20 Best Online Degrees for Writers and Writing 2022

An image of a typewriter for our article on the 20 Best Online Degrees for Writers and Writing

Ernest Hemingway reportedly said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Becoming a writer requires hard work and discipline. Pursuing a career as a professional writer takes courage. Combine hard work with dedication, and a recipe for a successful career as a writer is possible. In order to write full-time, while being paid for your efforts, you must understand the practical side of becoming a writer.

Some of the best online degrees for writers explore all forms of communication. Professional writers must:

  • be excellent readers
  • have a love for language
  • understand their creative sides

Thankfully, there are degree programs available for writers that hone skills, craft, and talent.

We’ve put together a list of the top online degrees for aspiring writers. Many of the degrees listed below vary in curriculum and course study. But they have a common thread. All require a passion for communication and a love of writing.

Top 20 Online Degrees for Writers

Below is a list of the 20 best online degrees for writers and writing. We hope this list helps you determine which major fits your needs while pursuing your love and passion for writing.

#20 – Online Master’s in Theatre Arts

A master’s in theatre or theatre arts is a diversified degree program that emphasizes training and knowledge in theatre. It also hones your performance skills. You can earn an online theatre degree at performing-arts schools or in various colleges and universities. You’ll take a series of theatre courses that cover topics like:

  • acting and beginning scene study
  • modern theatre history and literature
  • production

Courses prepare students who want to pursue a career in writing by sharpening their knowledge of storytelling through performing arts. Some programs offer concentrations in:

  • screenwriting
  • directing
  • production

Students also:

  • write papers
  • study plays and literature
  • learn about stage management.

Schools offering an online theatre-arts degree:

Regent University

#19 – Online Bachelor’s in History

An online bachelor’s in history from a reputable institution can help prepare you for a writing career. Most history programs are designed to develop strong research and writing skills. Through the exploration of history, you learn how to draw comparisons to current issues and trends. Since papers are a major component of a history major, you develop writing skills needed to effectively write for:

  • blogs
  • journals
  • magazines
  • newspapers
  • other forms of media

Graduates of history programs can use their analytical and problem-solving skills. They also  put their writing muscle to work. Industries for individuals with online bachelor’s degrees in history include:

  • business
  • education
  • journalism
  • law
  • publishing
  • research.

Schools offering an online history degree:

Arizona State University
Oregon State University

#18 – Online Bachelor’s in Mass Communications

Whether you’re composing fiction or technical pieces, as a writer you must know how to communicate. One of the best online degrees for writers is an online bachelor’s in mass communications. A mass-media communications degree program focuses on journalism techniques as well as communication issues in:

  • culture
  • history
  • society
  • technology

You can expect to gain skills that help you analyze media and prepare for a broad spectrum of careers. Many mass-communications majors pursue jobs in:

  • advertising
  • broadcasting
  • publishing
  • writing

This online degree for writing is versatile, helping you develop skills that hone your communication abilities.

Schools offering an online mass-communications degree:

Southern New Hampshire University
University of Maryland Global Campus

#17 – Online Bachelor’s in Technical Writing

Technical writers work in any industry that use technology — so, basically anywhere. In an online bachelor’s in technical writing program, you hone your technical-writing skills and abilities. You learn how to translate complex information or instructions into organized and readable materials.

Common courses offered in a technical-writing program cover topics like:

  • document design
  • graphic communication
  • online documentation
  • technical writing and editing
  • technology and information

You may also learn about:

  • grant writing
  • persuasive-writing techniques
  • writing for business and government

Graduates of a four-year technical-writing degree program often pursue roles as:

  • documentation designers
  • engineering writers
  • information developers
  • technical writers.

Schools offering an online technical-writing degree:

University of Arkansas Little Rock

#16 – Online Bachelor’s in Linguistics

A degree in linguistics can help you understand how language works. Linguistics students examine the acquisition, development, structure, and use of languages around the world. Courses cover topics like acquisition of phonology and syntax, experimental pragmatics, historical and comparative linguistics, language myths, second-language acquisition, and the language of our ancestors. Some programs offer concentrations that allow students to focus on a particular area of interest. Common concentrations include communication disorders, computation, second languages, sociolinguistics, and world languages. Common careers for linguistics graduates include ESL teachers, interpreters, language researchers, and translators.

Schools offering an online linguistics degree:

Boston University
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

#15 – Online Bachelor’s in Technical Communications

Students pursuing an online Bachelor of Science degree in technical communications learn how to create, design, and manage information. Communication platforms are examined and applied in the workplace and across various audience types.

You learn how to use technical communication to your advantage as you become an expert in the communication field. Course topics include:

  • professional publication
  • proposal writing
  • visual communications
  • writing and technology

At the foundation of the technical-communications program, you establish superb English and logic skills. These help you address topics in all areas of critical writing. These foundational elements make a technical-communications degree one of the best online degrees for writers. It’s especially good if you’re pursuing:

  • journalism
  • law
  • marketing.

Schools offering an online technical-communications degree:

Arizona State University
Northeastern University

#14 – Online Bachelor’s in Literature

An online bachelor’s in literature or English literature is the perfect degree for:

  • writers
  • media hounds
  • bibliophiles

You study the classics as well as contemporary hits that impact the world we live in. Depending on the literature program, specializations might also be offered. Specializations may cover specific genres of literature or focus more on time periods.

Some literature programs spotlight arts and humanities. Others hone creative-writing skills. A literature degree is a good match for aspiring writers, because students are required to read works written by some of the best writers in the world.

Areas explored in a literature program include:

  • classical literature,
  • modern British literature
  • romance literature
  • Shakespeare

This gives you an opportunity to hone your:

  • reading tastes
  • writing ability
  • critical-analysis skills.

Schools offering an online literature degree:

UMASS Dartmouth
University of Central Florida

#13 – Online Master’s in Library Science

Maybe you’re hesitant about becoming a full-time writer.

You want to have a career to fall back on while improving your craft and finding your voice.

An online master’s in library science may be of interest to you. An online master’s in library science provides the perfect working environment. What better working space than a room surrounded by books to inspire an author?

Online master’s in library science programs offer courses that cover topics like:

  • data and digital stewardship
  • information innovation through design thinking
  • leading and managing information organizations

You should seek only accredited programs that align themselves with the American Library Association. Steps to becoming a librarian include:

  • earning a bachelor’s degree in any discipline
  • gaining some work-related experience
  • earning an MLS degree from an ALA-accredited program
  • obtaining state licensure
  • pursuing a librarian career.

Schools offering an online library-science degree:

Drexel University
University of South Carolina

#12 – Online Bachelor’s in Art History

Do you have a passion for art, photography, or multimedia? Want to turn these passions into marketable professional skills as a writer for a magazine or online publication? Consider earning a bachelor’s in art history.

An art-history program provides useful skills, including:

  • critical analysis
  • identification and classification
  • history
  • writing

Graduates of art-history programs pursue careers as:

  • archivists
  • curators
  • museum workers
  • art and architecture magazine writers and editors

Courses offered in an online bachelor’s in art history program cover topics like:

  • art from Renaissance to Modernism
  • art of Africa
  • art of Asia
  • history of photography
  • research methods

While some students only major in art history, others study a minor alongside the degree. Popular minors for art-history majors include digital photography and graphic design.

Schools offering an online art-history degree:

Arizona State University

#11 – Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts

Majoring in liberal arts provides a broad overview of the humanities. It prepares the aspiring writer through hands-on experience. The online bachelor’s in liberal arts program includes courses in:

  • history
  • humanities
  • literature
  • philosophy
  • writing

The program offers an overview of studies in various fields that provide you with much information to think about. After all, a writer requires material and experiences to share. Also, the courses required for a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts have a wealth of writing opportunities. You can expect to:

  • write papers
  • give oral presentations
  • hone your writing skills

A liberal arts degree is one of the best online degree programs for writers because of its broad education and the diverse topics explored.

Schools offering an online liberal-arts degree:

Greenville University
University of Massachusetts Online

#10 – Online Master of Arts in Theatre

Do you want to become a playwright or screenwriter?

An online Master of Arts in theatre provides an interesting educational approach to a writing career. The graduate program is the perfect online degree for writers. It offers career prospects directly out of college.

While pounding on the keys at night and honing your craft, you can pay your bills during the day working at a local theatre or acting school. An online Master of Arts degree in theatre provides the skills necessary to work as a:

  • casting director
  • set designer
  • theatre company manager
  • various other roles in the performing arts field

These roles allow you to:

  • explore different writing media
  • learn about scene development,
  • grasp the important aspects of storytelling.

Schools offering an online theatre degree:

University of Northern Colorado

#9 – Online Bachelor’s in Journalism Studies

An online bachelor’s degree in journalism or journalism studies emphasizes writing for media.

You learn how to write journalistically while honing research and editing skills. The journalism program is among the best online degrees for writers. It provides courses that emphasize both oral and written communication.

If you’re  interested in public relations you should pursue this online degree. Also, if you aren’t sure which area of writing you want to pursue, you should explore options in the journalism program. You learn:

  • news reporting
  • broadcast writing
  • social-media management
  • media writing

All these help to form a comprehensive skillset for aspiring writers. Some journalism programs also offer concentrations that allow you to explore areas of interest. Popular concentrations for journalism majors include:

  • broadcast journalism
  • general journalism
  • photojournalism.

Schools offering an online journalism-studies degree:

North Dakota State University
University of Massachusetts

#8 – Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing

An online creative-writing degree, at the undergraduate or graduate level, benefits a writer’s career. Learning to write well is a skill that can only be perfected by experience. An online bachelor’s in creative writing provides hands-on experience if you’re pursuing a career as an author of fiction or poetry.

The major offers extensive practice in creative writing. It also includes reading classical and contemporary works of fiction. Most online creative-writing degree programs provide opportunities for the writer’s work to be:

  • edited
  • critiqued
  • reviewed

Students learn how to take criticism, which is sometimes the downside of a professional writing career. In some programs, a final project may be required. Final projects may be a publishable piece of fiction.

Schools offering an online creative-writing degree:

Lesley University
University of Central Florida

#7 – Online Bachelor’s in English

An online English degree provides you with the skills required to:

  • read
  • study
  • analyze literature in an in-depth fashion

You spend most of your time reading and analyzing literature. This prepares with the ability to:

  • analyze
  • critique
  • write

Students can expect to learn how to:

  • think critically
  • write in a clear and polished manner
  • explore a passion for reading

All of this makes the English degree one of the best online degree programs for writers. English majors may pursue careers in:

  • publishing
  • editing
  • writing

With the help of their English degree, many graduates have even entered:

  • law school
  • library science
  • master’s-level fine-arts programs

Add-on concentrations make an English degree even more versatile. Popular concentrations for English majors include:

  • creative writing
  • film and media
  • screenwriting.

Schools offering an online English degree:

Arizona State University
University of Colorado Denver

#6 – Online Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

MFA programs are among the best online degrees for writers. They offer various areas of specialty and hone the aspiring writers’ creative skills.

MFA programs may include such specialties as:

  • education
  • technology and digital arts
  • creative writing

The creative-writing program may or may not require residency. Some programs are presented fully online. They may provide you with creative-writing workshops and flexible courses. The online MFA in creative writing allows you to create and perfect a publishable manuscript in a genre of your choice. For students with aspirations of becoming a published author, the online MFA degree in creative writing provides a promising path. Many students graduate the program having secured a literary agent, and sometimes a book deal.

Schools offering an online MFA degree:
Boston University
Liberty University

#5 – Online Bachelor’s in a Foreign Language

If you love travel and have a passion for writing, an online bachelor’s in a foreign language might be the perfect degree option. If you’ve studied a foreign language in high school, you may enroll in a similar program in college. Most colleges and universities have foreign-language requirements. However, you do not need to study the same language that you studied in high school.

College is a great time to explore a new language. Some of the different foreign language programs offered at schools include:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish

Placement testing is offered for students who have prior experience in a foreign language and want to earn credit for their efforts. If you have no prior experience with a language, you will likely enroll in an introductory course.

Schools offering an online foreign-language degree:

Oregon State University
University of Maryland Global Campus

#4 – Online Bachelor’s in Marketing

Undergraduate degrees in marketing are fairly common, as most schools offer this program. But some colleges offer specialization options in copywriting for those interested in a unique writing program. This combination degree is ideal for aspiring writers who would prefer to work in a corporate environment.

However, freelance writers may also enjoy this major. Coursework for copywriting and marketing programs explores topics like:

  • analytical reading
  • digital fundamentals
  • digital imaging
  • media and society
  • persuasive writing

The program also prepares you for graduate degrees in marketing or advertising. In both program levels, you learn how to:

  • create content that is appealing to a given audience
  • create advertising slogans for ad campaigns
  • write persuasive copy.

Schools offering an online marketing degree:

Michigan State University
Temple University

#3 – Online Bachelor’s in Psychology

Psychology students learn a lot about:

  • communication
  • presentation
  • writing during

Psychology programs and careers combine the knowledge of human behavior with the written word. In most undergraduate psychology programs, you hone your writing and editing craft. You also:

  • research and write papers
  • give presentations
  • work collaboratively on projects

Through extensive practice, you work on your writing and communication abilities. Undergraduate psychology courses cover topics like:

  • abnormal psychology
  • behavioral neuroscience
  • child psychology
  • cognitive psychology
  • social foundations in general psychology

Writing is also emphasized. The major is designed to prepare you for a career that depends on communicating effectively with others. Most of the writing required as a psychology major is academic writing. You will learn how to:

  • support your assertions
  • avoid overstating an argument
  • improve the way you think about writing.

Schools offering an online psychology degree:

Penn State World Campus
Southern New Hampshire University

#2 – Online Bachelor’s and Master’s in Publishing

While it is a relatively new major, there are a few online bachelor’s in publishing programs available. The stand-alone publishing degree is designed for students looking to land a position with a publishing house following graduation.

These students may also have professional writing aspirations. Publishing majors require a large amount of writing and editing that could prove useful for:

  • aspiring authors
  • editors
  • freelance writers

An undergraduate publishing degree prepares you for graduate degrees in publishing, such as the MFA in publishing. Courses in graduate-level publishing programs include both business and publishing topics.

Common topics include:

  • copyright law in print and cyberspace
  • ethics in publishing
  • fundamentals of electronic publishing
  • marketing strategies
  • production management

Most graduate programs in publishing take two years to complete.

Schools offering an online publishing degree:

Emerson College
George Washington University

#1 – Online Bachelor’s in Education

One of the most versatile majors for an aspiring writer is education. An online bachelor’s in education degree focuses on:

  • pedagogy and curriculum development
  • the creation and development of written materials

This degree is a potential choice for those who want to specialize in writing for schools or reference and education markets. The field of education is a highly fertile career niche. Plenty of editing and writing opportunities are available. Some career choices may be editing jobs with curriculum-development companies or textbook publishers.

As an education major, you will be able to choose an area of education to specialize in. Your options may include curriculum and development, elementary education, and more.

Schools offering an online education degree:

BDP Staff
October 2021

Related Resources:

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief