2020 Best Online Bachelor's in Colleges for English Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated November 24, 2020

An online English degree can open up doors to many different careers. The ability to read and interpret complicated texts and to parse complicated ideas in writing is an integral skill in many professions. Career paths for those passionate about English include becoming an author, editor, copy writer, technical writer, or other type of writer. They work for publishing companies, advertising and PR firms, colleges and universities, and other information service companies. Those looking for top programs can browse our lists of the best online bachelor's in English programs and best online master's in English programs, ranked based on schools' tuition rates and the salaries of alumni reported by PayScale.

2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in English Degrees

2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in English Badge

With low tuition rates and high average alumni salaries, the following 18 schools offer the best online bachelor's in English degrees. Assumption College is ranked #1, offering a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities - English/Literature for $12,720 per year. Graduates of the school reported a median salary of $122,000. At #2, Texas Tech University has the least expensive tuition on the list, charging only $9,090 per year. Students can choose from either a Bachelor of Arts in English - Creative Writing or a Bachelor of Arts in English - Literature and Language.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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2020 Online Colleges Offering English Degrees - Ranking Details

Online English Degree Overview & Career Information

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for most careers in English. This degree may be in communications, English, comparative literature, or another liberal studies field in which students are required to complete large amounts of reading and writing. Writing experience garnered through extracurricular activities or internships with school newspapers, magazines, or yearbooks can prove helpful in landing a job after graduation. Professionals interested in one particular type of writing, such as science writing, can benefit by taking college-level coursework in that subject area.

Those looking to specialize in one type of writing, get a more extensive English background, or transfer to English from another profession can pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. Two-year master’s programs in communications, English, journalism, and related fields require intensive amounts of reading and writing, and usually the completion of a lengthy thesis paper. Doctoral degrees take five years or longer to complete. These programs are often pursued by individuals interested in a career in academia.

There are no mandatory professional certifications or extra credentials writers, authors, or copy editors need to find employment. However, skills in desktop publishing, graphic design, and digital media can give job seekers an edge, as most writing today is done on a computer and published online. Individuals interested in editing positions will benefit from also possessing business skills, since many editors also manage business aspects of written publications.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in English

The online Bachelor of Arts in English degree provides training in written and oral communication, literature, research, and critical thinking skills. These four-year programs also contain a significant array of courses in the general arts and sciences; students complete about 120 credit hours of coursework. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED in order to apply.

Most bachelor’s degree programs in English are offered at colleges and universities. All bachelor’s degree programs have a liberal arts component in which students take core classes that may not directly relate to their majors. Most students take liberal arts classes their first two years and take classes related to their majors during their final two years. Bachelor’s degrees complete a student’s undergraduate education and are required to continue schooling in graduate settings, such as in law school or in programs that offer a master’s degree.

Writing is one of the two principal subjects that students learn in their coursework for a bachelor’s degree in English. Students learn a number of different techniques related to writing, the majority of which are related to formal academic writing. Students will learn techniques for composing different types of essays, such as compare-and-contrast essays, literary analysis essays, and expository essays. Students will also learn writing skills that pertain to several forms of academic writing, such as research papers or thesis-length works. In addition to formal academic writing, students also learn about different types of writing, such as fiction, drama, and poetry.

The other half of the coursework that most bachelor’s degree programs in English focus on is reading. Students will be taught how to read a variety of different texts for different purposes. Students will learn and exercise literary analysis skills and will likely be expected to examine texts for a variety of literary devices including hyperbole, characterization, synecdoche and more.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in English are qualified to teach in a number of different settings, -- including in elementary, middle, and high schools -- although further requirements must be fulfilled to do so in public schools. English majors are also qualified to accept a number of career positions related to writing.

The Importance of an Accredited Online English Degree

Because English departments and curricula may vary a lot in terms of the topics covered, methodologies, and the delivery of instruction, accreditation provides a dependable baseline; it lets students and their future employers know that they have received an education that meets or exceeds an established level of quality set forth by the US Department of Education (USDE).

Accredited institutions and programs go through an extensive evaluation process to ensure that they meet the highest academic standards. Attending an accredited English degree program means that you will be learning via a high-quality curriculum taught by qualified faculty members. It also means that you will more likely be able to transfer credits from one school to the next, should you decide to pursue an advanced degree. Federal financial aid is also limited to students who attend accredited institutions.

The USDE recognizes a number of private accreditation agencies as having established high academic standards for colleges, universities, and programs in the United States. These accreditation agencies evaluate the quality of academic programs and, if approved, indicate that they are capable of providing a quality education to their students. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is recognized by the USDE as the premier association of accrediting organizations and accredited institutions, and they maintain a database of accredited programs and schools.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.