They say talents can’t be taught.
You have to be born with it, whether it is singing, dancing, painting or writing.
But there’s another school that believes with enough hard work, you can achieve any goal you want. What do you do, as an aspiring artist? You are new, you want to create, paint, write, but you are unsure about how to start.
Is your work even worth getting published or ready to be seen by the public? There are a lot of obstacles to pass before writing your first book, article, blog, poem, film or play.
We want you to know there are many resources available for amateurs and young artists who want to be writers and authors.
You can attend local writing classes, join writing clubs or if you are really serious about writing and literature then get a writing degree.
Whether you are gifted, mediocre, raw or experienced, having an education or learning new skills will only help you in the long run. As a writer wanting to get published or hired, opting for a degree is a great way to build your resume and stand out among the competition. A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree can hone your skills and give you credibility.
Before you wonder how is it possible to juggle a full time degree with the demands of your lifestyle which may include a job or family commitments, don’t worry. There are many online college courses available for every dreamer and artist out there who wants to become a writer.
The courses available to students are BA, BFA, MA and MFA. For somebody who wonders about the difference between a BFA and BA, the BFA is a more practical and skill based course while the BA is theory and practical combined in equal levels. The same applies for a MFA and a MA.
Depending on your creative inclination and what you personally need to hone and polish your writing skills, you can pick a course accordingly.
We have tried to make it easy for the newcomers and compiled a list of 34 Top Online Colleges for Creative Writing Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs.
First, let us take a look at the Bachelor’s creative writing programs.
Best Online Colleges for Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree Programs
A 29 month course that promises you to teach all about structure, storytelling, and plot and character development, this BFA is perfect for somebody who wants to have an overview of all the aspects of writing. Understanding the power of new platforms in the digital age, they teach students to narrate and write on all kinds of media. The beauty of this course is it is tailored for the entertainment field and hands you real life tools that you can actually use when you start working instead of spending time studying outdated and outmoded texts and methods.
Students can expect to learn genres such as comedy, horror, fantasy, fiction, tragedy and mystery. Regular workshops and discussions guide students through the course. You can find course details and fees listed on this page. You can also find the eligibility requirements listed here.
A perfect course for someone looking to become a journalist, writer or work in publishing, the BA in Creative Writing at UCF is a concise, clear program with modules in fiction, prose, non-fiction and literature. To be eligible for the course, you need to read all the requirements mentioned here. They have a reputable career centre and counseling available for online students which enable them to get in touch with future employers. They have different fee rates for students from the state and out of state. The rates are mentioned here and you can download a brochure from the same page.
Get a chance to study at a private, non-profit university with the BA in Creative Writing & English. Boasting one of the lowest tuition fees in the country, Southern New Hampshire University offers students and amateur writers all over the nation to have a chance to experience writing in its full spectrum. With its convenient access and easy application, this course is perfect for people who already have a job or want to dip their toes in writing without a huge financial investment. Writing courses, workshops and special advisors make it simple, educational and useful. Interested applicants can fill this form and they will get in touch with you for further details.
One of the popular and best colleges offering an online education, University of Massachusetts (UMass Online) is a great place to do a BA in Writing. The name of the course may just mention writing but it includes learning all aspects of writing and gives students the skills they require to make it as a professional writer, author, journalist, playwright or editor. A reputed college with a strong faculty and advisory panel, they focus on the art and science of writing, teaching students to write as much as they can. Understanding how difficult it is for adults or older people, they are open to accepting people with life experience. Learn more about tuition fees and admission dates on this page.
This degree maybe slightly on the technical side of writing but it is one of the only courses in the country that combines technical and creative writing in one course. You get to learn scientific writing; technical writing, literature, creative writing and grammar in a course that helps you become sharper, organize your writing effectively and engage in analysis of literature, grammar and writing. Students can fill a form to request details of the course. The course is delivered completely online and the fees are stated here for students from the same state as well from other states.
Instead of a traditional Bachelor of Arts, the University of Iowa takes online education a step further by offering students a Bachelor of Applied Studies with a subject of the student’s choice between- Creative Writing, Political Science, Justice Studies or Human Relations. Students will have to complete essential coursework in subjects like literature, history, science, politics, math, finance, philosophy, language, administration and management to name a few. In addition to this coursework, students of creative writing will get to delve deeper into the applied study of writing, communication, journalism and creative writing. To qualify for this course, you will have to possess an associate degree from a credited institution. Applicants can request more information here and fill this form to apply for a seat in the course.
A relevant, practical course that strives to merge creative, professional and technical writing to equip students in a better way, the BA in Professional and Technical Writing is a course meant for the current age and times. The 120 hour fully online degree program chooses to focus on two aspects- technical and nonfiction writing. This course is perfect for people intending to become writers, editors, grant writers, non-fiction writers, technical writers, journalists and teachers. While they solely focus on subjects like anthropology, history, technical writing, grant writing, editing, ethics, religion and arts, these skills will also come in useful for creative and fiction writers. Information about eligibility and admission details can be found on this page.
The scope for storytellers is vast currently with every media sharing content 24/7. Sensing that content creators, writers, storytellers and creative writers will be needed by the industry, Point Park University offers the BA in Writing for Screen and Media online to students all over the country. Lasting 8 weeks, this course is taught by award winning writers, journalists, media creators and video game developers that come together to ensure students get a 360 degree experience of writing and creating content for all kinds of media. Located in Pennsylvania, this University promises that the course will open the doors of the media, entertainment and journalism industry for you. Students can request more information by filling out this form.
Allowing students to do an English major but with concentration in any one subject- Literary Studies, Creative Writing or Writing and Rhetoric, the BA in English is a great choice to develop communication and writing skills in English. Starting with subjects like English literature, fiction, non-fiction, film and communication, the emphasis on English and the discipline of writing is a good fit for writers who are at the beginning of their career. Ranked number 1 among the online colleges offering courses for creative writing by a survey conducted in 2017, Nicholls State University lets students complete this course within 8 weeks. Find the links to the tuition fees here while details for the admission are listed on this page.
By teaching the intricacies of literature and liberal studies to students, Antioch University hands them the tools they need to become a successful writer. Analyzing past literature and media leads to developing a sharp sense of communication and writing expertise that proves handy in the future. Teaching all kinds of media, social media, content creation, publishing and creative writing to students, the BA in Liberal Studies, Literature and Creative Writing is full-fledged experience that can benefit any student. The course is perfect for anyone who wants to stay update with trends and current styles of writing as subjects include writing for social change, writing about mixed race, multi genre writing and poetry. You can request more information by submitting this form or apply for admissions here.
Taught by the same established faculty who teaches student on campus, the BA in English Writing provided online also offers internships to students, which is a great way to gain experience. They don’t differentiate between students who study at the campus and online students making it a wholesome educational experience for students and writers. The degree prepares you for jobs like journalists, content writer, copy writer, novelist, script writer and grant writer. Writers can request more information here or apply for admission by filling this form.
While the degree is called BA in English, it focuses on literature, language and critical skills required to communicate and write in English. Students get to work on their writing skills, fiction writing, poetry, nonfiction writing, and American and British literature. The University lets students build projects that will help them understand how the industry has evolved over the years by using social media to emphasize language and its nuances. Students can fill an application form here or request more information on this page.
A 120 hour course that lets students learn everything about writing include topics like screenwriting, writing for animation, media, testament studies, biology, math, poetry, fiction, culture, editing and professional writing. The course is taught from a Christian point of view and they build a solid foundation for anybody interested in becoming a writer, blogger, travel writer, journalist or editor. You will require transcripts of your previous education and will need to fill an online application form to gain admission. International students can request more details here.
A low residency 16 week undergraduate course with an eight-day residency on campus, the BFA in Creative Writing at Goddard University is designed especially for writers who can graduate in two genres between fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and hybrid forms. They will also have to finish a creative project and its’ critical analysis at the end of the course displaying all the skills they have learnt during the course. The faculty encourages students to communicate with their advisors by mailing packets containing coursework, creative writing, and study journal and research papers. The advisor will go through the packet and give you notes and also guide you regarding your professional goals.
It is one of the only courses out there which demand its students read as much as they write because a successful writer needs to delve into the mind of the reader to grasp what they are looking for. Interested applicants can find the admission requirements on this page. You can apply for admission here while the tuition fees are listed on this page.
A prominent liberal arts faculty and emphasis on developing communication skills has made the English department a standout at the University of Illinois Springfield. The BA in English is a starter degree for young and amateur writers wanting to gain some knowledge and education before joining the industry. Students get to work and study all kinds of media to prepare them for the digital age. Further details can be found here.
Choosing to study an English major is a good way to get an introduction to writing and literature. The mostly online BA in English Literature is a beginner’s course for people wanting to be introduced to literature, communication, writing, editing and reading. Students are invited on campus to meet with advisors and discuss their coursework. They have two specializations- Teaching and Non-Teaching. They have a helpful link where you can estimate tuition and fees and also learn about payment schedule. Young artists, amateur writers and students interested in writing can pick this course to learn the basics. Fill this form to request more information and a student advisor will be in touch with you regarding any queries you might have.
This 120 hour course is a fully online degree offered by the University of Memphis. You can choose between two specializations- American African Literature and Professional Writing. While the degree is about language, critical analysis of text and literature, the Professional Writing specialization will give you the foundation you need to become a writer, journalist, content writer, creative writer, script writer or editor. Communication skills are honed and polished by the faculty members. They urge students to get out of their comfort zone by studying, analyzing literature and language to form a clear perspective of how they want to write and what kind of content they want to create. Interested applicants can contact them via email to ask for details or apply for admission here.
The sense of grammatical, textual and literal awareness one needs to become a writer can be honed by studying English. The BA in English at Clarion University prepares you to read, write, edit and analyze English and its texts for professional use. Students can expect to find roles in publishing, writing, editing, copywriting, journalism, business and entertainment. Literature and language is at the core of writing and this course allows you to examine it and learn from it so you can be a better writer and author. You can request more information here or apply for admission.
Those were the Best Online Colleges for Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree Programs.
A Bachelor’s is meant for students, writers and amateur authors who haven’t had any college education and need a degree to give them a break in their chosen profession.
If you have had some work experience or finished your Bachelor’s from a respected and accredited institution but still feel the need for practical and theoretical knowledge so you can write professionally, doing a Master’s Degree is a sensible route for you to take. A quite a few a featured below for you to take a look at.
Best Online Colleges for Creative Writing Master’s Degree Programs
This course at University of Denver is primarily aimed at writers who have a basic understanding of the craft and wish to take their writing to the next level. A 10 week course created to teach writers and authors about editing, writing, finishing their draft and getting it ready for publication or submission. They have Master’s, Bachelor’s and Certificate courses in Writing so students or writers from any level across the world can consider studying here. You will have to fill out a form to request further details. They have prominent published writers in their faculty which lends a practical feel to the course where students are encouraged to discuss and participate rather than just be taught.
Claiming to be a unique and the only program in North America offering a blended curriculum of literature, writing and English aimed specifically at teachers, this MA at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is technically a low residency program. Students will need to attend a three day residency program in New Jersey once a year to attend workshops, meet with student advisors, readings and mingle with fellow classmates.
This flexible course promises to teach you skills that will make you a better writer, give you an insight in literature and English and also understand the reader’s perspective. Their highly talented faculty includes published writers and award winning journalists who are eager to teach students with or without experience. To be eligible, students need a four year undergraduate degree from US or abroad. Find details about admission dates and application here. You can also find out about fees on this page.
A Master’s Degree is a serious investment of time and energy and money so this MFA in Writing at University of Nebraska Omaha is only for people who want to take their writing to the next level. Seeking writers and students who want to improve not only their writing but their thinking, their perspective and insights. Students can choose to finish the course anytime anywhere and finish their MFA in any genre: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, Young Adult fiction and screenwriting. It is a low residency program so you will be required to attend conference style sessions and seminars at Nebraska. Find the admission dates and requirements listed on this page.
A fully online MA in Professional and Creative Writing at Central Washington University, this degree is for the creative and the conscious professional. Combining both learning and practical aspects, the University offers students a chance to not just become creative writers but also develop conscious, critical thinking that will enable them to be prepared for the industry. Interested applicants can request information by filling out this form here. You can also find the eligibility requirements mentioned here.
One of the most reputed colleges for learning arts, doing a MFA at Savannah College of Art & Design will boost your education, experience and resume to a great extent. Passing on the tools required to become a good writer, the University also teaches their students the art of marketing, branding and engaging with the audience so that they have the whole spectrum of skills that are needed to become a professional writer. Workshops and seminars are conducted to teach, discuss and guide the students on a regular basis. Interested students can fill this form to apply or request information here.
For students who have basic writing experience and want to finish their education, they can pick the MA in Professional and Technical Writing. Offering lesser subjects than the BA degree, the MA is more intensive and is a 36 hour degree with students required to complete an academic thesis or create a portfolio for themselves. Students will solely focus on writing and all aspects of it such as legal, technical, professional, nonfiction, business writing, advanced writing and government writing. Admission requirements, fees and details are mentioned here.
A professional course that is apt for writers with some experience and a graduate degree who are looking to hone their existing writing skills, the MFA in Film-Television with a concentration in Script & Screenwriting is a 44 hour course. Students will graduate with three full length scripts. Writers get to learn about film, media, television and media. This course is aimed at students who are self-dependent and will thrive under studying theory so they can apply it to practical projects. Students will learn to work from step one of film, television, media and theatre that will teach them how it works in entirety. This specific MFA will be the stepping stone your career needs so you can become a screenwriter, scriptwriter, features writer, copywriter, editor, film writer, professor, television writer, film critic and playwright. They require transcripts to establish you have completed a Bachelor’s degree. Learn more about admission requirements here while you can find the fees explained on this page. You can submit an online application to Regent University here.
Choosing to do a MA in Film-Television- Scriptwriting will give you a clear road to professions like script writer, television writer, editor, director, producer and film writer. Blending Christian faith in stories, ideas and scripts, this course lasts for 30 hours. Students will give their complete attention to writing, structure, storytelling and polishing their script. Subjects like writing for film, television, critical study of film and television and playwriting will boost your confidence and ability. At the end of the course, you will need to finish a directed project, portfolio or thesis. You can find admission requirements here and the fees are mentioned on this page. The application form can be filled online by interested students.
An intensive course teaching students about the intricacies of English, communication, writing and literature, the MA in English is tailored for writers, authors and students of English. You will learn the critical analysis, culture studies, language, and literature, dissect genre and themes during the course. Students will also get to study acclaimed authors like Chaucer, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Austen, Dickens and Whitman to name a few. By studying these authors and critically analyzing their works, you can write better and edit better. For their final project, you will have to write a paper in the style of a scholarly journal and aim at it getting published. You can learn more about the course by requesting information here. Applicants can also fill the application form by visiting this page.
This affordable, extensive MA in English & Creative Writing is tailor made for people who want a real insight in the writing and communication industry. They don’t have just one but 4 other MA degrees you can choose to specialize in such as- Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and Screenwriting. You will be learning writing; editing, literature and studying previously published and established authors and writers in this 15 month course. Students have to finish a thesis or a portfolio of their writing along with an essay at the end of the course. The coursework is built keeping the busy lives of online students hence the lectures are convenient and flexible. You can fill out an application form here or request for information on this page.
This course is not limited to people who want to become writers but literature and language is its main focus. So if you want to write but also keep your professional options open by choosing to become a teacher, professor, editor or journalist, the MA in English at SNHU is a good fit. You will need to have a keen interest in literature, analyzing past texts and works if you wish to pursue this course. You will be exposed to American and British literature, Writing, Gender Studies, African-American literature and Teaching. Applicants can submit an online application form here or request more information on this page.
Named the Maslow Family Graduate Program, this Creative Writing degree is offered in low residency or weekend sessions. Past graduates have gone on to publish novels, produced films, write poetry and plays. Students are taught seven specific areas of study- screenwriting, poetry, fiction, playwriting, creative nonfiction, film and publishing. Advisors take students under their wings to offer personal guidance, seminars are held and internships are offered so amateur writers can graduate as professionals by the time the course gets over. Read more about admission requirements and find the application on this page.
A low residency 2 year course that alternates ten day residencies every six months. Students are mentored by their advisors while they work independently on their writing projects and subjects such as fiction, popular fiction, Young Adult fiction, poetry, performance, scriptwriting and nonfiction. Called the Stonecoast MFA, they hold 2 ten day residencies every year in Freeport in January and Brunswick in July. You will have to mail your work, critical essays and writing to your assigned advisor or mentor. They will review your work and answer it with a critique and advice to improve your writing and analyzing skills. To give you an experience of the industry, students will be asked to participate in a panel or teach a class at the end of the course. You can apply to the course by filling this form.
A two year low residency MFA, this degree is catered to students who want a supportive faculty that engages them, challenges and believes in the writer. With the option of choosing between three genres- fiction, poetry and non-fiction, the teachers and advisors invest time and energy in each student, trying to get a sense of how they write and what will work best to motivate and improve them. For writers who want to spend time personally improving their writing, editing and analyzing skills instead of just studying texts, this course allows for a lot of scope to polish and hone your work. You can request more information here or submit an application form.
A unique dual degree program offering MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English, this degree is the appropriate blend of writing, language and literature for students still trying to make up their mind. During the first two years, you will take both MFA and MA courses simultaneously while in the second year, you will be focused on your MA courses. If you want to have both the practical experience that comes from doing a MFA and the theoretical knowledge that is offering in a MA, this program is meant for you. The courses are balanced and the coursework will not overwhelm students who are probably working and have families to take care of. You can request information about fees, schedule and subjects here while the admission form is available on this page.
A low residency program that prides itself on personal attention to each student with a student-teacher ratio that never exceeds 4:1, the MFA in Creative Writing also has an annual residency abroad. Their student support community and system is strong and encouraging with conferences, alumni weekends where prominent editors and agents are guests and a book development program that pairs a writer who has a draft of book length manuscript completed with a publisher from a major publishing house. Writers with some work experience or students who feel the need to improve their writing and editing should take this course and utilize the networking and socializing opportunities it allows with its local and international residencies. Students will have to finish a Master’s thesis and also present a seminar before graduating. You can apply for admission here or request for more information here.
And that my friends, is our complete and extensive list of 34 Best Online Colleges for Creative Writing Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs. All of these programs are available to students in and around USA.
Most of these courses are titled English majors and that shouldn’t put you off since they combine the English language and communication, writing and literature which every writer needs to know and excel at. Choosing any of these English majors also leaves the door open for you to pursue more avenues along with writing. An English major can also become a business writer or work in communications. Or you can become a writer too.
If you have any doubts or hesitation about choosing to study online, these courses have published writers and experienced teachers available for you to discuss theory with, debate and engage in creative discussion at a time convenient for everybody. The course work is aimed to boost your talents as a writer and let you pursue your real life routine as well. While some courses may need you to do a residency weekend, it is a great opportunity to mingle with faculty and fellow students and attend writing workshops.
Students and writers may think an online degree is a breeze since you don’t have to actually attend classes but the discussions and workshops offered by advisors and professors demand a significant amount of time. You also need to read material, revise and be up to date on theory based subjects while also completing practical projects. Before committing to an online degree, you will have to make time for study and coursework in your schedule.
Education can never be a bad thing so don’t worry and pick any course that meets all your needs and takes you one step closer to achieving your dream of becoming a writer.
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.