Home > Top Online Bachelor’s in Writing Programs for 2018

Top Online Bachelor’s in Writing Programs for 2018

A bachelor’s degree in creative writing online sharpens one’s writing abilities, and prepares them for employment in an array of industries, including publishing and advertising. The need for writers and editors is expected to grow moderately over the next decade, and nearly every business and organization needs writers in some capacity to produce copy, presentations, or other customer-facing deliverables.

What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Writing Programs?

1

University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL

Admissions Rate 49%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 70%
Online Enrollment 15%

UCF is located in Orlando, Florida, and has offered online educations for the last 20 years. The school's Department of English offers an online creative writing bachelor's degree that is ideal for students who work full-time. UCF offers a bachelor of arts in English - creative writing degree with concentrations in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or screenwriting. Graduates are prepared for careers as copywriters, journalists, technical writers, and more. All professors have backgrounds as renowned writers who have published in a wide range of genres, including fiction, literary journalism, feature-length screenplays, and poetry. Distance learners have access to a variety of helpful educational services, including a university writing center where tutors provide online consultation in real-time. Transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered.

2

Regent UniversityVirginia Beach, VA

Admissions Rate 84%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 49%
Online Enrollment 66%

Regent is a private Christian university that was founded in 1977 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school offers a bachelor of arts in communication studies with a concentration in professional and technical writing that prepares students for careers in marketing communications, copywriting, editing, and technical writing. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as communication ethics, narrative concept and development, and writing for strategic communication. Regent incorporates Christian topics into every program, requiring all students to enroll in religion-based courses as part of their general requirements, including cornerstone and capstone classes. Online courses are offered in eight- and 15-week terms. Transfer students must have a minimum of 15 credits of prior coursework to be considered. Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3

University of IowaIowa City, IA

Admissions Rate 81%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 72%
Online Enrollment 9%

Located in Iowa City, UI offers an online creative writing bachelor's degree that allows students to take part in the renowned Iowa Writer's Workshop graduate program. The bachelor of applied studies in creative writing gives students the opportunity to focus their studies one specific area of writing through concentrations in fiction, poetry, and playwriting. The curriculum includes foundational courses on topics like creative writing, novel writing, and vocabulary building. This online bachelor of applied science program only accepts transfer students who have previous college credit or possess an associate degree. They must have completed at least 60 credits of prior coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered; those who have graduated from an Iowa community college only need to have a minimum GPA of 2.0. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

4

Robert Morris UniversityMoon Township, PA

Admissions Rate 78%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 13%

RMU offers an online bachelor's degree in writing through its School of Communications and Information Systems that allows students to pursue careers in creative or professional writing. This bachelor of arts in English with concentration in writing is ideal for students interested in creative writing and includes specialized study on novel nonfiction, fiction, poetry or drama writing. Students in the professional writing track can enroll in courses on topics like media management, writing drama, and document design. They must also complete a writing-oriented internship near their home and finish a capstone project such as a novel, book of poems, or a play. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

5

Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomington, IN

Admissions Rate 78%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 77%
Online Enrollment 4%

IU offers an online bachelor of arts in English, technical and professional writing that prepares students for a variety of careers that require critical thinking, data analysis, and persuasive argumentation skills. This bachelor's degree in writing program is ideal for students with previous college credits and who want to complete their degree. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as argumentative writing, science writing, and literary interpretation. Distance learners study the same coursework as their on-campus counterparts. Those with an associate degree may transfer up to 64 credits towards their degree. Transfer applications are considered through a collaboration between the school's Office of Online Education and the University Transfer Office, ensuring that each application is thoroughly reviewed.

6

Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityWaxahachie, TX

Admissions Rate 28%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 38%

SAGU offers an online bachelor of arts in English major in creative writing in middle/secondary that boasts incredibly flexible scheduling. The school is proud of its strong Christian foundation and includes the study of religion in all of its programs. Students also study well-known works of literature and learn about the intricacies of technical and creative writing. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as authors, copywriters, journalists, technical writers, teachers, and more. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Transfer applications must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 or have completed at least 21 credits of previous college coursework to be considered. SAGU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7

Central Washington UniversityEllensburg, WA

Admissions Rate 82%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 14%

CWU offers an online creative writing bachelor's degree that blends a literary liberal arts program with concentrations in creative writing, scientific and technical writing, business writing, publishing, and editing. Students in this program must complete prerequisite courses in rhetoric for professionals writers and principles of English studies to enroll in upper-level classes. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Transfer applicants must have completed at least 30 credits of coursework at another accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. Those with a GPA of 2.0-2.49 may go through an advanced review process. The school participates in the Washington 45, a program which allows students who attend college in Washington state to transfer a maximum of 45 general education credits towards their degree.

8

Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH

Admissions Rate 92%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 88%

SNHU offers an online nonfiction creative writing bachelor's degree that provides students with the flexibility to earn a writing degree while also working full-time. This bachelor of arts in creative writing and English teaches students how to excel in a variety of nonfiction mediums, including autobiographies, personal essays, magazine features, and travel writing. The curriculum includes a nonfiction writing workshop, a course on new media: writing and publishing, and other classes that teach students how to navigate the publishing industry. Students get the chance to publish and work with experienced writers in SNHU's online journal The Penmen Review. Classes are offered during six, eight-week sessions throughout the year. Online courses are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. SNHU allows transfer students to apply up to 90 credits earned at another accredited university towards their degree.

9

West Virginia UniversityMorgantown, WV

Admissions Rate 86%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 11%

WVU offers a bachelor of arts in professional writing that is ideal for part-time, non-traditional students who want to earn a writing degree online. This bachelor's degree in writing prepares students for careers in business and technical writing through coursework that emphasizes both theory and practical application. All online coursework is identical to what is taught on-campus in Morgantown. Students must complete two prerequisite composition and rhetoric courses, which emphasize non-fiction prose and argumentative research papers respectively. The curriculum includes required courses on topics such as writing theory and practice, editing, multimedia writing, and technical writing. There is also a mandatory capstone internship that provides students with writing experience in a local business. WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

10

University of Colorado DenverDenver, CO

Admissions Rate 67%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 46%
Online Enrollment 8%

CU Denver offers an accelerated online bachelor of arts in English writing that is perfect for students looking for a flexible learning format. The program teaches students the skills needed to excel in writing-oriented careers that emphasize critical reasoning and the application of creative thought. This online degree maintains the same student-to-teacher ratio (17-to-1) as on-campus courses, reflecting an intimate learning environment where all students receive one-on-one attention from faculty. This 120-credit program includes courses on a variety of topics, such as multimedia composition and narrative art in literature and film. This program prepares students for successful careers in grant writing, editing, journalism, copywriting, publishing, and more. Distance learners at CU Denver have access to the school's Experiential Learning team, which helps students find internship opportunities.

11

Point Park UniversityPittsburgh, PA

Admissions Rate 71%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 7%

Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park offers an online bachelor's degree in writing that features a strong liberal arts foundation. This online bachelor of arts in writing for screen and media degree prepares students for careers using a wide range of media, including online platforms, television, film, and video games. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics that prepare students for careers in media writing, such as the history of international cinema and writing for television. Throughout the program students create pieces to populate their professional portfolio, which can be used to give them an edge over other applicants in their chosen field. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Point Park is accredited by the Middle States Commission on HIgher Education.

12

Missouri State University-SpringfieldSpringfield, MO

Admissions Rate 86%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 6%

Missouri State offers an online bachelor of science in professional writing that prepares students for writing-oriented careers in a variety of fields, including government, education, healthcare, business, law, and the military. Student learn how to improve their written communication skills through coursework on contemporary American poetry and fiction, language skills, and literature and medicine. Students must complete a minor in either online screenwriting or technical writing. The school offers a Return to Learn Scholarship is ideal for undergraduate students who are at least 25 years old attending college for the first time or who remained away from college for a minimum of three years. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Transfer applicants must have completed at least 24 credits of coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered.

13

National UniversityLa Jolla, CA

Admissions Rate N/A
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 33%
Online Enrollment 60%

NU offers an online bachelor of arts in English with a concentration in creative writing that is ideal for working students. This creative writing bachelor's degree includes studies on contemporary creative works and teaches students how to write pieces that are fit for publication. The curriculum includes coursework on a variety of topics, such as fiction writing, screenwriting, and poetry writing. The school's online BA English/MFA Creative Writing transition program allows qualifying students to quickly transition into graduate-level studies as long as they maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the program. By doing so, students only need to complete six courses once they enter the MFA program to earn their degree. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. NU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

14

Nicholls State UniversityThibodaux, LA

Admissions Rate 90%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 12%

Nicholls offers a bachelor of arts in English with concentrations in creative writing, and writing and rhetoric through its Division of Distance Education. The creative writing concentration prepares students for careers as script writers, teachers, writers, and novelists, while the writing and rhetoric prepares students to thrive in nonfiction writing, publishing, broadcasting, technical writing, game writing, and business writing. The curriculum includes a variety of elective courses on topics such as fiction writing and poetry. Students must also complete a capstone project that prepares them for a successful transition into a writing-based career or graduate-level study. This program can be completed in just three years if students enroll in three courses per each eight-week session. Nicholls is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

15

Indiana University-EastRichmond, IN

Admissions Rate 62%
Default Rate 18%
Retention Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 28%
Online Enrollment 37%

IU East offers an online bachelor of arts in English, technical and professional writing as a degree completion program. This bachelor's degree in writing prepares students for a wide range of writing-based careers in a variety of disciplines from public relations to social services. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as Native American literature, digital writing, and literary interpretation. Students must also complete a mandatory online senior seminar where they will prepare to enter a career in their chosen field. This 60-credit program can be completed in just two years. Transfer students must have completed at least 60 credits of coursework at another accredited university, or have earned an associate degree, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered.

16

Marylhurst UniversityMarylhurst, OR

Admissions Rate 100% Default Rate 4% Graduation Rate 40% Online Enrollment 28%

Marylhurst offers a bachelor of arts in English literature and writing that includes a creative writing concentration. This creative writing bachelor's degree boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1, allowing all students to receive one-on-one attention from professors. Marylhurst attracts professors who have published pieces in nationally and internationally recognized publications like the New York Times. The student-run M Review online literary publication provides students the opportunity to publish their work within the school's expansive writing community. This program is ideal for transfer students who want to complete their bachelor's degree. It includes 45-50 credits of coursework and can be completed in just three years. Transfer applicants must a minimum GPA of 2.25 from previous college coursework or a 2.5 from high school to be considered.

17

University of Arkansas at Little RockLittle Rock, AK

Admissions Rate 90%
Default Rate 14%
Retention Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 30%
Online Enrollment 17%

UA Little Rock offers a bachelor of arts in professional and technical writing (PTW) that is perfect for students who want to increase their writing, editing, and document design skills. This 120-hour PTW bachelor's degree in writing offers concentrations in nonfiction and technical writing. The curriculum includes upper-level courses on a variety of topics, such as legal writing, publishing, and writing for the web. Students who have 12 or more college credits must apply as regular transfer applicants, while those with fewer than 12 may apply as freshman transfer and follow the freshman admission guidelines. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. UA Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

18

Excelsior CollegeAlbany, NY

Admissions Rate N/A Default Rate 7% Online Enrollment 100%

Excelsior offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online bachelor's degree in writing. The bachelor of science in liberal arts with concentration in professional and technical writing prepares students for a variety of careers in writing, research, and editing. This 120-credit program includes 21 credits of upper-level courses on topics such as business communication, grant writing, health science writing, and digital literacy. Online courses are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. All online students pay the same tuition, regardless of residency. Excelsior is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and all of its academic programs are approved by the New York State Education Department.

19

West Virginia State UniversityInstitute, WV

Admissions Rate 94%
Default Rate 15%
Retention Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 28%
Online Enrollment 3%

WVSU offers a completely online bachelor of arts in English: technical writing that prepares students for writing careers in a variety of professional settings. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as digital literacies, information design, and diversity literature. Students can earn their bachelor's degree in writing within two to four years, depending on the amount of courses enrolled in each semester. Transfer students can apply up to 72 credits of coursework earned at another accredited institution towards their degree as long as it was earned with a minimum GPA of 2.0. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. WVSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

20

Antioch UniversityYellow Springs, OH

Admissions Rate 72% Default Rate N/A Retention Rate 81%

Antioch offers a bachelor of arts in liberal studies with concentration in literature and creative writing with a degree completion option that is ideal for working students. This creative writing bachelor's degree blends courses in Western literature and writing courses in a wide variety of mediums, all of which help students discover and develop their individual strengths as a writer. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as social media and social change, multi-genre writing, and mixed race women's memoirs. Antioch welcomes transfer applicants, allowing them to apply up to 75 credits earned at another accredited institution towards their degree. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

What Will I Learn in an Online Writing Program?

Some creative writing bachelor’s degree online programs focus on literature, while others require students to create a portfolio of work upon graduation. Many also teach business and professional writing to prepare students for the job market. While curriculums and coursework varies, most students complete some iteration of the following courses.

  • Creative Writing: From fiction to poetry, creative writing lets students freely express themselves. This course explores the fundamentals of story structure and proper prose format, among other forms of writing.
  • Literature: Students examine the great literary works from around the world, in a variety of genres, and analyze themes, styles, and cultural significance.
  • Non-fiction Writing: Non-fiction writing conveys factual information, and includes magazine and newspaper stories. Likely topics include the elements of style and format, as well as how to find sources.
  • Rhetoric: A well-written essay persuades someone to view a topic from a different perspective. This course addresses rhetorical techniques, figures of speech, and composition.
  • Business and Professional Writing: Whether writing marketing materials or using search engine optimization techniques, students develop writing to help businesses achieve their goals in a variety of publications and formats.

What can I do with an Online Writing Degree?

Every industry employs writers and editors to create advertising materials, informational pamphlets, corporate publications, and technical documents. Writers and editors are employed as salaried in-house staff members or freelancers. Management roles for those with a creative writing bachelor’s degree online are mainly editorial, with desirable salary prospects and long-term potential.

Job Outlook and Salary

Writers and editors are considered part of the media and communication industry, which is projected to grow 4 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After completing a creative writing bachelor’s degree online, one should explore writing opportunities in different industries. Some industries, like computer and information technology, have a need for writers and also feature a high projected rate of growth. Note that salaries vary based on specific writing and editing interests, the industry, as well as the location.

Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
2,624,200 2,731,700

Salary Growth by Experience

In addition to individual workplaces or industries, professional experience impacts the annual earnings of writers and editors. The table below features data from PayScale of expected salaries for copywriters, editors, and technical writers at different stages of their respective careers. As expected, the salary trajectory of most careers gradually increases, with the highest earning potential at 10-20 years of experience. Because the role of an editor varies — with duties ranging from proofreading to managing an entire editorial process — the salaries for this career vary greatly as well.


To determine the best online bachelor’s in writing programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online bachelor’s in writing programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.