2019 Accredited Online Creative Writing Degrees

Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $24,660
Avg Salary: $58,796

Online creative writing degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate levels and online classes cover topics like editing, script writing, storytelling, and poetry. A master's degree is suggested for those wishing to pursue a career as a college professor or those wishing to get the more in-depth feedback offered by a thesis advisor. The best online master's in creative writing programs are ranked by tuition costs and salaries of alumni as provided by PayScale.

Students should only consider online programs from accredited institutions. Also, students pursuing a master’s in fine arts (MFA) program should look for recognition by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), which looks for a low student-to-faculty ratio, strong advising, and accomplished faculty.

Find an Online Degree:

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Creative Writing Degrees ( 36)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (36)
Antioch University Online HLC $19,776 100% (1 review)
15 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • BA in Liberal Studies - Literature and Creative Writing
Arcadia University MSCHE $42,330 Add Review
8 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 68% (631 reviews)
138 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • BA/Journalism and Mass Communication
Calvary University HLC $11,152 Add Review
103 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Professional Directed Studies: English/Creative Writing (Bachelor's)
Central Washington University NWCCU $22,010 100% (1 review)
42 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Professional and Creative Writing
  • Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing
Chaminade University of Honolulu WASC WSCUC $24,514 100% (1 review)
36 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
Eastern Illinois University HLC $13,868 Add Review
28 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus MSCHE $39,446 Add Review
35 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators
Florida Tech SACS COC $16,128 67% (76 reviews)
96 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • AA Liberal Arts
Full Sail University ACCSC $23,694 45% (83 reviews)
36 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Entertainment
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Grand Canyon University HLC $17,050 53% (400 reviews)
210 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • BA in Digital Film - Screenwriting
  • BA in English - Professional Writing
Liberty University SACS COC $11,700 59% (235 reviews)
525 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • AA: Creative Writing
Lindenwood University HLC $16,960 Add Review
72 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • MFA in Writing
Missouri State University HLC $14,746 0% (1 review)
47 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting for Television and Film
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Writing for Television and Film
Nicholls State University SACS COC $8,979 Add Review
22 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • BA in English - Creative Writing
Penn Foster Career School DEAC Not Provided 45% (129 reviews)
123 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Freelance Writer
Regent University Online SACS COC $17,288 54% (13 reviews)
517 Programs, 3 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Writing
  • Master of Fine Arts in Script and Screenwriting
  • MFA in Film-Television – Script & Screenwriting
Saint Leo University Online SACS COC $22,220 68% (82 reviews)
132 Programs, 4 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • M.A. in Creative Writing
  • M.A. in Creative Writing: Fiction
  • M.A. in Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
  • M.A. in Creative Writing: Poetry
Savannah College of Art and Design SACS COC $36,410 Add Review
29 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing
Southern New Hampshire University Online NECHE $11,520 64% (286 reviews)
285 Programs, 11 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • BA Creative Writing & English
  • BA Creative Writing & English - Fiction Writing
  • BA Creative Writing & English - Non-Fiction Writing
  • BA Creative Writing & English - Poetry
Stanford University WASC WSCUC $49,617 Add Review
51 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Certificate in Novel Writing
University of California - Berkeley WASC WSCUC $42,184 50% (2 reviews)
23 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Writing
University of California - Los Angeles WASC WSCUC $41,275 100% (1 review)
118 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Creative Nonfiction Writing Certificate
  • Fiction Writing Certificate
University of Central Florida SACS COC $22,467 83% (6 reviews)
102 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • English - Creative Writing, BA
  • Professional Writing, Graduate Certifiate
University of Colorado Denver HLC $25,259 100% (2 reviews)
53 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Writing
University of Denver HLC $48,669 Add Review
112 Programs, 5 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Professional Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • Master of Arts in Professional Creative Writing - Professional Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • Master of Arts in Professional Creative Writing - Professional Dramatic Writing
  • Master of Arts in Professional Creative Writing - Professional Fiction Writing
University of Iowa HLC $30,609 Add Review
40 Programs, 2 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies - Expression in Writing and Arts
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Writing
University of Louisiana-Monroe SACS COC $20,570 100% (2 reviews)
55 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Arts in English - Creative Writing
University of Nebraska at Kearney HLC $13,194 0% (1 review)
97 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Arts in English - Writing
University of Nebraska at Omaha HLC $20,320 Add Review
58 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing
University of North Texas SACS COC $20,504 60% (5 reviews)
48 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Graduate Academic Certificate in Storytelling
The University of West Florida SACS COC $19,241 100% (3 reviews)
95 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • MA in English - Creative Writing
Webster University HLC $27,100 83% (6 reviews)
140 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • BA in Media Communications - Scriptwriting
West Virginia University HLC $23,616 100% (1 review)
52 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Regents Bachelor of Arts - Professional Writing
Western New England University NECHE $35,740 Add Review
25 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Wilkes University MSCHE $34,896 Add Review
50 Programs, 1 in Creative Writing (view all)
  • M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing

Online Creative Writing Degree Overview & Career Information

Online creative writing degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate levels, with most traditional writing careers requiring a bachelor’s degree. Online coursework will equip graduates with critical skills to analyze, interpret, and create written work. For most creative writing careers, building a strong portfolio of writing samples is more important than completing internships or any specialized training.

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Online Associate Degrees in Creative Writing

An online associate degree program in creative writing may be a good option for students who want an introduction to the subject and to strengthen their writing abilities. At this level, students will be given a broad overview of different types of writing, such as fiction, poetry, and screenwriting, as well as a foundation in how to analyze written works. Students will also likely be able to focus on one or two specific types of creative writing based on their personal interests and needs.

Online classes that students will take during their program include general education courses in math, science, and the humanities, as well as extra courses in creative writing and English. Example creative writing classes that a student might take include introduction to literature, fiction writing, poetry writing, American literature, dramatic literature, and advanced composition. Students will spend about two years on their studies and complete 90 quarter credits or 60 semester credits of work.

An online associate degree in creative writing can be pursued at two and four-year colleges. In order to be admitted, an applicant will need to have a high school diploma or GED. Graduates of this type of program typically go on to transfer to a four-year school. They may also use their strengthened writing skills to work on getting their work published. Additionally, the writing and communication skills that creative writing students learn can be valuable in a variety of jobs in various fields.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Creative Writing

An online bachelor’s in creative writing requires completion of general education classes in addition to preferred topics of study, which should enhance the student’s ability to analyze and diversify his or her writing. Though there are not many colleges that offer creative writing degrees, many offer a concentration of creative writing to give you the expertise and breadth to be an effective writer in a multimedia culture with practical skills alongside creativity. Topics of study will include scriptwriting, editing, journalism, screenwriting, and poetry.

Standard admissions require a 2.5 GPA or higher, SAT or ACT scores, and a personal essay. Traditionally, the programs require 120 credit hours for completion.

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Online Master's in Creative Writing

A master’s degree is primarily beneficial for individuals who wish to teach creative writing at the collegiate level or those who wish to improve their writing under the direction of trained advisors. To learn more about online master's programs in creative writing, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.

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Online Certificates in Creative Writing

Online creative writing certificates take approximately one year and are usually used to enhance another degree or for career advancement in a field that requires writing like marketing, non-profit fundraising, or content management. Creative writing certificates are available at the undergraduate or graduate level, and those at the graduate level can sometimes be applied to master’s degrees. Online classes include editing, storytelling, and writing for different media. Most programs require a high school diploma and writing samples, and often published work is not required.

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Accreditation for Online Creative Writing Degrees

Accreditation is a valuable way for students, future employers, and governing entities to know that quality education is being provided. Online programs need to be accredited in order for students to qualify for federal funding such as grants and loans, and graduating from an accredited program is often required to sit for state licensure exams. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is the supreme accreditation board for this country. It is a non-governmental, private organization committed to quality assurance and rigorous standards, and students should check with the Department of Education’s website in order to ensure the school they are considering is accredited.

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) is a governing body that evaluates MFA programs to ensure a high level of education and contribution to the written word. The AWP postulates that a valuable writing program offers extensive literary study, strong thesis advisors, accomplished faculty, and a small student-to-teacher ratio, which is something students should consider when evaluating an online MFA program.

Careers in Creative Writing

An online degree in creative writing can provide a breadth of career opportunities, from editing to marketing communications to grant writing. Depending on career goals and experience, areas of focus can vary greatly within creative writing careers.

Companies often hire individuals based on their “soft skills,” which include critical thinking, situation analysis, communication skills, and their ability to communicate effectively across a multitude of media interfaces. An online bachelor’s degree in creative writing can prepare you for a career path in editing and copywriting, advertising, public relations, and publishing, for example.

A master’s program will prepare graduates to teach at a collegiate level, or further critical skills in authorship, which can be essential to getting work published.

Common Online Classes for Creative Writing Students

Creative writing is a field that encapsulates many specialities, so there will likely be a variety of online courses offered. Listed below are some common online classes:

  • Forms and Techniques of Fiction: This class gives students the tools to analyze and imitate important pieces of fiction in order to gain a historical understanding of the creative process.
  • Advanced Poetry Writing: This online course delves into framework and finding your poetic voice through identifying expressive resources and elements.
  • Storytelling in Film and Literature: Students will explore narrative techniques and how they transpose to film, examine the role of the reader and the structure of the meaning, and investigate political, social, and aesthetic issues within the narrative.
  • Scriptwriting: This online class studies the process and elements of film scriptwriting, including character building, three-act structure, plot points, and formatting.
  • Fiction Workshop: This allows students to share their work with peers and receive feedback. It also explores the complexities of fiction writing, from developing characters and plots, to setting a foundation while remaining concise.
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing: Students explore the rules of sci-fi and fantasy writing and the tools embedded in these genres. They will utilize poetic language, horror, and alternate realities to create short stories based on prompts.

References

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