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Q&A - Bachelors Degrees in English

Can I work while studying for my bachelors degree in English?

While it may make school more challenging, you can work while you pursue your bachelors in English. A standard semester in a top bachelor degree in English program is generally around 15 to 18 credit hours plus study time, which leaves room for employment. Students in online study programs often have extra flexibility in scheduling work hours around class time.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor lists numerous fields where knowledge of the English language is a plus. Students who aspire to earn a bachelor in English can work full time or part time as editors, proofreaders, court reporters or technical writers. These job options provide an income and can augment future career growth.

Freelance or contract work may be the best option if you are pursuing an online bachelors in English. Many publishers and marketing departments offer writing work on a contractual basis, which may allow students to work at home. This can be a particularly useful option for non-traditional students who work during the day or are pursuing a bachelors degree later in life. Online students who need to work may find freelancing as the best fit for employment during school.

Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online English bachelors degree program?

Due to the popularity of this degree program, it is not difficult to find an accredited online bachelors degree in English. Many exist as strictly online programs, and some are hybrids that utilize distance learning and classrooms, but all offer English classes online.

Adelphi University in Long Island, New York offers 2 choices for an online English bachelors degree. The Bachelor of Arts in English may be earned with a creative writing or literature concentration. Both programs examine the historical foundation of literature and explore diversity among authors, genres and cultures. Adelphi University is private and known for its selectivity.

University of Illinois, Springfield offers a solely online English bachelor degree in addition to its campus program. Students analyze language and its interpretations, and read widely in American, British and multicultural literature. Critical thinking skills and collaborative methods in writing are also emphasized. This school is consistently ranked in the top 5 schools in the Midwest Region by U.S. News & World Report.

A bachelors in English can be earned both online and in class at University of Colorado Denver. This degree program is based in literature and the online curriculum focuses on creative writing and mirrors the classroom program. University of Colorado Denver is a large, urban campus with a diverse student population.

Are there any scholarships for traditional or online bachelors degree students in English?

Four-year universities offer scholarships based on academic performance and financial need, and many offer English department scholarships as well. Larger universities generally have more funding available. Alumni scholarships are also a popular choice within English departments and require a demonstration of writing ability as well as financial need. Whether you want to study online or in a standard classroom setting, if you apply for a scholarship, you must have a high GPA, usually 3.0 at a minimum.

Additionally, there are numerous freestanding scholarships that are awarded by diverse granting bodies, and clever writers should take advantage of these opportunities. Local civic organizations and businesses frequently offer scholarships, and the amounts are sometimes significant. An example of this is the AXA Foundation, awarding $670,000 annually to 52 students who receive the Achievement Scholarship, and up to $750,000 to students who receive the Community Scholarship Program awards. More commonly, smaller groups like the Arlington Heights Junior Women’s Club will award $1000 a year to an applicant who writes a great essay. Small scholarships, however, do add up and are not to be discounted.

Schools that have online English bachelors degree programs also provide need-based and academic scholarships, though care should be taken when choosing a school. Not every online English school is an accredited institution. An accredited university, however, often has the same scholarship opportunities available for you, regardless of where you attend class.

Can I study abroad during my on-campus or online bachelors degree program in English?

Study abroad options are common in 4-year institutions. For a fully rounded undergraduate experience, the best bachelors degree in English programs recommend that you spend a semester studying in a foreign country. Many schools have reciprocal arrangements with universities abroad and some follow the exchange student model. Other schools offer faculty-led study abroad programs, which may focus on a particular topic. Course credit is earned during these programs.

If you are interested in studying abroad, you should contact your school’s international studies department to apply. Acceptance into programs like this is based on adequate academic performance, permission from the advising department and letters of recommendation from current faculty. Most study abroad experiences occurs during junior or senior year, so be sure to plan ahead of time.

There are opportunities for you to study abroad after you earn you bachelors degree. Scholarship opportunities do exist in the form of Rhodes scholarships, Fulbright grants and Rotary fellowships, among others. Students who are pursuing an online English bachelor degree and want to study abroad should look carefully at the programs. Solely online English bachelors programs do not offer study abroad, but many hybrid programs will allow you to pursue this option and round out your college experience.