Communication is an essential aspect of human society and culture, and as long as people want to be in touch with each other, there will always be a need for good writers. Whether you are interested in crafting the next great American novel or working as a journalist, an editor, or in the ever-expanding world of online content creation and optimization, a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing can give you the skills you need to be an exceptional wordsmith.
Writing degrees are different from degrees in English and Journalism in that they offer careful grounding in how to write. Many of the best programs will offer a variety of classes, including areas like screenwriting, fiction and nonfiction, technical writing, and even poetry. Such programs provide a wide range of occupational options to choose from after graduation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, typical jobs for writers and authors are expected to grow as fast as the average, which is around six percent, for the next decade. Media and communications occupations are also expected to grow at about the same rate. However, technical writing jobs are expected to grow nearly twice as fast. So if you are interested in learning how to create beautiful persuasive prose or poetry, then check out the 15 Best Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Creative Writing for 2020!
Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the 15 Best Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Creative Writing, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:
– 25% Student Satisfaction
– 30% Earning Potential
– 15% Retention Data
– 20% Affordability
– 10% Acceptance Rates
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.
#15 CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH
California Baptist University is a Christian university boasting an average enrollment of around 10,000 students. CBU offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in English. The program provides a standard dual emphasis on writing and literary criticism and evaluation. Students who completed the program will take 48 credits including an additional two prerequisite courses which can count in the General Education program.
In addition to survey courses on the major classifications in English literature and their historical periods, students can take classes like Research and Writing in Literature and Language, Children’s Literature, or Language Structure and Acquisition. Students also complete a capstone project which is developed in conjunction with a departmental or program advisor. Online Classes at CBU are on an eight-week basis, and students can also take certain classes within the larger General Education program on an accelerated basis. In addition, CBU is transfer-friendly for students looking to change things up without risking past academic credits.
Net Price: $25,714
#14 NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH
National University is headquartered in La Jolla, CA, but has campuses throughout California and Nevada, as well as online. NU offers a Bachelor of Arts in English. The courses run on a four-week basis, and the program is writing-intensive with a focus on critical thinking, literary analysis, and diverse voices. Classes are asynchronous, giving students maximal flexibility, and students in the online program work with full-time faculty and receive individualized treatment.
Overall the program requires 180 quarter credits, and 45 must be completed at NU. Students take foundational courses in English literature, pick from several electives, including various writing workshops. The program also offers a Creative Writing concentration where students can take classes like Interactive Storytelling, Screenwriting Workshop, and Poetry Writing, among other courses.
Net Price: $23,232
#13. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS – AMHERST
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH WITH WRITING
The flagship school of the University of Massachusetts system is located in Amherst, MA. UMA is a large public research university with a substantial online program. UMA offers a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Concentrations. The program is led by professors from a variety of disciplines, including English, Journalism, and Comparative Literature. Students take classes on topics like creative fiction and non-fiction, screenwriting, graphic novel writing, short stories, children’s literature, and autobiography.
For students who are interested in writing in the working world, there are classes on topics like professional and management writing, magazine writing, food writing, public relations, and grant writing. Admission to the program is smooth, and students only need to have taken 12 credits and have a 2.0 GPA for entry. For non-traditional students, there is also the possibility of receiving credit for life experience.
Net Price: $21,281
#12 REGENT UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH WITH WRITING
Regent University is a private religious university with a student enrollment of over 8,500 students per year. RU offers a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Concentration in Writing. The program stresses fundamental grounding in the British, American, and world literature, as well as skills for writing in a variety of contexts, including media, fiction, nonfiction, creative, and business. Courses are on an eight-week rotation.
Students take classes such as Narrative Concept & Development, Screenwriting, and Creative Nonfiction & Feature Writing. The program at RU features faculty who hold the highest degree in their field and students receive individual mentoring. RU emphasizes its Christian identity, and students can expect to be grounded in ethical and theological principles which will inform their writing and creative thought. Admission for the online students requires unofficial transcripts of high school or GED programs, as well as the completion of a questionnaire.
Net Price: $17,820
#11 MERCY COLLEGE
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH
A private research university, Mercy College is located in Dobbs Ferry, NY. MC offers a Bachelor of Arts in English is available entirely online. The program is 36 credits, which is small enough for students to earn a double major. In addition to basic survey courses in English literature and a capstone in research and writing, students are asked to study four subjects involving classical texts, social and cultural contexts, literary genres, and historical periods. That leaves four courses that can be taken from within any of the concentrations, or taken from a fifth category that focuses on language and writing.
Literature class options include Black Atlantic Literary History, American Romanticism, and Masterpieces of European Literature, which provides a broad range of historical genre studies to choose from. Language and writing concentration provide classes such as Introduction to Playwriting, Creative Writing: Nonfiction, and Advanced Creative Writing. MC also offers a 4+1 program which allows advanced English students to complete a BA and a Master of Arts in English within five years. The program requires a 3.0 GPA to qualify.
Net Price: $16,246
#10 UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
BACHELOR OF ARTS WITH CREATIVE WRITING
The third-largest university in Texas, the University of Houston is a public research university which was ranked No.91 among the top public universities by the U.S. News & World Report. Students can expect to be grounded in how to offer careful literary analysis, how to produce mature college-level writing, and how to interpret and use documentary sources to advance an argument. The program includes two survey courses and then 15 credits in Creative Writing.
Classes in Creative Writing include Introduction to the Study of Language, Workshop in Fiction, and Workshop in Creative Nonfiction. There are also requirements in literary theory, publishing, and genre. The size of the major easily allows for a minor or second major in a complementary field. The Department of English also offers a major in Technical Communication, and students can take classes from the field to supplement their work in English if they wish.
Net Price: $15,664
#9 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH WITH CREATIVE WRITING
The largest institution of higher education by enrollment, the University of Central Florida is located in Orlando, FL, and enrolls over 68,000 students on an annual basis. Through their online programs, UCF offers a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. The program is 36 credits and includes core courses as well as electives. The program is remarkably inexpensive at only $179.19 per credit hour.
Classes include Creative Writing for English Majors, Theory & Practice of Creative Writing, and Theory & Techniques of Literary Studies. All courses within the major need to be passed with a C or higher to count towards the degree. The program at UCF has received national recognition being ranked among the best online programs in English by U.S. News & World Report. The program is meant to be as flexible as possible so that students can concentrate on a wide variety of writing or communication forms.
Net Price: $15,341
#8 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH
Located in College Park, in the greater Washington, DC area, the University of Maryland is a large public research university with an annual student enrollment of over 40,000. The State University-Global Campus program offers a Bachelor of Arts in English that prepares students for a variety of careers. The program requires 33 credits which leaves an additional 41 credits to use for a minor or second major. The program offers two minors that can be paired with the major, including Professional Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning, and Adolescent Development and Learning Needs, which can be taken for students who choose to pursue the 4+1 BAE and Master of Arts in Teaching.
Other classes include Critical Approaches to Literature, Advanced Seminar in English Language, Literature, and Writing, and Standard English Grammar. Different classes allow for different types of research projects and in the past students have done things like create a Facebook page for a famous author like Shakespeare, or create digital narratives that detail the differences between modern English and the language of Chaucer. The program also features two student organizations that students can participate in: the English and Humanities Club, and Sigma Tau Delta, or the International English Honor Society.
Net Price: $15,256
#7 OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING (INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES) ONLINE
Located in Norfolk, VA, Old Dominion University is a public research university. ODU offers several online programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing (Interdisciplinary Studies) Online degree. The BPWO is designed as a degree completion program which requires 30 credits to complete. Students take core courses in writing, as well as core courses in professional writing.
Classes include Introduction to Rhetorical Studies, Technical Writing, and Interdisciplinary Theory and Concepts. Online courses are taught both asynchronously and synchronously, depending on the specific class. ODU works closely with veterans and active duty personnel and their dependents as well. The online English program at ODU has also received recognition for its excellence and was ranked No.5 by NonprofitCollegesOnline.com in 2017.
Net Price: $15,213
#6 MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING
Missouri State University is the second largest school in the state by enrollment, which annually tops 23,000. MSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing. The degree is especially geared for individuals interested in becoming editors, grant writers, content marketing specialists, and technical writers, among others. The BSPW is designed as a degree completion program, and students must have a 2.5 GPA to be admitted.
Students take 36 credit hours with a required minor while completing classes such as Writing in the Health Professions, Writing with Technology, or Scientific and Technical Editing. The program’s Department of English houses an in-house press called the Moon City Press, which publishes the journal Moon City Review. There are also several student organizations to get involved with, including the English Society, the Folklore Club, and the Society for Technical Communication.
Net Price: $15,173
#5 UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH WRITING, RHETORIC, AND TECHNOLOGY
The University of Colorado Denver offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English Writing, Rhetoric, and Technology. The degree is focused not only on literary theory but on building strong writing skills that can be applied in a variety of settings. Students explore several different areas of professional and academic writing and can focus their electives within areas like journalism, communication, and digital production.
The program can be completed in four years, or students can also choose a slower pace as necessary. Courses include Multimedia Composition, Technical Writing, and Fiction Workshop. Incoming freshmen are required to submit ACT/SAT scores for admission, though transfer students are not. The online program at CU features Enrollment Navigators who function as always available mentors and advisers so that students receive signification support throughout their degree.
Net Price: $14,586
#4 CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH WITH PROFESSIONAL AND CREATIVE WRITING
Located in Ellensburg, WA, Central Washington University is a public university offering several online degree programs including a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Professional and Creative Writing. Students are required to take seven courses in basic writing, grammar, etc. They then have access to numerous creative and professional writing courses to choose from.
Classes include Creative Nonfiction Writing, Scriptwriting for Serial Media, and Writing for Children’s Theatre. Students are also required to take at least one practicum courses which place students in a professional environment, generally with a campus publication. There are also several professional writing courses available for students to choose from with their general electives.
Net Price: $14,124
#3 UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH
The University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts in English where students concentrate in either African American Literature or Professional Writing. The major requires standard survey courses in American and British literature as a basis for all students. The PW concentration then requires 12 credits or four classes to be focused on writing within the major.
Students can take classes like Persuasive Writing, Technical and Professional Writing, or Web Design/Online Writing. Admissions require SAT/ACT scores and a high school degree or its equivalent. There is financial aid available as well. UM also has an entire suite of services that they offer to all students to help them succeed both in college and beyond, including a Career Counseling office, as well as the Career Services office.
Net Price: $13,663
#2 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY – TEMPE
ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH
On average, the popular Tempe campus of Arizona State University enrolls around 50,000 students a year. In 2019 ASUT was ranked the No.1 most innovative university by U.S. News & World Report and was listed No.5 by the Wall Street Journal for producing the best-qualified graduates. ASUT offers several online degree programs, including an Online Bachelor of Arts in English. Classes are around seven weeks long and taught by faculty with international recognition including one Pulitzer Prize winner.
Students complete 45 credits in upper-level courses with classes like Writing for the Professions, Writing Science Fiction, or Persuasive Writing. The program at ASUT is aimed at helping students maximize their experience and prepare them for careers such as professional editing, publishing; public relations, journalism; or technical writing.
Net Price: $12,947
#1 INDIANA UNIVERSITY – EAST
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH, TECHNICAL, AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING
Indiana University East is located in Richmond, IN and is a regional campus of Indiana University. IUE offers a Bachelor of Arts in English, Technical, and Professional Writing as one of its many online programs. The program stresses not only traditional literary studies and writing, but also offers the possibility of focusing on writing for the working world. The program is designed for degree completion, which means it is geared especially for transfer students. Individuals who apply must have completed at least 60 credits with a 2.0 GPA and through the IUE program complete 20 classes in total.
Students can take classes like Advanced Technical Writing, Introduction to Critical Practices, and Digital Writing. Students must pass all classes at IUE with a C grade or higher, or they will not count towards the degree. IUE is considered a Yellow Ribbon School because of their outstanding work with military personnel and veterans, as well as their families. With the focus on technical and professional writing, the IUE degree is an excellent option for people who want to hone their creative writing skills for unconventional writing contexts.
Net Price: $7,971