Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in english degree programs to help students earn fulfilling careers, such as editors, writers, grant administrators, teachers, public relations managers, and journalists.
Top 10 Online Bachelor's in English Degree Programs
The value of an online bachelor’s in English degree lies in its flexibility—you can apply the skills learned in diverse career paths. Your top-notch writing skills will become your edge in whatever career path you choose.
Because of their skills in research and writing, English majors can be very successful in fields like business and marketing, media and communications, and public relations. Graduates can pursue careers as editors, writers, grant administrators, teachers, public relations managers, and journalists.
But a bachelor’s degree is only a stepping stone in your professional journey! You should consider earning a master’s degree for personal and professional development.
Professionals with online bachelor’s in English degrees will find an abundance of job opportunities in diverse industries!
The Value of an English Degree
Many believe that there is little value in earning an English degree in contemporary society. The assumptions are that there is an absence of technical skills, a low demand for writers, and a lack of the specificity needed in the job market.
Fortunately, these are incorrect assumptions about the bachelor’s in English degree! The bachelor’s degree has immense value for these reasons:
English majors have in-demand specialized knowledge and skills that can be applied across a wide range of industries! Professionals with topnotch technical writing and creative writing skills are sought after in industries like mass communications, media and public relations, and education.
English majors have an adaptation mindset. They are both willing to learn new things and willing to adapt their existing skills to diverse situations.
Indeed, there’s value in an English degree, despite the fact that it is often overlooked with society’s emphasis on technical and trade skills! You should start looking closer at the merits of online English degree programs today.
Diverse Challenges English Majors Face
Yet another misconception is that students of online English degree programs have it easy. This cannot be further from the truth since online students have to meet the high academic standards of the best English degree programs.
Their writing skills must be consistently developed—in fact, their work will be critiqued down to the last word—even after earning an English degree.
English majors must also read voluminous works of authors from diverse genres, from the classics to contemporary works. This is in addition to the lessons, lectures, and assignments that must be completed on time. Time management is critical to success among online students, too, even with asynchronous courses.
Core Courses in an English Program
English majors usually tackle major and concentration courses in their sophomore year with the freshman year spent on general education courses. The major and concentration courses challenge the intellect, writing skills, and oral communication skills of students.
Examples courses include:
Reading and Writing for English Composition (Students develop their critical thinking, expository writing, and argumentative skills)
Introduction to Creative Writing (Students develop their written and oral communication skills during presentations)
Introduction to Linguistics (Students explore the origins and development of modern languages including the English language)
Survey of British and American Literature (Students explore the literature of the United Kingdom and United States during different periods)
Shakespeare (Students learn the art of appreciation of Shakespeare’s works)
Every course is designed to improve the students’ skill sets, whether it’s in professional writing, technical writing, or creative writing.
Skills Sets Developed by English Majors
Prospective students must have strong writing skills even before being admitted to an online English degree program. Once admitted, students are expected to develop these skill sets:
Reading, interpreting, and communicating the contents of diverse books and other materials
Editing existing works
Storytelling in different styles
Critical thinking, creativity, and analytical thinking
English majors must also have a passion for lifelong learning! The English language is alive, meaning it’s in constant flux and, thus, there’s always something new to learn.
Admission Requirements into English Degree Programs
Online English degree programs require prospective students to have a high school diploma or an associate degree. Demonstration of writing skills via personal statements is common. Letters of recommendation, official transcripts from schools attended, current resume, and portfolio of works may also be required.
Frequently Asked Questions About English Degrees
If you have strong written and verbal communication skills and enjoy reading a variety of texts, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English could be a good fit for you.
This 120-credit degree usually takes about four years to complete, and is available both online and in person. Students who have already earned an associate degree in English may have the option to complete this degree at an accelerated pace.
How We Picked the Best Online Bachelor’s in English
The best online English degree programs featured on our list were chosen because of their emphasis on academic excellence. Students were not only expected to meet minimum grade requirements, both at the course level and cumulative GPA, but also to demonstrate excellent communication skills in the English language.
The skills demonstration comes in many forms, such as writing assignments, class recitations, and capstone projects. Presentations in seminars and workshops are also common evaluation tools. Students must meet academic requirements on time and based on standards, too.
These online English degree programs were also chosen for the convenience and flexibility of schedules, usually via asynchronous courses. While synchronous courses are also present, students are able to achieve a work-life-studies balance.
Students also benefited from the exceptional student support services, as well as the ease of access to on-campus services, if necessary. Academic advising, one-on-one and group tutoring, writing center services, and career services, as well as an IT help desk are available.
All the online English degree programs also offered financial aid options for online students. Federal financial aid is the first option but scholarships and grants are also available for eligible students.
The colleges and universities that offered these online bachelor’s in English programs are also regionally accredited. Accreditation means that the online programs meet the academic standards of the U.S. Department of Education and, thus, quality instruction is assured. Accreditation is also essential for students to apply for federal financial aid.
If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.
No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?
If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.
In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.
Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.
Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.
As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.
In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.
Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.
If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).
While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.
The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.
Resources for Online College-Bound Students
Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.