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25 Best Colleges for Writing 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

These are the best 25 colleges that offer a Bachelor's Degree in Writing, based on median salary one year after graduation. The school with the highest median salary for this degree is Carnegie Mellon University, at $44,000. Utah State University offers the lowest median debt on the list, at $11,000. Median salaries for the top 25 schools range from $29,900-$44,000.

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 Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $61,344 $23,250 $44,000
#2 #2 Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $30,592 $25,419 $40,600
#3 #3 East Lansing (MI) East Lansing (MI) $41,958 $25,500 $38,000
#4 #4 Fairfax (VA) Fairfax (VA) $38,983 $21,500 $37,300
#5 #5 Minneapolis (MN) Minneapolis (MN) $35,099 $19,012 $36,800
#6 #6 Denver (CO) Denver (CO) $28,092 $22,250 $36,800
#7 #7 Harrisonburg (VA) Harrisonburg (VA) $30,152 $20,000 $36,700
#8 #8 Shippensburg (PA) Shippensburg (PA) $14,272 $27,000 $36,500
#9 #9 Springfield (MO) Springfield (MO) $17,144 $24,459 $36,200
#10 #10 Berkeley (CA) Berkeley (CA) $44,467 $15,762 $34,900
#11 #11 Denton (TX) Denton (TX) $20,932 $19,000 $34,700
#12 #12 Los Angeles (CA) Los Angeles (CA) $64,726 $19,500 $34,600
#13 #13 Lubbock (TX) Lubbock (TX) $24,122 $24,990 $34,600
#14 #14 Ogden (UT) Ogden (UT) $17,084 $17,590 $34,200
#15 #15 Logan (UT) Logan (UT) $24,802 $11,000 $33,000
#16 #16 Bowling Green (OH) Bowling Green (OH) $22,212 $27,000 $32,900
#17 #17 Carbondale (IL) Carbondale (IL) $15,416 $27,000 $32,800
#18 #18 Tampa (FL) Tampa (FL) $17,324 $18,862 $32,400
#19 #19 Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $37,320 $24,500 $32,000
#20 #20 Milwaukee (WI) Milwaukee (WI) $46,670 $22,824 $31,500
#21 #21 San Marcos (TX) San Marcos (TX) $22,559 $19,846 $31,400
#22 #22 Baltimore (MD) Baltimore (MD) $60,480 $15,750 $31,300
#23 #23 Norfolk (VA) Norfolk (VA) $31,170 $25,000 $31,100
#24 #24 Saint Paul (MN) Saint Paul (MN) $9,684 $13,400 $30,800
#25 #25 Manchester (NH) Manchester (NH) $9,600 $22,212 $29,900

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Writing 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.

Pittsburgh (PA)
Median Salary $44,000
Median Debt $23,250
Annual Tuition $61,344
Graduation Rate 91%

With over 100 years of history, Carnegie Mellon University's English department is inspired by tradition and innovation and offers bachelor's degree programs in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Technical Writing & Communication.

The Bachelor's in Creative Writing program will help develop students' skills in writing fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction. In addition, students can expect to sharpen their critical and verbal skills by reading a wide range of genres. The program offers courses in writing and reading fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting, as well as creative writing workshops. A variety of writing internships and extracurricular writing activities will help students prepare for professional careers in teaching, publishing, public relations, advertising, TV and film, freelance writing, and editing.

By blending a rigorous study in rhetoric, argument, genre studies, and plain-language skills, the Bachelor's in Professional Writing program will put the audience and purpose at the center of communication strategies. Courses include a survey of forms such as fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting, as well as courses in professional and technical writing, argument, and various rhetoric and language options. Professional Writing Program students can expect personal advising support through internships and research experiences. Positions in writing, communications, and information design are just a few of the career paths that students in the program go on to pursue.

There are two distinct tracks for the Bachelor's in Technical Writing & Communication - one in Technical Communication and one in Scientific and Medical Communication. Both concentrations have a shared set of prerequisites in math, statistics, and computer programming, and both have foundational courses in print and online communications. In either track, students will learn the technical and communication skills needed to analyze and solve complex communication problems, as well as the fundamentals of visual, verbal, and on-line communication.

Carnegie Mellon's English Department offers 14 academic programs, from Freshman Writing to Doctoral Research. Courses are defined by an intimate student to teacher ratio of 12:1, opportunities for writing, editing, and publishing outside of the classroom, and personalized advising and faculty mentorship.

Visit Carnegie Mellon University's website.

Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
Median Salary $40,600
Median Debt $25,419
Annual Tuition $30,592
Graduation Rate 66%

At Arizona State University's English program in Tempe, AZ, students are able to choose between two undergraduate writing programs - Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) and Bachelor of Arts in English (Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies).

Students in the Bachelor's of English (Creative Writing) program study and practice the art of writing poetry and fiction and gain practical experience through research and internships. The undergraduate program offers fundamental courses such as English composition, creative writing workshops, critical reading and writing, and Humanities, in order to prepare students for a variety of careers and to continue their studies in graduate and professional programs. Employers are always looking for individuals with strong skills in writing, communication, and the ability to think critically. English majors commonly go on to work in professional fields like business, editing, journalism, professional writing, publishing, and web content development.

The Bachelor's of English (Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies) program emphasizes rhetoric and literacy and teaches students strategies for inquiry. The main core classes of this concentration are in English composition, critical reading and writing, rhetoric and literacy, rhetorical theory, and the humanities. Studying the constructs of communication as well as how it is circulated, reacted to, and repurposed through time and place, provides a fundamental core for careers in business, private companies, government, nonprofit organizations, and anywhere where critical inquiry, innovative thinking, and decision-making is valued. The program prepares students for a future in teaching, law, and other fields.

Students can pursue BA writing degrees in English, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Science, which has the largest collection of academic majors for undergraduate studies at Arizona State University.

Visit Arizona State University's website.

East Lansing (MI)
Median Salary $38,000
Median Debt $25,500
Annual Tuition $41,958
Graduation Rate 82%

Michigan State University offers two bachelor's degrees in writing, a Bachelor of Arts in Professional & Public Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing, which enable students to become innovative, strategic, and expressive writers who are able to work in a variety of digital environments and workplaces.

The Bachelor’s in Professional & Public Writing degree prepares students to work in a variety of career tracks by providing fundamental courses such as digital and technical writing, editing and publishing, managing communication, and writing for community and nonprofit organizations. Graduates pursue careers as copyeditors, web developers, communications managers, public affairs officers, and many more.

Michigan State University’s creative writing concentration lets students explore creative writing in multiple genres as well as providing a literary studies foundation. While students will graduate with a Bachelor’s in English, their creative writing commitment will be noted on their diplomas. The creative writing concentration allows students to choose a genre for their senior thesis based on what they have created in the last year – the study of poems, stories, a novel or screenplay in addition to internships in writing and editing.

Michigan State University offers small classes, individualized attention, and personalized programs of study.

Visit Michigan State University's website.

Fairfax (VA)
Median Salary $37,300
Median Debt $21,500
Annual Tuition $38,983
Graduation Rate 70%

George Mason University is home to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, which is one of only 30 BFAs in creating writing available nationwide. The university also has a Bachelor of Arts in English degree, which includes seven concentrations and is designed to meet student’s individualized interests and career goals.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree offers three concentrations – fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Students will learn to write and think creatively as well as develop vocational writing skills. On-site workplace internships in writing-intensive environments are highly encouraged, and students will submit a portfolio of their work as part of their final semester project.

Students pursuing a Bachelor’s in English will learn to read critically and write purposefully. In addition to reading traditional text, students use technologies such as blogs, multimedia production, etc. English majors use their skills in written communication, research, critical thinking, and creativity to be well prepared for careers in teaching, journalism, creative writing, and more.

George Mason University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences hosts both the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Bachelor of Arts in English. The college has more than 400 distinguished faculty members, including recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and Guggenheim Fellowship.

Visit George Mason University's website.

Minneapolis (MN)
Median Salary $36,800
Median Debt $19,012
Annual Tuition $35,099
Graduation Rate 84%

For over 150 years, the College of Liberal Arts has supported the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities’ three-fold mission: intellectual freedom, the pursuit of new knowledge, and a belief that liberal arts are the foundation of academic learning. With this foundation, the university offers a Bachelor of Arts in English degree with a concentration in creative writing and a Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing & Communication.

Students in the English program will study courses such as literature and other forms of verbal expression, critical theory, creative writing, poetry, and fiction. Those who select English as their major will write extensively and learn effective oral and written communication. In addition, students will be engaged in a civic-oriented curriculum that teaches critical skills in reading and writing in the context of community involvement.

Communicating complex information to specific audiences with clarity and accuracy is the focus of technical writing and communication. Students pursuing a Bachelor’s in Technical Writing & Communication will learn skills in writing, organizing, and editing that are used in careers in business, health, technology, science, and more. Because technical communication is a broad field, students are able to choose sub-plans in the degree including Information Technology and Design, Biological and Health Services, Legal Discourse and Public Policy, and Environmental Science.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Liberal Arts’ vision for students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and friends is "Readiness, Research, Diversity, and Engagement."

Visit University of Minnesota-Twin Cities' website