Online Literature Degree Program Options

Dec 03, 2019

Get information about online literature degree programs. Read about program requirements and details, course descriptions, as well as various career options for graduating students.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in literature commonly offer coursework entirely online, although programs that allow students to take both on-campus and online classes are also available. Undergraduate programs are usually multidisciplinary, allowing students to take courses in a range of literary areas. Online bachelor's degree programs focusing on literature are typically offered as English or English literature majors; online programs in English are rather common. Also, some fields of study, like humanities, may offer a literature concentration.

Online master's degree programs in literature can also be completed entirely via distance learning. At the graduate level, programs may be specialized in areas like art, culture, and literature; multicultural English literature; or children's literature. Master's degree programs in English are also commonly offered online.

Apart from degree programs, a few graduate certificate programs in literature can also be found in an online format. These programs may be designed for professionals working as librarians or teachers seeking further specialization. These programs may also be offered in an emphasis area.

Bachelor's Degrees in Literature

Online bachelor's degree programs in literature typically provide students with a solid foundation in literature, along with the opportunity to explore different genres. Students learn how literature reflects and captures a culture through the study of symbolism and literary themes. These programs can lead to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.

Bachelor's Program Information and Requirements

The online bachelor's degree programs typically take about four years to complete and can be taken entirely online, without any on-campus visits. However, some programs offer a hybrid program, which has both online and on-campus courses.

Master's Degrees in Literature

In order to be eligible for an online master's degree, students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Students can choose from a Master of Education or a Master of Arts. Both degrees touch on the historical aspects of literature, exploring myths, stories, and literary trends. There are only a few online master's programs in literature available in the U.S.

Program Information and Requirements

Online master's degree programs typically take two years to complete and the program is available completely online. Students may select a track or an emphasis, such as children's literature, and complete courses related to that specialization.

Graduate Certificates in Literature

Most online graduate certificates in literature focus on literary works for children and young adults. Students study classic as well as modern children's literature. These certificate programs are available to students who have previously earned a bachelor or master's degree in library science, education, English, or a related field. These programs, which are strong in the arts, aren't widely available online. Graduate certificates are available at the post-master's and post-bachelor's level.

Program Information and Requirements

The online graduate certificates in literature typically take a year to complete. The courses are available completely online, without any on-campus requirements, though some may require that students complete an internship.

Common Requirements for All Online Degree Programs

In order to complete an online degree program, students must have a valid e-mail address and access to a computer with high-speed Internet. In addition, computer software programs such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Word may be required. Students access courses through Blackboard or another educational server, or through an open courseware format. These software applications allow students to interact with other students, watch videos, listen to lectures and complete assignments entirely online.

Career Information

With a bachelor's degree in literature, individuals can become writers, authors, editors, copywriters, poets or English teachers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May of 2018 writers and authors earned an annual median wage of $62,170 and editors made $59,480. Middle school teachers earned $58,600 in annual median wages and high school teachers made $60,320 (

A master's degree program in literature can lead to a variety of career options. As with the bachelor's degree program, students can pursue careers as writers, authors and editors. Some online master's degree programs also provide students with the opportunity to pursue careers in education, screenwriting and literary research.

Graduates of this program can often find careers as young adult or children's librarians. They may also work as English teachers. According to the BLS, in May of 2018 the median annual salary for librarians was $59,050.

Online literature degree programs are offered at the bachelor's degree, master's degree and graduate certificate levels. These programs prepare students for careers in teaching, writing, editing, and in libraries.

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