English Degrees Online

By Nikita Nath

Updated November 10, 2023
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Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.

Degrees

Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online

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For students passionate about writing and literature, choosing online degrees in English is an excellent option. Professionals in this field can expect an annual median wage of $51,000, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[1]. Through English degrees online, students can consider careers in various settings, including journalism, virtual education, tech companies, education organization, English education, and more. This degree helps them engage in critical thinking and build knowledge and expertise that extends beyond the major literary works inspiring our culture today. Students also frame their insights in the context of narrative understanding and critical thinking.

Best English Degrees
Online

When choosing the best online bachelor, certain factors would need careful consideration. Prospective bachelor’s students will need to evaluate the time required for completion of the program, availability of financial aid and scholarships, core courses and electives offered, quality of faculty, and access to student resources. Based on these and other critical components that make a top degree, here are some of the best online English degrees for students to make informed decisions: *

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from Online
English Degrees

English degrees online typically consist of about 120 credits that students are expected to complete in an average of four years. The duration of the program will differ if the students choose to complete the degree in the part-time mode. The degree’s curriculum aims to give students experiential learning to hone their skills and make them industry ready. Core and elective courses teach students to build critical thinking, research, and problem-focused skills. The coursework also helps students develop cultural literacy across varied places and periods. They can analyze literary genres, structures, styles, and forms across literary works. They will also be able to construct organized arguments and team up with their peers on group projects.

The curriculum of this program is a mixture of writing and literature courses. Although different colleges have varying approaches towards this program, in most programs, students usually have the freedom to choose which literature courses they find more appealing. Some of these courses could include options like world mythology, romance, revolution, nature writers, popular and contemporary fiction, gender and text, and more. Some common courses across the curriculum of online degrees in English are:

English Composition

In the English Composition course, students will learn how to improve their writing, critical thinking, and reading skills. They will learn to write compelling arguments and understand the process of writing as a whole. They will also be able to engage with others’ ideas and actively communicate their ideas. The course aims to help students summarize, analyze, evaluate, and question visual and written texts.

Cultural Diversity

The study on Cultural Diversity is based on discussing the different kinds of diversity in the United States in the current times. The course examines diversity from different angles than just racial and ethnic issues. It helps students understand the system of cultural diversity and its existence in the presence of other groups of people within society.

English Grammar

This course is one of the introductory courses for students pursuing the English degree program that helps them improve their writing skills throughout the curriculum. It is designed to help students to develop a deep understanding of the structures available in English Grammar. They master concepts of grammar and syntactic strategies.

Communications and Fundamentals

This course allows students to learn how to communicate effectively and build stronger relationships and outcomes in their personal and professional spaces. Students will learn about the different communication processes and varied communication channels and understand which channel is appropriate to the situation.

American Literature

In this course, students learn about the literature produced or written in the United States and the colonies which preceded its formation. American Literature includes literature of other traditions produced in the U.S. and languages of other immigrants.

Creative Writing

In this course, students learn to understand writing outside the professional, academic, journalistic, or technical form of writing in literature. It helps students emphasize the craft of narratives. It also helps them use creativity, a story to portray particular emotions or plots, and imagination.

Degree Types for Online
English Degrees

Primarily, three different online English degrees are available across most colleges – Bachelor of Arts in English, Bachelor of Science in English, and Bachelor of Education in English. The most common degree type is the Bachelor of Arts in English with concentrations in Creative Writing, Modern Languages, Writing, Rhetoric and Technology, and more.

Bachelor of Arts in English

The Bachelor of Arts in English or BA English helps students learn about literature and develop critical thinking skills. The program’s curriculum is designed with industry experts’ help so that students can integrate the theories learned in the program with real-world applications and practical skills. Throughout this program, they will learn about the skills in demand in writing and research that have broad applications in the market.

Bachelor of Science in English

The Bachelor of Science in English or BS English teaches different concepts and skills needed in various media, business, and education fields. It also helps students in proofreading, editing, publishing, and other careers requiring problem-solving, research, analysis, or verbal and written communication skills. Some of the courses in this program could be an introduction to world literature, 18th century to contemporary world literature, English grammar usage, etc.

Bachelor of Education in English

The Bachelor of Education in English or Bachelor of English Education includes development and instructional courses related to English Education. The program is designed to equip students with tools to meet the varying needs of different learners. Students learn how to utilize different classroom strategies and provide in-field experiences to students. Students of this degree learn subjects in world literature, modern grammar, and expository writing.

Areas of Specialization for Online
English Degrees

Various specializations are available to students pursuing an online degree in English. These specializations help students in their academic and professional careers in the future. One can choose specializations depending on what topics one finds more interesting or specific careers one would like to pursue. Specializations help students gain expertise in their chosen area. Some examples of concentrations include:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Medieval/RenaissanceThis specialization encourages a critical understanding of different multicultural histories, artistic traditions, and literature of the Arab-Islamic and European worlds. It usually combines the concentration of Renaissance or medieval civilization, including but not limited to art history, history, philosophy, languages, music, and literature.Writer, poet, teacher, content writing, etc.
18th or 19th- Century LiteratureIn this concentration, students learn to move toward realism. They will learn about restoration, the romantic, Victorian, Edwardian, and enlightenment periods. Students will refer to other world literature written between 1700-1799.Author, magazine journalist, writer, schoolteacher, etc.
20th or 21st-Century LiteratureIn this specialization, students learn about world literature produced during the 20th century. They also explore new ideas like philosophy, psychoanalysis, political theory, and anthropology.Writer, author, magazine and newspaper journalist, etc.
Cinema and Media studiesThis specialization helps students seek expertise in research and critical analysis for emerging careers in professional and public fields. They also look at text and context in the intermedia age and historiography.Public relation specialist, communication specialist, production assistant, etc.
Creative WritingThis specialization helps students learn an expressive form of literature. They will be able to use imagination, stories to portray a specific message, creativity, and more. Students will also be able to develop written language in an engaging format.Copywriter, journalist, blogger, communications specialist, grant writer, technical writer, etc.
Literature, Journalism, and Print CultureThis concentration allows students to study literature, literary history, language, and theories of literary production. Students will learn about the foundational approaches toward literary interests.Editor, fact-checker, graphic designer, etc.
DramaThrough this concentration, students better understand drama that supports language learning concerning particular attention.Professions related to writing, acting, producing, directing, etc.

Why should I do English
Degrees Online?

Completing online English degrees help students gain the skills they need to succeed in their master’s studies or professional work. Students learn about literature and related fields through a bachelor’s degree in English and receive an excellent understanding of thinking critically and analyzing literary texts. The program’s curriculum will help them understand the expectations of employers and the skills they need to develop to work practically and efficiently through integrating theories from real-world analyses and practical skills approved by industry standards. Students learn how to develop in-demand skills in writing and research, which will prove advantageous and beneficial when applying for various jobs.

Students who wish to learn courses like introduction to fiction, poetry, and drama, critical approaches to literature, renaissance literature, etc., will find the English online degree ideal. The program will help sharpen their skills in research and prepare them for further graduate study by helping them understand how to apply critical theories to literary texts to enhance the analysis and interpretation of texts.

Some of the skills shown by students after completion of the program include the ability to:

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of literary texts, genres, and terms in English-language;
  • write creatively in a way that shows effective argumentation, persuasion, information, and illumination that engages the reader throughout;
  • demonstrate good leadership skills in different settings and professionality related to efficacy and efficiency in work-related tasks;
  • showcase hands-on experience and collaborative skills and accomplish tasks with groups in a time-bound manner;
  • showcase in-depth knowledge of concepts of literature, language acquisition and structure, modern American Literature, literary theory and criticism, and more;
  • demonstrate an understanding beyond just language and literature in the traditional form and showcase knowledge of an expansive range of styles, subjects, and authors;
  • show transferable skills like writing, reading, researching, etc.;
  • show a strong foundation in communication and critical thinking skills, which can be applied to various pathways like publication, education, and other industries related to writing; and
  • demonstrate the versatility of skills and ability to deal with a wide range of topics ranging from communication and government to biblical studies and history.

Free Courses for Online
English Students

Students pursuing online English degrees can pursue free courses online that can help them develop the ability to be proficient in the English language. Some of these courses help students improve their ability to express themselves better. Some examples of free courses for English students include:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
English and Academic Preparation-Pre-CollegiateThis free course is for students who have a minimum high-intermediate level of the English language. It helps students develop skills that will help them in their undergraduate studies and strengthen their proficiency in English. Students will learn how to read academic materials strategically.Coursera
English LessonsThrough the Learn English Network, students can learn about the specifics of the English language and use them to improve their skills and command over the language. The site offers a wide range of courses in English at various levels like basics, intermediate, etc.The Learn English Network
Upper-Intermediate EnglishThrough this course, students can grasp vocabulary related to their environment, which will help them apply it to various settings. Students can also develop several skills related to writing, reading, and editing.Alison

How to get into English
Degrees Online?

Most colleges have a list of admission criteria that students must meet to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree in English. Each institution typically has varying criteria for admissions, along with some specific ones. Some of the most common and standard English degrees admissions requirements across programs are:

  • Application form & fee
  • General Education Development (GED) or high school diploma
  • Previous official academic transcripts
  • ACT and SAT scores
  • PSAT scores (required by some colleges)
  • A personal essay or sample writing
  • A Personal statement or statement of purpose

How Long does it take to complete English
Degrees Online?

It could take about 4 to 5 years to complete online degrees in English. The time to complete the program will also be influenced by whether the delivery is through an online, offline, or hybrid mode, the core and elective courses, and the chosen specialization. Many students prefer online classes because they can complete the program at their own pace and focus on priorities like work and family. Here is an overview of the typical duration of an English online degree program:

  • Time to complete a full-time English bachelor’s degree: about four years
  • Time to complete a part-time English bachelor’s degree: between 4 and 6 years

Accelerated Online English
Degrees

Choosing an accelerated online bachelor’s degree helps students graduate faster. By taking extra classes over the summers, transferring credits, and choosing easier or lighter courses, students can save time and complete their undergraduate studies sooner than the required four years. Many colleges across the country provide unique accelerated English degrees online, such as:

Arizona State University – offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English, where students can access 39 classes, each of which will take about 7.5 weeks to complete (approximately).

California Baptist University – offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English that can be completed in an average of 16 months.

Accreditations for Online
English Degrees

Accreditation is a process through which recognized bodies do quality checks for institutions providing various degrees. When choosing a college, students should ideally look for accredited English degrees online as they endorse the program’s quality, make the transfer of credits possible, and provide better employment opportunities.

Many national and regional bodies provide accreditation, the Commission on English Language being one of them, which offers accreditation for English degree programs. However, the most common and accepted accreditation is from regional agencies, such as the:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

the Guide to College Accreditation provides ample information on college accreditation and its importance.

How to Pay for Online
English Degrees?

Several financial aids can help students pay for their educational expenses like tuition, transportation, accommodation, books, etc. Students can receive financial assistance through colleges and high schools, community organizations, governmental and state agencies, etc. Those pursuing English degrees online can consider applying to one or more of these funding sources to offset the high costs of education, such as:

Scholarships

Scholarships are monetary awards provided to meritorious students by state and federal governments, colleges, universities, community groups, and individuals. In most instances, they are given to students with outstanding academic records.

Grants

Grants are usually need-based, unlike scholarships which are usually merit-based. Grant money can be used to pay tuition fees and other educational expenses like accommodation, transport, meals, books, etc.

Private Student Loans

Banks and financial organizations offer private student loans designed for students who cannot or do not qualify for federal aid. It is worth noting that loans come with an added interest that must be paid back along with the principal amount. Failing to pay on time can increase debt.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal direct loans are very low-interest loans provided by the government. Students do not need to repay these loans until they graduate from their programs and are employed.

FAFSA

FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, helps students assess if they can qualify for federal aid. More information on FAFSA is available in the FAFSA Student Aid guide.

Scholarships for Online
English Students

Scholarships are usually provided to meritorious students with high academic achievements. They help offset the high cost of education, allowing students to focus on their studies rather than worrying about how to pay their tuition fees. Students of the bachelor’s degree in English online program can apply for several scholarships, including:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Bill Gove ScholarshipsThe National Speakers Association sponsors the Bill Gove Scholarship. This scholarship is provided annually or in whole to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in communications, journalism, English, etc.$5,000June 01
Colorado Springs Press Association ScholarshipThe Colorado Springs Press Association scholarship is provided to students pursuing undergraduate degrees in English, speech communication, and journalism.$1,000March 31
Journalism Foundation of Metropolitan St. Louis ScholarshipsThe Journalism Foundation of Metropolitan St. Louis offers various annual scholarships for local students pursuing degrees in print and broadcast journalism programs from accredited institutions.$1,000 to $2,500May 01

FAQs Related to the Online
English Degrees

How long is an online English bachelor’s degree?

An online English bachelor’s degree could take up to four years to complete if completed full-time. Students require more time to complete the program if they opt for the part-time completion of the curriculum.

What can you do with an online degree in English?

Students with an online degree in English can pursue many professions at entry-level and mid-level positions. They could become book authors, journalists, social activists, content writers, etc.

Is an English major online worth it?

What kind of courses are available for a bachelor of English degree?

What skills could students develop in a bachelor of English degree?

How many credits is a bachelor of English degree?

What employment opportunity is available for students with a bachelor of English degree?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
a Bachelor’s Degree in English

After completing a bachelor’s degree in English online, students will be primed for a wide range of roles in reading, writing, editing, publishing, etc., across diverse academic and business settings. Apart from the option of taking up a master’s degree program, one can explore other areas of interest where the English degree will be of use. Here are some examples of possible careers one could pursue after a bachelor’s in English, along with their median annual salaries and projected job growth:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Writers and AuthorsWriters and authors develop written content for various media types. They write biographies and fiction or nonfiction scripts and work alongside editors to prepare material for publishing.Creative thinking skills, writing skills, verbal skills$69,5104% (as fast as average)
High School TeachersHigh school teachers teach various skills and academic lessons to students planning to attend college or enter multiple professions. They work in different school settings, prepare lessons, and grade papers.Planning and instruction skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, organizational skills$61,8205% (as fast as average)
Adult Basic and Secondary Education and ESL TeachersAdult basic and secondary education and English as a Second Language or ESL teachers instruct students in skills fundamental to the English language, like speaking and reading. They are employed by community-based organizations, public schools, and community colleges.Analytical skills, organizational skills, planning and instruction skills$59,720-6% (decline)
Career and Technical Education TeachersCareer and technical education teachers instruct students in different vocational and technical subjects like healthcare, auto repair, and culinary arts. Most teachers work in high, middle, and postsecondary schools, including 2-year colleges.Analytical, instructional, and organizational skills$61,1602% (slower than average)
Public Relations SpecialistsPublic relations specialists maintain and create a likable and positive public image for the clients who they would be representing. They can work in various organizations, including media buyers, professional associations, and schools.Communication skills, critical thinking skills, decision-making skills, analytical skills$62,8008% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for
Online English Students

English language certifications are professional certifications students can take after completing their bachelor’s degrees. Certification will confirm the student’s English proficiency and showcase their English skills in writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Some employers prefer to hire students with certifications from credible organizations as they are assured of the quality of work the candidate would do. Students of online degrees in English can consider some of the following professional certifications which will help them in advancing their careers:

The Test of English as a Foreign Language

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL showcases a student’s listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills. The test consists of multiple-choice questions, with an online committee designated to score the writing sections.

The International English Language Testing System

The International English Language Testing System grades students on a scale of 1-9. It helps them gain opportunities to study, work, or migrate to countries where English is a native language, like Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, etc.

The Test of English for International Communication

The Test of English for International Communication, or TOEIC, benefits students who want to showcase their listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. The exam measures English communication skills for the workplace and daily life.

ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages

ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages or AAPPL has four components on which the individual is tested and takes up to approximately two hours. It assesses students on presentational writing, interpretive reading, interpretive language, and interpersonal speaking or listening, which National Standards prescribe for Foreign Language Learning.

Additional Resources for Online
English Students

When students pursue online English degrees, they are expected to stay updated with the events and developments in their field. One way to increase knowledge in English and go beyond the bachelor’s degree is to join a professional organization. Through these organizations, students can communicate with industry experts, exchange views with others, and gain new insights on various topics. Here are a few professional associations to explore:

OrganizationDescription
National Council of Teachers of EnglishThe National Council of Teachers of English works with its members to produce journals, resources, and publications. They voice their concerns and show their expertise as educators and advocates for their students at the federal and local levels.
American EnglishOn the website of American English, students can find new ways to practice English and learn about language and culture. It provides many resources for learning English and using them in professional and academic settings.
Modern Language AssociationThe Modern Language Association helps students study and teach literature and language. The organization aims to serve teachers in English and Foreign language and is regarded as the principal professional association for scholars of literature and language in the United States.
Shakespeare Association of AmericaThe Shakespeare Association of America holds annual conferences in various locations to exchange strategies and ideas, facilitating the reading, researching, writing, and teaching, of various topics of interest shared amongst members.
Linguistic Society of AmericaThe Linguistic Society of America provides many resources to students, which include meetings, publications, advocacy, public education, and professional recognition. Students can better understand the field by networking with other members.

Author Bio:

Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.

Degrees

Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online

Disclaimer:

The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.