Online programs in English provide a flexible and cost-effective way for students to earn a degree in the discipline. Self-paced degree options allow for 24/7 access to resources, and real-time programs offer a great balance of online and in-person engagement. A lot goes into an online English program, however, from finding the right program to enrollment to graduation. The following page helps prospective English majors on the front end via an easy-to-use search tool that highlights online programs from some of today’s top post-secondary institutions. And for students still contemplating their higher educational journey, the page also contains a detailed guide to online English degrees, starting at the two-year level and moving all the way to the doctorate.
Many schools offer online programs in English and the humanities, but some do it better than others. Though online programs traditionally give students more flexibility than the their brick-and-mortar counterparts can provide, some of them have gone above and beyond to ensure that students get the most out of their program as possible. The following English programs have proven to offer the very best in their online program offerings, and have made our list of Best English and Humanities Degrees for 2017.
Every online English program is different. Some have strong focus on writing, while others tend to concentrate on critical analysis of past and present literature. And some may have years of experience delivering online programs in the field, while their counterparts may be relatively new to the game. With all these potential variations in mind, just about every online program in English should have certain primary characteristics – indicators of a quality higher educational opportunity. When researching programs, keep the following elements front of mind.
Schools with regional accreditation have been meticulously reviewed and ultimately approved by an independent agency to guarantee that it meets high and consistent academic standards. Accredited online English programs have met a set of universally accepted standards, which are recognized by other schools, employers and the government.
Depending on the region of the country, or the type of school you choose, it should be accredited by an officially recognized body. Supplemental accreditation may be given by the Commission on English Language (CEA) Program, which is a specialized accreditation program, recognized by the Secretary of Education. The CEA grants accreditation both in the United States and internationally.
There is a proven link between the level of student support and graduation rates. An advisor should get to know the students they are helping, and guide them from enrollment to graduation. If the student wishes, he or she should be able to choose a different advisor than the one he or she was assigned. Upon graduation, alumni should — for the rest of their lives — receive support from their school in job placement or in the pursuit of further post-secondary education.
Online education requires a sophisticated level of supporting resources to be successful. Since the student will be limited to only (or mostly) digital interaction, it is important to look for communication technology, remote support, digital libraries and other supporting platforms and materials.
Students must be able to choose from a variety of schedules that fit their lifestyles and conform to the needs of their other responsibilities. Courses should be available on a part-time or full-time basis, night and day, and seasonal and out-of-session options should be available. Instructors should teach both at the physical campus and participate in distance learning programs.
The best way to gain an intimate understanding of what it’s like to earn an English degree online is through a discussion with people who have already done it or are currently on their journey. Students and alumni can provide keen insight into the successes and challenges of the entire process, from finding the right program and application to graduation initial employment. This is an interview with Harmon Keller, a recent graduate of U.C. Denver’s Bachelor of Art’s English Writing program.
English and Humanities appear to be majors that are in decline. What steered you in this direction?
Fewer people are pursuing English majors because of the perception that there won’t be a job waiting for you when you graduate. The reality is that most degrees don’t come with a ready-made job. If you’re a specialist, there may be direct link between degree and employment — kind of like, I majored in engineering, and I got hired for an entry-level job with an engineering firm. But otherwise, the reality is that professionals across all industries spend up to 30 percent of their day writing. Strong writing skills ARE sellable. The negative perception of English degrees as unsellable is wrong.
That’s especially true if you’re selling your degree to a graduate program — many English majors pursue higher academics. Is a master’s or PhD in your future?
I like my job. As soon as I start to not like my job — or if I simply want to change paths — there is always that option. An English degree always has kind of like an open invitation to pursue a higher degree. The best master’s programs in the country are fully funded, and when you emerge from the other side, you can teach in high schools, you can teach in junior colleges. Teaching is noble and can be lucrative. It’s not in my immediate future, but an English degree comes with that option.
You came out with a degree in English writing — did you pursue that path from the beginning?
No! My passion was literature — it was one of the only subjects I loved in high school. I have great parents and they gave me great advice — advice that too few children get, I think. They told me to follow my passions and not worry about how I would wrestle a job out of what I was interested in. It was great advice. Literature led to composition, composition led to creative writing and creative writing led to English writing. People think English degrees aren’t marketable. I can’t think of a more marketable skill than strong writing.
How has the digital age affected the study of literature?
Access. A generation ago, you were only exposed to the books that your parents or your teachers exposed you to. You only had access to what was around. The universal access provided by the Internet gives young people access to books, authors, subjects and writings that they would have never otherwise experienced UNTIL they achieved a college level. Now, young people can enter college already having been exposed to all kinds of great work that young people just one generation ago missed out on.
Was it harder to navigate your major, do you think, online than it would have been if you had pursued a traditional, on-campus education?
Not at all. My advisor was awesome — absolutely awesome. She was the one who originally guided me toward creative writing and encouraged me to change my focus as I grew as a student. I never felt like I was alone at home with a computer. I talked to her probably more than I talked to my parents — especially in the beginning. One thing I would say to students is make sure you have an advisor you love. Change advisors if you don’t love them. Great ones are out there and they make all the difference.
Students considering a degree in English have a wide world of possibilities open to them. Whether aspiring to work as a teacher, writer, journalist, or publicist, an online English degree can pave the way to a fulfilling career. With so many options available in degree levels and concentrations, students have many decisions to make before enrolling. Considerations of program flexibility, cost, course length, and student support services are also important. The search tool below helps students by aggregating online English programs matched to all these needs.
|Rank||School Name||Score||Student-Teacher Ratio||Financial Aid||Cost||More Info|
|1||East Tennessee State University||98.49||20:1||94%|
Students enrolled in East Tennessee State University's online Bachelor of Arts in English are required to select one of two 36-hour tracks. The teaching track prepares adults to work as instructors or writing coaches. With the non-teaching track, students prepare for a variety of careers, such as public relations specialists, copywriters, novelists, non-fiction book authors or television scriptwriters. The literary festival and author discussions are opportunities to explore literature and creative writing alongside other professional writers. Course catalogs, transfer information, alumni contacts and financial aid are accessed via Gold Link. Gold Mail and Desire 2 Learn connect students and professors. Live videos, embedded audio recordings and exams are located within Desire 2 Learn.
|2||University of Central Florida||97.76||31:1||96%|
A Bachelor of Arts in English-Creative Writing incorporates the study of language, writing and literature. It prepares graduates for professional careers in law, editing and publishing, teaching, management, consulting, information technology, and graduate study in English or another field. Students must be proficient in or take three semesters of a foreign language. Not all classes are available online. However, up to 45 hours of extension, correspondence, Armed Forces and other transfer credits are allowed. University of Central Florida's Center for Distributed Learning develops resources and courses to ensure that the instruction online is on par with traditional on-campus courses.
|3||University of Illinois at Springfield||97.62||13:1||96%|
Campus-based department faculty and instructors teach all online courses in the University of Illinois at Springfield's English undergraduate degree. The program maintains the traditional semester timeframe but allows students the flexibility to complete coursework on their own time, as long as they are turned in by the deadline. Students must have their general education requirements completed prior to enrolling in this program. The online English program admits students twice per year for the fall and spring semesters and students have full access to campus resources such as career services, technology assistance and tutoring.
|4||University of Memphis||97.59||14:1||97%|
University of Memphis has two concentration options for students who wish to pursue an online bachelor of arts in English: African American literature or professional writing. Students who choose the literature option engage in challenging activities that emphasize close analytical reading and critical thinking skills. Those in the professional writing program learn communication skills that prepare students for careers in business, publishing or technology. The online programs are portable, meaning that students can access their classes anywhere with an Internet connection. Most classes are also asynchronous so students can attend when it's convenient for them.
|5||William Woods University||97.42||10:1||100%|
Williams Woods University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Interpretation Studies in American Sign Language. This degree provides the background students need to work as an ASL-English interpreter. The 8-week courses offer start-and-stop flexibility so students can work at their own pace while still fulfilling personal responsibilities. Graduates are proficient in ASL and eligible to sit for National Interpreter Certification administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The degree also pairs with WWU's education and behavioral sciences majors.
Students aspiring to enter such fields as journalism, public relations, law or business can begin their journey with Northeastern University's online Bachelor of Science in English. Students take courses in English, American and western world literature to develop a deep understanding of various genres and hone their own expository and persuasive writing skills. All lectures, assignments and assessments are delivered through an online learning system and students are encouraged to stay actively engaged and collaborate with peers online. A capstone senior seminar allows students to apply the knowledge they learned in a detailed research project.
|7||Robert Morris University||96.82||15:1||100%|
Students can pursue the Bachelor of Science in business administration with a focus on either general business or on hospitality and tourism management, both offered completely online. Both concentrations include classes in finance, accounting, marketing and management. The business concentration then focuses on strategies in advertising and marketing, consumer and organizational behavior, and human resources, while the hospitality concentration delves into subjects specific to the industry, such as food and beverage operations and meetings and conventions. Graduates of this program may go on to work at cruise lines, resorts, airlines, amusement parks, restaurants, hotels and casinos.
Heritage University's online Bachelor of Arts in English is part of the school's English and Humanities program. It generally takes four years to complete the degree. The educational foundation that students receive sharpens their critical and creative thinking abilities. Required core courses are in communications, philosophy, religion, the arts, history and English. Grant writing, nonprofit leadership roles, research, journalism, copywriting and consulting are some of the careers that graduates could explore. My Heritage is the main platform that's used to deliver distance-learning courses. After logging in, students have access to Webmail, a campus calendar, course schedules, Tegrity Lecture Capture and the virtual bookstore.
|9||Fort Valley State University||96.21||20:1||97%|
Flexibility is available to busy adults with Fort Valley State University's online Bachelor of Arts in Technical and Professional Writing. Although four years are needed to finish the program, opportunities for technical writers are expected to grow. Technical writers are sought by a variety of corporate, small business and nonprofit clients to develop guidebooks, user scripts, call center questions, answer guides and school textbooks. Professional writers interview business leaders, politicians, community leaders and local residents to get details on major and minor events to cover in newspapers, magazines and journals. Brightspace, eCore and Desire 2 Learn are access points to registration, the online library, bookstore, video lectures and student services such as career counseling and academic advising.
|10||Washington University in St Louis||96.08||8:1||55%|
The online Bachelor of Science in English at Washington University based in St. Louis introduces students to literary texts and the origins of western literature and culture. Students develop reading, writing and critical thinking skills that provide a foundation for careers in communication, business, law, social work, fine arts or education. Foundational coursework includes texts and contexts, three historical courses and a variety of advanced-level courses. Online courses are small and use technology to broaden students' opportunities for communication for personal and professional success.
Marylhurst University's online bachelor's in English literature and new media is a unique program that brings together literary studies and digital media. Not only do students study literature and writing, they also explore how these disciplines are impacted by the changing technology in our society. While this is an online program, students do take two three-day campus visits for an orientation and a summer seminar. Students create digital projects in courses that focus on digital storytelling, maps and literature, hypertext and graphic novels. The same instructors teach both the online and traditional on-campus classes, so students have the same quality of instruction no matter where they attend.
|12||Granite State College||95.93||11:1||70%|
Granite State College's online Bachelor of Arts in English helps adults take their passion for literature, writing and language to advanced levels. In addition to working as journalists, editors and communications specialists, graduates could teach communications, marketing or English courses. Critical thinking and research are key skills emphasized by the program. Major courses include Critical Inquiry, The Media and Its Messages, Readings in World Literature and Multicultural Perspectives Through Literature. Adults must finish at least 120 credit hours to earn the degree. My Granite opens the door to orientations, class registration, academic support, degree planning tools, Moodle, Granite campus email and WebROCK.
|13||Central Washington University||95.84||19:1||85%|
Central Washington University's online Bachelor of Arts in English degree includes a professional and creative writing concentration. The professional and creative writing segment of the degree is a 74-credit specialization. Two English courses must be completed before students are accepted into the program. Additional required prerequisites are two years of high school foreign language or one year of college level foreign language. Selected courses in the degree include Principles of English Studies, Writing and Editing for Publication, Poetry and Poetics, and Introduction to Professional Writing. Canvas is a single sign on system that the school uses to house class schedules, projects, tests and student support resources.
King University's Bachelor of Arts in English is a fully online, accredited degree program focused primarily on language and literature. Program emphasis is on research, analysis, oral communication and critical thinking. At least 124 semester-hours are needed to graduate. Adults need no less than 45 semester-hours of coursework to be accepted into the program. Electives, core, and general education courses fulfill the requirements. Examples of general education courses are math, English composition, humanities and science. King's My King interface connects adult learners and professors. After completing the degree, graduates could work in communications, journalism, politics, private organizations, corporations or for nonprofits.
|15||University of Denver||95.71||11:1||85%|
The online Bachelor of Arts in English Writing from the University of Denver provides skills outside of the traditional degree program. Students learn to work independently, manage their time, research written works, develop critical reasoning and analysis, and think creatively. Class sizes are small with only about 17 students per faculty member, allowing students frequent opportunities to interact with their professors. The online degree mirrors the on-campus program, so students may choose to take a traditional course from time to time throughout their program. Graduates go on to careers in entertainment, publishing, government and business.
|16||Southern New Hampshire University||95.38||26:1||94%|
Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English uses an emphasis on the craft of writing and courses taught by critically acclaimed writers to inspire student writers. As they experience all forms of fiction students continue to fine tune writing skills and philosophy of composition. Students are also encouraged to expand their knowledge of the publishing industry and technologies. Online students receive support from dedicated admission, academic and career advisors. They take classes over six 9-week terms per year and have access to a nationwide network of alumni for internship, networking and career opportunities.
|17||Old Dominion University||95.26||20:1||82%|
Aspiring technical writers can gain the degree and training they need in a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing from Old Dominion University. The online experience at ODU follows the university's regular academic calendar, and classes are offered both live and asynchronously. Most assignments are submitted via Blackboard, the online course management system, and web conferencing allows students to make presentations in real time. Students may transfer up to 90 credit hours and they are encouraged to take a 10-question assessment to determine if ODU and online learning are the best choices for them.
|18||Arizona State University-Tempe||95.08||23:1||91%|
The Bachelor of Arts in English can be completed fully online through the Tempe campus of Arizona State University, typically in four to five years. Coursework takes a cross-disciplinary approach, focusing on oral and written communications, creativity, problem solving and analytical thinking-a skill set designed to give students competence in conceiving and writing engaging content in both print and digital spaces. An online student orientation provides an overview of the school's support and distance learning resources; many documents are delivered online, and videos may be embedded inside courses or delivered through the student's computer video player.
Students who pursue an online English degree at Mercy College are prepared to write, to analyze and comprehend text, and to speak effectively. These basic communication skills are important components for preparation in nearly every career. While all students take English literature survey courses, elective courses include the Bible as Literature, Literature and Psychology, Black Atlantic:Lit/ History, Introduction to Playwriting, Applied English Grammar and Publicity Writing. Applicants to this program must have taken two prerequisite English courses and they may transfer up to 90 credits from another institution, depending on the type of institution.
|20||California Baptist University||94.70||18:1||95%|
Students who have an Associate degree can complete California Baptist University's virtual Bachelor of Arts in English in 16 months. Courses including Introduction to Creative Writing, Multicultural Literature, Literary Theory and Criticism, and Language Structure and Acquisition give graduates the tools to work as digital or print writers. Careers for technical writers are expected to grow by 15 percent from 2012 through 2022. While seeing slower growth, creative writers who possess strong business acumen have new opportunities with landing pages, business to customer sales emails, websites, and digital magazines and newspapers. While completing the 48-unit online English degree, students use LancerMail and Blackboard to get and submit assignments.
Opportunities to learn and gain skills to succeed at different writing-focused careers are available through Clarion University's online Bachelor of Arts in English degree. Expanded opportunities are possible through concentrations like writing, creative writing, literature and professional writing and rhetoric. Public relations, advertising, marketing, editing, script writing and technical writing are types of careers that the degree prepares students for. It takes 120 credit hours to graduate. MyClarion is the main interface that students log into to retrieve class assignments, receive and send campus email, register for classes and review their school accounts; Eagle Mail, Desire 2 Learn, Clarion Career Connections and CU Connect are other available tools. It's through these tools that students participate in student organizations and sign up for career fairs.
Columbia College's online Bachelor of Arts in English prepares students for careers as educators, editors, marketing and advertising supervisors and as full-time or freelance writers. Students could also go on to enroll in graduate English, communications or literature programs after earning this degree. Administered by the humanities department, the program requires 120 semester hours, including one foreign language course, ethics, creative writing, technical writing and an English internship. Students may transfer 36 credits when they are accepted as candidates for a Bachelor of Arts in English and must pass the English Senior Seminar in order to complete the program. For online learners, there is a virtual MBS bookstore, online staff, email, and a career center.
|23||Missouri State University||94.43||20:1||89%|
The online Bachelor in Professional Writing from Missouri State University helps students develop writing and computer skills they can apply toward a career in writing, editing, publication production, and project management. Students learn in a self-paced environment using chat rooms, discussion boards and the school's online course management system. The degree requires a minor or second major, which students can complete online or through a combination of online and evening courses. Students have access to career counseling as well as other services that on-campus students receive.
|24||University of Massachusetts-Amherst||93.65||18:1||88%|
An online Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts emphasizes writing and critical thinking, providing numerous career opportunities for graduates. Curriculum is based on British and American literature, contemporary methods of criticism, research, and writing practice. Courses include Theories of Rhetoric and Composition, History of the English language, English Studies in a Digital Environment and Introduction to Creative Writing. Courses are available year round, and students may enroll part-time or full-time. Technical support and academic advisors are accessible to online students 24/7, and program coordinators are available to help throughout the program.
Regent University has a diverse online bachelor's degree in English with a number of concentration options - biblical studies, communication, government, French, history, Hispanic studies, secondary education, Spanish and creative writing. Throughout the program, students grow to understand and articulate their Christian worldview through reasoning and communication. Developing reading, writing and thinking skills helps students become more marketable in the workforce after graduation. Graduates go on to careers in journalism, education, ministry and the performing arts. Students access course materials through Blackboard and can log in to participate in class discussions and submit assignments when it's convenient for them.
|26||Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College||93.40||8:1||100%|
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College's online bachelor's degree can prepare a graduate for jobs in government, higher education, public relations, or advertising, as well as master's degrees in law or communication. The degree is fully online and runs on the same calendar as traditional on-campus programs. This allows a student the opportunity to visit campus to interact with peers and faculty members. While students can submit individual assignments online, there is a structured assignment deadline. Students can gain real-world experience and boost their writing portfolio by publishing for the school's literary magazine or newspaper and take advantage of the career development center to network with experts. A virtual internship program allows distance-learning students to collaborate with one another online.
In National University's online Bachelor of Arts in English, students study literary analysis, diversity, critical thinking, and written and oral communication skills through the study of literature, composition, language and linguistics, and communication. Students interact with peers through email and online chat programs and National's unique student concierge service ensures that students stay on the right track. Prospective students can preview an online course to see if the format and structure is a good fit for their learning style. This degree prepares students for a variety of careers including teaching, media and writing. Many students also go on to graduate work or professional studies.
|28||Thomas Edison State University||93.05||20:1||N/A|
Individuals looking for a way to advance in their careers, continue their education, or enjoy personal development can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English online. This degree gives students a broad background in traditional liberal arts subjects as they gain a stronger hold of the English language. Course topics include information literacy, civic engagement, oral and written communication, survey of literature and more. Students receive support from mentors and instructors and have a wide range of electives from which to choose. They communicate with one another through online chat groups and benefit by learning from other professionals in other industries.
|29||University of Maryland-University College||93.03||17:1||77%|
Students in the University of Maryland University College online bachelor's degree in English program study literature and writing to improve cultural literacy. Students learn gain analytical, critical and communication skills while in the program, preparing them for careers in education, law, publishing, public relations, media or business. UMUC's Learning Experience Online offers an interactive calendar to track assignments and deadline, access to course materials on a smartphone or tablet and audio messaging that provides students with fast access to instructor feedback.
A variety of writing styles are taught through Indiana University's online Bachelor of Arts in English, Technical and Professional Writing. Emphasis of the program is on professional and technical writing, however the degree prepares adults to work as grant writers, corporate communications managers, newspaper reporters, technical writers, marketing specialists and copywriters. Adults can use the degree to start their graduate English studies, teach English or work as writing consultants. A 2.0 GPA is required and up to 64 credits can be transferred into the program. Students use IU Online, Canvas, UMail, OneStart and Oncourse for registration, classes, tutoring and advising support.
|31||University of Houston-Victoria||92.83||17:1||96%|
An online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities-English provides a liberal arts education that's valuable in a wide range of careers, such as advertising, education, public relations, government and business. Discussion groups and lectures are delivered in narrated slides rather than traditional brick-and-mortar classes. Online students at the University of Houston-Victoria can attend class and access materials at any time that is convenient to them with access to support staff members who can help throughout their program. A student success center also provides assistance through a peer education program and online tutoring.
An online Bachelor of Arts in English from Ottawa University emphasizes the importance of language and creative writing as students develop their own voices and creative expression as writers. Students take classes in contemporary literature, literary criticism, literature of personal discovery, and creative writing. Designed for working adults, the program allows them the flexibility they need to maintain their professional and personal obligations. Students can transfer up to 80 credit hours for this degree, which is 100 percent online with no required outside study groups. Students can access materials and complete assignments on their own time.
|33||Antioch University-Los Angeles||88.53||8:1||N/A|
The broad educational base offered by a degree in English can lead to careers in writing and editing books, developing content for corporate marketing departments, or conducting research for journals or consumer periodicals, among many others. With a concentration in literature and creative writing, the online Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Antioch University in Los Angeles explores classic and American literature, contemporary writings and language development; theater, radio and television writing also fit into the studies. A virtual writing center is available for students to get support with projects.
Many English graduates pursue careers as elementary or secondary English teachers. But an online degree in English does not confine a graduate to a career in education. The New York Times recently called English specifically, and the humanities in general, “a set of disciplines that is ultimately an attempt to examine and comprehend the cultural, social and historical activity of our species through the medium of language.” Many former online English majors find success in journalism, publishing, technical writing, non-profit grant writing or public relations. An undergraduate degree in English is often a precursor to further and often-lengthy educational pursuits, such as master’s and doctoral English degrees. These advanced degrees enable them to become post-secondary English professors or to take part in academic research and scholarly literature reviews.
Online English degree programs generally follow the same schedule as similar coursework in the traditional setting. Starting at the level of a two-year Associate of Arts degree, English majors have the potential to spend much of their adult life in school, possibly emerging more than a decade later with a PhD, only to go on to teach the subject matter. Because of the inherent flexibility of online English programs, timelines can vary tremendously from student to student, program to program, school to school.
Many junior colleges, community colleges and other two-year institutions offer English programs online. They commonly include courses in communications, fine arts and the humanities, although mostly focus on English itself. Potential students are usually required to submit high school transcripts, as well as results of standardized tests, such as SAT scores. The coursework involves core classes and electives, and students could be required to pursue foreign language classes, as well. Successful completion of an associate degree provides a strong foundation for students seeking to transfer into baccalaureate programs at four-year schools. Although a BA in English may be required for entry-level teaching positions, an associate degree may suffice for students hoping to gain employment in business, government, civic organizations, authors or technical writers.
An online bachelor's degree in English affords graduates an enhanced ability to clearly articulate ideas through the written word, as well as a proven ability to digest colossal amounts of written material. A four-year English degree prepares students for a range of career opportunities or further educational pursuits. Most online English programs are offered as either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Liberal Arts degrees. Often, students who haven't fully decided will pursue a liberal arts degree with a concentration in English. Although most online English programs are identical to their traditional counterparts on a physical campus, some require students to first complete a set amount of general coursework before enrolling. Like equal degrees achieved through campus-based learning, online English degree programs take four years — or 120 credits — to achieve, unless a student has achieved credit through the completion of an Associate of Arts degree or if they transferred in from another college or university.
Earning an English degree at the four-year level often calls for specialization. Students take general English classes, of course, but in years three and four, steer toward more specific concepts. The following represent common areas of focus in English and literature at the bachelor’s level:
British/Anglophone literature: Concentrates on Anglophone European literature, historical and contemporary British literature and literature from the colonial period. Coursework may include fiction, theater, poetry and the analysis of genres and authors, including those from Ireland Wales and the other parts of Great Britain. Early and contemporary work may be explored, and although students will be exposed to a wide range of classic masters, virtually all British literature classes will expose students to Shakespeare, the most widely read author in the history of the English language.
American literature: American literature classes often introduce students to the transcendentalist movement, literature from the several Great Awakenings, writings from the women's movement, the era of slavery and the abolitionist movement. Classics, realism and naturalism are all common genres, and courses are frequently categorized by century or period. Poetry, fiction and drama spanning from the early colonial era to contemporary times are all candidates for academic exploration.
Creative writing: These online English programs concentrate largely on fiction, poetry and nonfiction, creative writing focuses on exercises, lessons, group writing, sharing and workshop-style presentations and critiques. This concentration exposes students to a variety of different styles and formats, and gives them an opportunity to create their own work.
Gender, ethnic or movement literature: Introduces students to literature by and about different sub-groups within American society, such as African-American literature, Women's literature or Latino literature. Classes often pose a central question regarding the impact of literature on a movement, such as "how did literature affect the Suffrage movement?" Sometimes a single book — as in the case of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" — defined an entire historical movement.
Other primary courses include:
It takes longer to achieve a PhD in English than it does for students in many other fields of study. The average timeline is 8.2 years, with some students not receiving their PhD until their mid-to-late 30s (Source: Modern Language Association, Association of Departments of English). Many universities, however, have attempted to tighten these timelines over the last several years — and distance-learning programs are at the forefront of that movement. Some online English doctorates last between five and seven years. The first two years are often dedicated to fulfilling course requirements and preparation for a preliminary exam. The third year often focuses on the preliminary written exam, culminating in an oral defense of the exam. It is typical for the fourth and perhaps fifth year to entail the completion of a prospectus and dissertation research. With the fifth year and beyond dedicated to the writing and defense of a dissertation, in conjunction with teaching.