If you love penning stories, brainstorming characters, and building whole worlds in your head, then a creative writing degree may be an ideal fit.
In this college program, you could develop skills for turning your natural talent into a career opportunity. Clear, clever writing is beneficial in a variety of work settings.
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Whether you choose to pursue a creative career or to apply your skills in advertising, teaching, or another field, online writing degrees could help you get started.
Online Creative Writing Degrees
Have you always dreamed of launching a career as a writer? If so, a college major in creative writing could help you develop your knowledge and skill sets.
If this is a job you’re thinking about, then you’ve probably spent a considerable amount of time practicing your writing over the years. A college program could help you take that to the next level. In this program, you could learn from experienced professors and get feedback from your peers. You’ll also study the examples of accomplished writers who have gone before you.
You may practice many different styles of writing, such as:
- Film scripts
- Nonfiction pieces
- Short stories
Your college may offer concentration tracks for this type of bachelors degree program. That way, you can study an area of creative writing that you’re really interested in.
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For example, you might focus on fiction or nonfiction creative writing. Poetry could be another option. Even if your school doesn’t have predesigned concentrations, you may still have the opportunity to focus on the types of writing that most appeal to you. That’s because there are usually many elective courses available in a writing program.
Along with your classes, you might be able to do a for-credit internship. Through it, you could gain experience in a real-world publishing setting. Many creative writing majors pursue jobs as novelists, journalists, or television writers. You could also think about becoming an editor, an agent, or a producer. There may also be opportunities for you in schools or libraries.
Writing Careers & Salaries
There are many different jobs that relate to writing. Of course, you could pursue work as a writer or an author, but that comes in a wide variety of forms. There are some creative writers who write novels, poems, or children’s books. Others pen plays or television scripts.
Just because you study creative writing in college doesn’t mean that you’d have to stick to that type of writing. Your way with words could also be useful for jobs in journalism, social media management, or textbook writing. Some graduates create copy for advertising or marketing purposes.
There are also jobs for technical writers. They often use their skills to explain things related to science, technology, or mechanics. Your understanding of words and language could also be useful for helping others excel as writers. For example, being an editor or a literary agent are other lines of work to consider.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of potential career paths related to the field of writing.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Producers and Directors||$79,000|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||$78,410|
|Writers and Authors||$69,510|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||$63,920|
|High School Teachers||$61,820|
|Librarians and Library Media Specialists||$61,190|
|News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists||$48,370|
Some positions may require additional education, and extensive experience may be needed for jobs with high levels of responsibility.
With experience, some professionals move into roles where they coordinate many aspects of the creative process. Examples include being a movie producer or a creative director. Perhaps you are choosing a creative writing career because you really love literature. In a library, you could help others discover great books.
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Depending on your role, you might require additional training, such as a master’s degree in library science. Another way to help others uncover a love for words is to work as a teacher. For example, with the proper training, graduates may teach language, literature, or creative writing in a junior high or a high school. You could also consider teaching creative writing in non-school settings, such as community youth programs.
Bachelor of Creative Writing Curriculum & Courses
In a creative writing program, you may have the opportunity to take many different classes of your choosing. That way, you can craft a degree program that reflects your goals and interests.
Your curriculum might include:
- British Literature: You’ll read works by famous British authors, analyze the texts, and write papers about them.
- Creative Genres: Toward the beginning of your studies, you may have a class that surveys several genres through both reading and writing assignments.
- Digital Writing: There are some unique considerations for publication in an online format, so you’ll explore social media, blogs, email campaigns, and other digital media in this course.
- Drama Studies: You may read famous plays, study the historical development of this genre, and consider drama’s influence on life and culture.
- English Grammar and Syntax: The ability to write correctly will serve you well throughout your career, so you may have a class to refresh and refine that skill.
- Literary Criticism: You’ll learn to be a critical reader who can analyze texts and evaluate their meaning through various literary frameworks.
- Poetry Writing: Poems come in many different styles, and you’ll explore a variety of them during this class as you practice writing poetry and sharing it with others.
- Publishing Careers: There might be a class that introduces you to jobs in writing and publishing so that you can start making a career plan.
- Screenplays: As you study the screenplay format, you may write your own scripts and evaluate your classmates’ creations.
- Writing Fiction: In this course, you’ll gain experience as a fiction writer by creating various pieces and sharing them with the other students in your class.
A bachelors program will generally have about 120 credit hours total, including both general education classes and the ones for your creative writing major.
The admissions process varies from school to school, but it usually begins with filling out an application form. There may be a fee too.
In addition, you might submit the following:
- Essay or writing sample
- Official high school transcript or GED certificate
- Scores from the ACT or the SAT (not required by all schools)
At schools with rolling admissions, you can turn in your materials at any point in the year. Other schools set firm deadlines for applying.
Online Creative Writing Programs Accreditation
There are many types of college accreditation. One of the most important to consider is regional accreditation. This status means that a school has been evaluated and approved by one of the seven regional accreditors in the US.
There are strict standards for regional accreditation, so it is considered a key sign of a credible school. That’s often important to both educational institutions and employers. If your school is regionally accredited, you might be able to transfer credits to another college or qualify for graduate school.
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Accreditation might also help you in your job search since employers may prefer to hire people with accredited degrees.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
College can be costly, but you may be able to get financial help from a variety of sources. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can help you determine your eligibility for government assistance. That can include both state and federal funding.
Students often qualify for government loans that allow them to borrow money until school is over. Some may get grants as well. Scholarships can be another valuable addition to your financial aid package. There are all sorts of scholarship programs, such as ones given for academic merit, sports ability, and leadership capacity. In addition to outside scholarships, you might also be awarded money directly from your college.
Employers sometimes help pay for college too. You can check with your human resources department to see whether your workplace has a tuition program.
What Can You Do with a Creative Writing Degree?
A bachelor’s in creative writing online degree could help you launch a career as a writer. Your preference might be to write books, poems, plays, or movie scripts. You could focus on pieces for young audiences or for older readers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that writers may work for others or be self-employed. Other potential jobs in the publishing industry include being an editor or a literary agent. There’s also the possibility of becoming a journalist or copywriter for a newspaper, a magazine, or a website. You could also consider teaching creative writing to students in public schools or private settings.
If you feel that a masters degree would be beneficial, you could search the best online MFA in Creative Writing programs that would suit your needs.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing?
You can generally finish a bachelors in creative writing online program in 4 years. Four years of full-time study is standard for a bachelor’s degree, but sometimes online English degree programs let you finish a bit faster.
If you want to graduate quickly, you can choose to take classes throughout the year and pick a school with accelerated terms. Often, that means that the courses last only 8 weeks each. At some schools, you may have the option to earn a teaching credential by taking extra classes, though that would extend the overall length of your program.
Should I Major in Creative Writing?
Creativity and strong communication skills are essential, but that’s not all that’s needed for success in this field. For example, it helps to be organized. Writers may have several writing projects—each with different requirements and deadlines—on their plate at once.
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It’s also beneficial for writers to be open to criticism. In college, your peers and your professors will evaluate your work. Feedback, often critical, will likely continue throughout your career. Also, writers are sometimes self-employed. While they may not always have the security of a steady paycheck, they have the flexibility to make their own schedule and pursue passion projects.
What’s the Difference Between a Technical Writing vs. Creative Writing Bachelors Degree?
For a writing career, you could pursue work as a creative writer or a technical writer. While both jobs require strong communication skills, they typically rely on different styles and have different goals.
|Technical Writing||Creative Writing|
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical writers have a higher median annual salary than other types of writers.
Is a Creative Writing Degree Worth It?
Yes, a creative writing degree is worth it for many students. If creative writing is something that you really enjoy—and you want to make a career out of it—then this program may be a good fit for you.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in media and communication are expected to increase at a 14% rate over the next ten years. In particular, jobs for authors and writers should see 9% growth during that time. So, English is a good major for a number of students who picture themselves in creative writing careers.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Creative Writing Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Colorado Christian University offers a BA in Creative Writing that can be earned 100% online. Class sizes are small, and students take just one course at a time in 5 week sessions. The curriculum teaches from a Christian worldview and includes courses such as Survey of the Publishing Industry, Advanced Creative Writing, Nonfiction Seminar, and more.
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Florida International University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Writing and Rhetoric track. Graduates often pursue careers in writing, publishing, advertising, media, and related fields. The curriculum includes studies in written and spoken communication. Coursework includes Approaches to Literature, Introduction to Writing Studies, Rhetorical Theory and Practice, and more.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing for New Media can be earned on campus or online. On-campus classes are 15 weeks long, and online classes are 7 weeks long. Graduates often work in fields such as publishing, journalism, marketing, and advertising. GCU uses a faith-based curriculum.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers a BS in English and Writing—Creative Writing that can be earned entirely online. Each class is 8 weeks long. The average student can finish the program in just 3.5 years. Coursework includes Introduction to Creative Writing, American Realism and Naturalism, Modern Grammar, and more.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Missouri State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing. Graduates of the program have gone on to work as editors, journalists, content marketing specialists, public relations specialists, and more. Online classes are taught by the same faculty as those on campus.
Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. Four concentration options are available: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Screenwriting. Classes are asynchronous and have no set meeting times. Potential students can apply at any time to start in an upcoming 8 week term.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Southwest Minnesota State University offers a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. The program is available online and provides a high level of flexibility. The program’s faculty members are published writers themselves. Graduates often work in fields such as teaching, editing, publishing, journalism, and more.
Southwest Minnesota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Arkansas—Little Rock offers an online program for a BA in Professional and Technical Writing. The program requires students to develop proficiency in a second language. Course possibilities include Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing, Persuasive Writing, Theories of Rhetoric and Writing, Document Design, and more.
UA Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Central Florida offers an online program for a BA in English—Creative Writing. The curriculum seeks to develop students’ general communication and critical thinking skills. Graduates often go on to careers as copywriters, educators, journalists, and more. Online courses at UCF may be synchronous or asynchronous.
The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Wisconsin—Superior offers a BA in Writing that can be earned 100% online. Online students may take some classes on campus if they wish. The program includes courses in creative writing, persuasive writing, technical writing, poetry, and more. Students are required to build portfolios as they work their way through the program.
UW-Superior is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor in Creative Writing Degree Online
Creative writing can be an exciting career choice for anyone who enjoys using words and sharing ideas. If you’ve always dreamed of being an author, a playwright, or a poet, this could be a strategic degree path for you.
Also, a busy schedule doesn’t need to hold you back from getting a college degree. Instead, you might consider earning your creative writing bachelor’s degree online. Distance learning programs often cater to busy students with full schedules.
You can count on getting a high-quality education when you study online at an accredited college or university. The sooner you start checking out schools, the sooner you can begin planning your creative writing studies.