Language shapes our world! 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.

What Are the Best Writing Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:

  1. University of Central Florida - Orlando, FL
  2. Indiana University East - Richmond, IN
  3. Southern New Hampshire University - Manchester, NH
  4. Central Washington University - Ellensburg, WA
  5. The New School - New York, NY
  6. University of Colorado Denver - Denver, CO
  7. Missouri State University - Springfield, MO
  8. University of Wisconsin - Superior - Superior, WI
  9. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA
  10. Nicholls State University - Thibodaux, LA

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.

Alternatively, technical writers often begin their careers as writing majors and enjoy positive job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2018-2028 the number of technical writers will increase by 8%; these professionals made a median salary of $71,850 in 2018.

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 more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Writing Programs

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1

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

UCF operates a robust virtual college with more than 90 online programs. The BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing offers a fully online curriculum for working professionals. Learners can complete the degree in as little as two years if they transfer enough credits.

The 120-credit degree features a 36-credit creative writing track that examines topics such as theory and practice of creative writing and theory, as well as techniques of literary study. Degree-seekers study fiction, nonfiction, scriptwriting, and poetry as they examine existing texts and craft their own.

Students pay the same affordable tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Admission requires the SAT or ACT for freshmen and a minimum 2.0 GPA for transfer students.


Program Overview

Program Name: BA in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing
School Status: Public
Tuition: $179/credit in-state; $716/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2-4 years, depending on transfer credit

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (407) 823-5596
Email: english@ucf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Indiana University East

Richmond, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

IU East gives learners the opportunity to finish their degree with a suite of online bachelor's degree completion programs. The BA in English with an emphasis in technical and professional writing prepares students for a lucrative technical writing career. Students complete the 60-credit program in just two years after transferring the requisite general education.

Students complete courses that examine American fiction until 1900, studies in American culture, and other subjects of interest to aspiring writers. Learners acquire in-demand skills in professional writing, technical writing, advanced technical writing, and digital writing. Graduates leave the program with a keen ability to communicate ideas, think critically, and conduct research.

Admission to the bachelor's in creative writing online program requires 60 transferable credits or an associate degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Technical and Professional Writing
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Technical and professional writing
Tuition: $224/credit in-state; $321/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (765) 973-8208
Email: finish@iue.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

One of the fastest-growing virtual colleges in the nation, SNHU offers a fully online BA in creative writing and English. The 120-credit program includes general education that cultivates learners' soft skills in areas such as analysis and problem-solving.

The major develops competent writers versed in the context of writing, literary theory, the English language, and creative writing. Four creative writing workshops, including three focused on genre writing, play a central role in this bachelor's in creative writing. The program culminates with a senior thesis in the student's chosen genre.

Degree-seekers engage publishers, agents, and editors while in the program. They pay one online tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English
School Status: Private
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years or an accelerated 3-year option

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (800) 668-1249
Email: info@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Most of the students at CWU opt for online learning. CWU's online BA in English with a major in professional and creative writing combines creative writing in multiple genres with professional and technical writing. Through this 74-credit major, degree-seekers receive an interdisciplinary education that prepares them with skills for today's job market.

Faculty members teach students how to edit content, work on the web, and think critically. Learners choose from professional writing electives in areas such as business, technical, and grant writing. One course focuses exclusively on new media. Students hone their writing skills through constructive feedback.

Prospective learners should transfer in their general education credits to complete the bachelor's in creative writing online in two years. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA on transferable credits.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English, Professional and Creative Writing
School Status: Public
Tuition: $617/credit in-state; $1,465/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 74 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (509) 963-1546
Email: english.department@cwu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

The New School

New York, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

The New School, a New York-based institution, continues its legacy of excellence in creative writing. Nontraditional learners can enroll in the BA in creative writing to receive mentorship from acclaimed writers. The program features part-time and full-time online options.

The 120-credit program cultivates learners' skills in traditional genres such as fiction, nonfiction, and writing for children and young adults. The school supplements these literature classes with four workshops, a colloquium, and a capstone project. During the capstone, writers build on projects they have completed through the course of the program, then review each other's work.

Some graduates of the New School go on to cultivate careers as award-winning writers. Learners can transfer up to 84 credits into this bachelor's in creative writing online. Admission requires transferable credits with a grade "C" minimum.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,335/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2-4 depending on transfer credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (212) 229-5150
Email: finish@newschool.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

University of Colorado Denver

Denver, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

At the CU Online, students can pursue a degree from scratch or finish one they started elsewhere. CU Online offers the 120-credit BA in English writing, rhetoric, and technology to develop learners' professional writing skills.

Students explore several areas of professional and academic writing before choosing a specialization. This bachelor's in creative writing online program introduces students to fiction, business writing, academic writing, technical writing, and other areas. In their digital publication courses, students learn how to integrate text with multimedia such as video and music.

Students enjoy maximum flexibility with the option to enroll on a full- or part-time basis. Learners may complete the program fully online or in a hybrid format. Freshman applicants must provide SAT or ACT scores.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English Writing, Rhetoric, and Technology
School Status: Public
Tuition: $330/credit in-state; $509/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years or less

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (303) 315-3000
Email: cuonline@ucdenver.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Missouri State University

Springfield, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

MSU offers a suite of fully online degrees to address the unique needs of nontraditional learners. The 120-credit BS in professional writing trains writers skilled in specialized content, publication production, and project management.

In addition to the 36-credit major, students take elective courses in their area of interest. Many students transfer their general education credits from another school. A course on writing for the web focuses on writers' role in the creation of web pages and websites. Learners enhance their marketability when they choose an 18-credit technical writing minor.

The bachelor's in creative writing online program offers an internship component, which is not always available in writing programs. Students spend 135 internship hours gaining hands-on writing experience in an employment setting. MSU offers a generous transfer policy. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA for transfer students.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing
School Status: Public
Tuition: $295/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (417) 836-6929
Email: adultstudentservices@missouristate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

University of Wisconsin - Superior

Superior, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

Students interested in a flexible online program can choose the UW-Superior's 120-credit BA in writing. A blend of creative and applied writing courses prepares learners for professional writing careers. Students study fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other genres. They also learn about social media, technical writing, persuasive writing, and writing for advocacy.

In workshop-style classes, students hone their skills through brainstorming sessions and feedback from faculty and peers. Learners leave the program well-rounded thanks to the program's general education requirements. Graduates enter the job market with valuable skills, including the ability to generate ideas, as well as draft and edit content for different audiences.

Degree-seekers can complete this bachelor's in creative writing online through a fully online or hybrid format. Admission requirements include SAT or ACT scores.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Writing
School Status: Public
Tuition: $305/credit
Credit Requirements: 120
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (715) 394-8230
Email: admissions@uwsuper.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

UI boasts the nation's top MFA in creative nonfiction and the famous UI Writers’ Workshop. Undergraduates can benefit from the faculty's expertise when they enroll in the 120-credit BAS with an emphasis in creative writing. BAS students select courses in thematic areas to design their curriculum.

Students can complete general education at UI, transfer in up to 60 semester hours, or apply an associate degree to meet lower-level requirements. The 18-semester-hour creative writing emphasis explores multiple genres, including fiction and playwriting.

A professional and creative business communication course features a lab in which learners develop their talents writing releases, elevator pitches, short-deadline projects, and other workplace materials. Admission requirements include SAT or ACT scores and a minimum 2.0 GPA for transfer students.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Applied Studies with an Emphasis in Creative Writing
School Status: Public
Tuition: $337/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (319) 467-0109
Email: basbls-advising@uiowa.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Nicholls State University

Thibodaux, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

Founded in 1948, Nicholls administers more than 100 programs. The fully online BA in English offers concentrations in creative writing, as well as writing and rhetoric. Students begin the 120-credit curriculum with general education in subjects such as math, history, and a foreign language.

The 18-credit creative writing concentration develops writers' competencies in nonfiction, short fiction, and other genres. Learners interested in professional writing in the workplace choose the writing and rhetoric concentration. This option focuses on academic writing, technical writing for sciences, approaches to teaching writing, and other specialized skills.

The Nicholls bachelor's in creative writing online program uses an accelerated eight-week format. Applicants must provide SAT or ACT scores and demonstrate a minimum 2.35 GPA.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in English
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Creative writing; writing and rhetoric
Tuition: $275/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.35 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (985) 448-4453
Email: english.online@nicholls.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Bachelor's in Writing Program Overview

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 or other fictional work. Faculty and peers participate in objective 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 e-publishing. They may also focus on certain genres, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and technical writing.

Online Bachelor's in Writing Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED Certificate

    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.

  • SAT or ACT

    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.

  • ACCUPLACER

    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.

  • Minimum GPA

    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.

  • Transfer Credits

    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.


Online Bachelor's in Writing Career Paths

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

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.

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Additional Reading and Resources

Want more? We have additional resources to help you in every stage of your educational journey.