Master’s in English Online

By Nikita Nath

Updated March 15, 2024

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.


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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An online master’s in English is suitable for students who want to expand their creative thinking, communication, and analytical skills, which are highly valued in varied workplace settings. These graduate-level programs help students demonstrate their expertise in the subjects of literature and use theoretical arguments to interpret literary texts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages for writers and authors are higher than other occupations at $67,120[1]. Students with an online master’s in English could venture into careers in nonprofit administration, fundraising, public relations, and more. Read on to discover all about the master in English online degree program. 


Best Master’s in English
Online Degrees

Choosing a master’s program could be a daunting task for some students. One needs to select a program after weighing critical factors that make for a well-rounded online master’s degree in English, such as the curriculum, accreditation status of the college, quality and experience of faculty, availability of thesis-based or non-thesis-based options, choice of electives offered, etc. Based on these and other essential aspects, FBD has listed some of the best online master’s English programs in the country: *

Gardner–Webb University (Gardner–Webb, GWU, or GW), founded in 1905, is a private Baptist university in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (Southern Baptist Convention), Gardner-Webb has nine colleges and schools offering over 80 undergraduate and graduate majors.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Gardner-Webb University Main St, Boiling Springs, North Carolina 28017 $10,080 48%

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 the Master’s in
English Online Degree Program

The online master’s English program provides broad training to students in the primary area of English. The core principles of the curriculum are writing and pedagogy of literature, history of English Literature, linguistic structure, and different kinds of reading strategies associated with close and genre reading. Students will be able to gain knowledge and skills to conduct research and develop presentation and analytical skills through a focused study of literature. They will also be able to understand the current trends in digital humanities. The program is offered in offline, online, and hybrid modes (that couple offline and online classes). The duration of the program is typically around two years if completed full-time.

To earn an online master’s in English, students must meet the required credit hours distributed between core courses, elective courses, culminating master’s essays, and other program requirements. The coursework focuses on literary analysis and history, rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. The program’s curriculum is quite diverse, and students can choose their electives per their interests. Some of the common courses taught in a master’s in English across colleges are:

Medieval English Literature

In this course, students go through the medieval literature of England and Scotland from when they first appeared in written English to the start of the Renaissance. The course explores celebrated authors through the Middle Ages and their historical contexts.

Introduction to English Studies

This is one of the required courses where students are introduced to the main methods and areas of English studies- rhetoric, creative writing, literary studies, and more. This course equips students with transferable skills that will assist them throughout their master’s program. It will provide essential technical and critical thinking skills, among others.

American Literature

In this course, students learn about the literature related to the American colonies until the period which led to the construction of the United States as it is today. Students learn to analyze poetry, fiction, drama, literary criticism, and their impact on society.

British Colonial and Postcolonial Literature

In this course, students learn the common themes and motifs from postcolonial literature, like cultural dominance, the quest for identity, inequality, racism, and more. The course helps students focus on issues concerning the colonial period, and students read about different postcolonial authors with special emphasis on texts emerging from that period. 

Major Rhetorical Theories and Teaching Composition

This course encompasses different interdisciplinary fields centered on writing. Students learn to focus on language as a tool for not just social expression but also personal expression.

Some common electives offered across many programs are linguistics, composition studies, teaching young adult literature, magical realism as a global genre, etc. At some colleges, students completing online master’s in English programs will be required to cover the Approaches to Research course. In contrast, others may require students to complete a graduate capstone seminar before completing the program.

Degree Types for Master’s in
English Online Programs

There are different types of master’s in English online degree programs tailored to meet students’ varying needs so they can thrive in their educational pursuits and careers. The two common master’s degrees in English are the Master of Arts in English and the Master of Education in English. The most popular and common degree is the master’s in English online program with various concentrations like language and literature, creative writing, etc.

Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts in English or MA in English helps students in a variety of literary fields and creative writing domains. The program’s diverse syllabus aid in applying recent research and theories to analyze writers, movements, genres, and literature. The curriculum is flexible, and most colleges let participants personalize their course plans depending on their career objectives. Students might be required to complete a thesis as a culmination of their work.

Master of Education in English

The Master of Education in English focuses on how the English language can be used as a tool for services in education. It aims to ensure that students understand the subject in-depth. This program aids students in learning about the challenges posed by classroom structures today. It helps aspiring teachers to gain an understanding and knowledge of developing appropriate strategies and models for effective instruction.

Areas of Specialization for Master’s
in English Online Programs

Specializations are an excellent way to become an expert in a specific area within English. Specializing can lead to better pay and improved career prospects across academia and other sectors. Here are a few concentrations in the master’s in English online program that students could opt for:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
DramaIn this specialization, students learn how to use a variety of educational strategies that will help them make language learning accessible, creative, engaging, and playful.Professions related to writing, acting, etc.
African Literature and CultureIn this specialization, students learn concepts of literature from Africa, Afro-Asiatic, and African languages. They also study written and oral literature in African and Afro-Asiatic languages and read up on works written by Africans.Magazine journalists, writers, authors, etc.
Gender and SexualityIn this concentration, students identify a different spectrum of identities within the framework of sexuality and gender and develop a foundational understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality. They explore gender identity, gender roles, and gender expression, among others.Careers in education, law, advocacy work, arts, and more.
Theory and Cultural StudiesIn this specialization, students examine an interdisciplinary field that examines the political dynamics of different contemporary cultures and historical foundations. They also learn about the historical foundations of varied cultures.Writers, political writers, authors, etc.
20th or 21st Century LiteratureThis specialization is about different aspects of world literature produced during the 20th century. Students explore concepts like political theory, anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and so on.Writers, authors, magazine and newspaper journalists, and more.
Cinema and Media StudiesIn this concentration, students critically analyze different concepts related to the domain. They learn to understand the texts pertaining to historical media and get an overview of historiography.Public relations careers, communication specialists, production assistants, and more.
Creative WritingThis specialization helps students develop skills in creativity, and imagination, using imaginative skills to portray messages in stories, and so on. Students learn literature in an expressive form. Copywriters, grant writers, technical writers, and more.

Why should I do a Master’s in
English Online Degree?

By completing an online master’s in English program, students would better understand the fundamental principles related to this field. Doing an online master’s in English will allow students to specialize in varying fields of study and prepare for further education or professional paths, depending on their needs. Through the program, students will understand and get trained in linguists, professional and creative writing, teaching composition, research methods, and literary periods and genres.

The English master’s degree program benefits students who want an in-depth understanding of literature, rhetoric, writing, electives, and linguistics, among others. The degree usually culminates with students doing a capstone seminar, where they will be able to demonstrate what they have learned throughout the program. Such rigorous training during the master’s will prepare them for their professional endeavors, building on extensive skills like writing, researching, editing professional documents, and reading, which they can transfer or apply to their professions.

Upon graduation, students would have developed a host of industry-specific skills, including the ability to:

  • display expertise in the cross-cultural form of communication, instructional methodology, second language acquisition, language structure, etc.;
  • display professionalism and ethical standards of working as an individual in an organization, educational institute, or in groups;
  • showcase transferable skills like writing, reading, researching, and publishing, which apply to a wide range of circumstances and benefit the workplace;
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the field, which can be applied in the areas of writing, international communication, editing, publishing, user experience consulting, creating web content, and much more;
  • demonstrate the ability to analyze different texts and documents and critically examine the theories and practice of writing in professional areas in varied settings;
  • apply literary analysis and criticism while interpreting various texts; and
  • guide other individuals in subjects of communication studies, language and literature, literature analysis, composition studies, and much more.

Free Courses for Master’s in
English Online Students

Students can earn many skills that industry experts appreciate through free courses. However, free courses should not be seen as a replacement for accredited programs. They help enhance one’s knowledge and gain new insights on the subject. Students can go beyond the textbook and explore topics often not found in their curriculum. Here are some examples of free English courses:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Writing in English at UniversityIn this course, students understand the different components of academic writing in the English language and learn about process writing. They also get a toolbox of academic writing skills and reflect their development as writers. The course encourages students to reflect on generic skills and apply them in their disciplines.Coursera
The English LessonsThis platform provides students with various English language lessons they can take at their own pace. This course benefits students who are native English speakers and Non-native English speakers.The Learn English Network
ProofreadingIn this course, students learn many proofreading hacks and skills. These skills can help them edit, write, complete projects or assignments in college, and develop better grammar understanding. They can refine their research abilities as well.Alison

How to get into the Master’s in
English Online Program?

Program admission requirements vary by college and would be required to be met for enrollment into a master’s in English degree. The basic requirements at most institutions are standard, such as a bachelor’s degree, academic transcripts, etc. Here is a list of some of the standard master’s in English online admission requirements across colleges:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above in the undergraduate program
  • Official transcripts from previous institutions
  • Graduate Record Examination or GRE scores (some colleges waive this requirement)
  • 2 to 3 Letters of recommendation, with at least one of them being written by an academician
  • Writing samples (required by some colleges)
  • Statement of Purpose or Letter of Intent
  • An essay detailing reasons for wanting to pursue a master’s in English (required by some colleges)

No GRE Master’s in English
Online Programs

The Graduate Record Examination or GRE score is often a criterion for students to enroll in graduate schools. GRE scores measure the applicant’s preparedness for success in their academic pursuits. However, many colleges waive this requirement or make it an optional submission, where students can choose whether they want to submit their scores or not. Some universities that offer master’s in English online no GRE programs include Southern New Hampshire University, Arizona State University, and Eastern Illinois University.

How Long does it take to complete the
Master’s in English Online Degree

It usually takes two years to complete a master’s degree in English online if a student attends the program full-time. When the program is completed part-time, colleges will allow students to take three to four years to finish. However, one should note that several factors affect a program’s timeline, such as the coursework, specialization, program delivery mode (online/offline), etc. Here is a summary of the program duration:

  • Time to complete a full-time online master’s in computer engineering: about 2 years
  • Time to complete a part-time online master’s in computer engineering: between 2 and 4 years

Accelerated Master’s in English
Online Degrees

Accelerated master’s degree programs are best suited for those who want to earn their degrees in less time or vary their study schedules based on family or work commitments. These programs provide the flexibility working students need and often reduce the overall cost of education too. Here are a couple of examples of accelerated master’s in English online:

Accreditations for Master’s in
English Online Degrees

Accreditation is a process that sets standards to evaluate colleges for their quality and other attributes. Graduating from an accredited institution or program conveys to potential employers that the candidate’s degree is of weight and value. One of the national bodies accrediting English degrees is The Commission on the English Language. Where programmatically accredited master’s in English online programs are unavailable, colleges are often accredited by regional bodies, such as the:

Students can check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs for a university’s accreditation status. More information is available in the Guide to College Accreditation.

  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • 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)

How to Pay for a Master’s in
English Online Degree?

Unconfirmed sources peg the cost of an English master’s online to range from $4,000 to $16,000. With these figures, many students often worry about how to pay for college. Although online students do not have transportation and accommodation costs, the tuition fees alone may be hard for them to cough up. Fortunately, many financial aids are available to offset some financial burdens students face. Some of these include:


Scholarships are a popular choice among students because the awarded money does not have to be repaid. Scholarships are usually merit-based and offered to students with excellent academic track records.


Grants are like scholarships in that they do not have to be repaid. However, unlike merit-based scholarships, grants are usually given out based on the applicant’s financial needs and background.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study programs allow part-time work for financially disadvantaged graduate and undergraduate students. These programs allow them simultaneously study and earn money to pay for their education. In most instances, students are encouraged to do community service and related jobs.

Private Student Loans

Loans are offered by financial institutions and banks and are usually given out to students who would not meet any of the criteria for federal aid. Loans attract interest and could drive up debt if not paid back on time.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is a form that will help establish what federal student aid one can expect. More information on what FAFSA is about and how one can apply is available in the FAFSA student aid guide.

Read more about college funding in the Financial Aid Guide.

Scholarships for Master’s in
English Online Students

Scholarships are a form of financial aid offered by organizations, community groups, and individuals to deserving students who want to further their education. Aside from academic accomplishments, scholarships may be awarded based on diversity, inclusions, athletic skills, music skills, etc. Here are a few that online English master’s degree students can explore:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Bill Gove ScholarshipsThe Bill Gove Scholarship, overseen by the NSA Foundation, is given to full-time students enrolled in an accredited 4-year college or university.$5,000 x 8 awardsApril 30, 2024
Lambda Iota Tau (LIT) Research GrantsThe Lambda Iota Tau offers research grants to support undergraduate and graduate members conducting innovative research that advances Society’s objectives.Up to $1,000April 10, 2024
American Copy Editors Society (ACES)ScholarshipsThe American Copy Editors Society (ACES) administers the Bill Walsh Scholarship and the Merv Aubespin Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to college juniors, graduate school students, and college seniors pursuing programs with majors in English or Journalism.Up to $3,500November 15, 2024

FAQs Related to the Master’s in
English Online Degree

Can I complete a master’s in English online?

Yes. Students can complete a master’s in English degree entirely online. Many universities also offer offline and hybrid programs that blend on-campus and online classes.

What courses are offered in a master’s in English program?

 Is a master’s in English online worth it?

Is taking up a thesis in master’s compulsory?

What are the requirements to enroll in the master’s in English program?

How much does a master’s in English degree cost?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after a
Master’s in English Online Degree

The master’s in English online open the doors to a plethora of career opportunities in academia, government agencies, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Because English is used almost everywhere – from project planning and teaching to journalism and content writing, graduates can often find work in a field that aligns with their interests. Here are a few examples of diverse careers one could take up after completing the master’s in English online:

Occupation Job Description Skills RequiredMedian Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030)
EditorsEditors plan and review content for publications. They check the format and content of written material and ensure that information is factual and correct.Communication skills, verbal skills, analytical skills$63,350-5% (decline)
Writers and AuthorsWriters write articles, books, or other literary pieces, while authors usually originate ideas to write content or plots for compelling reads. These professionals express their thoughts and ideas in different ways and formats.Writing skills, verbal skills, organizational skills$69,5104% (as fast as average)
Career and Technical Education TeachersCareer and Technical Education Teachers are entrusted to give individuals instructions in various technical subjects like auto repair, healthcare, etc. They instruct students in different vocational subjects.Analytical, instructional, and organizational skills$61,1602% (slower than average)
Instructional CoordinatorsInstructional coordinators oversee teaching standards and educational programs in schools. They develop and implement curricula and are responsible for organizing, planning, and conducting teacher workshops, conferences, or training. Planning skills, organizational skills, analytical skills$63,7407% (as fast as average)
Elementary, Middle, and High School PrincipalsElementary, middle, and high school principals typically oversee school operations, including daily school activities. They ensure that educational standards are being met and look after the welfare of students and teachers. Leadership skills, analytical skills, communicational skills$98,4105% (as fast as average)
News Analysts, Reporters, and JournalistsNews analysts, journalists, and reporters often work in media-related organizations like newspapers, websites, magazines, etc. They are entrusted to conduct interviews, record broadcasts, and report from on-field.Creative writing, analytical, verbal, and communication skills$48,370-9% (decline)

Certifications and Licensing for Master’s
in English Online Students

By completing an English Language certification, students can improve their chances of being employed by companies or advancing their careers. Certification also establishes a candidate’s credibility and professionalism and proves their command of English. Students pursuing online master’s in English program can consider some of these certifications during or after graduation:

The Test of English as a Foreign Language

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL scores are accepted by universities and organizations in the United States and worldwide. It can be completed in just two-three hours by students online. The test scores help students show their prowess in the English language in different domains like listening, reading, and comprehension.

The International English Language Testing System

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS scores help students demonstrate high English language abilities. The test is often an essential requirement for those who want to increase their academic and job opportunities in various sectors.

The Test of English for International Communication

The Test of English for International Communication or TOEIC scores are beneficial for students who want to measure their proficiency in English, especially in the domains of writing, speaking, reading, and listening. These scores can be used to measure their strengths in English and apply for appropriate colleges or jobs.

ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages

ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages or AAPPL assesses the student’s ability to engage in linguistic tasks on social, academic, and personal relevance across various modes of communication. Test takers will receive a detailed written report of AAPPL scores for each tested component.

Additional Resources for Master’s in
English Online Students

It is always advisable for students pursuing online master’s in English to supplement their education with resources outside their curriculum. Tapping into the many resources membership organizations offer can provide networking opportunities, career advancement, and deeper insights and development in the English language. Here are a few to explore:

National Council of Teachers of EnglishThe National Council of Teachers of English shares research, teaching strategies, and lesson ideas among its members through professional learning events and annual conventions. The organization also offers many resources, publications, and journals.
American EnglishThrough American English, students can get materials that provide them with advisory, consultative assistance, and academic expertise.
Modern Language AssociationThe Modern Language Association provides its members access to multiple resources, including periodicals and conventions. Members also receive newsletters that help maintain their interest in scholarly and teaching aspects. 
Shakespeare Association of AmericaThe Shakespeare Association of America holds many seminars and workshops to help members facilitate collaborative engagements. It is a non-profit organization that hosts conferences, workshops, and other events to help individuals discuss research papers and work on digital projects. 
Linguistic Society of AmericaThe Linguistic Society of America provides its members with the benefits of networking, professional development, special student activities, and scholarly presentations. They also supply students with quarterly peer-reviewed journals.

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.


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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