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In today’s global economy, it’s nearly impossible to find an industry that doesn’t need professional writers. This is specifically true for writers armed with a lot of desirable specialties for the job. Whether it’s scientific, creative, academic, or technical writing, all these play a crucial part in an industry and can be earned through writing bachelor’s degree programs.
Although most colleges and universities do not offer undergraduate degrees solely dedicated to creative writing, students interested in the field may also go for a bachelor’s degree in English programs as these also teach them the necessary skills to thrive as writers.
Programs with courses or concentrations dedicated to the many types of writing will prepare students with critical thinking skills, analysis, rhetorical construction and argument, communication skills, and even the use of mixed media.
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The writing profession involves different occupations. These include the writers behind plays, books, scripts, correspondents, and reporters who produce articles for magazines and newspapers. Technical writers are those who translate complex information to make how-to guides, user manuals, and other instructional materials. This profession also includes other roles like editors who are tasked with reviewing or revising content for publication.
An online bachelor’s degree in Writing is ideal for any of these careers. Writing degrees are usually offered as Bachelor of Arts in English with concentrations in technical writing, professional writing, or creative writing. The Labor Statistics Bureau says the median annual wage for writers and authors is $69,510.
The best part about online writing degree programs is the flexibility they provide for students who are already working professionals. Online programs today typically follow the same curricula as traditional on-campus options and lead to the same advancement opportunities for graduates. Online writing bachelor’s degree programs are also ideal for students who need to balance additional commitments like family or child care.
An online technical writing or creative writing degree usually spans 120 credits. Full-time students can complete the whole online writing degree requirements within four years. As for the cost, each writing program from every school varies, depending on several factors. However, there are online programs that charge flat tuition for online students regardless of residency. Technology fees are important factors. These fees are only applied to online students and not to their on-campus counterparts.
Our list of the 10 best schools that offer a bachelor’s degree in Writing features academic institutions across the US. Each online Writing undergraduate program meets these criteria:
- Features the same rigorous coursework as traditional brick-and-mortar schools,
- Students emerge as competent professionals ready to practice their writing careers or pursue a master’s degree,
- Features admission, graduation requirements, and retention to attest to the school’s efforts in keeping its standards high in producing only the best graduates,
- Offers affordable tuition and several federal aid, financial assistance, and scholarship options,
- Uses the best learning platforms and provides round-the-clock technical support and student services for online learning,
- Handled by competent online professors and instructors who have a strong dedication to shaping the next generation of professional writers through high-quality education,
- Fully accredited by academic organizations.
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9 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree in Writing Programs
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida is a public university located in Orange County, Florida, and is part of the State University System of Florida. The research institution is considered one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country, producing graduates who are workforce ready to propel the future of the country’s tech industry.
The university is home to 13 colleges that offer 101 bachelor’s degree programs, 88 master’s programs, 31 doctoral programs, a professional program, and three specialist programs. UCF also offers more than 90 fully online degrees, including 20 online bachelor’s degrees, 30+ online master’s degrees, 30+ online graduate certificates, and 3 online doctorates.
The College of Arts and Humanities offers a bachelor’s degree in English, Creative Writing concentration. This fully online bachelor’s degree is ideal for aspiring writers in storytelling, prose, and poetry.
- Through this online creative writing degree, students become expert communicators with a deep appreciation of poetry writing, fiction writing, and non-fiction prose.
- This creative writing program will guide students through an understanding of communication, rhetoric, and literary structure within a diverse array of texts.
- This creative writing bachelor’s degree will also stretch the minds and imaginations of online students as they hone their craft, learn how to create poignant narratives, use their critical thinking skills, and develop original content for nonfiction and fiction genres.
This creative writing program is packed with major core courses, including:
Fiction Writing Workshop
This is an intermediate-level fiction writing workshop ideal for English majors; close reading of contemporary fiction and fiction theory; and group analysis and criticism.
Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop
This course focuses on extensive writing practice in poetry, as well as group discussions and peer critique of original manuscripts.
History of Prose Style
This course is a close study of craft and style in creative nonfiction and works of fiction from various periods.
After completing this online degree in creative writing, students should be able to provide and self-edit constructive feedback to others, helping them refine their writing skills and improve their overall craftsmanship. They will also be able to cultivate their ability to evaluate sources, gather relevant data, and assess different perspectives.
This creative writing online degree requires 120 credits to complete. It costs $179.19 and $715.80 per credit hour, for in-state and out-of-state enrollees, respectively.
The University of Central Florida is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-approved school.
Indiana University East
Indiana University East is a public university located in Richmond, Indiana. This regional campus of Indiana University serves the western Ohio and eastern Indiana area. IU East has over 60 academic programs, offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certificates in different areas.
Indiana University East also offers 54 online degrees and certificates. This includes the online Bachelor of Arts in English, Technical, and Professional Writing, designed for people who already have an associate’s degree in writing or those with prior learning credits.
- This online bachelor degree program emphasizes professional and technical writing, where students will have online courses in science writing, professional writing, argumentative writing, grammar and usage, literary interpretation, literature, and advanced technical writing.
- This online writing program teaches students to think critically and listen to questions and data, argue positions, organize thoughts, evaluate the written word, communicate ideas and thoughts efficiently, and think creatively.
- For the tuition, online in-state undergraduate enrollees will pay $242.48 per credit hour, while out-of-state students pay $352.96. Financial aid and scholarships are available as well.
- For veterans and active members of the armed forces, military education benefits are available.
- To earn the degree BA in English, Technical, and Professional Writing, students must complete 120 credit hours. Students can also transfer credits from their associate degree or 64 credit hours from s regionally accredited two-year school, and 90 credit hours from a regionally accredited four-year school.
Indiana University East has earned the approval of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools.
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public university in Iowa City, Iowa. This research institution of higher education is organized into 12 colleges offering seven professional degrees and over 200 areas of study. UI is bent on bringing discovery and learning into the service of Iowa residents, the nation, and the world, improving lives through health care, education, culture and the arts, and community vitality.
The University of Iowa offers several online degree programs as well, including the Bachelor of Applied Studies with an emphasis on creative writing. Through this online creative writing major, students will not only hone their creative writing skills but also build their English language vocabulary and novel writing skills.
- Creative writing majors will have their skills developed in the areas of fiction writing, poetry writing, playwriting, and creative and professional business communication.
- To complete this bachelor of arts with an emphasis on professional and creative writing, students are to have 120 semester hours and a maximum of 60 semester hours, including career-technical coursework from an associate degree at an accredited two-year institution.
The University of Iowa is HLC-accredited.
University of Arkansas- Little Rock
The University of Arkansas-Little Rock is a public metropolitan university located in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is part of the University of Arkansas System. The school provides an accessible, affordable, quality education through flexible learning and unique internship opportunities.
UA Little Rock has more than 60 programs that meet every student’s academic goals and interests. The undergraduate options include bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, as well as minors and certificates. They also have online programs of more than 400 courses and dozens of accredited degree and certificate programs.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Professional & Technical Writing degree offered by UA Little Rock is a 120-credit hour program that students can earn completely online.
- This online bachelor of arts program has a writing and rhetoric track that develops rhetorical and written literacy through coursework that provides students with skills in editing, practical writing, and document design for the 21st century.
- This professional writing program teaches distance learners how to design specific documents that must meet the need of specific readers and groups. They will also learn how to proofread and edit and know more about current technology to support their professional goals.
- Some of the courses in this professional writing and technical writing program can be found in the non-fiction specialization. This includes Advanced Persuasive Writing, Digital Technology, Non-Fiction Writing, and Grant Writing.
For budding technical writers, they will usually come across topics about writing for business and government, digital technology, persuasive writing, reasoning, legal writing, writing content using digital platforms, work publishing, and grant writing.
The University of Arkansas Little Rock has an HLC accreditation.
West Virginia University
West Virginia University, with a main campus in Morgantown, seeks opportunities to serve students and waits to speak providing the highest quality of service and quality education.
This Morgantown campus is home to over 355 programs at all levels, including more than 130 undergraduate programs. The school also offers many online courses, as well as some certificate and degree programs that are entirely online. WVU’s Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing degree is 100% online and an excellent choice for students who have been out of high school for over four years and wish to go back to college to earn their degrees.
- This professional writing program helps distance learners to make the most of their skills.
- At present, five courses are offered online as part of the school’s Distance Education program, or as a regular course offered through the school’s Department of English.
- Like creative writing programs, the cluster of courses in Professional Writing and Editing degree is designed to introduce students to the theories and practices of writing technical and business documents so they will be prepared for writing in the professional world.
- Since online writing courses are specifically challenging, students should have very high motivation, strong communication skills, and the ability to work well with less supervision to succeed.
- This course helps students to understand the different roles of writing in a professional context. They should also be able to use the conventions of the various types of professional writing (reports, memos, etc.)
- This online program costs $457 per credit hour and requires 120 total credits to complete. Military pricing applies, and there are plenty of financial aid options.
West Virginia University is an HLC-approved facility.
Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU n Hooksett and Manchester serves more than 170,000 online students and 3,000 on campus, the school is one of the fastest-growing universities across the US. This nonprofit institution offers more than 200 programs, from certificates to doctoral-level degrees including education, business, social sciences, liberal arts, and STEM.
For those who have a passion for storytelling and wish to pursue careers using their talents in writing, the BA in Creative Writing and English will help you get on the right path.
- Creative writing degrees develop the writing skills of students, and this bachelor of arts in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University just does that. Students will also join in workshops, produce work, and present them to their peers for discussion and commentaries.
- This creative writing online program provides students with the knowledge and skills in writing. They will dig deeper into literary analysis and learn about the application of storytelling elements.
Those who study creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University online school have the option to stay with the general track to give them the flexibility to study a variety of genres. But they can also add one of any of the four concentrations to their degree: fiction writing, nonfiction writing, poetry, and screenwriting.
Bachelor of Arts in Creating Writing and English- Fiction Writing
This concentration focuses on fiction writing and helps students develop a passion for all forms of fiction as they hone their creative writing skills and composition philosophy. They will gain knowledge of publishing technologies as they improve their basic knowledge of fiction writing’s most critical elements.
Bachelor of Arts in Creating Writing and English- Nonfiction Writing
This concentration delves into different styles and subjects– from autobiography to personal essays, travel writing, memoirs, short stories, and magazine features. This creative writing program prepares students for lucrative career paths in the world of publishing. Students will acquire a powerful understanding of narrative voice, research, and other mechanics of creative writing.
Bachelor of Arts in Creating Writing and English- Poetry
This concentration is a perfect opportunity for aspiring poets to find engagement, inspiration, and creative collaboration with peers and faculty alike. This specialized program allows students to hone their craft and summon their imagination, helping them create imagery in verse.
Bachelor of Arts in Creating Writing and English- Screenwriting
Whether you aspire to develop documentaries, write blockbusters, or work with other writers on sitcoms, this creative writing major is the best avenue to hone your writing skills and put that passion to good use. The classes in this concentration are based on extensive studies of creative writing, giving a special focus on character development, story structure, and the visual medium of film.
This online creative writing degree program by SNHU requires 120 credit hours to complete and costs $330 per credit. Students may transfer up to 90 credits. The online degree no longer requires SAT/ACT scores.
SNHU is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
University of Colorado Denver
A part of the University of Colorado System, the University of Colorado Denver is the state’s leading urban institution offering at least 100 degree programs across seven schools. Students may enroll at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional and continuing education levels.
Apprenticeship, internship, and research are notable of a CU Denver education, providing students with top-notch education and real-work job experience and skills along the way.
The University of Colorado Denver also offers 48 fully online programs that include undergraduate and graduate certificates, master’s degrees, graduate credentials, undergraduate minors, and bachelor’s degrees. For full-time students wanting to earn a Writing degree, the BA in English Writing Rhetoric, and Technology is a perfect choice.
- This online bachelor of arts in English writing provides students with an extensive exploration of different areas of academic and professional writing, as well as various opportunities to specialize via the use of electives in communication, journalism, digital production, and creative writing.
- The program aims to work with students with different career goals, thus, the school works with students in assessing how their strengths as a writer can be transferred into their desired careers.
- Online students will take online courses with the same excellent instruction and academic rigor as on-campus students. Most online students go to class with CU Denver students enrolled in the hybrid format. Meaning, the BA in English Writing, Rhetoric, and Technology online has the same value as the on-campus degree.
- This online writing degree program may be completed in four years at the same pace as traditional on-campus programs. Students must have at least 12 credit hours per semester to finish on time. For those who wish to graduate as quickly as possible, the online school offers summer courses too.
- Students who transfer credits through the school’s flexible transfer system can finish even earlier than those who start with zero credits.
The University of Colorado Denver is an HLC-accredited school.
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato is a public university located in Mankato, Minnesota. It was founded in 1868. With almost 150,00 living alumni worldwide, the school is the second-largest university in Minnesota and the second-oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.
Across seven colleges and schools, the university offers 130 major programs, 85 masters, doctoral and certificate programs, and 50 online programs. Out of all the programs offers, 66 academic programs hold specialized accreditation, certification, or recognition. For those who are looking to pursue careers in content creation, Minnesota State University offers an online bachelor’s degree in Technical Communication.
- This online program is suitable for future technical writers as this will follow communication classes that will teach students to understand how people communicate at work. Students will focus on making content that communicates complex and highly technical information more easily.
- A technical writer works in a broad range of industries, from medicine to information technology, to agriculture, and more. In this online degree, one can master the art of creating content for business, policies, technical reports, and procedures.
- Transfer students can use their previous college credits or associate’s degree credits. The school accepts students with at least 37 credits to use in earning a full degree.
The Mankato campus’ Career Development Center reports that 85% of graduates immediately find employment in their chosen field right after they graduate. Minnesota State University, Mankato is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Central Washington University
Central Washington University is a public university located in Ellensburg, Washington. Serving more than 100,000 every year, CWU prides itself on affordability, accessibility, and personability. It is committed to discovery, hands-on learning, and individual attention to students beyond the limits of books and classrooms. Students will have the chance to do what they’re studying in real-world, professional settings, making learning even more relevant and exciting.
Central Washington University offers more than 135 accredited college majors and 32 master’s degree programs, delivered on-campus and online. The online bachelor’s degree in Professional and Creative Writing major at CWU is designed to prepare students to become successful in the contemporary work environment.
- This creative writing major is suitable for a future creative writer as this combines the academic rigors of creative writing in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, and playwriting with lots of practical elements of technical and professional writing and editing.
- Like most online creative writing degrees, the one CWU offers is also an interdisciplinary range, allowing students to shape their majors with specific courses that are best suited to their goals and interests.
- This degree program also provides students with an extensive understanding of multiple genres. They will also learn how they can provide good-spirited and helpful feedback to fellow writers. The experience they gain thru writing for their audiences, practicing genre-specific craft, editing for content and correctness, and thinking critically help them have an edge in the field.
- Common topics included in this degree program are English grammar, fiction writing, advanced poetry writing, grant writing, and creative non-fiction writing.
Central Washington University is Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities-approved.
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What You Can Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing
Wondering what you can do with your bachelor’s in writing degree? You might be surprised at how many options are available. While a degree in creative writing will make you become a writer, the skills you learned during your writing program can be used in different industries and jobs. Here are jobs you can pursue with your creative writing degree.
A literary agent holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and is an expert who manages various types of authors, including nonfiction authors, novelists, graphic novelists, short stories writers, and poets. These professionals also collaborate with authors to enhance their work before these are presented to publishers. Literary agents can manage multiple authors simultaneously. Sometimes, they have a specific area of focus like young adult books, children’s books, romance novels, comics, or historical nonfiction.
Journalists are the type of writers specializing in nonfiction content for magazines, newspapers, and websites. They also have a specific area of focus like entertainment or politics, or even go freelance on a variety of topics. Journalists research and study the topics they are writing about, which sometimes include interviews and investigations.
A degree in writing is also a good pathway toward becoming a marketing coordinator. These coordinators create various forms of marketing content like brochures, websites, social media, and advertisements. Most of the time, they track marketing information, make marketing plans, and evaluate data for marketing materials.
Proofreaders make sure that websites, magazines, documents, and books strictly follow grammatical rules and any relevant writing style guides. As a proofreader, you are expected to possess impeccable attention to detail, and you must go over each element of a writing piece carefully.
Librarians have creative writing degrees and work in educational, public, or private libraries. They manage library content, including all the reference materials, magazines, and books, as well as any technology like computers. They also help library goers locate the information they need by doing research and guiding them to the correct areas.
Web Content Manager
Web content managers are generally marketing experts tasked with managing the organization, creation, and publishing of a website’s content. They usually work as part of a design or marketing team, and most of them work for tech organizations that have websites requiring constant updating. The content these managers usually handle includes videos, infographics, blogs, articles, and photography. They can also perform keyword research.
Copywriters produce written for marketing, advertising, and informational purposes. They sometimes work for advertising and marketing agencies serving different clients, or they may also work for one client providing educational content for a website, including white papers, blogs, and articles. Copywriters may also generate print work like signages, advertisements, and newsletters.
Professors can work at universities and colleges, teaching students who are pursuing advanced degrees and certificates. They do lectures, teach students the course curriculum, and grade exams and assignments. Most writing professors hold a degree in creative writing. For bigger universities, the professor must hold a post-graduate degree, usually a master’s or doctorate.
Editors manage the visuals and writing for different types of digital and print media like magazines, newspapers, websites, nonfiction books, novels, and comic books. They usually work with writers to make the needed content and provide feedback on all the elements of the product. This may include copyediting, project management, or contributing and proofreading written pieces.
Social media managers handle an organization’s social media accounts and manage paid and organic content. This includes adding graphics, writing posts, linking to videos, and answering customer inquiries. The primary goal of social media managers is to build brand awareness and drive traffic to the social media accounts of clients and any associated websites.
Some Interesting Facts About Writing
Writing is highly valued in today’s modern world. However, it is also one of the toughest skills to master. Even the most skilled writers will have to spend their lifetime studying the field of writing to improve.
Written communications skills are one of today’s most in-demand skills for new hires. Writing is also one form of art that helps people to explore self-expression. It has ever since become a standard practice for people to exchange and enhance valuable information for centuries. Here are 4 interesting and inspiring facts about writing that may get you to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field.
Creative writers do not have a dominant brain hemisphere.
It has long been proven that the left portion of the brain controls reasoning and analytical skills, while the right one controls creative and artistic thought. It’s therefore safe to say that creative writers are right-brain dominant. But studies have shown that this is not the case at all. Creative writers do not have a dominant brain hemisphere. Rather, they are equally balanced between both hemispheres.
Creative Writing can be compared with professional athletics.
Martin Lotze, a German researcher, studied the brains of both professional writers and professional athletes. He found out that the brain activities for both the writing process and athletic competition are strikingly similar.
Introverts make the best writers.
We often stereotype writers as lonely, nerds, and maladjusted introverts who hate to interact with others. While this is not completely true, studies later found out that introverts are more creative, and thus make better creative writers. This may also be because one’s introversion allows him more time to think alone, thus resulting to spark his creativity even more.
Writer’s block is very normal.
Unlike athletics where you can simply build your skills regularly, creative writing is not something that you can easily turn on at will. Since creativity does not always turn on instantaneously when you want it to, there will always be times when writers face writer’s block. This is normal. You can distract yourself or give your brain some rest to help get your creative juices to flow again.
Frequently Asked Questions
How versatile are online Writing degree programs?
An online bachelor’s degree in writing is very versatile as this can open up several career paths in different fields, including copywriting, public relations, journalism, publishing, editing, and technical writing.
How long will it take to earn a Bachelor’s in Writing degree online?
An online bachelor’s degree in Writing requires 120 credits on average. Full-time students can complete the program in four years. Those who qualify for accelerated programs can finish even quicker.
What are the usual majors for a Bachelor’s in Writing?
The majors that students will likely encounter in a writing degree program are:
- Writing (General)
- Professional Writing
- Technical Writing
- Science and Medical Writing
- Business Writing
- Creative Writing
Key Points to Ponder
- There is a constant demand for graduates with a degree in Writing. The demand for editors and writers in the marketing and digital media fields, as well as in corporate communications, publishing, and public relations will continue to rise.
- Almost all major colleges and universities offer writing degrees today. Because of the overwhelming options, prospective students need to do their research and choose the one that fits their academic and career goals.
- Since the education landscape has shifted to web content and digital marketing, aspiring writers can now update their education by earning a writing degree online to avoid compromising their present commitments.
Check this out before you go: Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Journalism