Do people constantly compliment your creative writing skills? Consider a career as a professional writer in the private, public or nonprofit sector.
An online creative writing degree program can be done on your own time. You can study and complete coursework on your own schedule.
Benzinga is here to help you find the most ideal option for your lifestyle, budget and career goals.
Quick Look: Best Online Creative Writing Degree Programs
Why Choose an Online Creative Writing Degree?
Imagine working in a role that’s fun and allows you to unleash your creativity through written words. This is a significant perk that online creative writing degree holders in many roles enjoy. Assignments and projects vary daily, weekly or monthly and organizations rely on you to bring their projects to life.
Online creative writing degree holders aren’t limited to writing jobs. There are endless opportunities across private, public and nonprofit sectors. You can choose to work as a professional blogger, copywriter, correspondent, editor, film, novelist, poet, publisher, reporter, television writer or television reporter.
Depending on the role you accept, you can earn a comfortable salary for your work. Many who earn this degree also take on freelance assignments to make even more money on their downtime.
How to Choose an Online Creative Writing Degree
Keep the following in mind as you evaluate online creative writing degrees.
Is the program offered by an accredited college or university? How is it perceived by employers and past students? What’s the job placement rate? These are just a few questions to ponder as you evaluate the reputation of online creative writing degree programs.
Ultimately, you want to make a worthwhile investment in your education that will pay dividends for years to come. But if you select an option that’s not reputable, you could waste years of your life enrolled in a program that won’t be beneficial in the long run.
Does the online writing degree program you’re considering allow students to specialize their degree? While it’s not mandatory, concentrations help align your educational studies with your career goals. If you’re leaning towards a standard Bachelor of Arts in English, a specialization in creative writing is most ideal.
Online creative writing degree programs require a substantial investment of your time and money. You want a college or university that offers an exceptional learning experience at an affordable rate.
It’s best if you compare your top options before moving forward. Confirm that the rate assessed for tuition and fees is similar to what others are offering. Also, avoid institutions that implement steep rate hikes each year.
Jobs Waiting for You with a Creative Writing Degree
We’ve included some of the top job opportunities for creative writing majors.
Copywriters compose written content that aims to sell products and services. They also collaborate with management to create advertisements and slogans. On average, copywriters earn $63,200 per year.
Do you have what it takes to make content shine? A career as a professional editor may be suitable. You will read content and rectify grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. Editors also verify citations and rework text to make it more fluid.
In 2018, the median pay for editors was $61,370.
Reporters compile and examine facts related to interviews, investigations, newsworthy events and observations. This information is used to create stories for news magazines, newspapers, radio broadcasts and televisions.
The average annual salary for reporters is $51,550.
Best Online Colleges for a Creative Writing Degree
We’ve compiled a list of the top institutions that offer creative writing degrees. There’s also a review of each program to help you find the best fit.
1. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing. This degree can help morph you into an exceptional communicator. You will learn how to let your imagination run wild so you can compose unique fiction and nonfiction content.
The curriculum delves into communication, literacy structure and rhetoric in a variety of texts. Creative writing majors complete the following core courses:
- Creative Writing for English Majors
- Theory and Practice of Creative Writing
- Theory and Techniques of Literary Study
There’s also a literary history requirement that entails:
- 1 pre-1865 Literature course
- 1 post-1865 Literature course
- 2 Literary courses (can be pre-1865, post-1865 or both)
This program prepares you for a career as a copywriter, educator, journalist, playwright, publisher or technical writer. Know that graduates work in many fields, including consulting, editing, law, publishing and teaching.
You need 120 credit hours to earn your degree.
2. Indiana University – East
Want to transform your love of writing into a profitable career? An online Bachelor of Arts in English, technical and professional writing can help you do just that. It’s designed for students who already have 60 credit hours from a qualifying college or university and who want to complete their degree.
The following core courses must be taken to reach the finish line:
- Advanced Composition
- Advanced Technical Writing
- American Ethnic and Minority Literature
- American Prose (Excluding Fiction)
- American Fiction to 1900
- Digital Writing
- Grammar and Usage
- History of the English Language
- Introduction to Advanced Study of Literature
- Introduction to the English Language
- Professional Writing Skills
- Studies in American Culture
- Studies in British or Commonwealth or Native American Literature
- Technical Editing
There’s also a senior seminar to wrap up core coursework before you can earn your degree.
3. Missouri State University
Get an online Bachelor of Science in professional writing from Missouri State Online. It’s a program worth considering if you want to be viewed as a professional writer or editor by prospective employers.
Professional writing majors take these core courses:
- Advanced Technical Writing
- Analysis of Scientific Literature
- Scientific and Technical Editing
- Topics in Professional Writing
- Writing Grant Proposals
- Writing for the Web
- Writing II: Beginning Technical Writing
- Writing with Technology I and II
Graduates of the program work as content marketing specialists, copywriters, food writers, scriptwriters, editors and more.
4. University of Colorado Denver
Offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the online bachelor’s in writing, rhetoric and technology will prepare you for a thriving career as a writer. It’s a 4-year program that covers the fundamentals of academic professional writing. You will also learn the mechanics of communication, journalism, creative writing and digital production.
The curriculum includes core courses, like:
- Business Writing
- Fiction Workshop
- Grammar, Rhetoric and Style
- Multimedia Composition
- Technical Writing
Distance learning students receive the same rigorous instruction as their peers on campus. But you’ll have far more flexibility with viewing lectures and complete assignments.
Upon completion of the program, you will be ready to work as a content writer, professional writer, technical writer or web content manager.
5. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and English. You will hone your writing skills while learning how to appreciate various literary forms, implement conventions and techniques to produce better work and create advanced writing pieces.
Core classes for creative writing and English majors include:
- Advanced Creative Writing
- Introduction to Creative Writing
- Context of Writing: Writers/Publishing
- Literary Theory
- The English Language
Want to enhance your degree? Choose from a concentration in fiction, nonfiction, poetry or screenwriting.
You need 120 credits to complete the program. However, SNHU allows you to transfer up to 90 to earn your degree faster and save money.
6. Nicholls State University
The online Bachelor of Arts in English from Nicholls State University is a component of the Department of Languages and Literature. Concentrations are offered in creative writing, literary studies and writing and rhetoric.
The program is suitable for both aspiring professionals and individuals who want to continue their education in a related writing program. If you choose the creative writing concentration, You will take these courses related to the major:
- Creative Writing in Three Genres
- Creative Writing Seminar: Fiction
- Creative Writing Seminar: Non-Fiction
- Creative Writing Seminar: Poetry
- The Writer’s Workshop
Three of the following electives are required:
- Introduction to Poetry
- Introduction to Drama
- Introduction to Non-Fiction Prose
- Introduction to the Novel
- Introduction to Poetry
- Introduction to the Short Story
- Publishing Practicum I
You will also acquire the foundational skills needed to work as a film or television writer, non-fiction writer, novelist, poet, professional editor, publisher or instructor.
7. Antioch University
Learn how to use your words to communicate more effectively and write more meaningful pieces. The online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in literature and creative writing will help you level up your skills and prepare for an exciting career as a professional writer.
As you progress through the program, you will navigate emerging formats, like blogging and social media, and explore the publishing industry. You will also write in multiple genres to help identify strengths and weaknesses. These core courses are mandatory for literature and creative writing students:
- African American Literature or Mixed Race Women’s Memoirs
- American Literature
- Creative Nonfiction
- English Literature
- History of the English Language
- Multi-Genre Writing
- Playwriting and Performance
- Poetry Writing
- Short Story Writing
- Social Media and Social Change
There’s also a writers’ workshop seminar and senior project requirement.
Planning to pursue a master’s in English or a related field? Take advantage of the Early Access Option that allows you to complete graduate coursework during your undergraduate tenure.
Find the Best Online Creative Writing Degree Program for You
Become a better writer and position yourself for a rewarding career with an online creative writing degree. Consider our top recommendations to help you get started with your search. They are from reputable colleges and universities and feature affordable tuition and fees.
You can enroll without having to quit your job or relinquish family responsibilities. Plus, student support resources are available to help you stay on track and meet your target graduation date.
Southern New Hampshire University Online
SNHU Online Offers:
- Flexible schedules
- Affordable tuition
- Online tutoring
- Access to electronic research materials
- Specialized academic advising
- Supportive online community