Most online bachelor's degree programs in English come in the form of either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Liberal Arts degrees. Some distance learning institutions grant bachelor's degrees specifically in English, while others offer English as a concentration within general liberal arts degree programs. Completion of general education coursework is sometimes required prior to program enrollment.
Students in distance learning English bachelor's degree programs receive the same educations as their on-campus counterparts. However, some institutions require students to complete their mandatory general education coursework prior to enrolling in their online programs. These core courses can often be taken at the university's physical location, or transferred over from another institution. It typically takes four years of full-time study to earn a bachelor's degree, but students who already have an associate's degree or some number of college credits that meets general education requirements could finish in less time.
Online English bachelor's degree programs educate students fully in written and verbal elements of the English language, from creative writing to speech analysis. Degree holders will be able to identify, analyze and execute many different types of writing. These include journalism, business proposals, non-fiction, and fiction. Many online degree programs provide particularly in-depth literature curricula complete with course topics spanning across a variety of cultures and time periods, both historical and contemporary.
Many online degree programs allow students to choose from several areas of concentration, including creative or technical writing, literature, and linguistics. Some distance learning institutions offer general liberal arts bachelor's degrees with English concentrations, which are ideal for students who haven't yet decided on an exact career path. Topics covered in online courses include the following:
- American and British Literature
- Technical and Professional Writing
- Creative Writing
- Linguistic Communication
- English Composition
- Persuasive and Argumentative Writing
- Literary Analysis and Criticism
Many institutions offer English degrees that can be earned solely online, and others require students to complete a small amount of coursework on campus or at nearby off-campus learning centers. Online courses are generally conducted through fully interactive web applications. These applications allow teachers and students alike to electronically exchange questions and ideas in lectures and class discussions, just as they would in a face-to-face class setting.
Possible Career Options
Many English bachelor's degree holders enroll in education certification programs in hopes of pursuing careers as elementary or secondary English teachers. Professionals with bachelor's degrees in English can also pursue careers in journalism, publishing, technical writing, nonprofit grant writing or public relations. Others continue on to master's and doctoral English degree programs, which allow them to become postsecondary English professors or conduct relevant academic research and scholarly literature reviews.
Fully online English bachelor's programs include coursework in writing, critical reading and literary analysis, just like their on-campus counterparts. Earning this degree opens the door to careers in education or communication, and it can prepare students for graduate-level studies.