English is one of the widely spoken languages across the globe. It has been part of our academics for a long time and plays a prominent role in everyday life. It is also a well-known fact that English is regarded as a global language and the primary language for international businesses. Mastering a language like English will open up the fields such as world literature, british and american literature, literature composition, and technical communication. Many students opting for a graduate degree in English are passionate about creative writing, perfect communication, and concise use of words. English language professionals are in good demand for career titles such as Managing Editors in media companies, Technical Writers in the software industry, Authors, Educators, and many more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a four percent projected growth rate for high school teachers from 2019 to 2029. And the annual median salary as of 2019 was $61,660 per year. Most of these roles require a Master’s degree in English. And the best way to get a Master’s in English is by enrolling in online master programs that let you complete and graduate from the comfort of your home. In this guide, we will walk you through all aspects of Masters in English online programs that will help you become an English language professional.

Online Masters in English

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online MA in English

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best English Masters Programs

Many universities offer their masters in English programs online, but some universities have the best programs. We have researched dozens of universities and created a list of the best English master’s programs. We considered program quality, graduation rates, the online program’s flexibility, tuition fees, program reputation, etc. Considering all these factors, we created the best programs rankings list. Here are the best English masters programs:

<a href="https://www.onlinemasterscolleges.com/online-masters-in-english/">Online Master's in English</a>

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
#1
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
$46,27292%
#2
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
$48,00897%
#3
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
$6,91672%
#4
East Carolina University
East 5th Street, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
$4,74966%
#5
University of Nebraska, Kearny
2504 9th Avenue, Kearney, Nebraska 68849
$6,04856%
#6
Murray State University
218 Wells Hall, Murray, Kentucky 42071
$8,21455%
#7
Northern Arizona University
1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
$10,30557%
#8
Arizona State University
411 N Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
$11,72058%
#9
Tarleton University
1333 W. Washington, Stephenville, Texas 76401
$4,13749%
#10
Minnesota State University, Mankato
South Rd and Ellis Ave, Mankato, Minnesota 56001
$7,69450%
#11
University of Louisiana, Monroe
700 University Avenue, Monroe, Louisiana 71209
$6,49047%
#12
The University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32514
$7,08846%
#13
University of Texas, Tyler
3900 University Blvd, Tyler, Texas 75799
$5,85042%
#14
Eastern New Mexico University
ENMU Station 2, 1500 S Ave K, Portales, New Mexico 88130
$7,04436%
#15
Wayland Baptist University
1900 W 7th St., Plainview, Texas 79072
$13,10423%

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Most Affordable Online Master of Arts in English Language

Affordability is one of the biggest factors for online students considering getting a higher education degree. Not all online English master’s programs are affordable. We researched many universities and created a list of the most affordable online master of arts in English programs. While the programs are some of the cheapest online English degree programs in the country, they are certainly not cheap in program quality or program standards. We considered accreditation and affordability as the two main standards while creating these English literature graduate school rankings. Here are the most affordable online masters in English:

<a href="https://www.onlinemasterscolleges.com/online-masters-in-english/">Online Master's in English</a>

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
#1
Tarleton University
1333 W. Washington, Stephenville, Texas 76401
$4,13749%
#2
East Carolina University
East 5th Street, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
$4,74966%
#3
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
175 Sam Sibley Drive, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71497
$5,73844%
#4
University of Texas, Tyler
3900 University Blvd, Tyler, Texas 75799
$5,85042%
#5
University of Nebraska, Kearny
2504 9th Avenue, Kearney, Nebraska 68849
$6,04856%
#6
University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana 70148
$6,09042%
#7
University of Louisiana, Monroe
700 University Avenue, Monroe, Louisiana 71209
$6,49047%
#8
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
$6,91672%
#9
Eastern New Mexico University
ENMU Station 2, 1500 S Ave K, Portales, New Mexico 88130
$7,04436%
#10
The University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32514
$7,08846%
#11
Minnesota State University, Mankato
South Rd and Ellis Ave, Mankato, Minnesota 56001
$7,69450%
#12
Murray State University
218 Wells Hall, Murray, Kentucky 42071
$8,21455%
#13
Northern Arizona University
1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
$10,30557%
#14
Ohio Dominican University
1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219
$10,80047%
#15
Arizona State University
411 N Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
$11,72058%

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Online Master’s Degree in English Language

Enrolling in an online master’s in English will certainly help students acquire the needed skills in many fields. Typically, students who have an aptitude for playing with words enroll into these programs. The degree helps students gain more formal knowledge about the English language and enhance creative and critical thinking and communication skills. This section will break down the masters in English programs and walk you through curriculum, admission requirements, timelines, accreditation, etc.

Degree Types in Masters in English Programs

Currently, it is the age of text messages, emails, social media, etc. This trend is increasing, and voice-based communication decreases. English has always been part of the curriculum, either as a first language or second language. Typically, masters programs in English are offered mainly as a Master of Arts (M.A) degree. A MA English degree builds your knowledge of the language regarding the various genres, develops advanced skills in comprehending different English language concepts, and helps you apply that knowledge for research, effective communication, and professional writing skills. At the end of your degree in English, you will acquire the ability to think, read, and write creatively and critically.

Who should Pursue a Master’s in English Language

Anyone who has a bachelors in arts in english literature and has an aptitude for the language with good writing and communication skills. If you have a creative side to yourself and can be imaginative, then this might be the right career path for you. Those looking to get into the teaching profession should have an aptitude to deal and work with students.

Do you need a Master’s Thesis for graduating?

While some online master’s programs in English include capstone projects that require students to develop a project that incorporates various skills and coursework from the program, a master’s thesis serves as the most common final project. A master’s thesis serves as a research project and/or paper that prepares students for the rigorous research and writing demands of a doctoral degree in English.

For students not pursuing a doctorate in English, a master’s thesis allows for a deep dive into a specific research topic. In addition to whatever expertise the specific research topic provides, the intensive study of a thesis provides students with skills in independent work, demanding research, and scholarly writing.

How to choose an online master’s program in English?

After ensuring that the prospective institution holds regional accreditation — which students can verify through the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs — learners should also consider the diversity of a program’s faculty and course offerings. A varied and inclusive institution may allow for more opportunities. Students should also pay attention to the degree conferred, since some English graduate programs only admit students seeking a doctorate. Online applicants should also note any residency requirements and graduation rates.

Applicants can also look at a faculty’s qualifications and publications to get a clearer picture of the program’s strengths. In addition to aligning a student’s interests with a faculty or faculty member, students might also identify a graduate mentor or supervisor — or even find potential courses or specializations of interest. Furthermore, students should review the awards and honors bestowed upon an institution’s faculty members.

What is covered in a master’s in English degree course?

A degree in English language and literature is designed to get you reading books, analyzing theories, critiquing prose and verse, and taking a more critical look at the signs and words surrounding us every day. The aim is to get students thinking creatively and analytically about the English language; this differs from other modern language degrees as it is intended for students already proficient in written and spoken English. An English degree can focus equally on the literature and language sides, while others specialize in one or the other; this will usually be clear from the course title.

A course with a focus on English literature typically allows students to study literary texts from throughout history. Often you’ll start with modules covering a diverse range of literature from different periods; for instance, you could be reading Shakespeare one week and Virginia Woolf the next. Your reading will require you to study and analyze passages, relating texts to their cultural, social, historical and political contexts.

An English language-focused degree will train students to analyze the workings of the English language outside of literature, including language-based communication in all kinds of forms and contexts. This could include analysis of casual spoken conversation, text speak, advertising methods or the uses of language in specialized legal and medical discourse.

What Exams or Projects Should a MA english Exponent Expect?

While some online master’s programs in English include capstone projects that require students to develop a project that incorporates various skills and coursework from the program, a master’s thesis serves as the most common final project. A master’s thesis serves as a research project and/or paper that prepares students for the rigorous research and writing demands of a doctoral degree in English.

For students not pursuing a doctorate in English, a master’s thesis allows for a deep dive into a specific research topic. In addition to whatever expertise the specific research topic provides, the intensive study of a thesis provides students with skills in independent work, demanding research, and scholarly writing.

Timelines for graduation from Masters in English Programs

On average, the timeline for any Master’s program would be two to three years. Many universities offer master’s programs in English, and the timelines vary from university to university. Typically, M.A. English course duration is around two years. However, many universities offer accelerated self-paced programs and can be finished by students’ situation to take up more credits and graduate faster. In such programs, graduate students can finish the entire program within a year or take more than two years. These self-paced programs are increasingly becoming popular, which makes the M.A. English course duration is very flexible.

Key skills and assessment methods

The study of English literature and language will aim to stretch your independent thought and analytical skills. For this reason, lecturers will not spoon-feed you information but rather expect you to develop your understanding by reading assigned critical theory and journals along with the key texts. Seminars and group discussion provide a setting in which to test your ideas on your fellow students and gain a better understanding through idea sharing and debate.

An English degree is typically assignment-based, with essays and papers to be submitted regularly. Exams are also common, often coming at the end of each year. In some cases you may also be partly assessed based on your contributions to group discussions; the combination of assessment methods used really depends on the institution.

What Common Courses are Offered in a Master’s in English Program?

Each master’s program in English presents a unique set of courses and objectives, though certain courses appear commonly across the board. The sample curriculum below includes some of the most common courses provided by top graduate English programs. These options may vary depending on the course, school, and/or specialization.

Critical TheoryCritical theory requires students to take knowledge from a variety of disciplines and apply it to the English program. Whether this comparative study takes the form of literary analysis or another form, the practice helps students develop critical thinking and translation skills.
Cultural StudiesCourses in cultural studies prepare students to understand cultures through the lens of multiple disciplines. By drawing from multiple disciplines, students create a clearer picture of what forces, institutions, and processes contribute to a society’s makeup. In addition to critical thinking and problem-solving skills, cultural studies graduates develop a better understanding of diversity and community.
American LiteratureAmerican literature focuses on the literature produced by American authors, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. It often requires students to apply knowledge from other disciplines, but, most of all, it provides students with a strong foundation in both writing and literary analysis. Students also gain an understanding of the topics and issues that American authors faced throughout history.
Professional WritingNearly every profession values professional writing skills. Students hone their ability to craft and edit meaningful and powerful professional communications in these courses. Many professional writing courses enable students to specialize or focus on a specific field, such as financial writing, public relations, and/or medical writing.
PostmodernismMany view postmodernism as a rejection of, or departure from, the assumptions of modernism. Postmodern literature and/or analysis typically amounts to an exercise in skepticism, questioning things like moral systems. Courses in postmodernism require students to observe the institutions and power structures in place that governed thinking in the past.
What Specializations are Available in a Master’s in English Program?Built into many online master’s programs in English, specializations or concentrations allow students to focus their degree into a particular area of study. While the available concentrations vary depending on the program, the list below includes some of the more common options.
Contemporary LiteratureA specialization in contemporary literature focuses on the writing of contemporary authors and poets and deals with the issues deemed important or integral to modern society. The specialization typically narrows the scope of material to post-World War II.
Creative WritingA creative writing specialization provides students with an intensive study in the creation and editing process of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. It also helps prepare students who plan to teach creative writing professionally. Some creative writing specializations allow students to choose a specific genre to explore in depth.
Women/Gender StudiesStudents specializing in women and/or gender studies explore texts using an gendered or genderless lens. This approach allows students to consider and analyze the influences and/or conditions under which women and genders were represented in texts, typically with consideration to both time and place.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in English Program

A Master’s in English program enables students with a better and advanced understanding of English. English proficiency is considered one of the prime requirements while applying for any job, and there is never a scarcity of jobs for graduates of English. Universities that offer a master’s degree in English offer different course structures. But every online graduate course in English that these universities offer helps students advance emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility. Here are some more skills that students will gain from masters in English programs:

  • Development of leadership and critical thinking skills and reasoning skills
  • Articulation of knowledge and intellect associated with theories and concepts
  • Management of time and way of independent working
  • Decision-making analysis
  • Analyzing the alternative perspective and negotiating with the available information
  • Interacting in the groups and discussing the leads
  • Sound Information Technological knowledge

Accreditation for Masters in Graduate English Programs

Authentication of any kind is always a better choice than no validation. This process becomes even more important when academics are involved. Accreditation is a formal recognition given to a university by an independent body validating the programs’ academic standards. There are two different ways that educational institutions get accredited for their programs – nationally and regionally. This accreditation of universities becomes more prominent when you are pursuing an online master’s program in English. Read more about accreditation on the best accreditation guide. Students must choose an accredited online master’s degree program in English as non-accredited programs don’t carry weight in the academic world. Here are some of the accrediting bodies for masters in English programs:

Online Masters in English Admission Requirements

Students wanting to pursue an online master’s in English should take note of the admission requirements. While the admission requirements may vary from program to program, most universities follow the same list of admission requirements. To know if you are in tandem with the admission requirements, look at the list below:

  • Transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate courses
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Application form and fees
  • GRE scores
  • Transcripts form undergraduate degrees
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose

How to Pay for Masters Program in English

It is no secret that higher education costs are skyrocketing, and increasing student debt is becoming a national problem. Paying tuition is becoming challenging for many students. Many students attest that the tuition fee structure is one of the biggest they consider and whether the tuition is within their budget range. This section will walk you through several different ways you can pay for a masters in English programs. Your interest in pursuing an online master’s in English can be carried forward without any financial hurdles as universities offer you a chance to form different payment methods like student loans, tuition reimbursement for employers, fellowships, FAFSA, and other financial aids.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a primary step for the students to obtain financial help for further graduate studies. You can complete the free application for Federal student aid depending on the student’s eligibility for a particular financial help slab. The Federal government takes this charge of releasing the funds for students. Read more about paying for online master’s programs on the best financial aid guide.

MA in English No GRE

Many universities are moving away from standardized test score requirements for master’s programs. This is happening because of the increasing belief that tests like GRE or GMAT don’t fully capture students’ ability to go through graduate programs and succeed. Universities are putting more emphasis on the program itself rather than barriers to entry. Many universities are offering M.A. in English no GRE programs. In this guide, we are only showcasing programs that are accredited and maintain high program standards. Here are a few universities that offer M.A. in English no GRE programs:

Free Masters Program in English

Pursuing a Master’s degree might not be an easy job for a lot of people. There are many reasons why students cannot further their learning journey. While there are no accredited universities that offer M.A. English free programs, many educational institutions offer some free courses. These free online courses are not degree programs that award you a diploma at the end, but they are free courses from the previous year’s teaching material. Here is a list of free courses and the universities offering them. It is essential to remember that these being free courses in English master’s, you will not be a certified graduate or would not be earning a degree.

InstitutionCourses
Harvard UniversityThe Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking IELTS Academic Test Preparation TOEFL Test Preparation Upper-Intermediate English Adding a networking event
Stanford UniversityIntensive English IELTS / PTE TOEFL Professional English
University of California, IrvineIntensive ESL Business English Conversation & Culture Online ESL Courses Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters in English Graduates

When you pursue an online master’s in English, you will gain skills that will help you navigate complex linguistic situations. You will be able to articulate cultural and historical facts using effective communication. English language professionals are also in high demand in the legal professions to interpret laws and language in legal documents. An online master’s in English helps develop robust analysis, writing, and skills that support your writing, editing, and other publishing careers. Here are some careers that masters in English graduates can expect to pursue.

Job TitleJob DescriptionAverage Salary
English Language TeachersPostsecondary teachers, also known as college, community colleges teachers and university professors, instruct students in a variety of academic, career, and technical subjects.$64,910
EditorsEditors at media companies edit the written content and make it ready to be published. Editors work in several media organizations in both print and digital.$63,350
Instructional CoordinatorsAn Instructional designer develops and implements different teaching standards and curriculum.$63,740 
WritersWriters do several things, and their work is dependent on the industry in which they are working: Technical Writers, Website Content Writers, Creative Writers in the entertainment industry, or other industries.$59,318
Advertising, Marketing, Promotions ManagersThese managers create content materials for promotional campaigns for products or services. Being a Manager, these professionals are expected to hire, train, and supervise advertising, promotions, and staff members of the marketing teams.$133,380 

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsPayScale

Frequently Asked Questions: Master’s in English Language

Is literature a good career?

Although careers in teaching often require additional qualifications and/or experience, an English literature degree can be a great way to develop the academic knowledge and communication skills needed. Careers in teaching and academia can also tie in with careers in media.

What can you do with a masters in literature?

How hard is an English major?

Do English majors have to take math?

How many years does it take to major in English?

What is a degree in English called?

Is English literature a respected degree?

What is the highest degree in English?

What is a Master in English Literature?

What Do You Study While In An English Literature Degree?

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Additional Resources for Online Masters in English Students

While getting an online master’s in English will enhance your career, it is also important for students to be associated with professional organizations that consist of other English language professionals. Associations/communities/conferences are platforms that help students to network with like-minded people, be mindful about career opportunities, connecting with peers to share ideas and all other benefits related to connecting with fellow professionals. The individuals and organizations that are part of these communities will help students lookout for networking opportunities, scholarships, and better guidance to help them move forward in their learning journey. Here are some of the associations or societies for English graduates and professionals.

  1. American Literature Association (ALA):
    A coalition of societies dedicated to the study of American authors. The ALA is dedicated to exploring American writing’s richness and diversity and welcomes all forms of scholarship.
  2. African American Literature and Culture Society (AALCS):
    The African American Literature and Culture Society (AALCS) inductees and encourages critical dialogue, scholarly publications, conferences, programs, and projects devoted to studying African American Literature and Culture.
  3. American Comparative Literature Association:
    The American Comparative Literature Association is the primary learned society in the United States for scholars whose work comprises several literature and cultures and the cross-cultural literary study’s premises.
  4. American Religion and Literature Society:
    ARLS explores the mutual influence of religion and literature in American culture. It welcomes various scholarly approaches and methodologies that will put the traditional faith and literary canon in conversation with new texts and perspectives.
  5. American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies:
    The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is an interdisciplinary group dedicated to advancing scholarship in all aspects of the period.
  6. Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures:
    ASAIL is a professional academic organization created to promote the study, criticism, and research of American Indian written and oral-literary traditions.
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