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25 Best Colleges for English Majors 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 2/21/2020

We ranked the top 25 schools by median salary one year after college for students who graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in English. Monmouth University tops the list with a starting salary of $42,100. The lowest median debt for the top 25 English Degrees is $9,434 at Duke University. The range of median salaries among these schools is $34,800-$42,100.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 West Long Branch (NJ) West Long Branch (NJ) $43,216 $27,000 $42,100
#2 #2 New York (NY) New York (NY) $66,139 $21,000 $41,500
#3 #3 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $20,994 $21,762 $41,400
#4 #4 Santa Clara (CA) Santa Clara (CA) $57,534 $24,894 $41,400
#5 #5 Hanover (NH) Hanover (NH) $62,658 Not Reported $40,900
#6 #6 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $62,052 $15,000 $40,700
#7 #7 Worcester (MA) Worcester (MA) $58,360 $27,000 $40,200
#8 #8 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $54,960 $14,683 $39,500
#9 #9 New York (NY) New York (NY) $62,525 $16,250 $39,500
#10 #10 Williamstown (MA) Williamstown (MA) $61,770 $13,746 $38,900
#11 #11 Chestnut Hill (MA) Chestnut Hill (MA) $64,176 $15,450 $38,800
#12 #12 Durham (NC) Durham (NC) $62,688 $9,434 $38,700
#13 #13 Denton (TX) Denton (TX) $18,103 $21,059 $38,500
#14 #14 Dallas (TX) Dallas (TX) $61,980 $22,221 $38,300
#15 #15 Notre Dame (IN) Notre Dame (IN) $60,301 $19,000 $38,200
#16 #16 Atlanta (GA) Atlanta (GA) $28,885 $26,000 $37,700
#17 #17 Villanova (PA) Villanova (PA) $61,618 $27,000 $37,600
#18 #18 Cambridge (MA) Cambridge (MA) $57,261 Not Reported $37,300
#19 #19 Fairfield (CT) Fairfield (CT) $54,455 $27,000 $37,100
#20 #20 Jersey City (NJ) Jersey City (NJ) $24,163 $19,750 $36,000
#21 #21 Hamilton (NY) Hamilton (NY) $64,290 $17,125 $35,900
#22 #22 Manchester (NH) Manchester (NH) $45,340 $27,000 $35,000
#23 #23 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $60,192 $27,000 $34,900
#24 #24 University Park (IL) University Park (IL) $17,980 $18,750 $34,800
#25 #25 Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $45,376 $27,000 $34,800

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in English degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

West Long Branch (NJ)
Median Salary $42,100
Median Debt $27,000
Annual Tuition $43,216
Graduation Rate 68%

Monmouth University offers a Bachelor of Arts in English and a BA in English with a concentration in writing. Uniquely, both degrees offer three kinds of teacher endorsement, including in elementary education, secondary education, and P-3 & Teacher of Students with Disabilities. This results in 8 degree options. Students with a 3.5 GPA who complete an honors thesis and complete 2 courses beyond requirements are awarded Departmental Honors. Monmouth also has a 5-year combined BA and MA in English.

The English degree requires 128 credits, of which 36 are in the major. The Creative Writing option also is 36 credits, with specific courses for it. Courses include History of the English Language, Non-European Literature in English and Creative Writing Non-Fiction. The program focus is on critical and rhetorical analysis within the traditional study of literature, writing skills, and creative writing.

The endorsements in teacher education require 24 credits in Education. The English BA with endorsements facilitates a career in teaching language arts. The BA with the Creative Writing option encourages innovative teaching. Both require appropriate certification. Courses in the Endorsement options include Early Childhood Curriculum and Methods, Classroom Management, and Teaching Students with Diverse Needs.

Monmouth University is located in West Long Branch, NJ, close to the Philadelphia and New York City metro areas.

Visit Monmouth University's website.

Median Salary $41,500
Median Debt $21,000
Annual Tuition $66,139
Graduation Rate 95%

Columbia University in the City of New York offers a Bachelor of Arts in English through its Department of English and Comparative Literature. Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia is one of the country's oldest, most respected, and best-known universities. Columbia also has one of the oldest American Literature and English degree programs, dating to 1899.

Columbia's BA in English requires 36 credits in the major and a total of 124 credits overall for the Columbia degree. The program is based on three organizing principles: literary history, genre, and geography. In the program, students will learn to analyze a broad range of historical texts, explore a variety of literary genres, explore global literatures, and understand how, why, and for whom literature has been produced. The program also offers a combined BA/ MA option in English.

Courses offered by the program include Literature and Science in Early Modern Europe, The Art of the Novel, Indian Writing in English, and Theaters of the Americas.

Columbia's location in New York City offers exceptional access to literary events, theater, libraries, and cultural facilities.

Visit Columbia University's website.

Median Salary $41,400
Median Debt $21,762
Annual Tuition $20,994
Graduation Rate 54%

The University of Houston at Clear Lake has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in areas of English, split between two departments. The BA in Literature is offered through the Department of Liberal Arts, while the BA in Communication, which includes a minor in professional writing, is offered through the Department of Communication and Studio Arts.

The Department of Liberal Arts offers the BA in Literature, with options for English Language Arts Reading Certification for grades 4-8 or 7-12. The BA in Literature requires 42 credits in an overall 120 credit degree. Students focus on critical thinking and analysis, classic British and American literature, and contemporary and multicultural texts. Courses offered include American Immigrant Literature, American Realism and Naturalism, and The Great Philosophers. Teacher certification requires additional credits in education and a 12-credit pedagogy internship.

The BA in Communication offers a 15 credit minor in Professional Writing. The 51 credit BA covers mass communication, advertising, design, public relations, writing for new media, and professional writing. The overall student focus is success in the media market. Courses include Media Law, Publication Design and Media Writing.

Visit University of Houston-Clear Lake's website.

Santa Clara (CA)
Median Salary $41,400
Median Debt $24,894
Annual Tuition $57,534
Graduation Rate 88%

Santa Clara University features a Bachelor of Arts in English. The English major offers a concentration in Creative Writing. SCU is on a quarter system, with a minimum 175 quarter credits required for the BA. The program focuses on British, American, and global literatures, including new media and film. Students in the program will learn how to critically analyze a range of literary genres, particularly in terms of rhetorical effectiveness and interpretive theory.

The basic BA in English focuses on analysis of texts, rhetoric, and persuasion. The Creative Writing concentration covers fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and also includes screenwriting. Among the courses available in the program are Introduction to Cultural Studies and Literary Theory, Multicultural Literature of the United States, New Forms for Creative Writing, and The Bible as Literature. Internships can be arranged. Students may on an individual basis opt for preparation for admission to teacher training.

Santa Clara is a Jesuit university that has a strong sense of mission, including social justice, civic engagement, and sustainability. The English program explicitly invokes the mission in its focus on global and multiethnic literatures, as well as British and American literature.

SCU is located in Santa Clara, California, in the center of Silicon Valley.

Visit Santa Clara University's website.

Hanover (NH)
Median Salary $40,900
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $62,658
Graduation Rate 95%

Through its Department of English and Creative Writing, Dartmouth College offers a Bachelor of Arts in English. The department also offers a concentration in Creative Writing. Dartmouth requires 35 courses for the BA, with each course counting as one credit. The English major requires 11 courses, including 4 courses for the Creative Writing option. A culminating experience is required for graduation, which may be a portfolio, an honors thesis, or specially designated courses.

Students will learn to critique and analyze a variety of texts from different theoretical viewpoints. The program places a strong emphasis on writing skills. Among the course offerings are Writing and Reading Fiction, God and Darwin and the Literary Imagination, Gender and Power in Shakespeare, and Narrative Journalism. English majors are encouraged to study for a term at one of Dartmouth's two foreign study programs, either in London or Dublin.

Founded in 1769, the college is one of the oldest in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Visit Dartmouth College's website.