English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Its use can be seen in all industries ranging from retail to travel and from manufacturing to web development. Did you know that over 50% of the content on the internet is in English?
Apart from being an excessively used and globally accepted language, the field of English writing and literature has always been a distinct academic discipline. We see thousands of best sellers and novelists that have made their mark in English writing. On the other hand, English studies can open doors to many positions in the international market.
English and Writing Degree Programs
Undergraduate and graduate degrees in English or English writing is a great academic path to pursue if you have a knack for creativity and are intrigued by the world around us. A degree in this field will help you become critical and analytical, polish your prose and verse, and get a better understanding of literary texts and linguistics.
There are a number of universities offering English degree programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level. The most commonly pursued programs are:
Master’s degree in English
Doctorate degree in English
Master’s Degree in English
This is a graduate program that allows students to explore the world of English language, gain in-depth knowledge, and develop professional writing skills. The program covers a range of advanced topics and theories of English language.
The initial semesters of the program will lay emphasis on fundamental literary theories and English communications. It is important that students build a solid foundation of knowledge before moving on to more advanced areas. The coursework typically covers important subjects such as the following:
Composition Theory and Teaching of Writing (2-4 credits)
In this course, students will research and discuss theories related to teaching of writing and pedagogical practices.
Topics in American Literature (2-4 credits)
This course will highlight the development of American literature and how it has evolved over time. Students will read the works of Emerson, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Morrison, etc.
American Modernism (2-4 credit hours)
In this course, students will use different approaches to explore literary modernism. Some of the key topics covered in this course are: fiction, poetry, regional perspectives, and modernist American literature.
Graduate Studies in Gender and Text (2-4 credits)
Students will read various texts written by women since 1945. This course will help students understand how race, sexuality, and other factors affected the writers’ notions and intellectual theories.
Alongside classroom learning, students will also take part in assignments and develop literary skills, writing skills, analysis skills, and problem-solving skills. Please remember that the curriculum of the program may vary a little from college to college.
Duration and Master’s Degree Requirements
A master’s degree typically takes 2 years to complete. However, the duration will depend upon the enrollment status and the course of study.
To successfully complete the degree, all the components of the program must be covered. This may include assignments, examinations, projects, and class work.
Ph.D. in English
This is a post-graduate program that can be pursued after completion of a master’s degree in the same or a similar academic discipline. The program is geared towards preparing students for leadership roles, teaching career, and research-oriented positions in organizations.
The program emphasizes on research methodologies, linguistics, and English language. Students will be covering a wide range of advanced topics that will help them gain in-depth knowledge of English, creative writing, and literature. The program structure may vary from college to college, but generally includes the following:
The required coursework is covered in traditional classroom environments where students will learn theory-based courses and develop fundamental concepts. Some of the subject areas that are covered include:
Approaches to college composition
The exam may comprise of an oral presentation and a follow-up discussion. Please note that the structure of the examination will vary from college to college.
Upon completing research and field-work, individuals must develop a dissertation topic that explains the importance of their research, argument, and methodology used for the project. The guidelines for the dissertation must be met which are approved or reviewed by the dissertation committee.
Duration and Ph.D. Degree Requirements
A Ph.D. in English can be completed in 4-8 years. Students must successfully complete the course requirements, dissertation, and earn a minimum number of credit hours.
English Writing Courses
To add to your skill set and qualifications, you can opt for additional English courses online or creative writing courses. A number of institutes are offering short courses in this field. The purpose of English writing courses is to help students build strong English writing and essay writing skills and learn how to compose various texts.
A degree in English will enable students to:
Develop and improve English writing skills
Understand various literary texts and works
Understand the development of English as a language and composition of texts
Sharpen communication skills
Appropriately use literary texts in different contexts
To qualify for enrollment in a master’s degree, an applicant:
Should have a bachelor’s in English or a relevant field
Meet a minimum CGPA requirement
Submit letters of recommendation
Submit an official transcript of a bachelor’s degree
Students seeking enrollment in a Ph.D. in English should:
Submit the official transcript of their master’s degree
Provide a personal essay
Meet a minimum CGPA requirement
Submit letters of recommendation
Why pursue an Online English Degree?
There are many reasons why students are opting for online learning nowadays. Some students find it difficult to manage classes while being employed, while others cannot afford the high costs of programs. In an online degree, students have the freedom and flexibility to study according to their own routine.
A master’s degree in English may help you land jobs in a variety of settings. You may qualify for administrative and managerial job positions. On the other hand, a Ph.D. in English can help you prep for careers in areas such as the following:
Education and teaching
Social media and web design
The income level will vary from job to job. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, post-secondary teachers made a median annual income of $68,970 in 2012.
You can pursue a career that best fits your interest. Apart from working with an organization, you can also consider becoming an entrepreneur and set up your own business. The career prospects that come with this degree are challenging and diverse.