10 Best Deals: Online Master’s in English Literature

By Jennifer W. Eisenberg

It is puzzling but true that people who have earned one particular master’s degree can be found in almost every company or industry. In addition, these same employees are the ones who fill a wide range of desirable positions. What is that advanced degree and why have these employees managed to staff the working world with their skills?

The degree is English composition and literature, and the answer lies in the abilities developed in earning that diploma–specifically, the skills to understand, research, analyze, and cite great works and then go on to create a valuable product resulting from that understanding, research, analysis, and citation. Because such skills are treasured but not common, they are in high demand in business and industry.

If you have a passion for reading widely and in depth–as well as for composition–and you wish to move forward in your field, then attaining a master’s degree in English literature may be your path to an enhanced future. The following list of the 10 best deals on online master’s degrees in English Literature will assist you in finding a prestigious, accredited school at a manageable cost.

A master’s degree in English literature emphasizes reading and analyzing written works, using a variety of texts. Students also explore historical elements of literature, including literary criticism. Students will typically settle on an area of focus, such as Chaucer or Shakespeare or Russian masterpieces, whatever subject may intrigue the student or may be offered by the educational institution, often by a professor who is renowned for a specific category or author. After graduation, the student will find job opportunities in a wide range of sites, from academia to business to government. A few of the job titles that holders of a master’s degree in English literature may expect to fill will include writer, editor, marketing manager, publisher, teacher, human resources manager, and events management.

Online master’s programs are created so they will reflect the coursework to be found at a traditional college or university. While earning an online master’s in English literature, students may fulfill their program requirements and still be able to meet any personal responsibilities, such as work or family needs.

In the following guide, you will find more information about how to use your master’s in English literature, and what kinds of positions await you after graduation.

What does a master’s in English literature do?

A 100% online master’s degree in English literature provides you with the skills necessary to fill a wide variety of professional positions. Besides emphasizing specific works of literature, the coursework develops essential skills that will be useful in the working world–skills such as communication, utilization of historical perspectives, analysis of content, debating an argument, and framing narratives.

What does the degree cover?

Coursework for achieving a master’s degree in English literature may cover any known field of written literature and will concentrate on developing the student’s abilities to comprehend, analyze, communicate, and synthesize material. Students will have opportunities to explore literary criticism, debate opposing beliefs, and make arguments for their own understanding of particular works–or the understanding of another writer.

What jobs are available for degree holders, what salaries might I expect, and what is the job outlook?

Some job titles include high school teacher, postsecondary teacher, editor, technical writer, communications specialist, marketing manager, digital copywriter, newspaper journalist, web content manager, academic librarian, public relations officer, records manager, arts administrator, and advertising account executive.

The median annual salary for holders of a master’s degree in English literature in 2015 was $61,990. Here are salaries for a few particular job titles for holders of a master’s degree in English literature (all figures courtesy of Bureau of Labor Statistics):

High School Teacher $51,750
Editor $49,056
Managing Editor $64,011
Technical Writer $53,510
Senior Technical Writer $78,982
Communications Specialist $53,341
Marketing Manager $58,512

The fields with the most significant projected job growth for applicants holding a master’s degree in English literature are postsecondary education and technical writing. Employment growth for postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 13% between 2014-2024. Employment for secondary school teachers is projected to grow 6% in the same time period. Employment of technical writers is expected to grow 10% in that time period. It is important to remember that secondary schools require teaching certificates for employment, but students can pursue a dual teaching degree.

Why should I study online instead of in a traditional face-to-face college?

If you have already begun a career or you are dealing with personal obligations, achieving your degree online presents many advantages. Online education gives you the opportunity to move at your own pace and to fulfill your personal obligations at the same time. Many colleges and universities will offer a reduced rate of tuition for online classes. Another way you will save is that you will pay no gas or parking fees. Some schools offer accelerated courses of study so you may finish your degree in less time, which means an additional savings of money.

How do I find the online master’s program that is right for me?

Prospective students may assess online colleges in the same ways as traditional colleges, without needing to travel to a school. Viable institutions of higher education offer accreditation, a desirable faculty to student ratio, courses that students both need and want, and affordable tuition. Each of these factors may be verified online.

Certain factors are harder to assess, such as whether course offerings meet the student’s own needs. Text materials and format of the coursework influence student satisfaction also. Students thrive on relatively fast turnaround evaluation of their work, and this is definitely true with online programs. Often, a student’s completion of an assignment can depend on receiving feedback about previous work. Technology support and post-graduation career resources are vital to student success in an online college. Tech support centers should be available 24/7. Colleges and universities should provide help in finding employment after graduation. Where these services exist, be sure to utilize them fully.

Does earning an online degree get me a different diploma than people who go to a brick and mortar college?

When you attain an online master’s degree in English literature from a school, you receive exactly the same diploma as traditional students. If you wish, you may even attend the same graduation ceremony. Your diploma will contain no “online” descriptor. In many cases, your instructors will be the same ones you would have had in the brick-and-mortar program.

What kinds of skills does online college require?

Studies in an online program require certain skills of organization and personal discipline. Most online colleges and universities will post a brief online quiz you may take to assess your possession of these skills. Many skills you developed while earning your bachelor’s degree will serve you well in online graduate school. Online education also requires a technical component, but your accession of this article demonstrates that you likely have the abilities needed to complete an online master’s degree in English literature.

How were these rankings arrived at?

A number of factors entered into this ranking of the 10 best deals on online master’s degrees in English literature. These factors are broken down into the bullet points below. Where there is a tie on points in school rankings, tuition cost will be the deciding factor. Another factor is a school’s student to faculty ratio, as well as bonus points that may be awarded for tuition breaks given to out of state online students.
Tuition figures for the year are the out of state graduate tuition numbers reported to the National Center for Education Statistics, an information clearinghouse of the US government. Enrollment and student to faculty ratios are also from this source. Any per credit hour tuition rate included in the school review paragraph is courtesy of that school’s website and may reflect a discount from the government reported rate.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition Points

  1. Under $30,000—1 point
  2. Under $27,000—2 points
  3. Under $24,000—3 points
  4. Under $21,000—4 points
  5. Under $18,000—5 points
  6. Under $15,000—6 points
  7. Under $12,000—7 points
  8. Under $9,000—8 points

Student to Faculty Ratio Points

  1. Above 35-1 point
  2. Above 30-2 point
  3. Above 25-3 points
  4. Above 20-4 points
  5. Above 15-5 points
  6. Above 10-6 points

National Recognition

  1. Top 100-1 point
  2. Top 40-2 point
  3. Top 30-3 points
  4. Top 20-4 points
  5. Top 10-5 points
  6. Top 5-6 points

Bonus for special tuition discount for online students

  1. Has special online discount for tuition-3 points
  2. Online students charged standard tuition-0 points

#10 – Emporia State University

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia State University is the third-oldest institution of higher learning in the Sunflower State.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 9
Enrollment: 5,887
Tuition: $18,414
Emporia State University was established in 1863, and the school mascot is the Hornet. With a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 30-33 credit hour program that includes coursework in rhetoric and criticism. Emporia State University charges a non-resident, graduate tuition rate of $788.50 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

#9 – University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

The University of West Florida’s mascot is Argie the Argonaut.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 10
Enrollment: 12,966
Tuition: $22,166
The University of West Florida was established in 1963. With a student to faculty ratio of 22 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 33 credit hour program including coursework in literary theory and world literature. The University of West Florida offers an online, out of state, graduate tuition rate of $1,044.24 per credit hour, but they offer an opportunity for up to a 75% out of state tuition waiver to qualifying students. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#8 – East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University’s school mascot is PeeDee the Pirate.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 10
Enrollment: 28,962
Tuition: $17,898
East Carolina University was established in 1907, and the school motto is “To Serve.” With a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 33 credit hour program that includes coursework in research design and bibliography. East Carolina University charges an online, out of state, graduate tuition rate of $893.82 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#7 – Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, Arizona

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is located at the base of the San Francisco Peaks.

Master of Arts in English-Literature Online

Website
Points: 13
Enrollment: 30,361
Tuition: $17,915
Northern Arizona University was established in 1899, and the school mascot is Louie the Lumberjack. With a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English-literature that is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in Chaucer and classical literature. Northern Arizona University offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $550 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6 – Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s school mascot is Vic the Demon.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 13
Enrollment: 9,819
Tuition: $16,526
Northwestern State University of Louisiana was established in 1884. With a student to faculty ratio of 20 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 30 credit hour program that has five available concentrations: writing and linguistics, literature, folklife/Southern culture, generalist, and TESOL. Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $475 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#5 – Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University was establiished in 1923.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 13
Enrollment: 36,551
Tuition: $12,744
Texas Tech University is the flagship institution of the Texas Tech University system. With a student to faculty ratio of 21 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in foreign language and foundations of research. Texas Tech University offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $255 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#4 – Ohio Dominican University

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Dominican University was established in 1911.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 13
Enrollment: 2,406
Tuition: $10,800
Ohio Dominican University is a small liberal arts institution of higher learning that is affiliated with the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church. With a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 33 credit hour program including coursework in modernism and poetry. Ohio Dominican University charges an online, graduate tuition rate of $600 per credit hour for this program. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#3 – Minnesota State University Mankato

Mankato, Minnesota

Minnesota State University

Minnesota State University’s school mascot is the Maverick.

Master of Arts in Literature and English Studies Online

Website
Points: 15
Enrollment: 15,165
Tuition: $6,849
Minnesota State University Mankato is the flagship campus of the Minnesota State University system. With a student to faculty ratio of 23 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English and literature studies that is a 34 credit hour program including coursework in film theory and children’s literature. Minnesota State University Mankato offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $431.85 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2 – University of Texas Permian Basin

Odessa, Texas

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s school mascot is the Falcon.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 16
Enrollment: 6,673
Tuition: $5,496
The University of Texas Permian Basin opened the school doors in 1973. With a student to faculty ratio of 20 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in American literature and topics in drama. The University of Texas Permian Basin offers an online, out of state, graduate tuition rate of $288.33 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#1 – Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Gardner-Webb University - Online Bachelor's Finance

Gardner-Webb University was established in 1905.

Master of Arts in English Online

Website
Points: 17
Enrollment: 3,915
Tuition: $7,722
Gardner-Webb University has an actual “boiling spring” on its physical campus, which the surrounding town is named for. With a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English that is a 30 credit hour program that has three available concentrations: literature studies, English education, or writing studies. Gardner-Webb University offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $455 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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