A Bachelor’s degree in English or Linguistics from an accredited college can go a long way in helping you launch your career. Those who study English and Linguistics develop valuable communication, writing, research, and communication skills – all of which come in handy for innumerable jobs. These graduates can pursue work in business, public relations, marketing, journalism, education, or many other fields. Some earn a master’s or Ph.D. in English or use their undergraduate degree as a basis for law school.
Because English and Linguistics classes often center on written assignments and extensive reports that can be submitted online, many students choose to earn their degree through distance education. If you’re interested in going to college online, you’ll get to experience video lectures, online discussion boards, virtual classrooms, and other technological features that mirror the experience you’d have on campus. This can make finishing college a breeze, even if you have work and family obligations – and you might even graduate early!
The 25 Best Online English Literature Degrees Ranking Methodology
For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer English degrees online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $20,000/year or less.
For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.
After compiling a list of all the colleges that offer online bachelor’s degrees in English and meet the above criteria, we then collected data in three categories:
How many undergraduates choose to earn their degree in English over other similar programs in language and the humanities? To find out, we looked at both the number of students who earned their bachelor’s degree in English in the most recent school year as well as the percentage of all humanities program graduates that that number represents.
Overall English/Communication Program Strength:
How many different English- and communication-related bachelor’s degrees does the school offer? What percentage of students choose to major in one of these disciplines out of the entire undergraduate student body? In general, more programs and students = more time, resources, and faculty expertise that the school is willing to devote to English/communication education as a whole.
What is the average annual cost of attendance?
After collecting and sorting all the information, we ranked the candidates according to their performance in each area. Finally, we summed up the results and gave each school a final score using a curve so that the top-scoring program earned an even 100 points.
Read more about the best cheap online English degree programs below!
Cheap Online English and Linguistics Degree Programs Ranked
Technically a B.A. in Humanities with a concentration in English, the top online English degree program at UTPB gives you a broad look at literature, art, mythology, and other cultural storytelling methods as part of the general humanities curriculum. The English-specific courses tend to cover a mostly Eurocentric canon, focusing on American, British, and Irish authors and looking at their works in their cultural context. And yet, there's plenty of room to personalize your program. In fact, you'll work with an advisor to develop a customized course of study with an interdisciplinary approach. As such, the degree is best suited for self-starters who want to take charge of their own curriculum.
You'll choose between concentrations in Literature and Writing when you enroll in Western New Mexico University's top Bachelor of Arts in English online. Both options require 36 credit hours and give you plenty of opportunities to select electives relevant to your interests and career goals. And because the English major also requires you to select a minor, you'll get to supplement your studies with coursework in a related academic discipline. No matter your path, you'll have access to resources to enrich your online learning experience. For example, the school's writing center offers help by email, or you can take advantage of a 24/7 electronic live tutoring tool.
If you have a significant number of transfer credits under your belt, you might want to consider Louisiana State University - Alexandria thanks to its generous credit transfer allowance. But all students will benefit from this fully online program, which provides a broad literature study while still incorporating composition and grammar courses. It's also a great accredited online English literature degree for those who want to study other languages, as the curriculum includes a six-credit foreign language requirement. And with four yearly start dates, it should be easy for you to find a course of study that fits your schedule.
Effective communication is at the heart of the University of Maine at Presque Isle's cheap online bachelor's degree in English. Beyond the typical courses in composition, UMPI gives you the chance to flex both your creative and professional writing skills, making it a great choice no matter your career goals. The school also takes pains to maintain an online learning experience that mirrors its on-campus classes; for example, you'll benefit from the same student-faculty ratio, and you'll take courses from the same instructors. But online learners have a leg up when it comes to timing: You can earn this degree in just three years if you enroll in summer courses.
Did you start your degree elsewhere and want to finish it at Granite State College? You're in luck; nearly 85% of students at this New Hampshire school are transfers. That's thanks in part to a Transfer Pathway program, which lets you seamlessly transfer your associate's degree to the school with the help of an advisor. But GSC also stands out on this Bachelor of Arts in English online ranking for another reason: its teacher certification pathways. With options in early childhood education, elementary education, and more, this program is a strong option for aspiring teachers. Note that the program does incorporate some on-campus work, so you'll need to be able to make the occasional commute to the Concord campus.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania takes a high-minded approach to its accredited online English degree program, viewing it as an eminently practical degree that can prepare students for success in various fields. Indeed, this program will do exactly that - thanks to a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and clear, persuasive writing. Although the program doesn't have a traditional concentration or track option, you can refine your studies with branch specializations that offer deep-dives into linguistics, creative writing, literature, or writing. But instead of choosing just one, you'll take classes from multiple branches to ensure your education is as broad as it is deep.
If a general English degree isn't specific enough to meet your needs, you'll want to consider Nicholls State University. That's because this Louisiana school offers three concentrations as part of its top English degree online: Creative Writing, Literary Studies, and Writing and Rhetoric. The program also stands out for its focus on global issues; you'll take multiple classes in world literature along with those in the more common areas of study (i.e. American and British literature). Accolades from myriad online ranking services and affordable tuition - which averages just under $8,500 - help make this an all-around strong option for just about any student.
The Baptist College of Florida stands out as one of just a few Christian-affiliated schools on this online English literature degree ranking. Beyond the required 18 credits of biblical and theological classwork required of all BCF students, the English degree incorporates Christian literature and Christian writers into the curriculum and even includes an optional Creative Nonfiction: Writing About Spiritual Experiences course. But it's not all Bible-based; this literature-centric degree also includes plenty of more traditional works. Plus, you can chart your own path for the 33-credit major requirement, choosing from classes that cover Shakespeare, African-American literature, and advanced composition, among other topics.
With frequent start dates, 7.5-week-long courses, and the option to pursue an accelerated, three-year fast-track program, Arizona State University offers an accredited online bachelor's degree in English to meet any schedule. And the curriculum doesn't disappoint, either. By balancing real-world skills - think problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership - with the traditional writing and literature emphases of an English degree, ASU ensures its graduates are ready to find careers in myriad fields. Crave hands-on experience? Choose an optional internship. And if you're local to Arizona, you'll benefit especially strongly from the partnerships the school has fostered with local businesses.
Maryland residents, in particular, will want to check out the cheap online English degree program at the University of Maryland University College. Not only is the degree affordable (average tuition comes in at just under $10,000) but you can also incorporate some hybrid classes for a more traditional college experience. But even if you don't live in state, you can still benefit from this program. That's thanks to a broadly applicable curriculum that focuses on literature while also helping you strengthen your writing skills - all with the ultimate goal of improving your cultural literacy.
The technical writing-focused B.A. at West Virginia State University is a smart choice for students hoping to develop practical, business-centric skills. Not only will you hone your written communication and grammar skills, but you'll study project production, information design, desktop publishing, and other practical topics specific to the field. But this top online bachelor's degree in English also gives you the chance to refine your studies thanks to a cognate requirement. Under the guidance of your advisor, you'll take 12 credit hours of in discipline specifically related to your career goals.
Mercy College's generous transfer policy - which allows you to transfer up to 90 credits from a previous institution - makes it a smart choice if you've taken classes elsewhere. Otherwise, this is an overall solid program with plenty to offer any learner. The curriculum is primarily literature-focused, although you have the option to pursue a four-credit Language and Writing track while earning this cheap English degree online. And if you're planning to pursue a master's degree in English, you'll want to consider the 4+1 program, through which you can earn your M.A. at an accelerated pace. Note that the program does have an 18-credit residency requirement, so you'll want to make sure you have some travel flexibility if you live outside New York state.
Aspiring writers will want to consider Clayton State University. At this Georgia school, first-year students receive plenty of assistance as they develop and strengthen their core communication skills. As you move through the program, advanced courses will also help you hone various rhetorical strategies. Plus, you can participate in extracurricular opportunities and even publish your work in a yearly highlight reel. Want to refine your skills even further? Opt for a Writing concentration, which will introduce you to digital, multimedia, technical, and other types of writing. Or if you'd prefer to pursue an affordable online English literature degree, choose the Literature concentration. This option focuses primarily on British and American writers, although it also includes a rotating Cultural Studies course.
Courses such as Peace Literature, Literature of Personal Discovery, and Protest Literature ensure you'll have plenty of stimulating discussions and debates as you earn a cheap Bachelor of Arts in English online through Ottawa University. This program is a particularly smart choice if you want to move beyond the traditional canon; faculty takes pains to accommodate shifts in canonicity, theory and pedagogical research, and the curriculum explores a variety of multicultural viewpoints and writers. While literature courses comprise the bulk of the curriculum, you'll also strengthen your composition skills with options for both creative and expository writing courses. Lastly, a required linguistics class and an integrative, theory-based capstone round out this comprehensive program.
The University of Memphis differentiates itself from other schools on this online English literature degree ranking with unique (yet practical) concentrations in Professional Writing and African American Literature. The former offers training in technically-minded subjects (like web and scientific writing), while the latter introduces you to works from both before and after the Harlem Renaissance. Beyond these niche concentrations, the program also shines for its internship opportunities, which you can browse using a custom-built online search tool just for UM undergraduates. Add in multiple undergraduate scholarships and flexible, asynchronous classes and this B.A. becomes a great all-around appealing option.
Another great choice for military personnel, the veteran-founded National University offers a B.A. with an optional concentration in creative writing. Both service members and their families qualify for discounts on the already affordable tuition, and flexible scheduling means active-duty service members can easily fit school into their busy lifestyles. As you earn this top Bachelor of Arts in English online, you'll study British, American, and contemporary world literature, with the option of taking classes in Latin American and African American literature as well. The school also offers some particularly unique concentrations, including Nature Writing and Interactive Storytelling.
For a broadly applicable English degree that won't break the bank, look to Troy University. This Alabama institution offers a cheap online bachelor's degree in English that helps students fine-tune their writing skills while exposing them to primarily American and British literature. The degree is an especially smart choice for veterans and service members thanks to Troy's military-friendly designation. The school runs both brick-and-mortar and virtual Troy for Troops centers that provide academic support, financial recommendations, counseling, and other resources. Speaking of finances, veterans will want to make sure to visit Troy's financial aid office to take advantage of special military-oriented funding opportunities.
Indiana University-East stands out on this English degree online ranking for one reason: Its BA includes a concentration in Technical and Professional Writing. Whereas similar programs often include just a couple classes in these topics, IUE lets you take a deeper dive. It's a great way to bolster these unique writing skills and help your resume stand out from the crowd. And if you're not interested in technical or professional writing, you'll still want to consider the program. The classes in grammar, usage, and composition are applicable to diverse writing styles and professions.
Columbia College's unique electives help it stand out on this English degree online ranking. Although primarily a literature-centric program that focuses on British and American works, you can use your 18 credits of major electives to explore a variety of niche areas. Options include Native American literature and world literature, along with courses in writing and composition. You might also opt to complete an internship, although it's certainly not required. In general, the program aims to develop both your writing and critical thinking skills, making it applicable to a variety of professions beyond the standard fields for English majors (e.g. teaching and writing).
You'll choose between part- and full-time study when you enroll in Eastern Oregon University's accredited online English degree program, making it a solid choice for working adults with busy schedules. This flexibility also extends to the curriculum. Rather than being prescriptive, Eastern Oregon University lets you essentially design your own course of study from a wide range of course options covering different academic fields. For example, one course requirement allows you to take either Methods of Tutoring or Introduction to News Writing depending on your interests. Not sure how to reach your goals? Ask your dedicated online advisor, a personal coach who will be by your side from day one.
Experiential learning isn't always top of mind for English majors, but the University of Colorado - Denver thinks it should be. As such, the school offers a few options for hands-on learning as you complete this accredited English degree online. These include study abroad programs and internships in fields such as publishing, copywriting, public relations, teaching, and more. Keep in mind that because this is a writing-centric program, most courses focus on composition, narrative, and style, with fewer literature classes than comparable programs. There's even a unique Multimedia Composition course that helps you translate your storytelling skills to alternative forms, such as video, music, or photography.
For a literature-focused program, look to the University of Central Florida. Not only does the degree introduce students to a variety of writers, but it also includes required literary history courses that provide a broad context for what you're reading. You'll also take a few writing courses to round out your studies, with options that touch on creative, professional, and technical writing to meet your interests. This cheap online English literature degree is also a great choice if you want a speedy program. UCF says dedicated learners can finish in just two years, thanks in part to a dedicated Success Coach who provides guidance during your studies.
As a private institution dedicated to helping adults earn their degrees while continuing to work, it's no surprise that Heritage University earns a spot on this online bachelor's degree in English ranking. Aside from its focus on non-traditional learners, Heritage also stands out for it multicultural approach to teaching. Whereas many English programs primarily include works by white - and often male - writers, Heritage takes pains to include marginalized voices. And the focus here isn't simply on analyzing literature; rather, faculty encourages students to use what they read to build a foundation upon which they develop their own creative identities. Practically speaking, the degree also attracts applicants for its flexibility: You can choose asynchronous or live courses and incorporate in-person classes at the Toppenish, Washington, campus.
For a faith-based English program, look to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. All degrees at this Florida school incorporate biblical teachings (including 18 hours of general biblical studies courses) and a Christian worldview. Plus, its accredited online English degree program offers a TESOL track that will prepare you to conduct ministry work with non-English speakers. Not interested in teaching? The program also provides tracks in Literature and Writing. The former includes both the traditional secular canon and Christian-specific works, while the latter introduces you to myriad styles of both fiction and nonfiction writing.
The University of Illinois at Springfield's B.A. is a degree-completion program designed for non-traditional students. Most applicants have either already earned their associate's or have a significant number of transferable college credits. If you fit this description, you can enroll in this affordable Bachelor of Arts in English online to access a broad range of classes covering literature, rhetoric, composition, and research methods. Depending on your interests, you can further refine your studies with electives such as Professional Writing, Editing, or even film- and drama-specific writing courses. Plus, you'll design your senior capstone based on your personal career goals, giving you the chance to carry out research and investigate potential professions.
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