20 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in English for 2019

english degrees

As English as a language connotes universality, a Bachelor’s degree that primarily focuses on it leads to rewarding career paths. Working professionals with an undergraduate degree in English utilize their knowledge and expertise to land various jobs in numerous industries.

An online Bachelor’s degree in English from an accredited academic institution promotes and enhances proficiency in communication, writing, reading, research, and critical thinking. Students learn effective communication through written media and get sufficient training in the areas of linguistics, composition and professional writing, Holders of a Bachelor’s degrees in English usually also pursue careers in business, public relations, marketing, journalism, education, and related fields. Some decide to pursue a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in English to advance and explore the areas of law and education.

The major concentrations of a bachelor’s degree in English include literature, communications, and technical writing. Through a specialization in literature, students may focus on specific authors, genres, or periods. Certain programs concentrate on the conceptual aspects of the English language, with the intention of enhancing the students’ knowledge and skills for them to become better editors or communicators. There are also some programs that include constant reading, writing, and discussion to promote effective critical thinking.

Methodology Used To Determine the 20 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in English for 2019:

In coming up with the 20 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in English for 2019, we considered factors that account for a comprehensive program. The online schools on this list, which are accredited institutions across America, feature high-quality curriculum design, program components, coursework, and specializations or areas of focus. We also mention the skills-enhancing literary courses offered in each program and how they help students meet their career objectives.

The 20 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in English in 2019 also showcase impressive program features including course duration that may be accelerated, credit-hour requirements, virtual learning platform features, and online support.

University of Central Florida

university of central florida

Located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is a popular haven for distance learning since it offers a purely online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. Its primary objective is to help students get acquainted with the literary greats and a wide range of literary history courses. This degree covers creative writing, literature and technical communication specializations. The tracks comprise of 120 credit hours of online coursework. The Literature specialization emphasizes the social, cultural, historical, and conceptual significance of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays through critical analysis and reading. This track also aims to enhance the critical thinking, argumentation, reading, and writing skills of students through the study of the history of literature and examination of movements and periods in the past centuries. The Literature concentration also covers courses like Gothic literature, Caribbean literature, post-World War II fiction, and Hispanic women writers. Online students may also complete at least one linguistics or theory course, like feminist theory or modern English grammar. The technical communication track, on the other hand, places a strong emphasis on the advanced applications of writing for business, science, and other areas. Students should be able to understand efficient writing processes and technical writing, as they relate to science and technology. Students may complete the online degree in just two years through the help of successful coaches. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC).

University of Memphis

university of memphis

The University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee features a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. This degree has two tracks, namely the African American literature track and the professional writing track. The African-American Literature track focuses on the historical, artistic, and cultural contexts of black literary movements. It also introduces the students to literary works before and after the Harlem Renaissance. The Professional Writing track deals with skills related to technical writing, professional editing, and online writing. Students will be able to adequately comprehend practical writing skills through elective courses such as web design, document design, and the publishing process. It also has an alternative internship component that enables graduates to gain experience in the professional writing environment. Regardless of the tracks, graduates can accomplish a 12-credit program core that includes three foundational literature courses in British literature and American literature. Students can opt for the elective courses that include an introduction to linguistics, persuasive writing, or advanced composition. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC).

University of Illinois

university of illinois champaign

Located in Springfield, Illinois, the University of Illinois offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program for non-traditional students. The English curriculum is made up of 68 to 71 credits comprising of foundation courses, core courses, and numerous free and required electives. The 34-credit foundation component consists of topics such as linguistics, world literature, British literature, and American literature. The 22-credit core focuses on literary studies through courses like digital media rhetoric and composition, English studies digital technologies, and English studies research methods. Electives include drama-specific, film-specific, editing, and professional writing. Aside from the electives, students may choose from four additional 300- or 400-level courses in any form of literature. The curriculum can be completed through a capstone project, wherein students can apply their academic interests to professional aspects like academic or commercial publishing. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Arizona State University

arizona state university

Arizona State University in Scottsdale, Arizona features a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. It demonstrates topics in literature, linguistics, literary theory, criticism, and the use of the English language. The program has a goal of understanding fiction and nonfiction texts concerning historical and social contexts, emphasizing issues of literary representation such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender. The English curriculum consists of three required courses at the start of the program, namely first-year composition, advanced first-year composition, and critical writing and reading on literature. Electives include environmental issues in literature and film, transborder Mexican and Chicano literature of the Southwest, science fiction studies, and literary magazine publishing. Undergraduates have the option to join an online internship through the ASU online literal journal, the Superstition Review. Students may choose from numerous start-dates to complete the online coursework that is delivered in 7.5-week terms. The degree can be earned in about four years, but students also have the option to pursue the fast-track three-year program. Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

California Baptist University

california baptist university

Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program for working students. The program prepares students for the evaluation and analysis of different forms of literature, which focuses on critical thinking and written communication. The curriculum highlights the introduction of literary texts combined with the university’s Christian standards and ethics. It also consists of 39 major-related credits. Lower-division requirements include global literary movements, along with British literature, American literature, and world literature. Upper-division courses, on the other hand, present specialized topics that discuss literature and languages like literary theory, literary criticism, language structure, language acquisition, and Shakespeare studies. The online coursework is asynchronous, and the degree program can be completed in less than 16 months. Students are also required to take electives regarding the knowledge of specific literary movements, periods, and genres. California Baptist University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Ottawa University

ottawa university

Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas features an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program that is ideal for working professionals. The degree program gives significance to literature in social and cultural contexts, examination of the evolution and effect of literacy movements while emphasizing issues of social and environmental justice. Coursework is delivered in an online, asynchronous format. Students who wish to complete their degree online may do it through survey courses, theme-based courses, seminars, and a capstone project. The complete survey courses demonstrate a general overview of the history of literature. They look back into the development of literary forms from the antiquity period through the postmodern age. The theme-based courses deal with numerous literary movements and authors of multicultural literature, protest literature, environmental literature, and literary criticism. Two seminar courses mainly concentrate on the critical strategies of British and American literature. Online students are required to complete a course in linguistics and another one in expository or creative writing. They need to complete a capstone course for a better understanding of literary criticism and history. Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Granite State College

granite state college

Located in Concord, New Hampshire, Granite State College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English Language Arts degree program. The fully online degree program has three certification pathways, namely, Early Childhood Education, Special Education (Early Childhood), Elementary Education and General Special Education, and General Special Education. Students may also take a non-certification pathway with reduced course requirements and without certification tests. All students are also required to complete an English language arts core, which includes a general overview of literature and literary criticism, along with courses such as British literature, expository writing, disability in literature, and conducting critical inquiry. There is an Early Childhood track that talks about coursework in child development, young children with exceptional behavior, and special education law. Granite College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

clarion university of pennsylvania

The Clarion University of Pennsylvania features a purely online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program that focuses entirely on analytical writing, critical thinking, and communication through the study of literature and other forms of written texts. The program curriculum has 42 credits of major coursework categorized between an English core and multiple specializations. The 18-credit core, on the other hand, is an introduction of reading and writing through courses like English studies, writing for the major, and introduction to the English language. Specialization courses highly depend on focused knowledge in one of four major program disciplines, namely Literature, Creative Writing, General Writing, or Linguistics. Students must also complete the required capstone program in advanced English studies and submit an electronic portfolio of their work. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).

Nicholls State University

nicholls state university

Situated in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls State University features an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program aimed at enhancing the writing, research, speaking, and analytical skills of students as it relates to Western literature. The 120-credit coursework consists of 36 credits of required English courses and 18 credits of concentration courses. Students get exposure to a suite of foundational courses that demonstrate basic concepts of literary criticism and essential principles in American and British literature. The purely online program consists of three target areas namely, literary studies, creative writing, and writing and rhetoric. There are also electives on literary periods and movements, namely modernist literature, postmodern literature, and southern literature. Concentration courses focus more on specialized skills, and all target areas of specialization end with a capstone course wherein students compile an academic portfolio and accomplish an intensive research project on any literary topic. Those under the creative writing track are required to complete a long-form original work instead of a research paper. Nicholls State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC).

University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

university of maryland university college

The University of Maryland University College in College Park, Maryland offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. Promoting cultural literacy and skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking, the degree allows students to learn the historical, ethical, stylistic, and the socio-cultural significance of literature to hone their interpretation of texts. The 120-credit English curriculum consists of 36-credit English core and 46 credits of minor and elective coursework. The English core is composed of 12 courses like foundational studies in genre, English grammar, and strategies for literature. Students may study specific literary movements from Renaissance literature aside from romanticism, modernism, and postmodernism. The curriculum has a capstone seminar in English language, literature, and writing for a comprehensive portfolio. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Columbia College

columbia college

Located in Columbia Missouri, Columbia College has an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. Generally, the program has a goal of enhancing both a student’s writing and critical thinking skills for career advancement. Students are required to complete around 42 major-related credits, which also includes a 24-credit core and 18 credits of electives. The core component establishes foundational skills in literary criticism and composition with topics like writing about literature and literary theory. Survey courses demonstrate the primary events and movements in British and American literature. The electives section needs two courses in world literature, and students may choose from various alternatives to complete the remaining credits, exploring numerous styles and genres. Students may pursue standard or advanced English internships with three elective credits each. These courses may give English majors the chance to gain hands-on experience in a professional environment like publishing or journalism firms where they can observe real-world applications of an English degree. Online students are required to complete an additional 31 to 34 credits of electives, which will mainly concentrate on advanced English, composition, and journalism courses. Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Mercy College

mercy college

Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. The 120-credit curriculum is mostly literature-focused, but students may pursue a four-credit Language and Writing track along with the completion of the degree program. Students are required to finish 36 major-related credits, along with three foundational classes and two English literature survey courses. Students are also expected to take at least one course from each of the program’s four major elective divisions, namely classical texts, social and cultural contexts, literary genres, and historical periods. The college also features a specialization in language and writing, wherein candidates for graduation are required to earn 12 writing course credits, with alternatives like business writing, introduction to playwriting, applied English grammar, and writing for the web. Mercy College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Indiana University East

indiana university east

Located in Richmond, Indiana, Indiana University East offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English with a strong emphasis in Professional and Technical Writing degree program focusing on the professional applications of writing to train graduates for careers in advertising, public relations, social services, or publishing. The program curriculum is composed of 60 credits and may be completed in two years. Online students normally complete six credits during the summer and 12 credits during the spring and fall semesters. Coursework consists of composition, rhetoric, and literature, with classes in American culture, advanced technical writing, Native American literature, and digital writing. The students may also complete a senior seminar and a culminating project in technical and professional writing. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Massachusetts

umass lowell

Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts features an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. The goal of the degree is to establish knowledge associated with literary traditions, analytical methods, and academic research. It also promotes critical thinking, as well as reading and writing proficiency. The 120-credit program curriculum consists of 36 to 54 credits of the English major. Fundamental knowledge is established in the areas of literature, emphasizing British and American literary traditions. Online students need to take courses through a program core, a theory-composition track, and a major author component. The theory-composition track consists of one course that develops a student’s analytical outlook on literature and language. Lastly, the major author track provides a constant study of canonical writers, like Shakespeare, Chaucer, and others. Students may also take up to 36 English elective credits to complete the degree. Electives focus more on topics like genre, literary history, regional movements, and literary traditions. There are also classes that involve drama, comedy, poetry, journalism, and autobiography that provide more depth. On the other hand, classes in gay and lesbian literature, and post-colonial literature focus more on the works of underrepresented groups. The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

saint mary of the woods college

Located in Indiana, Saint Mary of the Woods College features a purely online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program with the objective of exposing students to the creative and practical strategies related to literature, along with an examination of its effects on world cultures. The program also celebrates the literary contributions of women and ethnic or racial groups. The online coursework is delivered in an asynchronous format and includes interesting courses like literature and myth, pop fiction, and contemporary world literature. The 125-credit curriculum consists of 43 English-major credits. The English curriculum consists of introductory and advanced topics, giving students a broad overview of trends in literature alongside specialized studies focusing on the different periods, movements, and styles. To be able to graduate, students are required to complete a four-credit capstone course or senior thesis. The project, which consists of a three-credit preparation course and a one-credit thesis course can be completed in two semesters. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Thomas Edison State University

thomas edison state university

Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey features an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program with a liberal arts core that focuses on practical and intellectual skills, as well as civic and global knowledge, human cultures, the physical and natural world, and general education as major specializations. The curriculum consists of core courses, elective courses, and a culminating liberal arts capstone course. The 12-credit core emphasizes foundational skills in reading and also focuses on two literature survey courses and classes on the assessment and interpretation of literature. The 18-credit elective component enables students to learn the various literary periods, genres, and authors. English majors focus on more than three dozen elective offerings, which include courses that discuss more on the American political novel, comic and satiric tradition, restoration drama, social protest literature, and the Augustan age. A three-credit liberal arts capstone course, consisting of a major project in any area of literature, is also required. Online students may select from a research project, creative project, or a combination of the two. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Southern New Hampshire University

southern new hampshire university

Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature degree program. Ideal for working professionals, the asynchronous coursework develops each student’s skills in communication, research, critical thinking and writing through literary classics studies. The program curriculum consists of three required foundational courses, namely the English language, literary theory, and Shakespeare studies. Students may select at least eight additional elective courses exploring specialized literary topics like popular fiction, contemporary fiction, restoration, and renaissance literature, as well as nature writers. It also requires students to attend creative writing workshops on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. English majors may pursue either a thesis on an approved literary topic or a non-thesis option that requires candidates for graduation to finish two upper-level literature electives. Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

King University

king university

Based in Bristol, Tennessee, King University features a purely online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program. The degree aims to introduce the link between faith and literature, giving greater importance to communication and writing skills in the context of literary study. The program curriculum is ideal for those who want to pursue secondary education licensure. It is a 124-credit online curriculum consisting of 48 credits allotted for major-related coursework. Students can choose to complete the online program in less than 16 months. The English curriculum is made up of 12 courses that entail a general overview of literary styles and movements like Appalachian literature, British romanticism, adolescent literature, and literature and the Christian imagination. To encourage students to carve out a career in English teaching for Grades 6 to 12, the online curriculum prepares them for the English secondary teaching licensure examination. For those who want to pursue licensure, online students must complete various course requirements and eight credits of foreign language coursework. A comprehensive exam and a portfolio of written works are also required. King University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC).

Ohio Christian University

ohio christian university

Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Ohio offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program that delivers the biblical perspective of literature while emphasizing context on the public, academic, and advanced levels. The program curriculum consists of a minimum of 36 English credits, divided between 15 credits of major courses and 21 credits of electives. Core courses include foundational topics in literary analysis with surveys of American and British literature. Electives include at least nine credits for subjects such as composition and literature. The composition category deals with editing fundamentals and technical and professional writing while the literature category includes Shakespearean courses and 18th-century novels. Online students are required to complete a 12-credit component in Bible, leadership, and theology, along with a survey of Christian ethics and church or religious history. A capstone course in publication writing is also required, emphasizing publishing strategies in literary and academic journals. Students may also enhance their peer review skills and create a partial manuscript for future publications. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Texas State University

texas state university

Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas features an online Bachelor of Arts in English degree program that introduces students to literature and professional writing. The curriculum is divided into English courses and professional writing courses. The English coursework focuses on developing skills and knowledge in language and literature, and it also includes topics like American and British literature, women in literature, Shakespeare, and the teaching of writing. The technical and professional writing track takes into consideration the business aspect of the field, wherein students take courses in document design, introduction to web page development, information gathering for journalism, and technical editing. Online students must complete a three-credit internship for hands-on professional experience in industries like business, journalism, and publishing. Various online services such as student counseling, career advising, wellness counseling, and financial aid counseling are also available for students. There is also 24-hour technical support. Texas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


What are the typical career paths pursued by graduates of a Bachelor’s degree in English and how much do they earn?

An online Bachelor’s degree in English may lead to numerous career paths like teaching, writing, and communications. Salaries for English positions may differ depending on the level of experience, size, and type of employer, and location. Here are some common examples:

  • High school English teachers for Grades 9 to 12 teach grammar, spelling, punctuation, composition, and literature. They earn an average of $69,000 annually.
  • Authors and writers, which includes screenwriters, copywriters, playwrights, and songwriters, get paid an average of $68,420 annually.
  • The median annual salary of technical writers, who design instruction manuals and other documents to communicate complex information to product users, is $67,910.
  • Editors who give out writing assignments and ready the content for publishing earn $62,440 annually, on average.
  • Correspondents, reporters, and broadcast news analysts’ salaries average between $43,640 and $78,380 annually. These news media professionals may produce new ideas for news stories, conduct research on such accounts, interview their sources, and write articles, and make sure that the information provided is timely and accurate.

How long will it take me to earn a Bachelor’s degree in English online?

Online bachelor’s degrees in English require students to complete 120 credits. Full-time students may earn their online bachelor’s degree in English in four years.

How much does an online Bachelor’s degree in English cost?

The tuition and other fees for an online Bachelor’s degree in English depend on numerous factors. Per-credit-hour for an online bachelor’s degree in English may range from $180 to $610. Students need to pay between $22,000 and $73,000 in total tuition.

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