English Degree Programs

Your guide to online English degree programs

English degrees are excellent educational foundations for careers in journalism, media, communications, technical writing and teaching. The study of English at the postsecondary level translates quite well to the sphere of online learning. Critical discussions of works which are studied in class are crucial to a student's growing understanding of the subject, and these discussions are facilitated very well through online discussion forums. Students can engage with discussion topics as assigned by the instructor, break off into their own conversations about the material, or both. Books are easily accessible online, making access to course materials easy and inexpensive.

Most online English programs lead to degrees at one of four levels:

  • Associate's degree -- an introductory undergraduate degree which can typically be completed in two years
  • Bachelor's degree -- a regular undergraduate degree which typically takes three to four years of full-time study to complete
  • Master's degree -- a graduate degree which can usually be completed in one to two years
  • Doctorate degree -- a terminal graduate degree which typically takes two to four years to complete

Diploma programs in English, while available, do not lead to degrees and are generally not eligible for transfer credits if you do end up enrolling in a degree program.

Top Online English Degree Programs

With online English programs, the quality of your instructors is a crucial consideration to make when evaluating your options. The better your instructors, the more you will be challenged by your courses and your readings -- and the more you will get out of your program.

Here are some of the top-ranked online English degree programs in the United States:

  • Colorado State University. With rolling enrollment periods occurring every four weeks, Colorado State University's online English program offers unmatched flexibility. Factor in some of the nation's top English professors and small class sizes, and you have the consensus choice as the best available option.
  • California Baptist University. This school takes a discussion and interaction-based approach with low tuition rates and generous student financial assistance opportunities.
  • Arizona State University. Many of ASU's online programs place very well in nationwide rankings, and the English program is no exception. The school benefits from excellent instructors, cutting-edge online learning technology, and small class sizes of engaged students who report high satisfaction rates.
  • Regent University. If you are looking to study English while continuing to work full time, Regent University offers a program which is specially designed for employed professional adults. Problem solving, analysis, interpretation and critical thinking skills are the focus of Regent's pedagogical approach.
  • Southwestern New Hampshire University. With small class sizes and high graduate success rates in terms of employment and acceptance to graduate-level professional programs, Southwestern New Hampshire University's online English program is widely regarded as one of the best in the country.
  • Ashford University. Ashford University's online English program is geared towards helping students develop strong writing and critical thinking skills. It is an excellent foundational program for students planning to pursue careers in professional writing.
  • University of Massachusetts. Priding itself on its well-rounded approach, the University of Massachusetts's online English programs offer students a wide range of concentrations and specializations, along with some of the best faculty members available.
  • Victory University. This Christian school is the consensus choice as the best option available if you're looking to interpret seminal works of literature from a religious or spiritual point of view.
  • Liberty University. If you're looking for flexibility and affordability in your English program, Liberty University is an excellent choice. It offers eight-week and 16-week English courses, excellent faculty, and some of the lowest tuition rates you'll find in a top-ranked online school.
  • Northwestern University. Northwestern's traditional English program is considered one of the best in the country, and the school's track record of excellence has carried over very well to the world of online learning.

As with traditional colleges, you should always carefully research your options before accepting an offer of admission. In addition to evaluating the quality of the faculty, determine how satisfied past students are with the program. Some simple yet telling research will help you identify which programs are worth pursuing and which are best avoided.