10 Fastest Accelerated Online Master’s of English Programs


Which are the fastest online master’s degree programs in English in America? These top-ranked accelerated programs deliver a quality education fast.

Key Takeaways

  • Online accelerated degree programs in English allow students to complete a master’s degree more quickly than a traditional degree program.
  • Because online accelerated programs in English can be completed when it is most convenient, they help students juggle busy work and family lives.
  • Accelerated online master programs in English can give graduates a boost in career opportunities and higher-than-average salaries.

Fastest Online Master's in English Degree Programs

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  1. Indiana University Bloomington
  2. Arizona State University
  3. Ohio University
  4. Texas Tech University
  5. University of Central Florida
  6. University of Memphis
  7. Bowling Green State University
  8. East Carolina University
  9. Old Dominion University
  10. Texas A&M University–Commerce
  1. Old Dominion University 96%
  2. University of Memphis 95%
  3. East Carolina University 94%
  4. Ohio University 89%
  5. Arizona State University 88%
  6. Texas A&M University–Commerce 87%
  7. Indiana University Bloomington 85%
  8. Bowling Green State University 79%
  9. Texas Tech University 68%
  10. University of Central Florida 36%
  1. University of Central Florida 31 to 1
  2. Texas A&M University–Commerce 21 to 1
  3. Bowling Green State University 19 to 1
  4. Texas Tech University 19 to 1
  5. East Carolina University 19 to 1
  6. Old Dominion University 18 to 1
  7. Arizona State University 18 to 1
  8. Ohio University 16 to 1
  9. Indiana University Bloomington 16 to 1
  10. University of Memphis 16 to 1
  1. Ohio University $12,840
  2. Bowling Green State University $10,776
  3. Arizona State University $10,710
  4. Indiana University Bloomington $9,913
  5. Texas Tech University $8,935
  6. University of Memphis $8,352
  7. Old Dominion University $7,029
  8. Texas A&M University–Commerce $4,790
  9. University of Central Florida $4,478
  10. East Carolina University $4,452
  1. Arizona State University $11,720
  2. Old Dominion University $10,207
  3. Indiana University Bloomington $9,909
  4. Ohio University $9,444
  5. University of Memphis $9,378
  6. Bowling Green State University $8,017
  7. Texas Tech University $6,956
  8. University of Central Florida $6,916
  9. East Carolina University $4,749
  10. Texas A&M University–Commerce $3,630
  1. Texas A&M University–Commerce
  2. Old Dominion University
  3. East Carolina University
  4. Bowling Green State University
  5. University of Memphis
  6. University of Central Florida
  7. Texas Tech University
  8. Ohio University
  9. Arizona State University
  10. Indiana University Bloomington
  1. University of Central Florida 36%
  2. Texas Tech University 68%
  3. Bowling Green State University 79%
  4. Indiana University Bloomington 85%
  5. Texas A&M University–Commerce 87%
  6. Arizona State University 88%
  7. Ohio University 89%
  8. East Carolina University 94%
  9. University of Memphis 95%
  10. Old Dominion University 96%
  1. Ohio University 16 to 1
  2. Indiana University Bloomington 16 to 1
  3. University of Memphis 16 to 1
  4. Old Dominion University 18 to 1
  5. Arizona State University 18 to 1
  6. Bowling Green State University 19 to 1
  7. Texas Tech University 19 to 1
  8. East Carolina University 19 to 1
  9. Texas A&M University–Commerce 21 to 1
  10. University of Central Florida 31 to 1
  1. East Carolina University $4,452
  2. University of Central Florida $4,478
  3. Texas A&M University–Commerce $4,790
  4. Old Dominion University $7,029
  5. University of Memphis $8,352
  6. Texas Tech University $8,935
  7. Indiana University Bloomington $9,913
  8. Arizona State University $10,710
  9. Bowling Green State University $10,776
  10. Ohio University $12,840
  1. Texas A&M University–Commerce $3,630
  2. East Carolina University $4,749
  3. University of Central Florida $6,916
  4. Texas Tech University $6,956
  5. Bowling Green State University $8,017
  6. University of Memphis $9,378
  7. Ohio University $9,444
  8. Indiana University Bloomington $9,909
  9. Old Dominion University $10,207
  10. Arizona State University $11,720

An online master in English degree is beneficial for those looking for a boost in their career. This degree can help students develop a range of adaptable talents that can translate across multiple job industries.

The average time to graduation for a traditional master’s degree is two years. But with the help of an accelerated online master in English degree, students can graduate in as early as 12 months!

Female teacher teaching a class online

What are accelerated online programs in English?

Accelerated online master programs in English follow the exact coursework requirements as as a traditional master’s program. The main difference between the two is the time to graduation.

While accelerated online graduate programs can be finished in 12 to 18 months, traditional master’s degrees require two years. An accelerated master’s degree in English typically has shorter courses of 7-8 weeks rather than 12-16 in traditional courses. This means that an online accelerated English degree usually has a more demanding curriculum because of the condensed timeframe.

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Methodology for Determining the Best Accelerated Online Graduate Programs in English

Our ranking focuses on English and English-related accelerated master’s degrees offered in online programs or a hybrid format. The most common degrees on the list are Master of Arts in English.

Each of the colleges or universities on the list has also been regionally accredited by one of the six accrediting bodies recognized by the United States Department of Education. They include:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
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The Top 10 Accelerated Online Master’s in English Programs

  1. Other Rankings

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    Indiana University - Online

    Offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University Online provides an accelerated Master of Arts in English accredited by the Commission of English Language Program Accreditation. This 36 credit hours program can be completed in as few as 12 months if students enroll in summer and winter courses.

    Students of the accelerated master’s program in English at IU will explore courses that will provide them with the fundamental ideas of writing and literature teaching, the linguistic composition and background of English literature, and a wide range of genre- and close-reading-related techniques.

    This online English degree focuses on studying literature in a seminar style, allowing graduate students to obtain the knowledge and abilities to perform archive research. They’ll also gain an understanding of contemporary trends in the field of digital humanities.

    Interested students should possess one of the three graduate credentials: Composition Studies, Language and Literature, or Literature. Additional requirements include a 3.5 minimum GPA in at least one of the three credentials, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at IU.

  2. Male English teacher
  3. Tuition + fees






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    What is Texas A&M University–Commerce known for?

    Texas A&M University–Commerce’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Texas A&M University – Commerce

    Texas A&M University – Commerce has a Master’s in English degree program that can be completed online or in a hybrid learning format. Prospective students can pursue either a master of arts (MA) in English or a master of science (MS) in English.

    The MA option is designed for online students who want to focus on the humanities, social sciences, and liberal arts disciplines; while the MS program is for students who wish to focus on the scientific, technical, and quantitative disciplines. Students will further choose between a thesis and non-thesis curriculum.

    MS and MA programs require students to complete at least 30 credit hours to graduate. Students can also pursue graduate certificates to further their knowledge and skills in a specialized field, allowing them to open more doors for various job opportunities.

    There are three graduate certificates available. Professional Advancement in English Studies Graduate and TESOL-Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificates can be completed online. The Studies in Children and Adolescent Literature Culture Certificate is fully on-campus.

    Interested students should submit undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a statement of goals, and a resume or CV.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online Master in English degree at TAMU Commerce.

  4. Male college professor standing in front of a class

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    Arizona State University

    Arizona State University’s Master of Arts in English online is a 30-credit hour program that can be completed in as fast as 1.5 years through fast-paced courses. The program requires students to complete 10 courses, each lasting only 7.5 weeks. Students who want to accelerate their degree even more can enroll in more credit hours per semester and take no breaks.

    Online students can expect to learn from distinguished professors in the English and College of Liberal Arts departments. The online MA in English at ASU focuses on English studies.

    Through courses from several disciplinary areas of study, students in this online program can analyze complex cultural, historical, literary, and language-related resources and express and mobilize this knowledge for broad audiences.

    If you’re interested in applying, you need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in English or any related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Additional application requirements include official transcripts, a statement of purpose, an updated CV or resume, and two academic or professional letters of recommendation.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at ASU Online.

  6. Female student working on an online college degree
  7. #4

    Ohio University

    Athens , OH
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    Ohio University

    The online Master of Arts in English at Ohio University offers three concentrations: Creative Writing, Literary History, and Rhetoric & Composition. Regardless of which concentration students choose, they must complete 32 credits to earn the degree.

    While this online degree program helps graduate students pursue higher-level roles in English, it’s primarily designed to serve as a foundation for doctoral degree studies and pursue a career in higher-learning teaching.

    The program’s curriculum aims to serve secondary English teachers, including Ohio teachers who want to teach in Ohio’s College Credit Plus program. Working professionals can quickly pursue their interests in writing and literature thanks to convenient online courses. Students can also take advantage of a program backed by an illustrious history and reputable standing in the industry.

    You must submit transcripts, recommendation letters, GRE scores, writing samples, and purpose statements to qualify for the program. You must also hold a bachelor’s degree, a strong English language and literary education, and a 3.0 minimum GPA.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about Ohio’s online MA in English.

  8. Male writer working on a manuscript
  9. #5

    Texas Tech University

    Lubbock , TX
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    Texas Tech University

    Texas Tech University offers a fully online Master of Arts in English that follows the same curriculum as its on-campus program. Online students will study the same courses and learn from the same professors as traditional program students; they’ll also have the same financial aid and hands-on learning opportunities. The MA degree will require online students also to complete 36 credits of exciting and ambitious courses.

    The MA in English program encourages students to prepare simultaneously across several literary eras and genres. Students can tailor their degree programs by choosing a concentration that results in a specialized MA thesis.

    The program aims to create an adaptable environment that offers a comprehensive study of English designed for professionals preparing for a career in secondary education or sustaining work in a chosen area as preparation for pursuing a PhD or a career in publishing, writing, or a related field.

    Students will be evaluated on a holistic approach. This means that instead of only looking at their undergraduate GPAs, the admissions committee will assess students based on their writing samples, statements of academic purpose, and letters of reference.

    Estimated Tuition Cost:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at Texas Tech.

  10. Female online college student
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    University of Central Florida

    The University of Central Florida offers a 33-credit online Master of Arts in English program offered in in accelerated format, allowing students to graduate in as little as one year. Offered by the College of Arts and Humanities, UCF’s online MA in English degree allows online students to choose between two program tracks/options: Technical Communication or Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies. Each track will require students to take 15 credits of required courses and 15 credits of elective courses.

    Technical Communication is designed for students who want to focus on developing their theoretical and practical skills in technical writing, visual design, usability, ethics, stylistics, computer documentation, international communication, and the rhetoric of science. On the other hand, the Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies track is designed for students who want to do a research study and report on literary criticism.

    UCF accepts applicants with strong letters of recommendation, personal statements, and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at UCF.

  12. Male online college student
  13. #7

    University of Memphis

    Memphis , TN
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    University of Memphis

    The online Master of Arts in English at Memphis is designed for students who want to focus their studies on English as a Second/Foreign Language. Students of the program must complete a minimum of 33 credits to earn the degree in English and five credits for the certificate in ESL. This degree program is intended to give students superior knowledge and abilities in subjects like second language acquisition, language evaluation, curriculum design, and English instruction for speakers of other languages.

    Students in the MA degree program in English will acquire knowledge in linguistics, language pedagogy, cross-cultural communication, and second language acquisition theory. They’ll explore various topics related to teaching languages, such as lesson preparation, the creation of instructional materials, classroom management, and evaluation methods.

    Students can apply their knowledge through relevant, hands-on experiences nationally and overseas. One of the program’s best features is its flat-rate tuition fee. Non-residents, however, will pay an eRate. Prospective applicants should have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about U of M’s online MA in English concentrating on ESL.

  14. #8

    Bowling Green State University

    Bowling Green , OH
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    Bowling Green State University

    Bowling Green State University’s Master of Arts in English online is a 33-credit hour program offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and can be completed with fast and accelerated courses. This online MA degree program offers three specializations. Students can major in English Teaching, Professional Writing and Rhetoric, or an Individualized Track.

    The curriculum is entirely online; however, English students in the area can add in-person instruction to enhance their online studies and get to know the program’s faculty members more for networking opportunities.

    Thanks to its self-paced learning format, students can pursue the degree in an accelerated format or complete courses at a slower pace. The online graduate program students have no set log-in times, giving them more flexibility in progressing through their graduate studies.

    Admissions requirements include: a statement of purpose, writing samples, transcripts, and standardized test scores. BGSU does not have a strict GPA cut-off; instead, they accept students based on their capability to complete the program by evaluating their submitted requirements.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at BGSU.

  15. #9

    East Carolina University

    Greenville , NC
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    East Carolina University

    East Carolina University was one of the first research-intensive higher education institutions in the United States to deliver an online Master of Arts in English degree. ECU’s MA in English is a 33-credit program that may be completed 100% online with optional on-campus sessions.

    Students will learn from the same professors who teach on-campus courses and have access to course materials available around the clock.

    Unlike most master’s programs in English that only offer a few concentrations, ECU’s English MA degree offers eight concentrations, two of which are offered online. The fully online concentrations are multicultural/transnational literature and technical and professional communication.

    The other six concentrations that are offered on-campus include:

    • English studies
    • Creative writing
    • Literature
    • Linguistics
    • TESOL
    • Rhetoric and Composition

    Those who pursue optional on-campus sessions can participate in several in-person opportunities, including tutoring, teaching, editing, publishing, research, and community engagement projects.

    Most of the program’s graduates continue to more advanced coursework by enrolling in Master of Fine Arts and doctoral degree programs.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at ECU.

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    Old Dominion University

    Offered by the College of Arts & Letters, the online Master of Arts in English program at Old Dominion University can be completed fully or partially online in 1.5 years. Students must complete at least 30 credit hours to earn the degree.

    The program is fully customizable, allowing students to choose their major and electives. The program’s concentrations include rhetoric and composition, technical writing, and literature.

    The online program, accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, prepares students for careers that require analytical, literary, digital media, linguistic, and writing skills. Students who want an English MA offering graduate web design classes are the best prospects for this program.

    Admission requirements for the online master’s degree in English at ODU must submit GRE scores, recommendation letters, short personal essays, and official transcripts from prior learning.

    Cost Per Credit:

    Learn more about the online MA in English at ODU.

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What You Need To Know About Accelerated Online Master’s in English Programs

It is increasingly true that regardless of the job market you are interested in, competition will be stiff. As a result, more and more people are considering pursuing online programs for a master’s degree to secure higher-paying jobs. However, most students are worried about the time they’ll potentially lose in pursuing another degree.

A traditional master’s degree in English requires two years of your time. Spending two more years in school implies more missed income and possibly more student debt.

Fortunately, today, technological advancements have made it easier for working professionals to finish an advanced degree sooner. Students have access to various online programs, especially online accelerated degree programs. Instead of spending two years on campus, students can complete graduate courses in an accelerated online master’s degree in as few as 12 months without visiting the campus.

But before you get too excited, you should know that most accelerated master’s degrees have strict entrance requirements.

You’ll often need a 3.0 or higher GPA to compete with other applicants. You’ll also need stellar letters of recommendation from previous instructors, current employers, or respected people in your community/industry. You must also create a writing sample showcasing your top-tier writing skills.

You may wonder why many online colleges and universities with fast and accelerated program options have stricter requirements than traditional degree programs. The answer is simple. Fast and accelerated online programs require students to complete traditional coursework in a condensed amount of time, which means that students need more self-motivation and self-discipline.

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What You’ll Learn in Accelerated Online Master’s in English Degree Programs

Students who earn an online master’s in English are taught to comprehend and evaluate literature, language, and creative writing in various circumstances. Depending on the school and program specialty, a master’s in English program may offer different specific courses.

However, most MA in English degrees examine well-known literary works, contemporary copywriting strategies, and linguistics related to English usage.

Literary Theory and Criticism

This course investigates several theoretical methods for analyzing and interpreting literary works. Students learn about several critical frameworks and schools of thought, including structuralism, post-structuralism, feminism, and postcolonialism.

American Literature

Studying American literary works from various historical periods, such as colonial literature, the American Renaissance, modernism, contemporary writing, and other literary movements, is the main focus of this course.

British Literature

This course explores significant works and authors in British literature, including writers from the Renaissance, Victorian era, modernist, and postmodern movements.

Genre Studies

Literary genres like poetry, drama, novel, short stories, or specific subgenres within these categories are covered in depth in genre studies courses. Students examine various genres’ historical and cultural significance while analyzing and interpreting works in them.

Linguistics and Language Studies

Language structure, syntax, semantics, phonetics, and sociolinguistics are all topics covered in linguistics courses. Students gain knowledge of the nuances of language and how it relates to communication, literature, and culture.

Research Methods

Students gain the skills and information essential for undertaking literary study in research methods courses using research tools and resources, scholarly writing, critical analysis, and literature reviews.

Teaching Literature and Writing

Courses that prepare individuals to instruct writing and literature at the college level are available in some programs. These classes address curriculum design, effective teaching methods, and pedagogical techniques.

World Literature

This course examines literature from various countries and places, introducing students to literary traditions, writers, and works.

Writing and Rhetoric

These programs emphasize rhetorical analysis and advanced writing techniques. Depending on their interests and program requirements, students may write for academic purposes, creatively, professionally, or for research.

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Job Opportunities for Graduates of Online Programs Offering a Master’s in English

Employees with a bachelor’s typically make $2.27 million throughout their careers, whereas those with an advanced degree can make up to $3.65 million. This striking wage disparity demonstrates that getting a master’s degree can significantly increase your income.

While a graduate program in English will prepare you for numerous employment options, a graduate with a master’s degree in English would be particularly well-suited for the following jobs:

Post-Secondary Instructor

English master’s degree holders are frequently the best candidates for teaching roles. This curriculum will equip you to begin teaching for most community colleges or online undergraduate courses, even if you need further certification or licensure to teach at the primary or secondary level.

Average Median Annual Salary: $79,640

Job Growth: 12 percent

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics


A natural path into the editing profession may be found for English graduates who love the written word and are interested in the publishing industry. A good sense of the English language is helpful whether you want to use the internet as a publishing platform, compile the day’s top news for a newspaper, or assist budding authors in realizing their goals of penning bestsellers.

Although the BLS lists a bachelor’s degree as the minimum degree needed for this position, the advanced abilities you would acquire through a master’s program can improve your chances in this very competitive employment market.

Average Median Annual Salary: $63,350

Job Growth: 5 percent

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Survey Researcher/Analyst

The analytical skills acquired in a graduate-level English degree program give you the foundation for a compelling survey analyst resume if you are data-driven and have good arithmetic skills. According to BLS, they design, carry out, and analyze surveys, and their skills are in demand across various businesses.

Your capacity to recognize and use analytical approaches to an investigation may lead to employment in higher education, nonprofits, the federal government, the military, or even the armed forces.

Average Median Annual Salary: $59,740

Job Growth: 6 percent

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Writer and Author

Magazines, pamphlets, social media posts, websites, blogs, commercials, PR announcements, and more require someone to write them. Everyone, from business owners to political candidates, is looking for excellent writers to convey their stories as good writing is the foundation of how the world connects in the digital age.

BLS advises enhancing your education with an experience like blogging, journalism, and internships to strengthen your résumé because writing positions frequently draw a big application pool.

Average Median Annual Salary: $69,510

Job Growth: 4 percent

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics


If you want to become your own boss, you can pursue freelancing. By 2027, freelance workers will potentially make up more than 50% of the American labor force. More than 53 million Americans are now making a living from jobs other than the standard 9 to 5 jobs, according to the BLS. Pursuing free lance work can build the writing and analytical skills many firms want for initiatives beyond their existing personnel pool if you obtain a master’s degree in English.

You can join this expanding economic trend by establishing yourself as a qualified editor, virtual assistant, social media manager, or copywriter.

Bottom Line: Graduates of an online accelerated master’s program in English are qualified for numerous jobs across multiple industries. The skills acquired in this online degree program are transferable to many different careers.

Skills Obtained from Online Accelerated Master’s in English Degrees

Students who pursue an accelerated online English master’s degree gain useful abilities that they can use in personal, academic, and professional settings. Listed below are just a few of the abilities frequently acquired through English accelerated master’s programs online:

Advanced Writing Skills

Students learn advanced writing techniques, such as critical analysis, persuasive writing, research writing, and the ability to explain complex concepts through reading and writing assignments effectively.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Students gain knowledge of literary analysis, interpretation, and other cultural expressions. They learn to assess arguments critically, recognize themes, evaluate literary devices, and participate in scholarly conversation.

Research and Information Literacy

The emphasis on research methodology and information literacy is common in accelerated master’s programs. The techniques taught to students include conducting thorough literature studies, locating and assessing reliable sources, and using research techniques on their projects and queries.

Adaptability and Time Management

Students in accelerated programs must manage a heavy workload within a condensed time frame. They learn how to effectively manage their time, be flexible, and meet deadlines without sacrificing the caliber of their work.

Intercultural Competence

Students can improve intercultural competency by studying many literary traditions and connecting with different ideas. They develop a better appreciation for and understanding of many cultures, improving their capacity to negotiate cross-cultural encounters successfully.

Digital Literacy and Technology Skills

Students learn digital literacy skills as technology is increasingly important in academia and the workplace. They learn how to use digital resources, databases, and multimedia platforms pertinent to the study of literature and language as well as its communication.

Leadership and Initiative

Some accelerated programs allow students to assume leadership positions by facilitating conversations, providing peer mentorship, or planning academic events. This develops initiative, leadership, and the capacity to assume accountability for academic and professional activities.

Bottom Line: Graduates with an accelerated online master’s in English have gained skills far beyond those of just good writing. These skills include highly transferable job skills such as critical thinking, time management, research, digital literacy, and leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements for accelerated online Master’s in English programs?

Specific admission requirements vary from school to school. While some have lenient requirements, others require extensive and competitive admissions processes. However, the most common requirements to be eligible for accelerated master’s in English programs include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an online program at a regionally accredited higher education institution
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statements.

Other grad schools may also require a minimum GPA of 3.0.

How long does it take to complete an online accelerated English master’s degree?

Online accelerated English master’s degrees require full-time enrollment. The precise completion time depends on several factors, most significantly on how many courses per semester a student takes. But generally, accelerated master’s degrees take an average of 1 year.