Skip to main content
Woman typing on a laptop, with text "Adetokunbo Osinowo '20"

Online English Degree Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Clock Icon
Register By: February 25 Classes Start: February 27

Earn an Online English Degree

  • $320/credit (120 credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Choose from a range of courses
  • Use experiential learning to hone skills
  • No application fee
  • No SAT/ACT scores required

Online English Degree Program Overview

If English majors get a bad rap, why did so many of today’s greatest minds choose English degrees? Barbara Walters, John Legend, Steven Spielberg – the list goes on and on.

Do you have a talent for diving into a topic and finding intriguing connections? Do you have a natural curiosity, a love for learning and a passion for storytelling? If you answered yes to all of the above, you’re a perfect fit for SNHU’s online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English.

As an English major, you’ll gain a vital skill set that’s highly sought after. That same skill set is also crucial to long-term career growth in virtually any field.

In a wide-ranging study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 95.9% of employers consider oral and written communication skills as an essential quality in a prospective hire.1 Though employers are looking for strong communication skills in their employees, only about 41.6% of new hires actually demonstrate proficiency in this area.1 In nearly every industry, the ability to harness the power of the written word has emerged as one of the 21st century’s most critical career skills.

Like all liberal arts majors, English degree programs develop enduring skills that transfer easily to nearly every profession. This English degree focuses on many of the most valued skills highlighted in a report by Burning Glass Technologies, including2:

  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity and presentation skills
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Organization and research

As an English major, you might be asked to interpret implied meaning in a text or support an idea with a logical, organized argument. You might need to proofread a paper or research and document sources. You might make an oral presentation or team up with peers. In each case, you’ll be constantly improving these skills throughout your coursework.

Checklist Icon

What You'll Learn

  • Build critical thinking, research and problem-solving skills
  • Develop cultural literacy across periods and places
  • Analyze literary form, genre, structure and style
  • Construct a logical, organized argument
  • Team up with peers on group projects

Laptop Icon

How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom, and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Career Outlook

This online English degree opens up a diverse range of career choices. You can take the traditional route and go into advertising, marketing or public relations. Or you can choose career paths in many areas, including: human resources, management, sales or nonprofit administration. With additional training and certification, you could also explore teaching as a career path.

Likewise, the program is an excellent springboard for graduate studies in history, political science or a master’s closely related to your English degree. Among your options at SNHU are the online master's in communication, online master's in English, online master's in creative writing and online MFA in creative writing.

The online English degree curriculum provides built-in career-enhancing opportunities, including:

  • Up to 6 credits in experiential learning or internship
  • 33 free electives that let you minor in an area that enhances your marketability, such as project management or professional writing

Even a handful of marketable skills can make a big difference in today’s job market. A 2019 study by the Strada Institute for the Future of Work found a consistent trend: Liberal arts majors commonly transition from their first job into high-skill, high-demand careers in marketing, advertising and public relations.3

The Strada study also showed a gainful pattern of career moves among liberal arts majors. Whether starting out in sales, office administration or journalism, large numbers of liberal arts graduates move into marketing, advertising or PR by their third job. Another sizable portion of liberal arts majors shift to management or human resources within the same timeframe.

Both groups tend to reach their peak earning years by their late 30s or early 40s. In fact, according to the Strada study, the income growth of that age group outpaces the majority of other majors, including business, healthcare, social sciences and even STEM degree holders.

Growth Icon

Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in media and communication roles is projected to grow 6% through 2031.4

Salary Icon

Salary

In 2021, the median annual wage for media and communication roles was $62,340.4

It's important to keep in mind the fast rate of change in today's job market. As automation and artificial intelligence invade the workplace, skills like critical thinking and storytelling will be in even higher demand.

Lindsey Ranstrom with the text Lindsey Ranstrom“As more and more jobs become automated, new needs, new jobs and departments that haven't even been conceptualized, will emerge,” said Lindsey Ranstrom, an adjunct instructor and former career advisor at SNHU. “It is here that the liberal arts major will excel because of their ability to communicate and story tell.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals with a bachelor's degree in English may carve out career paths4 in many areas, including:

Copywriter or Content Writer

Copywriters and content writers often work for advertising or marketing firms but can also work as freelance writers. Copywriters develop a craft driven by ideas or concepts. They specialize in writing short copy, such as digital ads, email marketing campaigns and social media marketing. Content writers often write longer pieces such as blog posts, ebooks and white papers. 

Public Relations Specialist

Working in public relations, either as a member of a large PR firm or a small private company, means being the main link between a business or agency and the general public. This requires communicating daily with internal and external groups, including customers and reporters. Job responsibilities include writing press releases, looking for opportunities to raise an organization’s profile and serving as a spokesperson.

Technical Writer

Technical writers are responsible for the instruction manuals and other materials that communicate complicated technical information to a user. The task of technical writers is to translate specialized technical information into plain language for a general reader. In other words, they have to be able to understand the technical information and processes and then write about them in a non-technical way.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online English Degree

Learn the Skills You Need To Succeed

Christopher LeeDr. Christopher Lee, SNHU associate dean of liberal arts

“I think people don’t think as widely as they might about areas they can go into with an English degree. Every professional career wants you to read something and have a comprehensive understanding of the material. Those are all the things that are learned studying English.”

Courses & Curriculum

Our online English degree courses are taught by accomplished instructors with deep industry insights and a passion for literary pursuits. Many are published authors. Some specialize in genres such as medieval literature or young adult fiction.

The curriculum includes a mix of literature and writing courses. Dr. Christopher Lee, SNHU associate dean of liberal arts, points out that by reading great literature, students learn about other cultures and develop emotional intelligence and empathy. “There’s a large amount of self-knowledge you also gain,” he said. “You learn about yourself. You learn about humanity and history.”

Audrey Greathouse with the text Audrey GreathouseAnchored by a curriculum that encourages collaboration, students also learn from each other. Audrey Greathouse ’15 earned her online English degree at SNHU and later went on to publish a bestselling novel, “The Neverland Wars.” She credits the program’s curriculum and her instructors with a large part of her success.

“With open arms and a brilliantly simple application process, SNHU welcomed me to a program that challenged me to think for myself, and think a lot!” said Greathouse.

Greathouse also attributes her success to the peer group she got to know throughout her studies. “For almost 3 years now, I have worked with the most ideologically tolerant and intellectually diverse collection of students I’ve ever known,” she said. “With manageable, but deeply intellectually challenging course loads in every class, I really do feel that I had an opportunity here that I wouldn’t have had with any other institution in the country.”

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

Degree-Specific Courses

Students have a wide range of freedom in choosing which literature courses are most appealing to them. Among the more popular options are World Mythology, Nature Writers and The Black Literary Tradition. This program also gives you a choice of creative writing workshops, including Playwriting Workshop, Poetry Writing Workshop, Fiction Writing Workshop and Nonfiction Writing Workshop. 

General Education

All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.

Technology Resources

We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.

Earn Math Credits

Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment. For additional information, or to register for a Pathways to Math Success assessment, contact your admission counselor or academic advisor today.

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

Related Articles

A man with a communications degree at a podium in front of an audience giving an oral presentation.

What Can You Do with a Communications Major?

If you're interested in careers ranging from media relations, marketing, human resources, corporate communication and more, a communications degree may be the best choice for you. By developing your ability to communicate information clearly, you'll equip yourself with the skills for these careers. 
Joan Donovan dressed in graduation cap and gown, holding her SNHU diploma outside of her Florida home.

Special Delivery: 89-Year-Old Receives Her Diploma During the Holidays

Donning a graduation cap and gown, Joan Donovan ’22G stepped outside her Florida home to accept a special delivery: her diploma. Supported by family, friends, instructors, peers and an advisor, the 89-year-old completed her latest goal, a Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing.
Three college students looking at a laptop while they study for a liberal arts degree.

What is a Liberal Arts Degree and What Can You Do With It?

Liberal arts degrees include a range of programs such as communication and psychology. Earning a liberal arts degree can be an effective way to show employers you have the versatility and soft skills necessary to be an asset in a range of professions.

References