Best Online English Degree Programs of 2022

Earning a bachelor's in English can lead to a variety of careers. Use this guide to find top-ranked online English programs.

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Published on January 26, 2022 · Updated on March 25, 2022

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Earning a bachelor's in English does not limit graduates to one career or field. In fact, this degree helps students develop valuable skills that employers in multiple industries value, including competencies related to written and oral communication, problem-solving, leadership, research, and analytical interpretation.

Prospective students can use this page to identify schools with top-ranked programs and gain a general understanding of what earning a bachelor's in English entails. Covered topics include common courses, admission requirements, career paths, and earning potential.

Online Bachelor's in English Program Overview

A bachelor's in English program may allow students to tailor their interests to a specific subfield, like linguistics, rhetoric, or a literary genre. Programs also provide writing-intensive courses for aspiring authors.

The curriculum requires general education coursework in science, history, mathematics, and English. While programs vary by emphasis, common topics include British literature, American literature, poetry, nonfiction literature, and world literature. Other topics may include rhetoric and theory, contemporary literature, cultural commentary, and research.

Graduates who earn an online bachelor's in English may qualify for jobs related to writing, editing, research, and teaching. Additionally, students often go on to earn an advanced degree to gain a competitive advantage in the field.

Common Bachelor's in English Degree Courses

Introduction to Creative Writing

Students in this class develop their own short stories and spend time critiquing fellow classmates' work. This course often requires a culminating essay or a final portfolio, in which students rewrite their best pieces.

Literary Criticism and Theory

Students survey 20th- and 21st-century literary theory and criticism. Topics include post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, ethnicity and race studies, and cultural studies. Students also explore the ways criticism and theory help shape literature. Course objectives include understanding important texts and identifying practical value in literature.

Introduction to Poetry

A bachelor's in English program typically includes an introductory poetry course. Students analyze multiple forms of poetry through class discussions and group critiques. Course outcomes include demonstrating knowledge of pertinent literary terms, identifying connections between historical contexts and literature, and evaluating elements within poems.

Shakespeare

Students in this class examine Shakespeare's sonnets and major plays. Other topics may include the playwright's emphasis on language and use of social contexts.

History and Theories of Rhetoric

Students learn basic methods of rhetorical analysis and criticism. Topics include rhetorical roots in Western civilization, rhetoric in multiple cultural and disciplinary contexts, and forms of delivery. Learning outcomes include understanding common rhetorical theory methods, demonstrating critical thinking when evaluating arguments, and conducting research on topics related to rhetoric.

Online Bachelor's in English Admission Requirements

Students pursuing a bachelor's in English need a high school diploma or GED certificate to apply. Colleges and universities require these documents to verify that applicants have completed fundamental coursework required to pass entry-level college courses. Applicants with a low GPA may need to take non-credit courses or a placement test.

Transfer students and associate degree-holders seeking to enroll in a bachelor's in English degree completion program should submit official transcripts from accredited postsecondary schools. Students should note that schools may not accept all credits from other institutions. First-year students must submit their high school transcripts.

Colleges and universities often require a minimum GPA; this requirement helps schools ensure they attract candidates who can successfully complete college-level coursework. Students with insufficient GPAs may contact admissions offices to ask about conditional or probationary admission.

Schools often require up to three letters of recommendation. Colleges and universities rely on these letters to learn more about applicants from professionals who can speak to a student's work ethic, adaptability, and potential to succeed. High school students can ask guidance counselors and teachers for recommendations, while students with prior college experience may ask professors.

Schools often require a statement of purpose. Students may choose to explain why they want to enroll, how they can contribute to the field, and/or what their professional future presumably holds. While this document provides information about students, it also helps schools assess an applicant's writing abilities.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

In addition to transferrable skills, a bachelor's in English program allows students to explore creative professional opportunities. For example, students can become writers for magazines, television stations, or advertising and publishing companies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn an annual median salary of $62,170.

Alternatively, students who enjoy working with adolescents can earn a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in education and become high school English teachers. High school teachers in the U.S. earn annual median salaries of over $60,000.

2022 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in English Programs

#1 Online College in Missouri

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Established in 1872, Maryville offers over 90 programs, including 30 online degrees. The fully online bachelor's in English program helps prepare learners for early access to online master's programs. Degree-seekers study writing for rhetorical situations, writing for research and argument, and multicultural voices in American literature.

Students can complete the degree fully online. Graduates may work as teachers, journalists, or communications directors. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Maryville does not require ACT or SAT scores. 

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#2 Online College in Louisiana

Nicholls State University

School Information
Location Thibodaux, Louisiana
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $275
Out of State | $275

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Established in 1948, Louisiana-based Nicholls enrolls more than 6,400 students in 107 programs. The school's fully online bachelor's in English program offers several concentrations. Options include literacy studies, film studies, and creative writing. Online courses last eight weeks.

Graduates may work in publishing, public relations, or administration. Louisiana high school graduates interested in enrolling must complete the Regents' Core Four Curriculum. They also need a minimum 21 ACT score, a 1060 SAT score, or a 2.35 GPA. Nontraditional learners must take the ACT or Accuplacer test.

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#3 Online College in Kansas

Ottawa University

School Information
Location Ottawa, Kansas
Admission Rate 15%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $499
Out of State | $499

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

OU is a private, Baptist-affiliated school that serves more than 4,000 students on six campuses and online. The school's online bachelor's in English program emphasizes multicultural sensitivity and the power of language. Coursework prepares enrollees for graduate school and the workplace. The fully online curriculum features accelerated eight-week terms. Learners complete assignments using Blackboard. 

Applicants must submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. OU accepts up to 80 credits of lower-division coursework. 

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#4 Online College in Illinois

University of Illinois at Springfield

School Information
Location Springfield, Illinois
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $308
Out of State | $308

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

UIS offers an online bachelor's in English program that learners complete at their own pace. Coursework covers topics such as poetry, fiction, and creative writing. Students complete a capstone course and an engagement experience such as an internship. 

Applicants need at least 30 lower-division credits. They must also submit a personal statement containing 200-300 words. UIS prefers applicants with at least 60 credits or an associate degree. The school reviews applications on a rolling basis. 

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#5 Online College in Louisiana

Louisiana State University-Alexandria

School Information
Location Alexandria, Louisiana
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 28%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $291
Out of State | $291

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

LSUA offers an online bachelor's in English that helps learners develop critical thinking, communication, and time management skills. Students complete classes in public speaking, creative writing, and British literature. The same experienced faculty who teach campus courses also teach online classes.  

Applicants need at least a 2.0 GPA or a 20 ACT composite score. Transfer applicants need an associate degree or at least 18 college-level credits or 12 community-college credits. LSUA charges flat-rate tuition on more than 100 degrees and certificates. 

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#6 Online College in Oregon

Eastern Oregon University

School Information
Location La Grande, Oregon
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 27%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $265
Out of State | $305

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

EOU, known as Oregon's Rural University, offers 20 online programs. The fully online bachelor's in English program features core courses in literature, grammar, and fiction writing. Electives include film criticism, linguistics, and digital rhetoric. Degree-seekers complete a two-course capstone. Students can complete practicum experiences with nonprofits, independent presses, and K-12 schools.

Students can earn a BA with a foreign language requirement or a BS with 12 additional science credits. Applicants need a 2.75 high school GPA. EOU also accepts GED scores. Transfer students need a 2.25 GPA. 

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#7 Online College in Hawaii

Chaminade University of Honolulu

School Information
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $565
Out of State | $565

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Hawaii's only Catholic-sponsored university, Chaminade offers an online bachelor's in English with three concentrations. Learners choose from writing, teaching, or literature and criticism. The university's Transfer Pathways program lets students who earn their associate degree from the University of Hawaii Community College system complete the last two years of their English degree at Chaminade. The school waives core curriculum and general education requirements for these degree-seekers. 

Chaminade provides major tuition discounts to military members and their dependents. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and must submit a 250-word interest statement. Chaminade follows a holistic admissions process, making test scores optional. 

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#8 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $229
Out of State | $346

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

FIU's online bachelor's in English program builds skills in communication and argumentation. Learners in the writing and rhetoric track also develop professional and technical writing skills. Students complete upper-division classes in areas such as African American literature, linguistics, and modern English grammar. 

Applicants must submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. FIU provides several scholarships, including privately funded, merit based scholarships.

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#9 Online College in Missouri

University of Missouri

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $400
Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Mizzou's online bachelor's in English program prepares students for graduate study and jobs in writing, editing, and business. The program includes general education classes and electives such as literature, creative writing, and the history of English language. Students complete an intensive writing course as the program's capstone.

Mizzou provides a 10% tuition discount to military or veteran students and to students transferring from one of Missouri's community colleges. Applicants must show good grades in  specific high school classes. Transfer students need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

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#10 Online College in Maine

University of Maine at Presque Isle

School Information
Location Presque Isle, Maine
Admission Rate 99%
Graduation Rate 38%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $245
Out of State | $392

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Students pursuing UMPI's online bachelor's in English degree can take classes year-round. This program requires a minimum of 39 English credits and 40 general education credits. Learners can choose an optional minor. Coursework covers topics like professional writing and literary and film analysis.

UMPI also offers a competency-based BA in English with a professional communication and journalism concentration. This degree-completion program takes a year or less. UMPI charges a flat-rate tuition. 

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Online Bachelor's in English Career Paths

Earning a bachelor's degree in English can lead to entry-level opportunities in multiple fields. Graduates may pursue in-demand careers as journalists, grant writers, secondary English teachers, and technical writers. For example, BLS data project an 8% increase in job outlook for technical writers from 2018-2028. Employers for these roles usually require or prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.

Educational requirements for these roles vary. For instance, journalists, grant writers, and technical writers may not need to pursue a graduate degree to find success; they can qualify for more advanced positions by gaining years of experience on the job. Contrastingly, K-12 schools may require secondary English teachers to acquire a master's degree within an allotted time frame.

Careers for English Majors

Related Careers

Communications Careers Marketing Careers Journalism Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Many industries require employees who can assist organizations in effectively communicating messages. In the private sector, professionals who hold a degree in English can work in marketing departments. Additionally, nonprofit organizations need writers to acquire funding and schools need educators to teach English to adolescents.

Is a degree in English a BA or a BS?

Students can earn a bachelor of arts in English or a bachelor of science in English. While both routes include similar coursework, they possess different learning outcomes. A bachelor of arts offers broader exposure to the field. Contrastingly, a BS pathway may emphasize more professional writing courses. Students should consider their career goals when choosing between the two.

What kind of jobs can you get with an English degree?

Professionals who hold a bachelor's in English can follow many career paths. Students should consider what fields appeal to them and then identify in-demand roles. For instance, graduates often become copywriters, editors, grant writers, technical writers, journalists, authors, and teachers. Professionals may also go on to earn an advanced degree in fields such as law.

Do English majors make good money?

Earning potential varies in this field based on a worker's geographic location and experience. Students should consider the salary they wish to earn, the roles that appeal to them most, and where they plan to work. These factors can help students figure out an approximate annual salary.

Are English majors in demand?

Professionals who hold a bachelor's in English can find work in many areas. To determine the extent of this demand, students should make a list of jobs that appeal to them and then conduct research. For instance, the BLS projects 4% growth in the number of high school teacher positions between 2018 and 2028, while it projects 8% growth for technical writers over that same time period.

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Earning a master's in English degree takes as quick as one year. Learn in this guide about the best online master's in English programs and see what they charge and... We ranked the best online master's in English language learning program so you can find the right fit. Compare programs by flexibility and cost. Do you have a way with words? Learn more about the best online bachelor''s in writing degree programs. See our list of top-ranked schools.

BestColleges.com 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.

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