Best Online Writing Programs of 2021

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.

Ready to start your journey?

October 6, 2021

Edited by Jordan Stewart-Rozema
Share on Social

Expert communicators know how to use language, literature, and writing effectively to convey messages, deploy rhetoric, and construct persuasive arguments. Individuals who possess these skills can apply them in a variety of traditional and nontraditional positions.

This guide outlines how to choose a bachelor's in writing program. The information provided includes admission requirements, common courses, and job prospects for graduates of writing programs.

Employers in all sectors value new hires who can effectively communicate and demonstrate mastery of the written word. While traditional writing fields such as journalism still offer a natural fit for writing majors, the field continues to evolve and offers fewer prospects than it once did.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 5:

Related Programs That Might Interest You

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

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

#1 Florida International University Miami, FL
#2 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#3 Indiana University - East Richmond, IN
#4 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
#5 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#6 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
#7 University of Colorado - Denver Denver, CO
#8 University of Wisconsin - Superior Superior, WI
#9 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
#10 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA

Alternatively, technical writers often begin their careers as writing majors and enjoy positive job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2020-2030 the number of technical writers will increase by 12%; these professionals made a median salary of $74,650 in 2020.

A writing major also gains the foundational training needed to enter other fields, including law, teaching, advertising and public relations, and an array of new media positions (e.g., content strategists and digital producers).

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL

FIU, located in Miami, offers an online bachelor of arts in English with a writing and rhetoric track. The program prepares students for a wide variety of career fields, from traditional publishing to digital content to education administration. All students take core courses designed to provide a solid foundation in English grammar and literature. Participants then choose electives such as scientific writing or advanced business writing to fine-tune their progression.

Note that students must earn a grade of "C" or better in all prerequisite and lower-level English courses to proceed to upper-division writing courses. FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English: Writing and Rhetoric Track
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $229 per credit (in-state); $346 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT 

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL

Located in Orlando, UCF offers a fully online bachelor of arts in English with a creative writing focus. In addition to a complete slate of general liberal arts courses, students take foundational courses in English composition, creative writing, and literature. Learners then move on to upper-level classes, choosing from courses like fiction writing, poetry writing, and scriptwriting.

Many graduates of this program go on to careers in journalism, playwriting, copywriting, or education. Those interested in technical writing careers may prefer UCF's technical communication program.

UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: BA in English - Creative Writing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $179 per credit (in-state); $716 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum preferred
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT for students with a 2.5-2.99 GPA

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Indiana University - East View School Profile Richmond, IN

IU East, located in the city of Richmond, offers an entirely online bachelor of arts in English with a technical and professional writing focus. Designed specifically for students preparing for careers such as technical writer, engineering writer, or documentation specialist, the program provides a strong foundation in digital writing, as well as technical writing and editing.

Students choose from a long list of electives, such as classes in Native American literature or the history of the English language, to round out their knowledge and customize their program according to interests.

IU East is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English, Technical and Professional Writing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $236 per credit (in-state); $341 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Chaminade University of Honolulu View School Profile Honolulu, HI

A private university in Hawaii, Chaminade offers a fully online bachelor of arts in English with a writing concentration. Designed for those interested in creative writing careers, the program provides a strong grounding in both American and British literature. Students learn to analyze and interpret texts within their historical and cultural contexts and effectively communicate ideas through the written word in various applications.

All students must complete a final capstone course. This senior seminar encapsulates everything learned throughout the program. The English program also offers teaching and literature and criticism concentrations.

Chaminade is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $565 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH

Located in Manchester, SNHU offers an online bachelor of arts in creative writing and English. Students can select the general track for maximum flexibility, or choose one of four concentrations: fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, or poetry. Regardless of their track, students take core writing courses like literary theory and the English language. They also take three courses in their concentration and 36 credits of free electives.

All students participate in four separate writing workshops. The final workshop is a capstone experience in which students complete a polished project in their genre choice.

SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $320 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Nicholls State University View School Profile Thibodaux, LA

Located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls offers an online bachelor of arts in English with five concentration options, including creative writing and writing and rhetoric. In addition to a broad foundation in general liberal arts, the program provides a strong grounding in English literature, grammar, and composition.

In general, students interested in writing fiction, poetry, or scripts should select the creative writing concentration. The writing and rhetoric concentration focuses on how writing shapes our worldview and how it can help create change. As a result, students interested in copywriting, grant writing, or business communications often concentrate in writing and rhetoric.

Nicholls is a public university that is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $302 per credit (for 1-12 credits/semester); $275 per credit for each additional credit thereafter
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Colorado - Denver View School Profile Denver, CO

A public research university, CU Denver offers an online bachelor of arts in English writing, rhetoric, and technology. The program teaches students about writing research and theory, as well as a broad introduction to topics like linguistics, digital publication, and magazine writing.

Many students go on to careers in content writing, technical writing, or web content management. A wide variety of electives allows students to focus on their primary areas of interest, such as scientific writing or grant writing.

CU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English Writing, Rhetoric, and Technology
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $330 per credit (in-state); $444 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Wisconsin - Superior View School Profile Superior, WI

A public liberal arts university, UW-Superior offers a hybrid or online bachelor's in writing. This program covers creative writing and professional writing, preparing students for positions like magazine columnist, book reviewer, or social media specialist.

All students take two introductory core writing courses, two genre-specific courses (e.g., nonfiction or poetry), and two rhetoric courses (e.g., English grammar or technical writing). Students further customize their path by picking electives like gender and sexuality in writing, psycholinguistics, and news writing and reporting. The program ends with a capstone project, in which students put together an online writing portfolio.

UW-Superior is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Writing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $305 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online or hybrid

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Regent University View School Profile Virginia Beach, VA

A Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent oversees an online bachelor of arts in English - writing program. Designed for Christian writers who want to ground their work with a biblical worldview, the program requires all students to take Christianity courses alongside their other general education requirements.

The program covers a wide variety of literature, from the Middle Ages through the modern day. Students choose writing electives such as narrative concept and development, writing for animation, and business and professional writing.

Regent is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English - Writing
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $395 per credit for full-time students (12+ credits per semester); $450 per credit for part-time students (6-11 credits per semester)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Central Washington University View School Profile Ellensburg, WA

A public university in Ellensburg, CWU offers a fully online bachelor of arts in professional and creative writing. Students who meet the university's general education requirements can graduate from this degree completion program in just two years.

All students take six foundational courses, which cover topics like rhetoric, grammar, poetry, and writing for publication. Students then chart their path with 27 quarter credits of electives drawn from a mix of creative writing topics, professional writing topics, and online practicum placements. All students also select five courses in literature, language, and film. Students end the program with a capstone colloquium.

CWU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $230 per quarter credit
  • Credit Requirements: 74 quarter credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 suggested (students with a 2.0-2.99 GPA may be admitted pending comprehensive review)
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT recommended for students with a GPA below 3.0

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Writing Program?

Faculty at each school design the curricula for writing programs; therefore, the required coursework varies at each institution. However, the overall objective remains the same — to cultivate a cadre of writers with strong communication skills.

Some degree programs, such as a bachelor's in creative writing, may focus solely on writing. Alternatively, other degree tracks may provide a blended curriculum that melds a classical education in English and literature with in-demand skills — such as technical writing — needed in today's job market.

Some students earn a bachelor's in writing to prepare for graduate school. At the graduate level, they can build on their degree by pursuing another major in the arts and humanities. Alternatively, some students may build on their writing degree by pursuing hands-on experience straight out of college, finding careers in journalism or digital media. Degree-seekers should establish clear career objectives as they examine the college options available to them.

Common Bachelor's in Writing Degree Courses

Composition

Coursework explores expository writing, or how to convey factual information. Students use selected readings and their own experiences to write papers that hone their skills in composition.

Fiction Writing

Students begin to cultivate their writing skills by exploring contemporary fiction and fiction theories. They engage in fiction writing by developing their own short stories. Faculty and peers participate in analysis and criticism of this work to help writers hone their skills.

Reading, Writing, and Inquiry

Students build writing and critical thinking skills as they analyze and synthesize cultural texts focused on world issues and events. Faculty may require that students write about these topics for a variety of audiences as they develop their skills as participants in broader conversations.

Argumentative Writing

Mastering the art of persuasion by pen lies at the heart of writing argumentative essays focused on complicated issues. Students learn how to identify issues, take a position, find evidence to support their claims, and write papers that clearly outline convincing arguments in favor of their positions.

Editing and Publishing

Coursework explores conventions of editing and publishing in literary writing. Learners are introduced to various kinds of publishing environments, such as those related to journals, newspapers, magazines, and digital publishing. They may also focus on certain genres, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and technical writing.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Writing Program?

Applicants must demonstrate they graduated from high school or earned a GED certificate in order to gain entry into most colleges. Learners will need to provide official school or GED transcripts.

These exams are sometimes used to demonstrate an applicant's readiness for entry into college-level studies. The SAT covers reading, writing/language, and math, while the ACT covers English, math, reading, and science reasoning. Both tests have optional essay sections that students can use to bolster their scores.

The College Board developed the ACCUPLACER exam as an assessment tool for junior colleges. Like the SAT and ACT, this standardized test covers reading, writing, and math. Students can also opt to complete the WritePlacer essay to demonstrate their level of writing proficiency.

High school students often need to demonstrate their readiness for college by holding a minimum GPA. Admissions departments generally require that graduates have at least a 2.0-2.5 high school GPA, though some schools may have a higher threshold.

While many programs do not require transfer credits, some do. Some schools offer degree completion options that require a significant number of credits or an associate degree. Schools typically want a minimum 2.0-2.5 GPA in transferable credits. Even if schools do not offer a degree completion track leading to a bachelor's in writing, students can apply credits from junior or other colleges to accelerate degree completion.


What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Writing?

Once students complete a bachelor's in writing, they may qualify for entry-level positions at publications, media organizations, and public relations organizations. They can also pursue a graduate-level education.

However, a writing degree alone may not suffice in a competitive job market. Degree-seekers should always consider ways to begin building and expanding their resume. Paid or unpaid internships at relevant organizations provide hands-on expertise that employers value. Learners may seek opportunities such as summer internships that do not interfere with their schooling.

Students can also accrue experience by serving on a college newspaper or similar publications. While these positions generally do not pay a salary, they give learners experience and clips for a portfolio.

Graduates with a bachelor's in writing may want to acquire specialized training through certificate programs in areas such as technical writing. They may alternately desire to advance their education and training by pursuing a writing or non-writing major in graduate school.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs

Is there a degree for creative writing?

A bachelor's in creative writing may be the best option for learners interested in acquiring a deep appreciation of fiction and nonfiction prose. Students can diversify their skills by finding a writing program that offers a minor in an area such as journalism, technical writing, or digital marketing.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in writing?

A bachelor's degree in writing provides learners with essential training in the effective use of narrative, rhetoric, and communication skills. Learners may apply these skills in fields such as journalism, technical writing, and content strategy. With further education, they may pursue careers in law, English, and education.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in writing?

New college students who opt to pursue a bachelor's degree in creative can expect to graduate in four years. Those who transfer credits from a two- or four-year college can accelerate degree completion significantly.

How much does a bachelor's degree in writing cost?

Tuition varies from school to school, although public colleges generally cost less than private institutions — especially for in-state learners. However, the tuition rates at some online programs are the same for residents and nonresidents.

What does someone with a bachelor's in writing get in a degree?

A bachelor's in writing gives learners a strong liberal arts education. Students also study canonical writers as they hone their own craft. This process cultivates writers who are knowledgeable about literature, effective in the use of language, and comfortable with rhetoric and argumentation.

Parents and students should begin the process of researching and comparing prospective schools as early as possible. This landing page acts as an introduction and overview of online college planning resources for students. Entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT, are a crucial step in preparing for college. Learn what to expect and how to prepare.

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.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.