Best Online Master’s in English

Find top-ranked online master’s in english degree programs to prepare students to become English teachers, managing editors, and communications directors, and more.

Best Online Master’s in English
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Frequently Asked Questions About English Degrees

With a master’s degree in English, you’ll be ready to take your career, and communication skills, to the next level.

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Consisting of about 30-45 credits, this degree can be completed in two to four years, either online or in person.

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Many programs also offer specializations, like rhetoric, literature, English education, and technical communication, allowing students to tailor their learning to their career goals.

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Courses cover topics like creative writing, writing instruction, and critical theory, though students will also have program-specific courses.

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After earning their degree, graduates will be ready to become English teachers, managing editors, and communications directors, and more. Students will want to note, however, additional licensure may be required for certain professions such as full professorship.

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Learn more about what you can do with a mater’s in english.

Best Online Master's in English Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online english master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

20 Best Online Master’s in English Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Texas Tech University

    #396 institution's historical influence
    #1458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Lubbock, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Arizona State University

    #131 institution's historical influence
    #1312 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    74K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Tempe, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    University of Nebraska–Lincoln

    #243 institution's historical influence
    #711 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Lincoln, NE

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • Writing
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    University of Memphis

    #558 institution's historical influence
    #787 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Memphis, TN

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • English as a Second/Foreign Language
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    University of Central Florida

    #494 institution's historical influence
    #181 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Orlando, FL

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Northern Arizona University

    #1104 institution's historical influence
    #303 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    Flagstaff, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • Literature
    • Rhetoric
    • Writing
    • Digital Media Studies
    • Professional Writing
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    Old Dominion University

    #959 institution's historical influence
    #709 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Norfolk, VA

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • Professional Writing
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Southern New Hampshire University

    #1468 institution's historical influence
    #1034 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    84K

    Manchester, NH

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English and Creative Writing

    Concentrations

    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Screenwriting
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    University of West Florida

    #2019 institution's historical influence
    #156 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/25

    Pensacola, FL

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 33-36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Eastern Illinois University

    #1799 institution's historical influence
    #915 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    Charleston, IL

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • Literary Studies
    • Composition
    • Rhetoric
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: 2
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Murray State University

    #1786 institution's historical influence
    #410 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1142/24

    Murray, KY

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #12

    Texas Southern University

    #988 institution's historical influence
    #550 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    920/16

    Houston, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Mercy College

    #1814 institution's historical influence
    #302 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/20

    Dobbs Ferry, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English Literature
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  14. #14

    Delta State University

    #2465 institution's historical influence
    #1013 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/21

    Cleveland, MS

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    Online Degrees

    MALS in Liberal Studies

    Concentrations

    • English
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    National University

    #1863 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    23K

    La Jolla, CA

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Jacksonville State University

    #1861 institution's historical influence
    #686 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    Jacksonville, AL

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    Gardner–Webb University

    #3154 institution's historical influence
    #1096 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Boiling Springs, NC

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  18. #18

    West Texas A&M University

    #2574 institution's historical influence
    #1327 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/20

    Canyon, TX

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    University of Houston–Victoria

    #5385 institution's historical influence
    #612 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1009/18

    Victoria, TX

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    MA in Interdisciplinary Studies

    Concentrations

    • English
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  20. #20

    University of Texas at Tyler

    #2901 institution's historical influence
    #1359 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Tyler, TX

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    MA in English
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build 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 is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And 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 or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new 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 institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. 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 which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students 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.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, 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. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

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 resume 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.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will 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 require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, 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 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 Prospective Grad Students

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