English degree programs can cover a wide range of topics, such as creative writing, linguistics, drama and literature, and some programs allow students to focus their studies on a particular interest area within the field. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs are all commonly available.
10 Schools with English Degree Programs
Many schools offer English degree programs, so students may want to consider location and tuition rates when choosing the right institution for them. Ten schools that offer English degree programs are:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition Rate (2015-2016)*|
|Arizona State University||Tempe, AZ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,158 in-state, $25,458 out-of-state (undergrad); $11,304 in-state, $23,274 out-of-state (graduate)|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,037 in-state, $27,365 out-of-state (undergrad); $12,425 in-state, $31,897 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$6,381 in-state, $28,659 out-of-state (undergrad); $12,737 in-state, $29,302 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,790 in-state, $22,210 out-of-state (undergrad); $17,289 in-state, $25,953 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,368 in-state, $22,467 out-of-state (undergrad); $8,872 in-state, $27,715 out-of-state (graduate)|
|The University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,806 in-state, $34,676 out-of-state (undergrad); $10,934 in-state, $20,762 out-of-state (graduate)|
|Texas A & M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,176 in-state, $28,768 out-of-state (undergrad); $8,656 in-state, $18,183 out-of-state (graduate)|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,560 in-state, $36,360 out-of-state (undergrad); $16,122 in-state, $31,674 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of South Florida||Tampa, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$6,410 in-state, $17,324 out-of-state (undergrad); $10,428 in-state, $21,125 out-of-state (graduate)|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$17,514 in-state, $31,346 out-of-state (undergrad); $20,270 in-state, $34,084 out-of-state (graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
The great number of available degree programs in English means that students can make a decision based on many different factors. Consider the following when looking for English degree schools:
- There are many different potential majors and areas of concentration within an English degree program, and students should make sure that the school provides sufficient resources in their particular interest area.
- Some students may prefer smaller school and class sizes to increase their opportunities to gain individualized feedback.
- For students who prefer distance learning, many schools offer students the option of taking courses partially or totally online.
- Some schools may have members of a department with a background in fiction, journalism, publishing or other fields of English in which students may be interested. Doctoral students should enroll at a school where they can find an advisor with whom they share research interests.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in English typically provide a broad overview of the field. Students study literature from multiple historical time periods and cultural settings, and they are exposed to different types of literature, including film, fiction and poetry. Intensive writing requirements help students develop skills in different types of writing, such as argumentation and literary analysis. In addition, some schools allow English majors to pursue a concentration in creative writing.
Master's Degree Programs
In Master of Arts (MA) in English programs, students are required to take advanced courses in research methods, literary theory and literature from several different eras. Many schools allow students to choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks; non-thesis students may take additional coursework or develop a portfolio instead. Some programs also require students to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language prior to graduation. In total, MA programs usually take two years to complete.
Another degree option at the master's level is the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. These highly competitive programs usually only accept a few students per year, and they consist of a combination of advanced English coursework and writing workshops in which students hone their skills in a particular specialty genre, such as fiction, poetry or nonfiction. Some programs also provide students with undergraduate teaching opportunities or the chance to work on literary publications. Depending on the school, MFA in Creative Writing programs last for either two or three years.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Students in PhD in English programs generally take advanced coursework similar to that found in master's degree programs; in fact, some schools allow students to earn an MA as an intermediate degree on the way to a PhD. However, after spending the first two years taking comprehensive classes, PhD candidates dedicate another two to four years conducting advanced research on a particular topic of interest, leading to a final dissertation and oral defense. They also develop their pedagogical skills by teaching undergraduate English courses. After finishing a PhD, most graduates go on to academic research and teaching positions at colleges or universities.
English degree programs are widely available at both the graduate and undergraduate level, so students are free to choose the school that best fits their needs and learning goals. The broad-reaching nature of the field means there may be a lot of variation in curriculum from school to school.