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What Are the Different Types of English Degrees Available?

Online degree programs offer a variety of English degrees to suit your academic desires and career goals. An Associate’s degree in English can normally be completed after two years maximum. If you’d like to extend your studies to include a Bachelor’s degree in English, this can usually be finished within three to four years. For those who would like to pursue the study of English as post-graduates, Master’s and Doctoral degrees are also available in-class, as well as online.

There are very few Associate of Arts English degrees offered, but many schools offer Associate’s degrees in Liberal Arts or Humanities, with the option of specializing in English or Literature. An AA in Liberal Arts with a focus on English would be most suitable for anyone who cannot dedicate more than a year or two to finishing a degree, and for those who like the flexibility that a general liberal arts degree would afford.

A Bachelor’s degree in English is by far the most popular choice among students wishing to pursue the study of literature. In fact, a BA in English is one of the most popular degrees granted in the United States. According to the Princeton Review, English is the 6th most popular college major in America. Degree requirements for Bachelor’s degrees are usually about 120 credit hours. With a Bachelor’s degree in English, you will gain more in-depth study of literary criticism and theory than with an Associate’s degree. A BA in English will open several career paths for you. The degree is an excellent foundation for law, as many law schools seek students who have demonstrated an interest and ability in effective written and oral communication. Many Bachelor’s degree holders go on to pursue further study at the graduate level as well. 

A Master’s degree in English is usually completed in one or two years. An MA in English is perfect for students who want to develop an advanced knowledge of literary criticism and engage with literature at a deeper level. While most MA students pursue this degree in order to move forward with the completion of a PhD in English, the MA can often serve as a terminal degree, and, with prior work experience, an MA will boost your job prospects.

A PhD in English is designed for English students who would like to teach literature at the university level. An English doctorate is usually completed after a few years of coursework, with the addition of a doctoral thesis, which requires original research, culminating in a book-length paper exploring a specific topic in the study of literature.