Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Degrees

The field of creative writing offers a growing number of exciting opportunities as the digital age continues to influence the dissemination of information. An online degree in creative writing paves the way for a variety of career paths ranging from screenwriting to technical editing. Whether you have aspirations of becoming a novelist or magazine publisher, you can customize your degree to fit your professional goals and interests.

Additionally, with humanity’s reliance on a greater number of scientific products, the need for technical writers continues to increase, and occupational opportunities are projected to grow faster than the national average; this field is predicted to increase by 10% over the next several years. As such, now is an excellent time to enroll in an online bachelor’s program in writing to launch a rewarding, upwardly mobile career. This page features several topics to consider when choosing an affordable creative writing degree program.

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Creative Writing
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University of Central Florida

Value Score 7.31
Average Tuition $4,478
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $11,028
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 49%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 52
Number of Online Programs 15

One of the most innovative universities in the country, UCF offers on-campus classes in Orlando and 12 other central Florida locations. Distance learners can also complete UCF coursework online from anywhere, including home. The same faculty members teach both on-campus and online classes, including the English Department’s online degree in creative writing. This program helps students learn to read, write, and think critically.

Distance learners receive a discount on certain campus-based fees, making UCF’s online degree in creative writing a more affordable choice for students. To apply, degree candidates must complete an application, submit prior transcripts, demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA from any previous educational institution, and prove competency in a foreign language or American Sign Language. Transfer students with 60 or more credits must show prior completion of two English composition courses and two math courses, each with a 2.0 GPA or higher.

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Indiana University-East

Value Score 6.42
Average Tuition $6,337
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Net Price $5,598
Graduation Rate 28%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 62%
Enrollment Rate 43%
Retention Rate 43%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 56
Number of Online Programs 11

A regional leader in graduate and undergraduate degree programs, IUE provides more than 50 different areas of study. Located in Richmond, Indiana (less than 10 miles from the Ohio state line), IUE features lower tuition costs for in-state students and a notably affordable education through its Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). This program caps out-of-state tuition for midwestern residents at 150% of the in-state rate.

IUE’s online bachelor’s degree in English, technical, and professional writing gives students the training they need to think critically and communicate effectively in various media careers, including advertising and public relations. Students can graduate with an online degree in writing after completing only 20 classes, as long as the learner holds an associate degree or 60 semester hours from a previous educational institution. Transfer students must also demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The university requires distance learners to complete IUE-approved general education courses.

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University of Iowa

Value Score 6.05
Average Tuition $6,678
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $8,188
Graduation Rate 72%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 81%
Enrollment Rate 25%
Retention Rate 25%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41
Number of Online Programs 3

Located in Iowa City, UOI provides two separate tracks for completing a bachelor’s degree: applied and liberal studies. Both tracks offer distance learners the opportunity to complete all courses online or combine online courses with on-campus classes, also known as a hybrid program.

An applied study, the bachelor’s degree with a creative writing emphasis gives students an understanding of written communication through synchronous online classes. Learners can complete the creative writing emphasis in only 18 semester hours (or six courses). The bachelor’s degree of applied studies also requires 19 semester hours (five courses) of general education courses. Program applicants must possess an associate degree from an accredited institution; 60 semester hours of transferable college credit, including technical or career credit; and a cumulative GPA of 2.50 (2.0 for Iowa community college graduates).

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Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Value Score 5.87
Average Tuition $18,300
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $22,216
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 28%
Enrollment Rate 70%
Retention Rate 70%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59
Number of Online Programs 21

Situated on a 70-acre campus in Waxahachie, Texas, about 30 miles south of Dallas, SAGU employs a Christian-oriented curriculum for its more than 60 academic programs. The university encourages students to practice Christian service and prayer in accordance with Pentecostal theology.

SAGU’s online bachelor’s degree in English, a four-year program, offers degree candidates the opportunity to explore literary works while using Blackboard and Tegrity online course software. Asynchronous classes allow distance learners the opportunity to download coursework, view video lectures, and communicate with professors anytime of the day. The online bachelor’s program in writing prepares students for careers in education, public relations, and media. Online learners receive lower tuition costs and full access to campus resources, including the Career Center for job opportunities. Distance learners can also apply for the school's Experiential Learning Credit, which awards up to 45-credit hours for work experience after completing a single, three-hour course.

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Nicholls State University

Value Score 5.86
Average Tuition $4,922
Students Receiving Financial Aid 65%
Net Price $8,681
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 90%
Enrollment Rate 56%
Retention Rate 56%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51
Number of Online Programs 7

NSU, located in the city of Thibodaux, Louisiana, about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, serves a diverse population of degree candidates. The university offers nine different online undergraduate degrees, including NSU’s bachelor’s degree in English. Distance learners can graduate with a bachelor’s degree in just three years following the university’s eight-week course schedule. Online students can enroll in nine credit hours every eight-week term. Classes begin in January, March, June, August, and October.

The online bachelor’s degree in English requires 120 credit hours of study and offers three major concentration areas: creative writing, literary studies, and writing and rhetoric. Students must complete core classes and electives before beginning an area of concentration. While instructors communicate via email with degree candidates, the asynchronously taught classes provide distance learners with more flexibility to work and study on a student’s personalized schedule. Some online courses require additional costs for software and testing services.

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Indiana University-Bloomington

Value Score 5.59
Average Tuition $9,087
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $5,875
Graduation Rate 77%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 9
Number of Online Programs 1

IU offers academic programs at eight campuses statewide, including the flagship campus, IU Bloomington. Located in Bloomington, Indiana, IU Bloomington offers more than 100 online programs. Advisors work one-on-one with distance learners to create individualized study plans based on a student’s background.

IU’s online bachelor’s degree in English, technical and professional writing focuses on technical and professional writing. Students learn how to communicate effectively and think critically. Providing a learner previously completed an associate degree or 60 transferable credit hours with a GPA of 2.0 or better, the online bachelor’s program in writing can be completed in just two years with 60 credit hours or 20 classes. Applicants must provide prior transcripts and demonstrate completion of core classes equivalent to the IU curriculum. Distance learners who do not meet prerequisites may need to complete core requirements on campus.

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Regent University

Value Score 5.53
Average Tuition $15,900
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $16,437
Graduation Rate 47%
Student to Faculty Ratio 28:1
Admissions Rate 84%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 86
Number of Online Programs 2

A leading Christian educational institution located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, RU offers 128 different areas of study, including online programs taught by the same expert faculty on campus. Students can pursue the school's bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a concentration in professional and technical writing on campus or online.

Distance learners take synchronous classes at night over eight-week periods to reach a required 120-credit hours for graduation. The online program teaches degree candidates how to communicate effectively for careers in government, and at corporations and nonprofit organizations. The application process differs for each degree candidate. Adult online learners, age 24 and older, must fill out an online application, submit unofficial transcripts from high school or a previous college, and complete an admissions survey. Distance learners can make college more affordable with RU’s lower costs for online credit hours and enrollment deposit discount.

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Missouri State University-Springfield

Value Score 5.50
Average Tuition $6,150
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $11,699
Graduation Rate 52%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Admissions Rate 86%
Enrollment Rate 44%
Retention Rate 44%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 29
Number of Online Programs 16

A more than 100-year-old educational institution, MSU operates from four campuses worldwide, including the main campus in Springfield, Missouri. Students looking to make tuition as cheap as possible can cut costs with MSU’s online courses, which provide a lower total price due to savings on transportation and student fees.

MSU's online bachelor’s degree in professional writing prepares distance learners for a career in a variety of fields, including writing, publishing, and project management. Degree program applicants must obtain a minimum GPA of 2.50 from MSU or another institution with transferrable credits, or 2.75 for the most recent 30 hours of coursework. This online degree in writing requires a minor, which can be completed with online courses, or a combination of online and on-campus classes. MSU offers a completely online minor in technical writing. Students can also choose either a minor in screenwriting or technical writing, each offered through a combination of online and in-person evening classes.

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Value Score 5.41
Average Tuition $5,768
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Net Price $11,601
Graduation Rate 27%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 90%
Enrollment Rate 49%
Retention Rate 49%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 44
Number of Online Programs 6

A metropolitan research university, UA Little Rock strives to provide access to a quality education through flexible schedules and advanced technology. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, the university offers more than 450 online courses. Distance learners at UA Little Rock receive reduced tuition rates regardless of residency when admitted to an approved online degree or certificate program. Learners not accepted to an online program still acquire an affordable education since UA Little Rock’s online courses cost the same as on-campus classes. Clinical fees apply for some programs. The university waives its application fee for military students.

UA Little Rock’s online bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing blends rhetorical literacy with practical writing. Distance learners graduate from the online degree in writing program after completing 120-credit hours. The program’s two concentrations, nonfiction and technical writing, prepare graduates for various writing careers, including professions in grant writing, technical writing, web development, and education.

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Point Park University

Value Score 5.40
Average Tuition $27,000
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Net Price $18,437
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 71%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26
Number of Online Programs 7

PPU, the only university located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, offers more than 100 academic programs being taught in an urban setting alongside parks, riverfront trails, restaurants, and shops. A nonprofit university, PPU strives to uphold its strong liberal arts tradition.

PPU’s online bachelor’s degree in writing for screen and media helps creative students gain career skills. The two to four-year, 120-credit hour program focuses on developing distant learners’ artistic talents and narrative voice. Similar to other online creative writing degrees, distance learners work to complete a full portfolio to submit to employers. Each synchronous course lasts only eight weeks. To apply, interested learners must complete an online application, submit official school transcripts, present a creative portfolio, and complete an in-person interview with a PPU faculty member. Granted a more affordable education with lower tuition costs, distant learners also receive access to the same internship and job opportunities as on-campus students.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Degree?

Online creative writing degrees prepare students to work as copywriters, novelists, journalists, and in many other careers. A writer’s work schedule varies depending on their employer and/or employment status. For example, freelance writers frequently work evenings and weekends to meet assignment deadlines. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than two-thirds of writers were self-employed in 2014, and one in four writers worked part time. In addition to possessing adept writing skills, successful writers are creative, self-motivated, and socially perceptive.

Career Paths for Graduates of Writing Program

Writers and Authors

$61,240 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Degree Required

An online bachelor’s program in writing prepares students for careers as writers and authors. Writers create fictional and nonfictional written works such as scripts, novels, and biographies. They work with editors to produce published material.

Projected Growth Rate 2%

Writers and Authors

$61,240 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Degree Required

An online bachelor’s program in writing prepares students for careers as writers and authors. Writers create fictional and nonfictional written works such as scripts, novels, and biographies. They work with editors to produce published material.

Projected Growth Rate 2%

Technical Writers

$69,850 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Degree Required

Technical writers work closely with product designers and developers to create user-friendly manuals and instructional guides. They sometimes use photographs, illustrations, and diagrams to convey advanced concepts and procedures. A bachelor’s degree allows graduates to pursue entry-level technical writing positions in areas such as marketing, manufacturing, and customer relations.

Projected Growth Rate 10%


$57,210 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Degree Required

An editor’s job duties include reviewing content to check for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation; verifying facts; and rewriting text to enhance reader comprehension. Editors also work with writers to develop ideas and produce publishable material.

Projected Growth Rate -5%

Reporters and Correspondents

$38,870 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Degree Required

Also known as journalists, reporters and correspondents work for media organizations to develop stories, conduct interviews, and edit audio recordings. Print media journalists write articles for both print and online publications.

Projected Growth Rate -9%

Master’s or Doctorate Degree

$75,430 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Degree Required

Students who earn an online degree in creative writing may pursue an advanced degree that prepares them for instructional positions in higher education. Creative writing majors have the flexibility to pursue graduate degrees in a variety of areas, including counseling and education. Postsecondary teachers instruct courses, develop lesson plans, and assess student progress.

Projected Growth Rate 13%

Educational Paths for Graduates of Writing Programs

Upon completion of an undergraduate degree in creative writing, students may choose to earn an advanced degree in the field. An enhanced understanding of communications prepares master’s students for managerial roles in publishing or public relations. Alternatively, a master’s degree in creative writing allows students to pursue careers as postsecondary teachers or continue on to a doctoral program. With a doctorate in English or creative writing, graduates can pursue prestigious tenure-track positions at universities and conduct scholarly research.

What Will I Learn in My Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Program?

  • Writing Creative Nonfiction This course familiarizes students with nonfiction rhetoric and style. Students learn how to use tone, language, and authorial presence when writing essays, biographies, and documentaries.
  • Technical Editing This class teaches students how to revise, analyze, and critique written material. Students acquire knowledge about document editing and learn how to examine grammar, syntax, and style.
  • Digital Writing Topics featured in this course include web design, online writing formats, and use of media in written messages. Students also learn how a document’s intended audience and purpose influence its writing style.
  • Legal and Argumentative Writing From the identification of controversial issues to locating evidence, this class equips students with the skills needed to take political positions and construct convincing and assertive essays.
  • Research and Academic Writing In addition to providing an overview of research methods, students in this class learn how to prepare an academic paper, including writing a literature review and research proposal.

Employment Outlook for Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Graduates

Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Salary

Factors such as location, employer type, and work experience influence the annual earnings of professional writers. The following table highlights five potential career paths that graduates with an online degree in writing may take; also included are data from PayScale illustrating salary trends as a function of professional experience. Increased experience positively correlates with annual earnings, and writers with 20 years of experience may earn as much as 58% more than entry-level professionals.

Creative Writing Careers by Experience
Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Freelance Writer $38,000 $40,000 $53,000 $96,000
Publications Editor $44,725 $42,000 $41,000 $49,000
Journalist $39,724 $35,000 $43,000 $54,000
Copywriter $49,122 $44,000 $55,000 $62,000
Content Writer $42,202 $37,000 $51,000 $60,000

Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Degrees

When seeking a postsecondary education, students should pursue their online degree in writing from an accredited school. Accreditation ensures that schools and programs provide a quality education that meets national or regional standards in areas such as inclusion, academic services, and faculty training. The majority of U.S. colleges are regionally or nationally accredited. More than three-quarters of U.S. universities are regionally accredited, while national accrediting agencies typically accredit schools that specialize in vocational and distance education programs. These programs generally cost less and have less rigorous admissions requirements than regionally-accredited schools. Although regionally-accredited schools tend to be more expensive, their credits tend to be easier to transfer; some regionally-accredited programs do not accept credits earned from nationally-accredited schools.

In addition to regional and national accreditation, specialized accrediting also bodies exist. One such institution is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which provides quality assurance for online programs. There are also program-specific accreditors, such as the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, which focus on specialized fields of study to promote academic quality.

Financing Your Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Program

With the help of numerous financial assistant programs, an online degree in creative writing can be made considerably less expensive. Students may apply for federal aid programs, including student loans with low fixed interest rates. Distance learners should also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their federal loan eligibility. Work-study programs are also offered by participating colleges; these programs provide students with part-time on-campus employment while they pursue their degree. Additionally, grants and scholarships are excellent sources of financial assistance and do not require repayment. A variety of scholarship opportunities exist for creative writing majors; a few of these are highlighted below.

Scholarships for Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Writing

DEGREE Scholarships

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Gold Medal Portfolio $10,000

With a vision to support future creativity, the Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Medal Portfolio award is given to eight writers and eight artists who demonstrate originality, skill, and a personal vision.

Scholarship Deadline: December 7

Eligibility Requirements: Students must be graduating high school seniors.

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ACES Merv Aubespin Scholarship $1,000 to $2,500

Offered by the editing society ACES, this scholarship honors Merv Aubespin, an integral figure in the National Association of Black Journalists and the American Society of News Editors.

Scholarship Deadline: November 15

Eligibility Requirements: Students must be college juniors, seniors, or graduate students with career aspirations in editing.

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Bodie McDowell Scholarship $1,000 to $5,000

This scholarship is offered by the Outdoor Writers Association of America to college students pursuing degrees in outdoor communications, including art, print, film, and broadcasting.

Scholarship Deadline: TBA; announced in December

Eligibility Requirements: All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an outdoor communications program are eligible for this award.

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Go on Girl! Book Club: Aspiring Writer Scholarship $1,000

This scholarship is offered by the Go on Girl! Book Club and focuses on the power of the written word. It is available to students who identify with the African Diaspora.

Scholarship Deadline: March 31

Eligibility Requirements: Students must be U.S. residents of African descent who are full-time freshmen, sophomores, or juniors at a historically black college or university; applicants must also have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship $2,500

Offered by the Horror Writers Association, the Mary Shelley Scholarship is available to female horror writers. The scholarship aims to inspire more women to contribute to the horror genre.

Scholarship Deadline: August 1

Eligibility Requirements: This scholarship is open to all female applicants.

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