Despite the consequences of the pandemic, the need to adapt to online learning environments has highlighted a new time for learning. English writing, editing, and communication skills are evolving to become central for student and professional success. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), public schools registered approximately five million English language learners (ELL) in 2017.
Outside the education system, demand for English professionals is also on the rise. The technical writing field is projected to grow by 7% from 2019-2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is a faster growth rate than most industries.
An online master’s in English degree builds advanced knowledge of the language, literature, and the interpretation of literary texts, such as fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Emphasizing research, writing, critical thinking, and communications skills, this versatile degree often prepares graduates for teaching careers. However, English students can also apply their skills in writing and editing careers.
BLS reports that high school teachers earned an annual median salary of $61,660 in 2019, with jobs projected to grow about as fast as average between 2019 and 2029. A master’s in English typically takes 2-3 years to complete, and most programs require applicants to hold at least some undergraduate credits in English.
This page offers an overview of online master’s in English programs, including common courses, career outcomes, and scholarships for English students
Accredited Online College Programs
Most Affordable Online Master’s in English Programs 2021
The University of West Florida
A major public college based in Pensacola, UWF offers an online master's in English with specializations in literature and creative writing. Both tracks explore literature and print culture, building knowledge of literary periods, genres, and critical interpretation.
The literature track emphasizes British and American literature, along with literary theory and criticism. The creative writing track features workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. UWF's online English program uses a primarily synchronous format, with live lectures and class meetings that mimic the format of traditional courses.
The college rarely admits online learners who live in close proximity to the UWF campus. However, the program may make exceptions under special circumstances. Applicants must hold at least 20 undergraduate English credits at the junior/senior level.
Located on the Yakima Indian Reservation in Toppenish, Washington, Heritage offers two master's in English online programs: a master of arts in multicultural English literature and language and a master of teaching in English/language arts. Both programs feature fully online courses, with evening and weekend campus sessions also available.
The multicultural English literature and language degree emphasizes varied perspectives in British and American literature, including African American, Latino/a, and Native American. The program covers literature, linguistics, writing and composition, and research, with concentration options in multicultural literature and writing.
The English/language arts teaching program includes a Washington residency teaching certificate, preparing graduates to teach English and language arts for grades 5-12. The curriculum includes both education and English coursework. The program also includes a co-teaching experience in a classroom setting.
Average net price for out-of-state students online: $32,920
A member of the University of Louisiana System, ULM offers one of the state's top online master's in English programs. Candidates can choose from concentrations in literary studies and creative writing, and the program offers both thesis and non-thesis options.
Candidates on the literary studies track must complete a bibliography and literary research course. Creative writing candidates complete a course in forms and theories of creative writing, along with three workshop courses in either fiction or poetry.
Applicants to the English program must possess at least 30 credits of upper-level undergraduate English courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants who fail to meet undergraduate GPA requirements can instead submit GRE scores, with a minimum score of 292 required. Applicants who fail to meet these requirements may receive conditional admission.
A member of the University of Louisiana System, Louisiana Tech serves around 12,000 students annually from its campus in Ruston and online. The school's master of arts in English offers concentrations in literature and technical writing, with both thesis and non-thesis options available.
Regardless of their concentration or thesis track, all candidates complete a minimum of 33 credits and study British and American literature. All students also complete a course in literary research and bibliography.
Applicants need a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in English, including at least 12 upper-division credits. Applicants must also submit a 15-page writing sample and a one-page statement of purpose.
Located in Natchitoches, NSU offers an online master's in English with five concentration options: writing and linguistics, literature, folklife/Southern culture, generalist, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). All courses for the TESOL program occur fully online, while other concentrations may only offer select electives online.
All candidates complete 30 credits total, though course requirements vary depending on concentration. Students on the folklife/Southern literature track, for example, may complete courses such as literature of the Southern renaissance, contemporary Southern writers, and folk and fairy tales.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit a 15-page academic writing sample, a 500-word statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.
A public college based in Murray, Kentucky, Murray State offers an online master's in English literature that trains English teachers and candidates planning to pursue doctoral study. The program offers a standard concentration in literature along with cognate concentrations in philosophy and modern languages.
The 30-credit program includes 12 credits divided evenly between British and American literature, three credits in research and bibliography, and 15 credits of English electives. These courses cover the major periods of literature, from pre-1500 to the present day.
Near the end of the program, all degree candidates must pass comprehensive oral examinations. Literature exams cover all major periods of British and American literature. Philosophy and modern language exams cover four of six literary periods along with the student's concentration area. All candidates must also pass comprehensive written examinations.
A member of the Texas A&M University System, Tarleton serves more than 13,000 students annually. The college offers an online master's in English with concentrations in literature and technical communication and rhetoric. Both concentrations offer thesis and non-thesis options. Candidates can also pursue an accelerated teacher certification pathway. The program prepares graduates for careers in education, academia, and technical writing.
Technical communication and literature candidates complete 36 credits. Teaching certification candidates complete 39 credits. Literature candidates study British and American literature, and technical candidates complete courses in technical writing and editing.
The teaching certification track draws content from both concentrations, with an additional course in the teaching of composition. Thesis candidates complete a six-credit research thesis, which takes the place of six course credits.
A member of the University of Texas System, UT Tyler operates a main campus in the East Texas city of Tyler, located about 100 miles east of Dallas. The school's online master's in English builds skills in textual interpretation, research, critical thinking, and analytical writing. The program offers thesis and non-thesis tracks, and students can choose from fully online and hybrid options.
The 36-credit program includes courses on topics like early/early modern literature; later literature; and theory, rhetoric, and writing. Students can choose from a wide selection of courses to fulfill elective requirements, with course options including studies in neo-classical literature, studies in American literary realism, and the modern novel.
Candidates can culminate the degree with a three-credit graduate thesis, which requires original research into a literary topic, or an additional three-credit elective course.
A public college based in Morehead, Kentucky, MSU was the first college in the region to offer a master's in English online. The program offers comprehensive training in literary analysis, linguistics, creative writing, and technical writing.
All students must pass multiple assessments throughout the program, including a research exam focusing on one major author, three exams in embedded course documents, and a comprehensive master of arts exit exam. Occurring at the program's conclusion, the exit exam covers a designated list of texts that span the major periods of British and American literature.
Applicants to the fully online program must possess at least 12 upper-division undergraduate credits in English with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
One of the largest colleges in the country, UCF serves more than 69,000 students annually from its campus in Orlando and online. The school offers an online master's in English with a specialization in technical communications, which trains students to translate complex ideas and technical instructions into clear language for general audiences. The program uses a 100% online format, and full-time students can graduate in two years.
The 33-credit program includes 15 credits of required courses, 15 credits of technical communication electives, and a three-credit culminating experience. Students can culminate the degree with a graduate thesis or a directed research project.
Unlike many graduate English programs, UCF's technical writing degree does not require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree in English. Graduates commonly pursue positions such as technical writer, publications specialist, communications professional, and user experience consultant.
One of Tennessee's major public colleges, UofM offers an online master's in English with concentrations in composition studies, English as a second language (ESL), linguistics, literature, and professional writing. The ESL concentration is available fully online, while the other concentrations may require some campus courses.
Each concentration requires a minimum of 33 credits, with 30 credits dedicated to academic courses and three credits dedicated to a graduate thesis. Course requirements vary widely among concentrations. Professional writing students, for example, complete courses including academic genre and scholarly publishing, research methods in writing, and technical editing.
Applicants typically need a bachelor's degree in English. However, candidates who lack the appropriate academic background may enroll in the program after completing up to 12 upper-division credits of English courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
One of the top private colleges in California, NU offers a fully online master's in English literature that trains students in the sustained analysis and criticism of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The program also offers an optional specialization in rhetoric, which emphasizes the use of language and image in modes of cultural production.
Candidates complete a total of 45 quarter credits, including 27 credits of core courses and 18 credits of specialization courses. The program core includes an introduction to graduate English studies, a seminar in literary theory, and two courses on a literary period or theme.
Students complete one course at a time in a condensed four-week format. Candidates can attend courses fully online or at one of several campus locations around California and Nevada.
A public college based in Valdosta, Georgia, VSU offers an online master of arts in English studies for language arts teachers. This fully online program prepares candidates to teach English and language arts at the grade school level, highlighting the intersection of educational theory, pedagogy, and literature.
The 36-credit program includes 27 credits of core courses and nine credits of electives. The program core covers key topics in literature and education, including British literature, American literature, creative writing, and composition. Electives explore specialized topics such as the history of rhetorical theory, language in school, and the study of English language learners. Candidates also complete one special topics course in creative writing, American literature, or British literature.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree in English. However, candidates who lack the proper academic background can complete 15 credits of English prerequisite courses to gain program eligibility, including introductory courses in criticism and research, British literature, and American literature.
A major provider of distance education in North Carolina, ECU offers one of the state's top online master's in English degrees. The program features fully online concentrations in technical and professional communication and multicultural and transnational literature. The program also offers concentrations in literature, English studies, rhetoric and composition, creative writing, and teaching English to speakers of other languages. However, these concentrations may include on-campus classes.
All students complete 33 credits, including a three-credit research methods course, 18 credits of concentration courses, six credits of elective courses, and either a six-credit thesis or six credits of additional coursework. Students on the non-thesis track must also complete a comprehensive assessment project that demonstrates deep knowledge of program content.
ECU offers online education to students around the country, but those who reside outside of North Carolina should ensure that the program meets local authorization standards, particularly if they plan to pursue teaching after graduation.
A private college based in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Mercy offers an online master's in English literature that emphasizes the theories and methodologies of literary interpretation, highlighting key works of American, British, and world literature.
The 30-credit program includes courses on the theory and practice of literary criticism, writing and literary forms, and key periods of British and American literature. Candidates must also complete a three-credit graduate thesis, which requires original research on an approved English topic. At the end of the program, all students must pass a comprehensive written exam that evaluates mastery of major program topics.
Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, though Mercy offers conditional acceptance for some applicants who fail to meet the GPA requirement. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores.
One of the country's largest public colleges, ASU enrolls over 100,000 students across multiple campus locations and online. The school's online master's in English emphasizes analytical competency, critical thinking, communication, and creativity. Candidates can complete all courses online with no required campus visits.
The 30-credit program highlights the intersection of historical, cultural, and literary study, building broadly applicable skills in writing and communication. Courses include approaches to research, teaching young adult literature, magical realism as a global genre, composition studies, and linguistics. All students also complete a graduate capstone seminar at the end of the program.
Applicants to the English program must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on their final 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. They must also submit a statement of purpose, a current resume, and two letters of recommendation.
Located about 85 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, Minnesota State University-Mankato serves more than 14,000 students annually through on-campus and online programs. The school offers an online master's in English with concentrations in English literature and English studies and technical communication.
The English literature program covers major topics in British literature, American literature, world literature, and literary theory and criticism. Candidates can choose from electives on topics such as multicultural American literature, gender in literature, and topics in children's and young adult literature.
The technical communication program covers key topics in technical editing, technical documentation, and rhetorical theory. Candidates can also explore specialized elective topics such as usability, desktop publishing, and technical and scientific prose.
A public college based in Flagstaff, NAU offers an online master's in English with concentrations in literature and professional writing. The fully online program emphasizes theory and knowledge, analysis and critical thinking, and research and application.
The literature track emphasizes the interpretation and analysis of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Courses include literary criticism and theory, rhetoric and composition theory, and research in literary studies. Candidates may be allowed to complete up to nine credits of relevant elective coursework outside of the English department with faculty approval.
The professional writing track trains students for writing positions in business, education, and other fields. Core courses focus on professional foundations, technical editing, and workplace environment. Candidates also complete electives, which may be drawn from disciplines including English, communications, and education.
Serving West Texas' Big Bend region, Sul Ross offers an online master's in English literature for distance learners around the state. The program focuses on the interpretation of literary texts, with a heavy emphasis on research techniques. Candidates can complete either a thesis or a non-thesis option.
Regardless of their thesis track, all candidates complete 18 core credits, divided evenly among courses in British literature, American literature, and language/writing/theory. Thesis candidates complete 30 credits total, while non-thesis candidates must complete 36 credits. Typical courses include early American literature, literature of the feminist movement, transnational literature, and composition and pedagogy at hispanic-serving institutions.
Candidates who choose the thesis track must perform significant original research on an approved literary topic. Completed under close faculty supervision, the thesis commonly serves students who plan to pursue a doctorate in English after graduation.
A major public college located in Lubbock, Texas Tech hosts an online master's in English that explores advanced topics in literature, linguistics, and creative writing, preparing students for careers in education, publishing, academia, and related fields.
English candidates can choose from 10 concentrations, including comparative literature, film and media studies, literature and social justice, globalization and translation, and creative writing. The program offers thesis and non-thesis options, both of which include a total of 36 credits.
Core courses focus on literary foundations, literary genres, British literature, American literature, and comparative literature. All English students must also demonstrate reading proficiency in a second language, translation proficiency, or proficiency in linguistics or another language-related practice.
Building widely applicable skills in textual analysis and writing, ODU's online master's in English offers concentrations in literature, rhetoric and composition, professional writing, and the teaching of English. All students either complete a research thesis worth up to six credits or six credits of additional English courses.
Applicants for the literature, rhetoric, and teaching tracks must hold at least 24 undergraduate English credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The professional writing track does not require applicants to have an English background, though ODU still requires a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. All applicants must also submit GRE scores, a professional or scholarly writing sample, and a short personal essay.
One of the top public colleges in the Midwest, UNK enrolls more than 6,900 students annually. The school's online master's in English features four focus areas: literature; creative writing; childhood and youth studies; and composition, rhetoric, and language.
Regardless of their focus area, all candidates complete a minimum of 36 credits. The curriculum includes core courses, focus courses, electives, and a thesis. Core courses examine American literature, British literature, and literary theory/criticism.
Candidates complete 12 credits of focus courses, building specialized knowledge in one area of study. For example, in the childhood studies track, candidates take courses such as children's literature, adolescent literature, fairy tales and folklore, and the graphic novel.
A public college based in western Pennsylvania, SRU offers a professionally focused online master's in English that emphasizes writing for fields such as business, government, nonprofit administration, law, and education. This accelerated program enables candidates to graduate in just 15 months of full-time study.
The 30-credit program focuses more on the practical applications of writing than literary criticism and analysis. Typical courses include rhetorical theory, digital writing and publishing, linguistics and writing, consultancy in writing in the disciplines, and researching academic and professional writing.
Applicants do not need an undergraduate degree in English, but SRU does require a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must also submit a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation.
A private college based in Columbus, ODU hosts around 1,500 students annually. The school's online master's in English literature stresses literary history, writing skills, and critical analysis. The program offers credentials that enable grade 7-12 teachers to instruct dual enrollment and college-level English courses. To accommodate working educators, the program schedule follows typical K-12 academic calendars.
The 33-credit program features a required course in graduate writing and research, along with 8-9 additional courses covering important genres and periods in American, British, and world literature.
Candidates choose from two culminating project options: a six-credit thesis or a three-credit capstone. The thesis requires a comprehensive research project, while the capstone requires a 15-page seminar paper and an integrative project on a relevant area of English studies. Capstone candidates must also complete one additional English course.
Based in Plainview, Texas, WBU also operates campus locations in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska, and Hawaii, along with a distance education program. The school's online master's in English literature builds critical thinking, cultural awareness, textual analysis, and intensive research skills.
The 37-credit program emphasizes British and American literature, literary theory, and historical literary periods. Students take classes on topics like American romanticism and realism, usage and style, structures of language, young adult literature, and teaching college composition. Candidates complete either a six-credit thesis or six credits of additional English courses to culminate the degree.
Applicants need at least 12 credits of upper-division undergraduate English courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also either possess or be willing to pursue reading proficiency in a foregin language.
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Questions About Online Master’s in English Programs, Answered
How long does it take to get a master’s degree in English?
Completion time varies by program, but most graduate English degrees take 2-3 years to complete. Some programs offer accelerated completion options, enabling candidates to graduate faster.
How much does a master’s in English cost?
Tuition rates for graduate English programs can vary widely. However, costs typically range from $30,000-$100,000.
What job can I get with a master’s in English?
English graduates can pursue many careers in fields such as education, technical writing, editing, and communications. Graduates may also find work in the government and nonprofit sectors.
What skills do I gain with an MA in English?
A master’s in English builds knowledge of literary genres and periods, along with advanced skills in research, writing, and literary criticism.
Are there online English master programs?
Yes, there are dozens of master’s in English programs at accredited universities across the country that you can attend from the comfort of your own home.
What Are the Goals of English?
At its heart, English focuses on the close study of literary texts. Literary criticism has grown into a diverse and highly specialized field, encompassing a variety of critical approaches and methodologies. Graduate study explores these complex and often contradictory perspectives, encouraging students to critically examine texts while developing their own notions of literary interpretation.
A master’s in English builds on the knowledge gained in bachelor’s programs, developing more comprehensive knowledge of literary history and theories of interpretation. For students interested in teaching at the college level, a master’s degree is often the next step on the path toward a Ph.D., which is required for academic careers.
Why Should I Consider a Master’s in English?
An online master’s in English often prepares graduates for careers in education. While K-12 teaching positions typically only require a bachelor’s degree, earning a master’s can help teachers distinguish themselves when applying for jobs. Advanced credentials often result in higher salaries.
To pursue a teaching career, candidates need both a degree and teacher licensure or certification. Educators usually obtain a secondary education credential, which enables them to teach grades 7-12. Many graduate English programs offer preparation for language arts teaching certification as part of their curriculum.
An online master’s in English program offers notable professional and educational benefits for students, and candidates pursue the degree for many different reasons.
Preparation for Doctoral Study
A graduate English program fulfills many of the credit requirements for a Ph.D. in English, and candidates often choose to continue their studies at the doctoral level.
Preparation to Teach
English graduates can also pursue teaching careers at the middle or high school level. Many programs lead to teacher certification.
Increased Job Opportunities
In addition to education, English graduates can work in many fields, including technical writing and communications.
Increased Salary Potential
A graduate degree builds advanced knowledge and skills, which can help candidates command higher salaries.
Many graduate English programs emphasize academic research. Graduate students can perform original research in a supportive academic environment.
How to Become a Master in English
What are the requirements for an online english masters?
Most master’s degrees require that you already have your bachelor’s degree and that you maintained at least a 2.75 GPA during your undergrad, though many programs require a 3.0 or above. While applying to get into an online master’s in English program, you’ll also most likely need to provide not only your transcript and resume but letters of recommendation as well, typically three. You can ask former professors, mentors, and current or former supervisors to write you one. To graduate from a master’s program, you will likely need to complete anywhere from 36-60 credit hours which can take between two and four years.
Accreditation for a Master’s in English
Whether researching a master’s in English online or on campus, students should look for schools with proper accreditation. The accreditation process regulates colleges and universities, ensuring that their programs meet designated academic standards and provide adequate professional preparation.
All reputable colleges hold either national or regional accreditation. In general, national accreditation regulates technical and vocational colleges that offer trade education programs, such as dental hygiene and auto repair. Regional accreditation regulates four-year colleges that offer traditional academic programs, including English degrees. Without exception, only regionally accredited colleges offer online master’s in English programs.
Unlike many disciplines, English programs typically lack specific programmatic accreditation. However, programs from regionally accredited colleges are generally reputable. Prospective learners can consult the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s list of the six recognized regional accrediting organizations for more information on regional accreditation.
Courses in an English Master’s Program
An online master’s in English builds comprehensive skills in textual analysis and interpretation, research, and literary genres and periods.
While most programs focus on the study of literature, others may emphasize rhetoric, linguistics, or professional writing. Candidates typically demonstrate their overall learning through a graduate thesis or capstone project, which synthesizes major program principles.
The list below highlights three common courses in graduate English programs. Keep in mind that specific course titles and content may differ across programs.
Research Methods in Literature and Writing
Most graduate English programs emphasize scholarship and research, commonly featuring courses in research methods for literary scholars. This course introduces bibliography techniques and empirical methodologies for literature and the study of written documents. Learners study types of research, types of data (qualitative and quantitative), research design, formulation of hypotheses, and use of electronic and print resources. The course prepares students for advanced research, including the graduate thesis.
Literary Theory and Criticism
Literary theory marks one of the most significant developments in the study of English in the past century, and almost all graduate literature programs include a course dedicated to theory. This introductory course forms a foundation for further literary study, introducing the major methods of approaching texts, such as biographical, structural, post-structural, sociopolitical, and historical. The course may also track developments in literary theory throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, including its influence on English departments.
American Literature in the 20th Century
American literature forms a major component of most graduate English programs, and students may complete multiple courses focused on different periods of American fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. This course emphasizes developments in American literature during the 20th century, including modernism, postmodernism, and the increasing diversity of literary voices in the American canon. Most courses stress theoretical and critical approaches, and some may require candidates to research a specific American literary genre or author.
British Literature from the Romantics to Present
Along with American literature, students in graduate English programs often study British literature. Many programs offer multiple courses dedicated to specific periods of British literature. Courses often focus on the modern era of British literature, beginning with the Romantic poets, including Blake, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, and Wordsworth. These courses may trace the development of British literature through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
Often an elective, world literature focuses on literary voices outside the British and American tradition. These courses may highlight both Western and non-Western literature, exploring major works from antiquity to the present day. While European literature often figures into course content, many world literature courses feature voices from African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American literature, with many programs increasingly emphasizing indigenous literary voices.
What are the concentrations in a masters in English?
An online master’s in English degree offers an overall mastery of language, communication, and critical thinking skills, but you can also choose to specialize in a specific area. The following are a few common concentrations that you can study as a graduate student in an English program.
While focusing your studies on English literature, you’ll have to dive into the works of famous authors such as Jane Austen, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Ernest Hemingway. When working on your thesis, you’ll need to focus your project on a specific writer or area of literature like ancient literature, children’s literature, or British Literature.
By focusing your studies on writing, you’ll be able to express yourself through creative writing with a mastery of the language. You’ll study and learn from the greats, participate in writing workshops where you’ll get feedback on your work, and work with established writers and authors.
As a student of rhetoric, you’ll study the power and impact of language throughout history as well as how it plays out in a modern setting. You’ll study linguistics, history, and psychology to gain full understanding rhetoric.
Career and Salary Outlook for English Majors
English graduates can pursue careers in many different fields, including writing and editing, communications, and education. Many candidates work as teachers in middle school or high school, although some work at community colleges. See below for four of the most popular career paths for English graduates. Advancement for this field depends on what job role you pursue, though most top-employing occupations for this degree hold a projected growth of 4%, according to the BLS.
Instructional Coordinator These professionals work with schools and school districts to develop and implement curriculums and teaching standards. They typically evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum models, review textbooks and other teaching materials, plan and conduct educator training, and assess and recommend new teaching techniques and strategies.
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principal School principals oversee administrative and educational operations at K-12 schools. Responsible for a school’s overall administration, principals may manage staff members and activities; develop and assess curriculum standards; observe and evaluate teachers’ classroom performance; and meet with students, parents, and teachers.
Editor Editors review and revise written content for various print and digital media. They may edit for both style and content, checking for grammatical and punctuation errors while also helping writers refine and more clearly express their ideas. Editors may also oversee broader administrative functions, determining the overall direction of publications and deciding what to publish.
Technical Writer Technical writers translate complex ideas and instructions into clear writing for general audiences. They may write instructional manuals, guides, journals, and other supporting documents. These writers often work with technical staff to streamline and simplify specialized or complicated ideas.
Along with a graduate degree, English students can pursue a variety of professional certifications, which build specialized knowledge and prepare recipients for more advanced positions. Most certifications in the English field focus on teaching and instruction in language arts, reading, and ESL. This list highlights three common English certifications:
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
This certification trains teachers to instruct speakers of other languages in basic English usage, preparing recipients for specialized positions as ESL teachers. Available to both bachelor’s and master’s degree-holders, the certification stresses topics including second language acquisition, learning theory, and ESL curriculum and materials design.
This certification trains teachers for literacy instruction, working with special needs students to improve basic reading and comprehension skills. The certification requires candidates to hold a master’s degree and a valid teaching certificate, along with supervised practicum experience in reading or literacy instruction.
This certificate prepares recipients to serve as general classroom teachers or in support roles, providing reading and language arts instruction to students. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 45 teacher training hours.
How Can a Master's Student Pay for College?
Students enrolled in online master’s in English programs can apply for loans, grants, and private scholarships to fund their degree. Many scholarships specifically serve candidates pursuing master’s programs. Others serve English students at all levels. This list features five popular scholarships, along with general application requirements and award amounts.
Leo W. and Alberta V. Thomas Utz Scholarship Who Can Apply: College students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate program in English may apply. The scholarship can be renewed for up to four years as long as recipients maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA. Amount: $4,000
ChLA Hannah Beiter Graduate Student Research Grants Who Can Apply: Graduate or doctoral candidates in English pursuing research related to children’s or young adult literature may apply. The grant funds research activities for a graduate thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. Amount: $500-$1,500
American Copy Editors Society Scholarships Who Can Apply: Undergraduate or graduate students who plan to pursue a career in the editing of written material may apply. Applicants must submit a resume, references, and short essay responses to various prompts. Amount: $1,500-$3,500
Bodie McDowell Scholarship Who Can Apply: Undergraduate or graduate students in English (or a related field) with an interest in the outdoors and nature writing may apply. The award committee considers academic achievement, work examples, and personal recommendations. Amount: $1,000-$5,000
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship Who Can Apply: Female students enrolled in or planning to enroll in an academic program focused on writing (including English programs) may apply. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in horror writing and provide samples of work in the genre (either fiction or criticism). Amount: $2,500
Professional Organizations for English Students
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
The Association of Writers & Writing Programs supports 50,000 writers, 550 college and university programs, and 150 writers’ conferences. This organization is an excellent resource for any master’s in English students who want to become professional writers.
The Society of Professional Journalists
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the free press. They have about 13,500 members who are journalists. If you’re interested in a career in journalism, you’ll want to look into this organization for resources and information.
Academy of American Poets
Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets seeks to support poets as well as to keep the appreciation of the art alive. If you’re interested in becoming a professional poet, you’ll want to follow this organization.
Andrea Perez is the schools editor at Grad School Hub who oversees our college rankings, school profiles, and other higher education coverage. A graduate school alumna of the University of South Florida, she previously served as an editor at The Simple Dollar, as well as a staff writer at Connect, USF's digital magazine.