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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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 as a Second Language
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
Though based in San Diego, National University is a primarily online school and a nonprofit based on providing highly flexible, achievable education. It has offered distance education for more than 20 years and today provides more than 100 online programs. More than 17,000 students attend National.
National University offers an online BA in English that focuses on literary analysis and diverse expression. You will explore centuries of literature as well as linguistics, composition, and communications. This program will set you up for graduate school or to jump right into a career in an array of industries. Core classes cover:
British Literature I and II
American Literature I and II
At National University you have the opportunity to concentrate in creative writing. In addition to gaining a foundation in world literature you will also develop personal work in one of several genres. Indeed, you can work on your fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and even nature writing at National.
King University is a private school based in Bristol, TN. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. King is most known for its programs in business, nursing, and education. Nearly 3,000 students attend King.
King University’s online BA in English program places emphasis on writing, analysis, and research. As a King student you will be encouraged to not only explore the worlds of literature, but to also develop communication skills. You will therefore graduate ready for a career in everything from academia to digital marketing. A sampling of classes include:
Modern and Contemporary American Literature
Religion and Literature
King University offers arts-based degrees that are also conscious of career and industry demands. This means that you can expect courses that are steeped in real-world considerations. You will develop industry-specific skills and knowledge needed to find lucrative, stable work after graduation.
Based in Waxahachie, TX, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian school. It is a liberal arts school offering degrees in a range of areas, many of which include a faith-based perspective. Around 2,000 students attend SAGU.
From technical to creative writing, English students at SAGU will explore the full spectrum of English literature and language. And they will have the opportunity to do a lot of their own writing too. This comprehensive degree has set graduates on a diverse range of career paths. Indeed, students have gone on to become:
Social Media Manager
Not only is SAGU regionally ranked among the top universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report. Its online programs are also nationally ranked. Most notably its bachelor and graduate programs in education and English are consistently praised.
Regent University is located in Virginia Beach, VA, but has a number of well-regarded distance education programs. It was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson and still maintains its religious roots today. Organized into eight colleges, Regent is home to more than 8,000 students.
For those who want to focus on communications, Regent offers a BA in English with specialization in communication. You will learn the ins and outs of marketing, public relations, and social media in addition to interpersonal communications. Graduates have gone on to secure careers in:
Because of Regent’s Christian affiliations, you can expect classes that not only cover the sciences and arts, but also theology and biblical studies. In fact, for those who desire a faith-based approach to English, Regent may be the best fit for you. You will take classes on both the Old and New Testament, Christian history, the making of a Christian leader, and more.
Thomas Edison State University is a public college located in Trenton, NJ. It is organized into five schools through which it offers degrees in the arts, sciences, technology, business, nursing, and public service. More than 17,000 students attend Thomas Edison State.
When you earn a BA in English from TESU you will experience a comprehensive introduction to the origins of the English language and its evolution through centuries. For those who want to understand the principles of composition and rhetoric, this is an ideal program. Required courses include:
Survey of Literature I and II
Analysis and Interpretation of Literature
TESU boasts a university motto that says “A public university proudly serving the needs of busy adults, anytime, anywhere.” This says it all. TESU is a well-respected university known for its service to returning and adult learners. Its online programs, for that reason, are often cited as among the best in the nation.
Troy University is a public school located in Troy, AL. It was founded as a teachers college but today is a flagship university that offers nearly 70 academic and professional degree programs. Around 18,000 students attend Troy.
When you earn a BA in English from Troy University you will have an array of options for pairing your degree with a minor or specialization. Whether you want to become an expert in professional writing, creative writing, or language arts, Troy provides the coursework you’ll need to attain such expertise. All students, however, will go through Troy’s core coursework, which is organized into simple chronological and geographical categories:
American Literature before 1875
American Literature after 1875
British Literature before 1785
British Literature after 1785
Troy’s graduates have found careers in a diverse range of fields. From the technical to the creative, from library archivist to world-traveling journalist, Troy boasts some of the best graduate employment statistics.
Ottawa University is a liberal arts school and a Christian university. It was founded by and is still affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. Around 600 students attend Ottawa on campus and another 7,000 are earning their degrees onlines.
Ottawa University offers a BA in English online. You’ll gain a sturdy foundation in world and English literature, exploring a wide range of authors, plots, themes, and literary styles. And classes cover everything from history to linguistics. Your core seminars include:
Seminar in British Literature
Seminar in American Literature
Integrative Seminar in Criticism
There are many reasons to consider Ottawa for your online education. For instance, Ottawa has a generous credit transfer policy, through which you can utilize past experiences for current coursework credit. Ottawa’s program also has unique electives you won’t find elsewhere. For example, the “Protest Literature” class promotes the relationship between aesthetics and politics.
Eastern Oregon University is based in La Grande, OR. It is a relatively small university, home to a modest 3,500 students. But through its three colleges, EOU provides a number of degree opportunities in the arts and sciences, business, and education.
EUO offers both a BA or BS in English/Writing that is equal parts literature, rhetoric, and creative writing. EUO is a great choice, whether you want to graduate a passionate, effective orator or you want to write the next great American novel. For example, some of the classes you’ll take at EOU include:
Writing in the Community
Introduction Writing in Genres
British Literature Before 1800
American Literature after 1865
For those considering teaching as a career, EUO has the program for you. Eastern offers a Secondary Teaching option that can be paired with the primary English degree. In addition to the core courses noted above, you will study pedagogy and graduate prepared for secondary teaching.
Central Washington University, located in Ellensburg, is a public university comprised of four colleges. Nearly 12,000 students attend Central Washington. In addition to its primary campus in Ellensburg, CWU has campuses throughout the state and online too.
Central Washington University offers an online degree in English with specialization in Professional and Creative Writing. This degree is steeped in the liberal arts model, meaning you will experience and interdisciplinary education. Additionally, you will study not just literature and writing technique but publishing, scientific and technical writing, and editing. Core courses include:
Poetry and Poetics
Principles of English Studies
Writing and Editing for Publication
Though Central Washington University is strong in many academic areas, its most popular and well recognized degree programs are in music, English, geology, and physics. Indeed, CWU is ranked among the top 50 best schools for its region.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a liberal arts school located near Terre Haute, IN. It is a Roman Catholic school, and is, in fact, the oldest Catholic school in Indiana. Approximately 1,700 students attend SMWC.
The online English degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is distinctively focused on how literature shapes the world. You therefore explore literature’s impact on cultures, with special attention given to women writers. In addition to your traditional courses covering British and American literature, SMWC also requires such unique classes as:
Literature and Myth
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is consistently ranked among the “Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest” according to U.S. News & World Report. And because of its liberal arts focus, SMWC is also known for its intimate classroom settings and small student-teacher ratios.
The East regional campus within the wider, prestigious Indiana University system is located in Richmond (Indiana, of course!). Around 4,000 students attend IU East, enrolled in one of the University’s 60 academic or professional development degree programs. IU East is organized into more than a half dozen schools plus its online college.
For those who want to go into scientific or technical writing, IU East offers the ideal program: an online BA in English with specialization in Technical and Professional Writing. Through this program you will learn how to communicate complicated information in an accessible, exciting way. And you’ll graduate ready for a career in advertising, PR, social services, and more. Classes include:
Studies in American Culture
Introduction to Critical Practices
The Indiana University system is a renowned collection of highly ranked universities. Among them IU East is no different. It is ranked among the top regional universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. And its online programs are equally renowned, making several “best of” lists.
Rogers State University is a public university based in Claremore, OK, but has other campuses throughout the state and online. It is a smaller university with around 20 undergraduate programs and 4,300 students, but it is a recognized leader in innovative education. The eCollege is consistently praised for its accessibility, flexibility, and affordability.
At Rogers State University you can earn an online BA in Liberal Arts degree and enroll in the English specialization track. This uniquely interdisciplinary degree gives students a broad understanding of language and its cultural connections while teaching critical thinking skills. Your core lit classes include:
Topics in Advanced Composition
Because Rogers State is so multi-disciplinary in its focus, you can expect an educational experience that is inclusive and globally thinking. Indeed, RSU requires a number of Global Studies classes, courses you won’t find anywhere else. For example, you can enroll in “Plants and Civilization,” “International Economic Issues and Policies,” “Minority Groups,” and more.
Louisiana State University in Alexandria is part of the highly regarded LSU System. It serves more than 3,000 students, offering bachelor degrees in a variety of liberal arts and professional subjects. LSUA is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly.
LSUA’s online BA in English takes you through a comprehensive exploration of English principles, composition, and literature. Not only will you gain a firm grasp of literary history, but you’ll graduate knowing a foreign language, skilled in public speaking, and much more. In addition to your core classes covering American and British Literature, you will also take:
Major Writers in World Literature
Major African American Writers
LSUA is classified a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its academic reputation, the university is also known for being top-ranked in terms of least amount of incurred debt among students. And it is among the top 10 most affordable public universities in the US.
Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private school founded by the Society of Mary, an order out of the Roman Catholic Church. Offering nearly two dozen bachelor degrees, Chaminade is known for its programs in biology, business, the arts, education, nursing, and religious studies. Nearly 3,000 students attend Chaminade.
When you earn a BA in English from Chaminade you have three opportunities for specialization. Students can concentrate in writing, literature and criticism, or teaching. All students, regardless of focus, will become proficient in writing, analysis, and public speaking. And all students will take the same core courses:
Backgrounds in American Literature
Backgrounds in British Literature
Senior Seminar Capstone Course
Chaminade University is home to the PACE undergraduate program. This program was designed specifically for busy adults and working professionals, and it offers degree completely online and through an accelerated schedule. Ten-week courses get you closer to graduation faster.
Columbia College in Missouri is a liberal arts school affiliated with the Christian Church. Columbia is a small school organized into a dozen academic divisions and departments. Around 2,100 undergraduate students attend.
Through the Language and Communication Studies Department Columbia offers an online BA in English degree. With an emphasis on communication skill building and critical thinking, this degree is notably career-focused. Students can concentrate in literature and take specialized coursework such as:
World Literature I and II
The History of the English Language
Major Literary Figures
Major Literary Periods
For student vets and active-duty military, Columbia College may be the best choice. It is designated a military friendly institution. And it was recently ranked “Best for Vets.”
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