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Online BA in English

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Develop Your Unique Writing Style in SMSU’s Online BA in English


2—4 Years

41 Credit Hours (Major)

$305 per Credit

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Complete this form to receive information about coursework, admissions, tuition, and more.

Expand Your Knowledge with an Online Degree in Creative Writing or Literature

Grow your writing and communication skills and prepare for a successful career with the online Bachelor of Arts in English from Southwest Minnesota State University. Choose an emphasis in creative writing or literature, and finish your degree in as little as two years. This 100 percent online program allows you to grow your network and collaborate with professional writers while learning in a flexible format. Our community, including experienced and accessible faculty, will support you on your path to publication.

This BA in English program is also offered on campus.

Program Details

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Choose Your BA in English Online Emphasis

You’ll pick an emphasis in creative writing or literature to align your studies with your personal and professional interests.

Creative Writing

2—4 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Work closely with our faculty of published writers in workshops and literature courses to strengthen your writing abilities.

Courses Highlights

  • ENG 301: Poetry Workshop
  • ENG 302: Fiction Workshop
  • ENG 488: Techniques in Craft


2—4 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Broaden your communication skills and general cultural and aesthetic awareness through a range of American, British, and world history classes.

Courses Highlights

  • LIT 250: Critical Approaches to Literature
  • LIT 320: British Literature Survey: Beginnings to Present
  • LIT 355: Native American Literature

Network and Grow in SMSU’s BA in English Program

120 Total Credits

15 Courses

In the online BA in English program, you will learn about the publication process and complete a capstone project that includes an independent literature study or a writing project. Our courses blend tried-and-true writing techniques with new concepts to create an expansive, modern degree. All students graduate with a portfolio to highlight their skills to employers.

Course Highlights

  • ENG 303: Screenwriting Workshop
  • LIT 306: Craft and Theory: Prose and Poetry
  • ENG 365: Modern Grammar
  • LIT 375: Women’s Literature
Curriculum Details

Apply to SMSU’s BA in English Program

Start Date August 26, 2024 Fall Term 2024

Start your application process with the support of the SMSU team. During the application process, our enrollment counselors will answer questions and help you meet application deadlines for the online creative writing bachelor’s degree.

Online Application FormApply Now
Application Fee$20 waivable fee*
Official TranscriptsSend official high school transcripts. Transfer students must send transcripts from each institution attended
Minimum GPA2.5 minimum, 3.0 recommended

International Students

Additional information and requirements may be necessary for international students. Please contact our enrollment team to learn more.

It’s always the right time to invest in your education with SMSU. Contact an enrollment counselor by calling 1-800-201-2944 to get started today.

Admissions Details

Tuition and Aid for the SMSU Bachelor of Arts in English

Calculate your cost for attending SMSU Use our tuition calculator to help you estimate your total tuition costs.  

Investing in your education is the first step toward creating a successful future for yourself. Whether applying for a college degree for the first time or picking back up where you left off in your education, Southwest Minnesota State University’s tuition and aid packages can assist you. Take advantage of available scholarships, competitive tuition, and transfer credits when paying for your creative writing degree.

Cost per Credit Hour$305
Total Credit Hours120
Total Estimated Cost**$36,600
Other CostsThe estimated tuition cost does not include factors such as textbooks, supplies, or additional fees and expenses

Military Benefits

SMSU proudly welcomes active military and veteran students. We accept the GI Bill™ and VA education benefits. Learn more by contacting an enrollment counselor or by visiting our military benefits page.

Financial Aid Options & Support

Southwest Minnesota State University offers a variety of solutions to help you invest in your education. SMSU offers in-state tuition rates to all students, along with a variety of financial services, including military benefits, financial aid opportunities, and scholarships for qualifying applicants.

Take your next step in financing your education by completing your FAFSA today. Use SMSU’s school code: 002375

Tuition Details
student studying in lounge

Take the Next Step in Your Creative Writing Career

Graduates of the online BA in English program pursue a wide range of work, including freelance, corporate, non-profit, and government writing jobs, as well as creative writing endeavors. You’ll graduate with a portfolio that prepares you for your career as a writer and helps you on your path to publication or leadership.

Jobs for BA in English Graduates

Freelance Content Writer $56,810 per year1

Writer or Author $91,560 per year2

Program Outcomes

Our strong community of writers support and encourage each other on their path to publication or writing jobs at various organizations. When you graduate, you’ll have the skills you need to move forward in your career and a completed portfolio to share with employers.

What You’ll Learn

Meet Our Faculty

SMSU employs a faculty of experts who are top-skilled in their fields. Our educators are fully committed to providing each student with personalized and thoughtful instruction to help you succeed academically and professionally.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Judy Wilson

In addition to being a professor, fiction writer, and Director of the Creative Writing Program, Judy Wilson is founder and executive editor of Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought.

Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals including South Dakota Review, Mississippi Review, Antietam Review, The Atlantic Monthly’s Atlantic Unbound, Reed Magazine, Oregon Literary Review, Carve Magazine, Front Porch Journal, Texas Review and others. Her collection, Trespass and other stories, was published in 2011.

She has received a number of awards for her fiction including the Southern Literary Festival Award for Best Short Fiction, the Joan Johnson Writing Award, the Henfield Foundation’s Transatlantic Review Award, and the Truman Capote Fellowship. Originally from Virginia, she received her Ph.D. from The University of Southern Mississippi.

She teaches in the Creative Writing Program, her forte being fiction. She also teaches a variety of literature classes such as Women’s Literature, Sexuality and Gender in Literature, Short Story, Authors, as well as the occasional Techniques in Craft class, composition courses, and other classes.

Learn Online with Southwest Minnesota State University

Whether you’re enrolling in a degree program for the first time or completing a degree you previously started, learning online with SMSU provides the flexibility you need to be successful. Our online programs offer the same rigorous curriculum delivered on campus, plus the convenience of studying on your schedule from the location of your choice.

Discover SMSU Online

Sources and Disclaimers

  1., Freelance Content Writer, at (visited September 14, 2023).
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Writers and Authors, at (visited September 14, 2023).

*Contact our enrollment team for more details!

**Tuition costs and fees will vary based on semesters of enrollment and number of transfer credits accepted. Contact our enrollment team to learn more.