writing and Rhetoric


    In addition to Nicholls already interdisciplinary degree, there are even more opportunities for cross departmental work. Students at Nicholls are encouraged to pair their degree with a minor. Options include everything from French to film studies, professional writing, and Spanish.

  10. Clayton State University

    Morrow, GA




    Located in Morrow, GA, Clayton State University is a public school and a member of the University System of Georgia. Clayton is organized into a graduate school and four colleges, through which it offers degrees in the arts, health, business, education, and more. More than 7,000 students attend Clayton.


    For those who want an online degree that is identical to one earned on campus, look no further than Clayton. Clayton’s BA in English can be completed fully online while still offering all the same courses and experiences as the campus program. Choose between two tracks in either literature or writing and gain a foundation in English through classes such as:

    • Introduction to Literary Studies
    • Critical Theory
    • Introduction to Writing Studies
    • Plus a senior capstone


    Clayton’s online platform offers many incentives. Foremost, the online programs, while providing the same rigor and quality as on-campus degrees, can be earned fully at your own pace. But also, online students have access to tech support, career counselors, academic advisors, and much more. Finally eTuition makes Clayton an affordable option.

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