One of the top online bachelor’s in English is a sure way to pave your future success by equipping you with the skills to read critically and write concisely. 

Sure, in the U.S., we are taught from children the very fundamentals of the English language, but that doesn’t mean we know how to implement it effectively to deliver our messages to others in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner. In today’s world of media, emails, instant messages, and other forms of digital communication, being able to write professionally is an invaluable skill to employers. 

What Will You Learn With This Degree?

An online bachelor’s in English degree will teach you the technical side of the English language such as grammar and syntax, but the degree will also teach you how to change voice and perspective depending on your target audience. Many English programs allow students to choose a specialization such as rhetoric, technical writing, or creative writing, among others. 

Examples of some classes you may take during the course of earning your online bachelor’s in English include, but are not limited to: 

  • English composition
  • Language and linguistics
  • Creative writing
  • Literary theory and criticism

What Requirements Will You Need to Meet in Order to Apply?

Schools that offer online programs often have some of the same requirements for admission as they do for students wishing to take classes at their on-ground campus. You should expect to turn in proof that you completed high school or the GED equivalent, as well as transcripts from any colleges you have attended in the past. 

Students entering college for the first time may be asked to submit their scores from the ACT or SAT’s, whichever test you may have taken. Additionally, some schools may ask you to take a short test gauging your ability to read and write in English and submit essays on particular subjects and your future goals. 

What Are the Best Online Bachelor’s in English Degrees?

Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in how robust the school’s online education is, how well that school delivers on its promises, how affordable the program is, and how selective the school is as a whole. For more information, see our methodology page.

  1. MERIT: 100

    Coming in at our number one spot for best online bachelor’s in English is the English degree from the University of Central Florida. The degree captures our number one spot because of the wide breadth of literary knowledge you learn during the degree and its reasonable price. If the literary specialization doesn’t precisely meet your expectations, then you can choose between a creative writing and a technical communication specialization. 

    This is a 120 credit hour program with in-state tuition only costing Florida residents $179.19 per credit hour. Out of state tuition is significantly higher, but the degree will give you a thorough understanding of writing and how to implement these skills in your professional life.

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  2. MERIT: 93.55

    The online Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida International University will provide you with tools that can be used to succeed in any field. The school has consistently been listed as one of the best online bachelor’s programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, as well as one of the best online programs for veterans by the same publication. 

    This is a 120 credit hour program and students are admitted three times per year. The program allows students to specialize in writing and rhetoric, so by the end of the program, students will be able to write clearly while forming concise and persuasive arguments. Prerequisites to enter into this program major include: 

    • Writing and Rhetoric I
    • Writing and Rhetoric II or College Writing for Transfer Students
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  3. MERIT: 90.35

    With the Bachelor of Arts in English from Ottawa University, you’ll dive deep into the English language exploring various themes, styles of writing, and authors. This broad education will help you hone in on precisely what captures your interest in the English language, so you can make a career out of a passion. During the program, you will choose to explore one of three themes which include: 

    • Multicultural literature
    • Environmental literature
    • Protest literature

    Students are required to complete 120 credit hours of college credits to earn this degree, but the school has a generous transfer policy that allows students to transfer up to 80 credits from another program. This degree enables students to choose a concentration in secondary education, ideally suited for individuals who want to teach English after graduation.

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  4. MERIT: 89.92

    ASU offers an entirely online Bachelor of Arts in English degree that is taught by the same distinguished faculty that teaches at ASU’s main campus. The program focuses on teaching students how to critically read and write the English language across a wide variety of mediums and subjects. When enrolled in this ASU program, you will be immersed in reading and writing from your first semester through your last. 

    Throughout the course of the program, students will take around 39 classes that will equal about 120 credit hours of coursework. Classes are held in 7.5-week intervals, which will give you enough time to dive deep into your class for an immersive learning experience. Students wishing to transfer into the program with less than 12 credit hours of college work have to have at least a 2.50 cumulative GPA in those credits to meet admission requirements.

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  5. MERIT: 88.20

    The B.A. in English language & literature from SNHU focuses on teaching students how to critically research, formulate, and present persuasive writing. Employers value these skills, and there are many times in business where you’ll need to be persuasive in your writing, like your cover letter in your resume, for example! This 120 credit hour program can be completed in around four years of study for those without transferable credits from another college. 

    Students admitted to SNHU are also able to pursue a B.A. in creative writing and English, which may be a better fit for individuals who know that they want to be an author. The school allows students to transfer up to 90 credit hours from another university into this program. Non-military service members can expect to pay around $320 per credit hour in tuition.

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  6. MERIT: 83.53

    The English department from the University of Memphis offers an online Bachelor of Arts in English consisting of 120 credit hours of coursework. Half the total degree requirements consist of general education requirements, and 27 credit hours consist of courses in the English major. While pursuing this degree, students select between a concentration in African American literature and professional writing. 

    The University of Memphis created the African American literature concentration to teach analytic reading and critical thinking skills, while the professional writing concentration emphasizes communication skills. If you’re unsure exactly which concentration is right for you, the school suggests reaching out to one of their English advisors who will help guide you in making the right decision.

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  7. MERIT: 81.56

    Learn what you want to learn with the University of Colorado Denver’s Bachelor of Arts in English writing, rhetoric, and technology. The very title of this degree hints at the breadth of knowledge that is taught to students during the course of earning their degree. Students that take at least a dozen credit hours per semester can graduate with their degree in around four years, but you can speed up this process by taking summer courses. Courses are offered through this university three times per year. 

    Students in this B.A. program can specialize in journalism, communication, creative writing, or digital production by taking elective courses in these topics. With this program, you’ll be taking classes alongside some of the on-ground hybrid students, so you can be confident that you’re getting the same high-quality education that traditional students are receiving.

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  8. MERIT: 79.94

    At UMASS-Lowell, you’ll be receiving an education from a school that provides one of the best online bachelor’s programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. During the course of earning a B.A. in English from this school, you’ll take 40 courses composed of 120 credit hours of work. The English major will require you to take anywhere from 12 to 18 courses or 36 to 54 credit hours of English courses. 

    The tuition at UMASS-Lowell is reasonably priced at $380 per credit hour for its online students. If you’re transferring from another university, the school allows up to 75% of credit hours to be used toward earning the B.A. in English degree. The school has a variety of scholarships that are available to its online students, which can help cut down on student loan debt upon graduating.

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  9. MERIT: 79.39

    You’ll get the best of creative writing combined with the rigors of professional and technical writing with the online professional and creative writing major from Central Washington University. There is plenty of flexibility built into this program for students to control what really interests them. This major, which consists of 74 credit hours, can be completed in as little as two years of intensive study. The required courses in this program include: 

    • Intro to Creative Writing OR Creative Writing for Well Being
    • Rhetoric for Professional Writers
    • Poetry and Poetics
    • Principles of English Studies
    • English Grammar
    • Writing & Editing for Publication
    • Senior Colloquium

    After completing the required courses in the major, students can select between courses in the creative writing elective, professional writing elective, or literature, language, and film courses.

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  10. MERIT: 79.32

    The goal of the University of Illinois at Springfields online B.A. in English is to impart to students a lifelong appreciation of the English language while teaching them valuable skills that will make them an asset to future employers. To be admitted into this program, students must meet numerous requirements such as: 

    • At least 30 credit hours of college credits.
    • Two English Composition courses with a grade of C or better.
    • Completion of an introduction to literature course with a grade of C or better.

    While these are the minimum requirements for admission into the program, students can improve their chances of being accepted by having at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and taking an additional literature course.

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  11. MERIT: 77.78

    There are many reasons students may want to consider getting their Bachelor of Arts in English from National University, such as its four-week class schedule and its more than 170,000 alumni around the world. Why is an extensive alumni network around the globe important? When it comes time to land that first job, alumni from your college can often be useful in guiding you where to look for jobs. The school allows year-round enrollment into their programs, which means you could be on your way to taking your first set of classes within a month. 

    The school also offers a program for individuals interested in teaching English in secondary education. The major in English with Single Subject Matter Preparation and Inspired Teaching and Learning Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential allows you to earn your degree and be able to start teaching within four years.

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  12. MERIT: 77.28

    If you want to pick up a novel, read it, and know exactly what about the novel makes it great, then choose the online Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland-University College. This degree is 120 credit hours long, of which 90 can be transferred from another university if you’re considering changing schools. The school also offers a minor in English if you happen to be interested in more than one subject matter and can’t imagine only studying one. 

    If you decide to major in English, then expect to take 33 credit hours of coursework specifically in the English topic. You also may want to consider taking advantage of one of the school’s English student clubs. You can join the English and Humanities Club, and if you can maintain good grades, Sigma Tau Delta, the schools English honor society. 

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  13. MERIT: 77.04

    The Bachelor of Arts in English from Nicholls State University walks you through mastering this subject from the very beginning with their English 220 class. This way, everyone starts from the same foundation, and no one is left behind! The advisors in the English department will help you from day one, and they even teach some of the classes as the advisors are associate professors of English at this university. 

    Students can choose to concentrate their studies in creative writing, literary studies, film studies, or writing and rhetoric. The degree is 120 credit hours long, with concentrations consisting of 18 credit hours of coursework. The writing and rhetoric concentration has the least amount of required courses, which means it’s also the concentration that gives you the most freedom to choose the classes you take through electives.

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  14. MERIT: 76.48

    Troy University dates back more than 100 years, so you can be sure that they know how to produce highly educated, successful students. This is a large NCAA Division I school with a large school endowment, which means that some of the brightest professors will teach you in each subject, most of which have terminal degrees. 

    This degree consists of 120 credit hours of coursework that can be completed in about four years of study. There are five terms per academic year, with students taking an average of six credit hours per term, which turns out to be two classes. Two classes required to be taken by every English major include: 

    • Advanced Grammar
    • Senior Seminar in English
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  15. MERIT: 76.10

    The Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University is an excellent choice for those that want to immerse themselves in the English subject and obtain true mastery of the discipline. On average, it takes around four years to complete this degree, and students can choose to concentrate their studies in film, writing and rhetoric, creative writing, single field teacher certification, or two field teacher certification. If none of these concentrations piques your interest, you can pursue a B.A. in English without a concentration. 

    All the concentrations and the non-concentration B.A. in English degrees are 120 credit hours in duration, with concentrations requiring 36 credit hours of concentrated study. Those that choose to major in English are required to select between one of the school’s dozens of minors to complete their degree.

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  16. MERIT: 73.55

    The online Bachelor’s in English from Valley City State University is a relative newcomer to online education, having started up their program in 2011. Don’t let the youth of the online program fool you into thinking this isn’t a quality program, as it has graduated dozens of students across the U.S. Five English professors are dedicated to the education of the school’s online students, with many of the professors teaching classes at VCSU’s main campus. 

    You’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of small class sizes ranging from 6-18 students to get the individualized attention you need with this program. Three of the courses in this degree are taught by a Shakespeare scholar who dedicates his time for no pay to the education of VCSU’s online students.

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  17. MERIT: 72.97

    The Bachelor of Arts in English from Thomas Edison State University was created to help individuals who want a career change or to pursue higher education upon graduating from the program. The school enables students to earn college credit for work experience or military training, and to test out of subjects when they have already mastered the knowledge. This is a 120 credit hour program that will take most students that are not transferring credits from another college or university four years to complete. 

    Half of the credits that are required to earn this degree will be in general education subjects, which helps develop a wide variety of skills that can be applied in any career or profession. Learners will take 33 credit hours in the English major and choose 27 credit hours of elective courses.

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  18. MERIT: 72.10

    California Baptist University is a private Christian university located in Southern California that offers a variety of online degrees ranging from associates to bachelor’s degrees. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked this university as the 43rd best regional university in 2020. Feel confident when enrolling in the B.A. in English from CBU that you’re getting a top-notch English education. 

    CBU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and students in the English major take around 16 months to complete the program. Two prerequisite courses need to be taken before you can be formally enrolled in the program—English Composition and Intermediate Composition. The English major in this program consists of 48 credit hours of coursework.

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  19. MERIT: 71.88

    The online Bachelor in Arts in English from Clayton State University has a lot to draw the prospective student, especially those that know that they are going to be pursuing graduate education upon finishing their bachelor’s degree. CSU offers a 4+1 program to students wanting to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English while shaving a year off the time it would typically take to earn these degrees separately. 

    Students can choose between a literature concentration and a writing concentration when pursuing this degree. Those in the writing concentration are required to take these courses: 

    • Advanced Composition 
    • Careers in Writing
    • Digital and Multimedia Writing
    • Intro to Creative Writing
    • Professional and Technical Writing
    • Cultural Rhetorics

    While those that choose to pursue the literature concentration will be required to take these courses: 

    • Cultural Studies
    • British Lit. before 1660
    • British Lit. after 1660
    • American Lit. before 1850
    • American Lit after 1850
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  20. MERIT: 71.46

    Regent University is ranked as the best regional university for the Best Online Bachelor degrees by U.S. News & World Report in 2020, which speaks to the incredible English education you’ll receive with their online B.A. in English. At Regent University, you’ll be taught by renowned academics with 90% of the faculty holding the highest degree in their fields. The B.A. in English from Regent is composed of 120 credit hours of coursework with students able to choose a concentration in communication, government, history, or biblical studies.  

    Students that are not interested in the concentrations available can design their own concentration. This self-directed plan requires that students submit a petition to take advantage of this option. All of the concentrations require students to take 12 credit hours of coursework.

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  21. MERIT: 70.95

    The B.A. in English from Indiana University East was designed specifically for students who have already completed their associate’s degree or have 60 credit hours of college credit. The program places emphasis on technical and professional writing, which is perfect for those that want to make a living with writing immediately after graduating. This degree completion program can be completed in as little as two years of study or around six semesters. 

    To be eligible for graduating from this program, all students must have received at least a C in all of their English courses. To be eligible to transfer credits from another school, you must have maintained at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Each semester students will take around 12 credit hours of coursework or around four classes.

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  22. MERIT: 70.63

    East Tennessee State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in English with two options, one that leads to teaching licensure and one that does not. This is a “mostly online” program, which means that all coursework is completed online with students required to attend an intensive session on campus one time per semester. This could be a deal-breaker for some, but those that live around the Tennessee region may easily accommodate this requirement.

    Individuals who decide to pursue the teaching major will have to minor in secondary education: teacher preparation, while those that pursue their English degree without seeking to teach the subject will choose the secondary education: non-licensure minor. Students who choose to minor in a subject at this university will complete anywhere from 18 to 24 credit hours in the specific subject. 

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  23. MERIT: 70.38

    The goal of the Bachelor of Arts in English from Clarion University is to guide students along the journey of self-discovery through reading and writing the English language. This university offers a genuine liberal arts education that focuses on teaching students a wide body of knowledge while educating with a focus on multicultural awareness. Students that choose this major will start taking English classes from the first day. The school also offers a Bachelor of Science in integrative studies with an English concentration for students who have a wide range of interests outside of English. 

    This is a 120 credit hour program, in which students can become certified as a teacher if they take additional coursework in professional education. Students wishing to transfer credits into this program are required to have at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA in the previously earned coursework.

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  24. MERIT: 69.00

    Those wanting an undergraduate English degree taught by a school with a Christian worldview may want to consider the bachelor’s in English from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). With this university, you’ll be taught by professors adept at utilizing the English language, many of which have Ph.D.’s. 

    The school provides opportunities for the school’s English major’s to publish their work through the school’s online magazine, The Image. This is an opportunity for students to start creating a writing portfolio to show to future employers after graduation.

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  25. MERIT: 68.08

    The Baptist College of Florida was founded in the 1940s and is a cooperating ministry of the Florida Baptist State Convention. Students wishing to pursue a degree in a program with a strong Baptist belief system should consider BCF when looking to pursue an English degree. The program aims to open ways for its students to serve God through their education. 

    The degree is 120 credit hours long, with 36 credit hours dedicated to the English subject. Students will also take 12 credit hours in biblical/theological foundations. Additional required classes to complete this degree include: 

    • Introduction to Christian Worldview
    • Communication for the Workplace
    • Survey of American Literature
    • Survey of English Literature
    • Any foreign language or approved courses (6 hours)
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  26. MERIT: 67.71

    The B.A. in English language arts from Granite State College is an excellent option for students wishing to teach after graduation, especially for students located in New Hampshire. The degree program aims to develop understanding in human development, foundations of education, and the dynamic role of the educator. Students located in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont are able to apply for teacher certification upon completion of this degree. 

    While earning their bachelor’s degree, students can earn a certificate in early childhood education and early childhood special education or elementary education and general special education. This school specializes in helping students effectively transfer credits into their programs from other universities, as around 80% of the students who attend this college are transfer students.

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  27. MERIT: 67.64

    The Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a degree designed to expand your mental horizons. The program places a special emphasis on the contributions of women in literature. This program also offers a semester study abroad program in which students spend time learning in London at Regent’s College. The college allows its students to major or minor in English, so if you’re torn between two subjects you really want to explore, you have options!

    The school provides many opportunities for its students to get real experience writing and publishing through the school’s literary magazine called Aurora and through its career development center. The career development center connects students to businesses, television stations, and other organizations that need the skills of English majors.

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  28. MERIT: 67.42

    Earn a quality English degree faster with LSU-Alexandria’s online Bachelor of Arts in English, whose classes are held every seven weeks. This degree may be right for you if you need a little slower pace, as the program allows its students control over how fast they move through the program. To earn this degree, students will take 120 credit hours of coursework with each credit costing students an affordable $291. 

    Students are required to take six English core courses along with English electives. The six core English courses include: 

    • English Grammar
    • Poetry
    • The Novel
    • British Literature I
    • American Literature
    • British Literature II or American Literature II

    Transfer students wishing to be admitted into this program should have an associate’s degree or higher, have taken a college-level English and college-level mathematics course, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in previous coursework.

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  29. MERIT: 66.13

    Western New Mexico University allows students to choose between earning a Bachelor of Arts in English or a Bachelor of Science in English. This degree gives students a deep understanding of the English language while also preparing them for graduate school. Both the B.S. and B.A. degree options have concentrations in literature and writing and require students minor in another subject. 

    Both concentrations are composed of 36 credit hours of coursework. If you’d prefer to major in another subject, the school allows students to minor in English, which requires them to take six English classes or 18 credit hours in the subject. There are three start dates for this program per year one, in the fall, spring, and summer.

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  30. MERIT: 65.82

    For some, the Bachelor of Arts in English from King University can be completed in as little as 16 months. This is possible for students who have transferable credit from another university, which is one of the requirements for admission into this program. The program’s admission requirements include at least 45 credit hours of college work and a cumulative GPA of 2.2 on a 4.0 scale. Classes through this university are held every five weeks, so students need to have the time to dedicate to this fast-paced program. 

    This program requires students to complete 124 credit hours of coursework with each credit costing students $305. The English major can be completed by taking 12 courses that will total 48 credit hours or work.

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What Kind of Work Can I Do With an Online Bachelor’s in English?

Those that have a Bachelor’s in English are taught a wide variety of skills that can be employed across many professions. With more communication being relayed to audiences through the written word in social media, people who are trained to utilize the English language clearly and persuasively are in high demand. 

There are many careers to choose between, but one of the most popular careers for individuals who choose this major is to become a reporter or correspondent. Reporters and correspondents collect and analyze facts about a particular story, and either report or write the stories they investigated to the public. These individuals may work for a television network, newspaper, magazine, or website. Reporters and correspondents can expect to take home a median annual salary of around $41,260.  

If you can’t imagine your life as a reporter or correspondent, don’t worry, because other careers may suit your particular interests and talents better. Some graduates of a bachelor’s program in English may find their calling employed as a public relations specialist. These individuals cultivate a positive public image of high profile individuals and businesses. Public relations specialists can expect to bring home a salary of around $60,000 per year.  

Another career option that is popular among English graduates is an advertising and promotions manager. These individuals direct and coordinate advertising policies and programs to attract customers to businesses. If you’re thinking of becoming an advertising and promotions manager, you can expect to earn about $117,130 per year. But don’t think this is a comprehensive list of everything you can do after earning your degree—you’ll have a variety of options! 

Is There a Particular Concentration or Specialization I Should Choose During My Program? 

The answer to this question depends primarily on what you wish to do as a career upon graduating with your bachelor’s in English degree. While many of the online schools allow students to choose a particular concentration in English, others do not. Individuals who are still unsure exactly what they want to do as a career after they graduate may want to choose a program that doesn’t have a concentration or one that allows you to select your concentration later in the English program. 

English program concentrations or specializations are designed to focus students on a particular part of English and further hone their skills in a particular area. Some common specializations that online schools offer in a bachelor’s in English include, but are not limited to: 

  • American literature
  • Composition and rhetoric
  • Creative writing
  • Ethnic studies
  • Film studies
  • Literary and critical theory
  • Professional technical writing

Those that choose a creative writing concentration may have plans to become an author and publish a book, while those that select a professional and technical writing concentration may want to write business manuals and reports for companies. If you someday dream of pursuing further advanced education and teaching English at a university, you may want to choose a literary and critical theory concentration.  

Should I Pursue an Online Degree or an On-ground Degree? 

Whether or not an online degree will be an option when pursuing your bachelor’s in English depends on your current daily responsibilities and how you learn best. Many online schools make going back to earn or finish their degree a convenient and realistic option. People with full-time jobs and families may not have the ability to show up for classes on-ground at specific times, and online classes give these individuals the option to complete the degree coursework on their own schedule. 

Another factor you should include in your decision on how to pursue your educational goals is how you learn new information. If you’re someone that learns better by hearing information spoken, then you may want to choose a class that records some or all of their lectures, while those that learn visually may need to create their own diagrams to retain the information. 

You need to have or learn a specific set of skills to be successful in online coursework. One of the most important skills to be successful in your online classes is time management. There will be times after a long day of work or carting the kids around to sporting events when you just don’t feel like logging into your class when you get home. If you have good time management skills and planning abilities, you can account for these occasions so you don’t miss assignments.

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out 30 Best Online Bachelor’s In Business Administration and 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Finance!