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English Bachelor’s Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Daisy Waithereo Wambua - November 03, 2021

A Bachelor’s Degree in English will allow you to expand your world through literature and improve your communication skills on paper and interpersonally. In this guide, we feature the best colleges for English majors and top-paying English major job opportunities to help you select the best career path.

What Is English?

English has over 1.3 billion speakers across the world. The language is now a native language across many parts of the world. The language is used in communication, both spoken and written. Through the use of the English language, we can achieve international trade, international telecommunications, and mass entertainment.

What Is an English Bachelor’s Degree?

An English bachelor’s degree is a four-year program that helps students master the ins and outs of the language. Students study American literature, British literature, modern world literature, creative writing, and poetry. The subjects taught in English majors vary from one campus to another, but the mentioned topics are standard across all four-year degree programs.

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A four-year degree in English will help you land a job as a content writer, executive assistant, copywriter, marketing manager, technical writer, or high school teacher. Find out the top paying career paths of an English major later in this guide.

English Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Most universities require applicants to have at least a high school diploma. You can also present a General Education Certificate to gain entry into the four-year degree programs. Students who have associate degree programs can also join the bachelor programs if they have enough credits. Potential students have to also complete an application that often includes a short essay.

How Much Does an English Bachelor’s Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one year at a four-year institution costs an average of $19,081 . This does not include the cost of accommodation, books, and supplies. It is important that you refer to the tuition calculator offered by each particular university to determine the exact fee you will be paying for your English degree.

English Bachelor’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your English Degree

There are plenty of English bachelor’s degree financing options. If you are unable to cover the tuition out of pocket, you can consider student loans , federal grants, or scholarships. These financing options ease the immediate burden of tuition payment.

Best English Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Northwestern University English Major Higher Learning Commission
University of California, Berkeley English Major Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC)
University of Chicago English Major and Minor Higher Learning Commission
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign English Major Higher Learning Commission
University of Michigan English Major Higher Learning Commission
University of Pennsylvania General English Major Middle States Commission on Higher Education
The University of Texas at Austin English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
University of Virginia English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
University of Wisconsin-Madison English Major Higher Learning Commission
Yale University English Major New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Best Colleges for English: Top English Bachelor’s Degree Programs

A four-year degree in English can open up endless opportunities across different industries. If you want to master the English language, you should consider attending the best colleges for English. We feature top English bachelor’s degree programs below.

English Major | Northwestern University

Northwestern University offers English as a major under Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. You can choose to major in creative writing or literature if you opt to attend a four-year degree. In the program, you will cover literary histories, nonfiction writing, media productions, archival documents, and film.

This is with an aim to develop your critical thinking, research, and communication skills. As part of the program, you will attend seminars and mentorship programs with the faculty to sharpen your knowledge.

English Major | University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley designed this program to expose prospective students to the history of English literature and theories of literary and cultural analysis. The English degree program will help students develop foundational skills in writing and speaking. To be eligible to declare a major at UC Berkeley, you need to have completed 30 units.

English Major and Minor | University of Chicago

The English major at the University of Chicago will take you through multiple topics. You will cover English fiction, poetry, drama, literature, and critical theory. Students also can pursue double majors in English and Creative Writing. Some students also opt for a minor in English and Creative Writing. Students must submit a program consent form to their advisor to declare a minor.

English Major | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

You can rely on University of Illinois academic advisors to help you plan your coursework in this degree program. In the program, you should expect to cover cultural study, analytical skills, English literature, and English historical development.

The university allows students to select the most suitable concentration for their studies from three options. You can choose to concentrate in literature and science, media cultures, or race, indigeneity, gender, and sexuality.

English Major | University of Michigan

The department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan offers training to students aspiring to master the cultural expressions of English as a language. The university designed the degree program to help students develop critical thinking and creative skills.

The platform provides English and Creative Writing as minors as well. This popular course attracts over 6,7000 students each academic year.

General English Major | University of Pennsylvania

The Bachelor of Arts in General English program at the University of Pennsylvania provides students with an opportunity to learn English literature, literary history, and theories of English as a language. In the program, you will cover poetics, Medieval English literature, 19th- and 20th-century English literature, and English literature before 1900.

English Major | The University of Texas at Austin

In this English major, you will cover British, American, and world English literature. You will explore the historical and cultural contexts of the language and concentrate on your areas of focus. The program is designed to help you improve your critical thinking and research skills.

Students who graduate from the program pursue careers in teaching, law, publishing, or advertising. It also opens opportunities in freelance, research, and corporate communications.

English Major | University of Virginia

This degree program will help you learn the cultural context of the language and explore the history of English literature. It’s also an excellent program to help you develop your communication skills. Students who graduate from the major find career opportunities in government, teaching, business, and law. You can also pursue a doctoral program once you graduate.

English Language and Linguistics | University of Wisconsin-Madison

English Language and Linguistics offered by the department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will take you through the basics and advanced levels of English literature. The degree program features English interaction, experimental research, the structure of the language, and synchronic and diachronic variation.

The campus also provides students with other concentrations within the English major. You can choose to pursue literary studies, composition rhetoric, the English 100 program, or creative writing.

English Major | Yale University

Yale provides students with an opportunity to advance their skills in English literature. The four-year degree program covers poetry, American literature, world Anglophone literature, and Medieval and Renaissance historical literature. Whether you choose to specialize in digital literature, modern poetry, or Renaissance literature, you will develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

Best Online English Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University – Skysong English Major Higher Learning Commission
Clayton State University English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Florida International University English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Liberty University English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Louisiana State University of Alexandria English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Maryville University English Major Higher Learning Commission
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College English Major North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Southern New Hampshire University English Major New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
University of Central Florida English Major Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
The University of Illinois Springfield English Major Higher Learning Commission

Best Colleges for English: Top Online English Bachelor’s Degree Programs

You do not have to take time off from your career to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English. There are plenty of top online English bachelor’s degree programs to let you study while fulfilling life’s many other demands. Below we curated a list of the best colleges for English in the United States that offer online degree programs.

English Major | Arizona State University

Arizona State University has over 25,500 enrolled students, 23 interdisciplinary schools, and over 95 undergraduate degrees. It also features affordable tuition costs and financial aid programs.

The 120-credit online English degree program will help you learn writing, analysis, and research skills in 39 classes. It’s a fantastic online program to help you pursue a career in writing, marketing, communication, or education.

English Major | Clayton State University

In the four-year English Major program, Claystone State University offers students an opportunity to learn American, British, and world English literature. The degree program will also take you through literary studies, composition, multimedia writing, and writing culture.

For literature concentration, you can choose to pursue History of English language, multicultural literature, or Caribbean Literature. A combination of these topics can lead to a career in editing, law, or advertising.

English Major | Florida International University

Creative writing, linguistics, and rhetoric are some of the topics you can expect when joining the online English program at Florida International University. This can easily help you land a job in editing, public relations, technical writing, advertising, law, or education administration. You can also advance your degree to a master’s degree or doctoral degree program after completion.

English Major | Liberty University

Liberty University offers a 130-credit degree program to study American literature, creative writing, literary criticism, and English novels. The degree program also features the Washington Fellowship which allows students to land internships at major organizations such as Fox News and the White House.

Students who excel in the program get extensive support from Honors and Eagle Scholarship programs to advance their leadership skills.

English Major | Louisiana State University

The Bachelor’s Degree in English offered by Louisiana State University will help you develop written, oral, editing, copywriting, and creative thinking skills. These are the basic foundations for professionals seeking to start a career in law, government, advertising, public relations, or teaching. The degree program touches on public speaking, creative writing, and literary history.

English Major | Maryville University

Maryville University offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in English featuring 128 credit hours. In it, you will find coursework containing your English major, a minor, electives, and general education. You will cover rhetorical situations, literary forms, creative writing, world mythology, world literature, and the history of literary critics.

In addition, you will go through an internship which will add three credits. By the time you finish the four-year program, you will be proficient in research, analysis, creativity, and writing.

English Major | Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

In the English Major program offered by SMWC, you can expect to cover human communication, English composition, research writing, literature, quantitative reasoning, and intercultural communication.

The school designed the curriculum to cover an introduction to sociology, statistics, visual arts, social justice, creative writing, pop fiction, and British, American, and modern world literature. Once you complete the 120-hour credit degree, you can start a career working in museums, marketing, public relations, advertising, publishing, or government.

English Major | Southern New Hampshire University

From literary classics to research strategies, the four-year degree in English offered by Southern New Hampshire University might tick all your boxes. The degree program is highly interactive and engaging, with a maximum of 20 students per class. In the degree focus, you will cover literary studies, multiethnic literature, digital literature, and American and British literature.

English Major | University of Central Florida

At the University of Central Florida, you will combine literature, writing, and language in your studies. The English degree program is known to prepare students for careers in advertising, teaching, government, or law. You can easily develop critical thinking and analytical skills. You can also use the bachelor’s degree to pursue an advanced degree.

English Major | University of Illinois

The English Major offered by the University of Illinois combines composition and literary study within its curriculum. The degree program teaches students how to read, write, and study literary texts from different genres in different cultures.

In the four-year study, you will cover British, American, and global literature. You will also cover creative and professional writing. Pursue this program if you want to become a content writer, editor, or teacher.

What’s the Average English Bachelor’s Degree Salary?

Library with tall ceilings and rows of tables. English Bachelor's Degrees
A Bachelor of Arts in English can lead to many exciting career options.

According to ZipRecruiter, the annual salary of an English major is $49,220 . If you would like to increase your salary potential, you should look into gaining industry-specific experience, skills, or education.

Top English Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

English Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Technical Writer $69,365
Advertising Manager $65,866
Content Manager $64,159
Freelance Writer $63,213
Translator $60,118
Public Relations Specialist $53,969
Editor $52,756
Social Media Manager $52,114
High School English Teacher $44,519
News Reporter $30,540

Best English Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Explained

Technical Writer

Hiring companies rely on technical writers to prepare, review, and revise documents. They also collect and analyze technical information to improve a product’s functionality. Often technical writers write product manuals, technical guides, help sections, and journal articles.

Advertising Manager

Advertising managers are responsible for developing and directing ad campaigns for companies. They supervise advertising teams to ensure the activities align with the company’s brand and objectives.

Content Manager

  • Average Salary: $64,159
  • Job Outlook: 10%*
  • Number of Jobs: 22,490*
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, Colorado, California, Ohio*

Hiring companies look for content managers to create, improve, and maintain content to achieve business objectives. In their role, content managers increase brand awareness, monitor web traffic, and analyze metrics to better their practice.

*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Freelance Writer

Freelance writers are often self-employed and do not commit to particular organizations. These professionals write texts regarding the guidelines provided, conduct research, and maintain uniqueness in their work. They also proofread assignments.


Translators are responsible for the conversion of one language to another. These professionals can convert concepts and relay the original message to a different language seamlessly. Translators can work in literature and media.

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists are responsible for a company’s brand and reputation. They liaise with media outlets to control the narrative of the company in public. Most of these professionals are skilled in communication, media relations, advertisement, and market research.


Editors are proficient in reading and correcting texts. They rewrite the content to make it more readable for users and verify the facts embedded for publication. They also work in conjunction with writers to improve their craft.

Social Media Manager

  • Average Salary: $52,114
  • Job Outlook: 10%*
  • Number of Jobs: 22,490*
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, Colorado, California, Ohio*

A social media manager analyzes data, identifies trends, and plans digital campaigns to build an online community. Often the professional has an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing, or English.

*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

High School English Teacher

A high school teacher plans and develops a curriculum for students to read and understand. They often provide academic support to students to ensure they are successful in their studies to achieve a high school diploma.

News Reporter

News reporters are responsible for collecting valid information and disseminating it to the public through television or radio. They often conduct in-depth research and follow up on leads to ensure the viability of their information. To be a successful news reporter, you must have excellent skills in writing, live reporting, social media, and multimedia.

Benefits of an English Bachelor’s Degree

  • Increases income potential . Bachelor’s degree graduates tend to attract a higher salary compared to graduates from other education pathways. If you want a higher salary, you may wish to pursue a four-year degree program.
  • Attracts more job opportunities . Four-year degree programs increase the job opportunities one gets in any industry. Most hiring companies hire professionals who have attended an internationally or regionally accredited bachelor’s degree program.
  • Can lead to degree advancement . Once you acquire a bachelor’s degree, you can easily pursue a master’s or doctoral program. Graduate degrees can help you upskill or advance your career.
  • Personal growth. If you already have the desired skill set to navigate the job market, you can opt to take on a four-year degree in English for personal growth. The degree program will contribute to your interpersonal skills and general abilities.
  • Networking opportunities . Four-year degrees offer an excellent platform for campus students to network. Attending a bachelor’s degree in English will help you develop a solid professional network of tutors, instructors, and other students in the course.

Should You Get a Bachelor’s Degree in English?

Yes, you should get a bachelor’s degree in English. The degree program will land you various career paths in any industry . The versatility of the degree program can help you start a career as a social media manager or an English teacher. If you have a knack for languages and would like to take it to the next level, this is the degree program for you.

English Bachelor’s Degree FAQ

Which minors can I find in the English Department?

Some of the minors in the English department are psychology, linguistics, education, theatre arts, and journalism. These minors vary depending on the institution.

Is it possible to major in English and Narrative Studies?

Yes, you can double major in English and Narrative Studies at some institutions.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in English worth it?

Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree in English is worth it. The degree program will not only open up varied job opportunities but also increase your communication and writing skills.

Is pursuing English as a major hard?

No, pursuing English as a major is not hard. As long as you have the passion, interest, and drive to learn, you will find studying the language to be relatively easy and enjoyable.

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Daisy Waithereo Wambua

About the author: Daisy, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is a seasoned writer with a decade of experience in writing, proofreading, and editing. She has spoken at Maseno University to help young women explore new careers and learn more about technology. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Public Relations, a Certificate in Web Development, and a Master's Degree in International Studies.

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