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The 20 Easiest Online Associate Degrees in 2022

Easiest Online Associate Programs - featured image of graduation cap and college supplies
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Did you know associate degrees were first offered in the United Kingdom in 1873? But, it was only in 1898 when these were first introduced in the United States. Ironically, these degrees are now uncommon in the United Kingdom! Associate programs are offered in numerous disciplines, but are there really easiest online associate degrees that students can pursue?

An online associate degree is a two-year post-secondary degree equivalent to the first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree. While these can be completed in two years on a full-time basis, most educational institutions offering them allow students the benefit of self-paced study. These degree programs can then be completed in three years or more, but it’s more time-effective and cost-efficient to complete them in three years or less. 

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Associate degree programs are typically offered in community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools. Some four-year colleges and universities also offer these degrees, albeit on a limited basis only. The curriculum and coursework for each associate degree program will differ between educational institutions, but the resulting credentials and skillsets are similar. 

Students who complete the graduation requirements can earn one of three major types of associate degrees, namely: 

  • An Associate in Arts or Associate of Arts (AA) degree usually covers areas in the liberal arts and sciences. These areas of study include social science, psychology, and humanities.
  • Associate of Science or Associate in Science (AS) degree, a common award in applied scientific, technical and professional fields of study. These include healthcare, business administration and management, and fashion design.
  • Associate of Applied Science or Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree applies to technical and vocational fields of study. Students in AAS programs train for employment in a specialized field after graduation and, thus, these are considered terminal degrees. This means that credits earned may not be transferred to a two-year or four-year degree program. 

For the AA and AS degree programs, some or most of the credits earned may be transferred to a bachelor’s degree program depending on reciprocity agreements. Many four-year educational institutions offer a seamless transition process for associate degree holders to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program with most, if not all, their credits transferred. Terms and conditions, such as the prospective student earning his/her associate degree in the university itself, apply. 


Methodology

The associate degree programs listed here were chosen for the ease and convenience with which students can complete their graduation requirements. We want to emphasize that “ease and convenience” or “easiest online” does not mean students can take it easy and still earn their degree!

Instead, these programs were chosen because working professionals, adult learners, and fresh high school graduates will enjoy the flexibility of scheduling classes. Since these are 100% online or hybrid programs, students can study at their own pace, thanks to mostly asynchronous classes. Their lives can then be easier and more convenient because there’s less scheduling pressure than on-campus, synchronous classes. 

We also want to emphasize that these easiest online associate degree programs will also challenge students to do their best. In the end, learning is about enjoying the process and acquiring practical skills that will become the foundation of your professional success. 

The suggested schools mentioned after each online associate degree program were also carefully chosen based on the following merits:

  • Accreditation by either a national or a regional accrediting agency. This is a crucial criterion because valid and active accreditation is proof that the college or university meets, even exceeds, the rigorous educational standards of the US Department of Education.
  • Flexible scheduling options. The suggested schools offer either a 100% online or a hybrid (i.e., a combination of online classes with on-campus meetings and on-site externship training) delivery. Students study at their own pace, when allowed by the curriculum, and plan their pathway toward graduation.
  • The overall reputation of the colleges and universities. These schools were chosen for their positive reputation as centers of excellence or other similar accolades by the academe, their communities, and their students and alumni.
  • Other aspects that mattered in the selection include the tuition structure, the credentials of the faculty members, and the student support services and career services in place. In general, associate degree programs are more affordable than bachelor’s degree programs due to their shorter duration. But these still cost money, with the average total tuition, fees, and room and board rates in two-year institutions at $15,000 – 18,000 (2019-2020), depending on the institution. 

We also chose a few representatives for the top three associate degrees conferred by colleges and universities. The three most popular fields are: 

  • Liberal arts and sciences, humanities, and general studies 
  • Health professions and their related programs 
  • Business administration and management 

For more about our selection process, see our Methodology page.

Easiest Online Associate Degrees

Associate in Early Childhood Education

Individuals who want to work with children as teacher’s assistants, childcare workers, and daycare directors should consider an associate degree in early childhood education. An adventure on its own, the training includes acquiring skillsets that will make them adept at communicating, teaching, and handling young children in schools, daycares, and other settings. 

The courses include: 

  • Infant and child development 
  • Early childhood communication 
  • Nutrition and safety 
  • Leadership 
  • Psychology 

While high school education is the typical admission requirement, many schools also require practical experience in childcare-related jobs. 

Northeast Community College

online associate

801 East Benjamin Avenue, Norfolk, Nebraska 68701
(402) 371-2020

Associate of Applied Science/Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education

Northeast Community College offers two associate degree programs in Early Childhood Education. The Associate of Applied Science degree is ideal for students wanting to have immediate employment after graduation. The A.A.S. program consists of a set of general education coursework combined with career/technical education courses. On the contrary, the Associate of Arts program has a liberal arts curriculum, making it an ideal option for students wanting to further their studies in a 4-year baccalaureate program. 

Both associate’s degrees in Early Childhood Education require a minimum of 60 credit hours for degree completion. Both programs are offered via distance learning and on campus. The online program is offered through Northeast’s cooperative effort with other community colleges within Nebraska.

Through the Early Childhood Education program, students will have the necessary training and education to work in a variety of childcare facilities, including family home cares, preschool settings, and before-and-after-school centers. They also have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in actual childcare facilities throughout the program. The curriculum also includes a variety of practicum courses. To enroll in each practicum course, students must participate in a mandatory background check.

The college has partnered with the Council For Professional Development, offering courses that fulfill the 120-clock hour professional early childhood education requirement for the Child Development Associate (CDA®) credentials. To receive the CDA® credential, graduates must have 480 hours of professional experience within 36 months from the date of application.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) 

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The faculty members are well-known in the greater community for their professional excellence, integrity, and credibility. Future educators then have good role models aside from their exceptional teacher education.  


Stanly Community College 

online associate

141 College Drive, Albemarle, NC 28001-7458
(704) 982-0121

Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education

Stanly Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education, with three specializations that students can choose from, namely: 

  • Early Childhood Education – Licensure Track 
  • Early Childhood Education – Non-Licensure Track
  • Early Childhood Education – Career Ready Track

Both the Licensure and Non-Licensure Tracks require 73 credit hours for degree completion. These programs are ideal for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development, or Early Childhood. The Career Ready Track is a non-transferrable academic program suitable for graduates with no intent to pursue further studies.

Throughout the academic program, students will gain a holistic understanding and knowledge of theories of child development, growth, assessment, learning, and guidance. They also develop their skills in effective communication in dealing with children, parents, guardians, and other professionals in the industry.

All program tracks feature practicum requirements, with a mandatory criminal record check to work in a child care facility. Otherwise, refusal of the criminal record check will reject students’ entry to particular child care facilities. When registering for practicum courses, students without professional experience in an approved child care facility will be placed under the supervision of the EDU practicum faculty. Apart from criminal background checks, they will have to undergo additional requirements, including drug screening, immunization records, negative TB test results, and mobility requirements.

Stanly Community College’s Early Childhood Education academic programs are accredited by the National Association For The Education of Young Children’s Commission On The Accreditation Of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Graduates have easier time landing jobs due to their above-par competency in early childhood education. They can also continue with their studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in child development or similar degrees. 

Associate in Liberal Arts or General Education

The liberal arts degree programs emphasize a breadth of knowledge in English, history, and math, among other liberal arts topics, instead of acquiring specific career-related skills. Students participate in classes that boost their communication skills, computer skills, and public speaking skills with a foreign language course thrown in. Think of these programs as the solid foundation for a bachelor’s degree because of the expansive range of subjects studied. 

The beauty of a liberal arts degree lies in its versatility! Graduates can qualify for various occupations requiring a generalized college education. Their education and strong communication skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, and broad knowledge make them attractive to employers. Career opportunities include sales associates, copywriters, and retail salespersons. 

Saint Leo University

online associate

33701 State Road 52, St. Leo, FL 33574
(800) 334-5532

Associate of Arts – Liberal Arts

Saint Leo University is the oldest Catholic university in Florida, making it one of the veteran schools in the Liberal Arts niche. Its Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts program is a broad academic program that lays the foundation for independent and critical thinking. The academic program is also an ideal option for students wanting to pursue their preferred discipline. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Liberal Arts majors will have the opportunity to deepen their abilities for creativity and problem-solving.

Students pursuing an associate program in Liberal Arts at Saint Leo will take common core courses in the field of philosophy, religion, fine arts, humanities, and natural sciences. Apart from coursework requirements, they can contribute to the university’s literary magazines like Empiricus and Sandhill Review.

The university’s Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts program requires 60 credit hours, including 24 to 27 hours of general electives. Liberal Arts majors will complete 12 credit hours of foundation courses. The elective course is categorized into five major themes, namely:

  • The Human Adventure
  • The Human Mosaic
  • Science in a Changing World
  • The Creative Life
  • The Reflective and Spiritual Life

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Applicants may transfer college and professional training credits, aside from enrolling at any time (i.e., rolling admissions). Saint Leo is also a top-ranked university with a low student-to-teacher ratio, credentialed faculty, and an exceptional curriculum. 


Trinity Valley Community College

online associate

AA Liberal Arts Major 

100 Cardinal Dr., Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-6217

The Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts (Multidisciplinary) at Trinity Valley Community College is one of the easiest online associate degrees to pursue, allowing students to choose from a variety of majors. After completing their Associate of Arts core required courses, graduates can transfer to a college or university to enroll in a baccalaureate program. Advising personnel at the university provides suggested elective courses, providing students with transferrable introductory coursework. Upon academic advising, students will be assisted by an academic advisor in choosing a course of study.

Each Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts major is categorized into major designated pathways, namely:

  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • Business and Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Public Services
  • Science, Engineering, and Math
  • Service and Production Industry

To receive the Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts degree, students must complete the following:

  • Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Testing Requirements
  • 60 semester credit hours of suggested coursework
  • 15 semester credit hours of residence before graduation

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Graduates can transfer their earned credits to a bachelor’s degree. TVCC’s program enables its students to be more competitive in the employment aspect, too. 

Associate in Accounting

Accounting is essential “language” to a business. Students in these programs learn about financial statements, business strategies, and taxation laws. Other relevant subjects include statistics, economics, and cost analysis, which require proficient math, English, and analytical thinking skills. Students must also learn about recording, analyzing, and reporting assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity, which are the backbone of accounting. 

The required credits for graduation range from 60 to 70 semester hours. This means a minimum of two years of work that will lead to eligibility for entry-level work. Career opportunities include bookkeepers, bank tellers, tax preparation specialists, and accounting clerks. 

Haywood Community College

online associate

185 Freedlander Dr., Clyde, NC 28721
(828) 627-2821

Associate in Applied Science – Accounting & Finance

Haywood Community College’s Associate in Applied Science – Accounting & Finance program helps graduates become qualified to work in entry-level careers in the accounting and finance industries. Depending on students’ preferences and professional aspirations, they can either work in government agencies, school systems, hospitals, banks, small businesses, and accounting firms.

To graduate, students must accomplish 65 to 67 credit hours. Some of the coursework will discuss a variety of essential topics, including taxation, real estate, marketing, insurance, financial planning, business law, entrepreneurship, finance, and economics. Accounting and Finance majors will also hone their skills in critical thinking, effective communication, computer applications, and ethics.

Apart from the A.A.S. curriculum, students will have the option to pursue any of the certificate programs offered in Accounting & Finance to boost their credentials. They can either integrate the standard certificate in Accounting & Finance, Income Tax Preparation, or Small Business Financial Advisor credential into their associate program.

Students participate in their online classes via the Moodle learning platform aside from being encouraged to maintain a professional relationship with their professors. The program can be completed in five semesters, including a summer semester. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Such is the outstanding training provided by HCC professors that graduates are qualified for entry-level jobs in accounting and finance in various industries. Graduates are in the manufacturing, service, education, and healthcare industries, among others.


Northwood Technical College

Northwood Technical College

1900 College Drive, Rice Lake, WI 54868
(800) 243-9482

Associate Degree in Accounting

Northwood Technical College’s 60-credit hour Associate Degree in Accounting program provides students with a holistic curriculum that helps them secure careers in a diverse range of industries. It is a 2-year academic program that prepares them to gather, evaluate, interpret and forecast financial information. The academic program develops students’ skills in preparing accurate and comprehensive tax reports, cost studies, and financial statements. The curriculum consists of program-specific topics, including managerial accounting, tax accounting, budgeting, and payroll. Apart from that, students also take software courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access as well as QuickBooks.

Accounting majors at Northwood Tech will also have the opportunity to pursue certifications or technical diplomas as additional credentials. They can either enroll in the Accounting Assistant technical diploma, Billing and Posting Clerk technical diploma, or the Tax Preparer Assistant certificate programs. After completing the Associate Degree in Accounting program, graduates can further their studies and transfer their academic credits to another school to obtain their baccalaureate degree. Since Northwood Tech has articulation agreements in Accounting with other 4-year schools around Wisconsin, Accounting graduates can pursue their bachelor’s degree in any of the following universities:

  • Bellevue University
  • Concordia University
  • Franklin University
  • Lakeland University
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Northland College
  • University of Minnesota – Crookston
  • University of Wisconsin – Stout 
  • University of Wisconsin – Superior 
  • University of Wisconsin – Whitewater 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Associate in Healthcare Management

The varied career options open for holders of an associate in healthcare management degree attracts students to its programs. While these are entry-level positions, these are among the highest-paid in the industry. These jobs include medical administrative assistants, medical records specialists, and medical secretaries in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. 

Candidates should be holders of a high school diploma or GED equivalent and meet other requirements. Their academic schedules are easy enough to juggle their studies with their jobs and personal responsibilities. The typical completion time is two years, but it isn’t uncommon for students to finish in three years.  

The coursework includes claims preparation, medical terminology and ethics, and information technology. On-the-job training is also a typical part of these programs. 

Colorado Christian University

online associate

8787 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, Colorado 80226
(303) 963-3311

Associate of Science in Healthcare Administration

The Colorado Christian University has an Associate of Science in Healthcare Administration program designed specifically for adult students who are occupied with personal and professional obligations. The 100% online program requires 60 credit hours, including an 18-hour major core requirement. Each course is completed one at a time and can be finished in 5-week blocks. Students can complete their associate degree in less than 24 months even without prior elective or general education credit requirements. However, students with prior technical, military, or college credits can complete their associate degrees faster than the standard timeline.

CCU’s Associate of Science in Healthcare Administration program will provide students with a holistic Christian perspective. Each course will encompass the significance of ethical considerations while understanding important factors of leading an institution as a servant leader. Through the program, Healthcare Administration majors will have an introduction to a variety of topics in the healthcare field. The academic program also includes the foundation of human resource management. It will teach them the basics of dealing with different kinds of people, coordinating with several insurance companies, managing electronic medical records, and facilitating office administration. Apart from that, the program will discuss the integration of ethics and spirituality into the healthcare setting.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The university isn’t just known for its exceptional Christian-based education but also its generous financial aid programs, a draw for students interested in private education. Plus, standardized test scores, letters of reference, and placement tests aren’t required for admission.


Keiser University

online associate

2600 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409
(561) 478-5500

Associate of Arts in Health Services Administration

The Associate of Arts in Health Services Administration program at Keiser University provides a curriculum that has basic health services administration skills. The academic program prepares students in both health service administration and business. The curriculum will discuss essential topics in physiology, medical anatomy, marketing and management principles, and business law. No prerequisites are required for all major courses in the A.A. program. Although the academic program is offered primarily on-campus, distance learners can also enroll in the program and learn through Blackboard Learn.

To receive the Associate of Arts in Health Services Administration degree, students must complete 60 credit hours. The program’s comprehensive lower-division courses include the following sequence:

  • 24-credit hour Health Services Administration Major Courses
  • 3-credit hour Behavioral/Social Science
  • 3-credit hour Communications
  • 3-credit hour Computers
  • 6-credit hour Economics
  • 6-credit hour English
  • 3-credit hour Humanities/Fine Arts
  • 6-credit hour Mathematics
  • 6-credit hour Natural Science

Students pursuing the A.A. in Health Services Administration program at Keiser will immerse themselves in student-centered learning. They will hone their qualifications and skills essential to succeed in a competitive job market. Comprehensive student services are offered for both on-campus and distance learners, including job postings, professional development workshops, interviewing skills coaching, and resume writing. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Career advisors are on hand to provide professional career development services, including workshops and job boards. Students can access the free LearningExpress service for more job-related resources. 

Associate in Marketing

While there are programs with marketing courses in their curricula, the associate in marketing programs have a more in-depth focus on marketing skillsets. The courses include advertising, sales, and business strategies with a marketing perspective that, in turn, prepares students for entry-level jobs. There are also general education courses, such as math and psychology, for the first year in the program. 

Since marketing involves market research, students also learn about the wide range of marketing research tools and techniques. Their training incorporates the communication of results and the design of the research itself. Job opportunities are present in public relations, sales, and advertising firms. 

Milwaukee Area Technical College

online associate

700 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
(800) 720-6282

Associate in Applied Science in Marketing

Milwaukee Area Technical College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Marketing program that helps students become proficient in customer experience planning, digital marketing, and advertising. Through the program, they also develop foundational knowledge and skills in client services, sales, social media, and marketing research. It is a transferable academic program in Marketing, providing associate graduates with the opportunity to pursue their baccalaureate credentials. Students will have the option to pursue the academic program in hybrid, on-campus, or 100% online learning format.

To receive the Associate in Applied Science in Marketing degree, students must complete 61 credit hours of courses in marketing, psychology, accounting, economics, and business management. Depending on students’ preferences, completing the Marketing associate program will provide them with the opportunity to pursue a technical diploma in Sales and Customer Experience, or Digital Marketing and Integrated Communications. 

The possible careers open for A.A.S in Marketing graduates include advertising and account associates, B2B and B2C marketing associates, and event marketers. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The possible careers open for its graduates include advertising and account associates, B2B and B2C marketing associates, and event marketers. MATC also allows students to earn their Digital Marketing and Integrated Communications or Sales and Customer Experience technical diploma while completing the degree.


California Coast University

online associate

  925 N. Spurgeon Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
+1 (888) 228-8648

Associate of Science in Business Marketing

California Coast University’s 60-credit hour Associate of Science in Business Marketing program provides students with a foundation in marketing concepts and theories used in the global economy. The academic program is designed for students’ flexibility, with 100% online courses. The 60-credit hour program has 20 courses categorized into three major components, namely Core, General Education, and Elective courses. Since it features self-paced online courses, Business Marketing majors can study without fixed examination dates, meeting schedules, and group projects. Students can also enroll in their online learning any time of the year, with no structured terms, quarters, or semesters.

Apart from the self-paced curriculum, students enjoy affordable tuition fees with interest-free payment plans. The university also offers tuition discounts for CCU graduates, government employees, firefighters, law enforcement, veterans, and active-duty military. Corporate Partner employees also receive 10% tuition discounts when enrolling in CCU’s Associate of Science in Business Marketing program.

Graduates are known to succeed in entry-level jobs in business marketing in industries like retail, manufacturing, and services. Their quite comprehensive training includes learning about global marketing principles and practices. 

Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

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Students who complete the program have more in-depth knowledge and skills in local, national, and global marketing. Their skill sets can be applied to most business settings, too. 

Associate in Business Administration

If you have an interest in business, you may find an associate in business administration degree is right up your alley. These programs cover a wide range of business-related topics that will open up your horizons. These topics include: 

  • Business law and ethics 
  • Accounting cycles and processes 
  • Financial, management, and cost accounting 
  • Human resources, including business communication 
  • Economics, math, and marketing 

General education courses designed to boost personal and professional development are also incorporated. With the training, graduates can work as retail associates, accounting or auditing clerks, and bank tellers. 

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

online associate

128 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802
800-252-3592

Associate in Science in Business Administration

Pennsylvania State University World Campus’ Associate in Science in Business Administration program features a comprehensive curriculum, providing students with well-rounded and application-oriented business administration studies. The associate in Business Administration program requires 60 credit hours, including general education courses, prescribed courses, and electives. Graduates of the A.S. degree can pursue advanced studies, with the opportunity to transfer their academic credits towards obtaining a baccalaureate degree.

Although the Associate in Science in Business Administration is a stand-alone program, students can apply their academic credentials as a stepping-stone into Penn State’s Bachelor of Science in Business. The 60-credit academic program is primarily designed for entry-level business professionals, employees with career advancement ventures, and individuals pursuing a career change. Since it is a multidisciplinary program, students will have a foundation of business theories and best practices applicable to any industry. 

As graduates of the A.S. in Business Administration degree, they can venture a variety of professional pathways, including working as casino & gaming managers, compliance officers, business services managers, accounts receivable coordinators, or insurance sales agents.

Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

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The associate degree can be your foundation for professional success, but you can also view it as a stepping stone toward greater things, such as a bachelor’s degree. The 60-credit program both challenges your capacity and rewards your efforts.


Dakota State University

online associate

820 N Washington Ave., Madison, SD 57042
888.DSU.9988

Associate of Science in Business Management

The Associate of Science in Business Management program at Dakota State University helps students study the essential fundamentals of accounting, marketing, finance, and business. Apart from that, they also gain a holistic overview and understanding of ethical and legal issues involving every business venture. The academic program will hone students’ communication and writing skills to help them communicate effectively in the business sector.

The A.S. in Business Management program is a 100% online program. It is a technology-centered curriculum, teaching students the must-have tools for business settings. Through the program, they become proficient in working with QuickBooks, Microsoft Suite, and other essential accounting software. With individualized attention, distance learners will participate in close-knit classes consisting of 20 to 30 students.

Graduates of the 60-credit hour Associate of Science in Business Management degree can transfer their academic credits towards DSU’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. They are equipped with the essential skills to become critical thinkers and tech-savvy communicators.

Students thrive under individualized attention, thanks to the small class sizes, which the teachers provide during their training. Their studies also ensure that they have market-ready skills for jobs like assistant store managers, sales associates, and customer service associates. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Students thrive under individualized attention, thanks to the small class sizes, which the teachers provide during their training. Their studies also ensure that they have market-ready skills for jobs like assistant store managers, sales associates, and customer service associates. 

Associate in Fashion Merchandising

Fashion merchandising is a rewarding occupation wherein its practitioners have a head for fashion design, business management, and textiles. These concepts can be studied via an associate in the fashion merchandising program, which introduces students to the ins and outs of the industry. 

The typical coursework includes: 

  • Manufacturing processes 
  • Merchandising strategies 
  • Fashion and visual merchandising 
  • Retail and marketing management 
  • Human resource management 

Aside from fashion merchandisers, other career options include retail promoters, fashion buyers, and even store managers with corresponding work experience. 

Southern New Hampshire University

online associate

2500 North River Road, Manchester, NH 03106
888.327.SNHU

Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising

Southern New Hampshire University offers an Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising degree that can be completed within 24 months. The academic program combines students’ innate abilities in trendsetting style with in-demand business competencies. It is a 60-credit hour degree that helps Fashion Merchandising majors focus on the application of fashion merchandising and retailing concepts and theories. SNHU’s Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising is one of the rare programs in Fashion that receives accreditation from the Accreditation Council For Business Schools and Programs.

Fashion Merchandising majors complete a set of coursework, including Merchandise Planning, Textiles and Color Theory, Retail Sales Promotion, Human Relations in Administration, and Principles of Retailing. Each course covers the essential skills and expertise for promoting fashion products and brands. Apart from coursework requirements, Fashion Merchandising majors will accomplish a mandatory internship. To pursue U.S.-based internships, students must seek advice from the fashion program coordinator and career advising team.

Enrollment into the A.S. in Fashion Merchandising program doesn’t require ACT/SAT scores and no application fee is required. After completing the degree, graduates can transfer a maximum of 45 credits to further their studies.

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

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The class materials can be accessed 24/7, and there are no set class times. Up to 45 credits can be transferred toward your associate degree, too. SNHU is also a highly respected and ranked institution in the US, not to mention its accolades for its innovations.


Mesa Community College

online associate

1833 West Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 461-7217

Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design and Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising

Mesa Community College offers two Associate in Applied Science degrees in the world of Fashion, including the A.A.S. in Fashion Design, and the A.A.S. in Fashion Merchandising. Both programs strategically place students on a competitive edge, providing them with a holistic curriculum that intersects between marketing, business, and fashion. The curriculum emphasizes the significance of effective communication, creativity, teamwork, and leadership throughout the life cycle processes within the fashion design industry.

The Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design program helps students in developing creative designing and technical skills in the fashion industry. It highlights a variety of training in different aspects of fashion illustration, design, apparel construction, and pattern-making. Full-time and part-time options are available, with 12 to 18 credits per semester for full-time students and 11 credit hours or less for part-time students.

The Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising program provides a foundation for students to pursue a diverse range of career opportunities within the fashion world. Graduates with the A.A.S. in Fashion Merchandising degree are equipped with the knowledge of technological and societal aspects of the apparel and textile industry, and other essential fashion theories. Interested students may also include a Certificate of Completion in Fashion Merchandising program.

Although both programs are related to the fashion industry, the A.A.S. in Fashion Design has a Visual and Performing Arts field of interest while the Fashion Merchandising degree is aligned in the Business, Entrepreneurialism, and Management sectors. To earn an associate degree, the Fashion Design program requires 62 to 71 credit hours, and the Fashion Merchandising requires 61 to 69 credit hours.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The varied career options make the degree worth its time and cost, and these include online merchants, retail buyers, and window display artists. The combination of fashion and business makes for savvy employees, too. 

Associate in Family and Child Therapy

Becoming a family and child therapist with an associate degree is possible through an associate degree in a more specialized area, such as human services and psychology. Both degrees include general education courses and career-specific courses that serve as foundational knowledge for work-related concerns. 

The associate of arts in psychology program has introductory psychology courses, including psychological assessment tools and procedures. Students work in both academic and therapeutic settings as part of their internship experience. 

The associate of arts in human services degree program introduces students to the basics of social work with courses in social welfare, psychology, and community service. Their understanding of individuals in family and group settings becomes deeper with a combination of academic work and internships in social services agencies. 

Regent University

online associate

1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(800) 373-5504

Associate of Science in Psychology

Regent University’s 64-credit Associate of Science in Psychology program is integrated with a Christian perspective, as befitting its Christian university status. Students learn a wide range of topics, including the Bible and Christianity, science and math, and economics and history. These general education courses are complemented by occupation-specific topics, including psychological assessments and theories of psychology. 

Students must attend five eight-week classes for their major courses. Upon completing the program, they should apply for entry-level jobs as psychiatric nursing assistants, youth counselors, or human service assistants. 

Despite its private status, Regent University is known for its affordable tuition structure and high-quality degree programs led by credentialed faculty members. Students can also request for transfer of credits earned.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Despite its private status, RU is known for its affordable tuition structure and high-quality degree programs led by credentialed faculty members. Students can also request for transfer of credits earned.


Brescia University

online associate

717 Frederica Street, Owensboro, KY 42301
(270) 685-3131

Associate of Arts in Human Services

Brescia University has an Associate of Arts in Human Services program that helps graduates pursue a variety of fulfilling careers in the social work and human services sectors. The academic program will teach students the necessary skills to work with communities, groups, and individuals regardless of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Its curriculum emphasizes case management, crisis counseling and intervention, information systems, and theories. The majority of courses will discuss topics in social work, biology, psychology, and sociology.

A total of 63 credit hours will be required for degree completion. Since it is offered 100% online, students can complete flexible courses in as little as 24 months. With open admission basis, students can start their A.A. in Human Services program whenever they’re ready, with five start dates to choose from annually. Students can enroll in the academic program either in January, March, May, August, or October. 

After completing the Human Services associate degree, graduates can transfer a maximum of 42 credit hours to Brescia University’s Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, or Bachelor of Social Work. They also have the option to transfer to another regionally accredited school.

The courses are designed with optimal flexibility for adult students and, thus, provide them with the opportunity to earn the degree within two years. Affordability is also a major draw for candidates – the university has frozen its undergraduate tuition and other fees until spring 2022.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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The courses are designed with optimal flexibility for adult students and, thus, provide them with the opportunity to earn the degree within two years. Affordability is also a major draw for candidates – the university has frozen its undergraduate tuition and other fees until spring 2022.

Associate in Computer Programming

With many people being computer-savvy, an associate degree in computer programming may become easier. The degree can be offered as AS or AAS, but both programs include programming languages, networking, and operating systems. Besides academic work, students may have to write effective, efficient, and operate computer programs as part of their capstone project. 

Extensive laboratory time is also par for the course in these programs since computer programming expertise demands plenty of hands-on training. Students learn programming in different languages, such as Java, programming and logic, computer security and servicing, and systems design and analysis. 

Possible occupations include computer programmer, web developer, and programmer analyst. With appropriate work experience, people with this degree can become supervisors and managers in IT units. 

Southeast Technical College

online associate

2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107
605-367-7624

Associate Degree in Computer Programming

Southeast Technical College’s Associate Degree in Computer Programming program features online courses with structured weekly deadlines and assignments. Computer Programming majors are provided with the essential tools, including interactions with faculty, assignments, lectures, and videos. The academic program is offered with full-time and part-time learning options. The part-time program has courses that run through fall, spring, and summer terms, with three to eight credits per semester course load.

Southeast Tech’s Associate Degree in Computer Programming program will teach students a variety of programming languages, including MySQL, C#, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and HTML. Apart from that, students will be prepared to develop a variety of software programs for business users, companies, and other industries. They will have the opportunity to learn IDE applications, including WebSphere, Dreamweaver, and Visual Studio. Database Management is also integrated into the curriculum of the academic program.

Southeast Technical College is a member of the National Council For State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), making it easier for out-of-state or distance learners from another state to complete the Associate Degree in Computer Programming and other academic degrees at Southeast Tech.

Students will thrive with the small class sizes led by competent faculty and learn more about integrated development environment applications.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Students will thrive with the small class sizes led by competent faculty and learn more about integrated development environment applications.


St. Petersburg College

online associate

P.O. Box 13489, St. Petersburg, FL 33733-3489
(727) 341-4772

Associate in Science – Computer Programming and Analysis

St. Petersburg College has an Associate in Science – Computer Programming and Analysis program that can be completed 100% online or in SPC’s state-of-the-art computer laboratories. The associate program already includes the Computer Programming Specialist Certificate, and the Computer Programming Certificate from SPC. It is an academic program that helps students to become successful programmers with practical skills in a variety of programming language platforms. 

SPC’s Computer Programming and Analysis associate program specifically teaches students C#, C++, and Java programming languages. Students also learn how to store and retrieve data and pieces of information from a database. As part of the culminating experience, students will participate in a mandatory internship for career development. To graduate, students must accomplish 60 credit hours. The A.S. program transfers to SPC’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Development and Management program.

The Computer Programming and Analysis program’s Java course prepares students to sit for the Oracle Java Programming Associate SE 8, and the Oracle Java Programming Certified Junior Associate certifications.

Although there are no requirements for admission in the Computer Programming and Analysis program, students must have a minimum grade of “C” in all required courses.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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SPC’s emphasis on learning as a holistic experience and career-specific skills for job preparation makes it a standout. Graduates can also have a higher chance at passing the Oracle Java certified associate industry certification.

Associate in Fire Science

Students of associate in fire science programs have different motivations, from getting entry-level jobs to promoting their careers in the industry. Regardless of their motivations, however, students learn about the principles and practices of being a firefighter. The coursework includes fire prevention and management techniques, tools, and technologies. 

The two-year degree opens up a host of career paths uncommon in associate programs. These include firefighters, fire investigators, fire inspectors, and forest fire and prevention specialists. Graduates can also choose to proceed to a related bachelor’s degree program. 

Due to the hazardous nature of these occupations, candidates must meet more stringent admission requirements, including minimum age, letters of recommendation, and minimum GPA. 

Hutchinson Community College

online associate

1300 N Plum, Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
(620) 665-3500

Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science

Aspiring Firefighters can pursue Hutchinson Community College’s Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science program. It educates and prepares students to put out fires, treat injuries, and perform other crucial aspects of the role. Since firefighters are first in line to respond to emergencies, students are trained in a variety of emergency medical procedures. The academic program provides students with the necessary training and expertise to help them work in a variety of settings, including grasslands and forests, industrial, suburban, urban, and other establishments.

The A.A.S. in Fire Science academic program requires 63 credit hours, including the 18.5-hour Fire Science Option requirements. Depending on the type of training and environment they prefer, Fire Science majors can take Fire Science Option courses in Rope Rescue, Cardiac Care, Fire Science Practicum, Ice Rescue Operations, or Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior.

Hutchinson Community College also offers one-stop-shop learning for aspiring firefighters to pursue the necessary credentials. After completing the associate degree, students will have the option to enroll in additional certifications, including the Fire Officer – CCOMP, Fire Science – CERT A, or Fire Science – CERT C programs. Graduates can also pursue further studies by transferring into a 4-year academic institution.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The college offers an impressive range of services intended to establish a foundation of success for its students. These include personal counseling, tutoring, and academic advising, as well as career services.


Casper College

online associate

125 College Drive, Casper, WY 82601
(307) 268-2100

Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Technology

Casper College’s Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Technology program consists of 60 credits in general education and career-specific courses. First-year students attend a three-hour online orientation to make it easier for them to succeed in the program. Enrollment can be done three times each year – fall, spring, and summer. 

Students not only excel in their academics but thrive in the internship program. This includes shadowing a firefighter for 24 hours, a sort of a day-in-the-life experience that opens their eyes to the practical aspects of the occupation. Students can complete the program in two academic years, provided that they are enrolled in 15-17 credit hours every semester. 

The outstanding academic and practical training prepares students for the competitive job market for firefighters and similar occupations. Graduates can choose to enter the job market immediately or continue with their studies. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The outstanding academic and practical training prepares students for the competitive job market for firefighters and similar occupations. Graduates can choose to enter the job market immediately or continue with their studies. 

Associate in Homeland Security

Individuals interested in careers in border security, terrorism prevention, and cybersecurity should consider getting an associate in homeland security degree. While there are academic challenges – every degree program has them – completing the program is easier with your heart in it. 

Students combine academic coursework with their observational, analytical, and critical thinking skills development. The topics covered vary but typically include core subjects like homeland security, emergency management, and computer and network security. Most online programs are self-paced, although there will likely be synchronized sessions. 

Campbell University

online associate

143 Main Street, Buies Creek, NC 27506
(800) 334-4111

Associate of Science in Homeland Security

The Associate of Science in Homeland Security at Campbell University can be earned once students have accomplished at least 62 credit hours consisting of General Education Core, and Homeland Security Concentration. Students can expect to complete courses in Emergency Management, Intelligence, National & International Security, Terrorism, and Interagency Operations.

Each course has 8-week accelerated terms, allowing adult learners the flexibility to complete an associate degree. Through the program, Homeland Security majors will broaden their understanding of social, political, and economic issues on the national and international security scale. Since it is an interdisciplinary program, students will also have the opportunity to get educated and trained to determine and mitigate threats to the safety and health of the nation, states, and communities from natural disasters, public health crises, and terrorism.

Apart from the coursework completion requirements, the associate program will require a capstone research paper and career-related internships in private sector emergency response services, emergency management centers, federal, local, or state law enforcement agencies. 

The Associate of Science in Homeland Security program also provides career-ready opportunities and skills to allow graduates to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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The emphasis on national and international perspectives in exploring homeland security, terrorism, and emergency preparedness underlines Campbell’s noteworthy program. Students with military backgrounds are also eligible for transfer credits, which will shorten their time spent earning the degree and enjoy advanced standing.


Georgia Military College

online associate

115 Davis Road, Martinez, GA 30907
(706) 993-1123

Associate of Arts/Associate of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Georgia Military College offers two academic pathways for students interested in emergency management, homeland security policy and law, and terrorism studies. Students can either pursue the Associate of Arts in Homeland Security & Emergency Management, or the Associate of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management program.

Their main differences lie in the number of credits and certain types of classes required. The A.A. track consists of 70 to 73 credits and has a foreign language component with a Spanish, German, or French choice. The A.S. track requires completion of 65 to 69 credits and doesn’t require students to attend foreign language classes. Regardless of the program pathway, all Homeland Security & Emergency Management majors take core courses like Introduction To Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Terrorism and International Crime. 
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Graduates aren’t just well-versed in homeland security topics, but they become more empowered citizens whose sense of duty pushes them to make meaningful contributions to society. 

Associate in Hospitality Management

Individuals whose passion lies in the hospitality and tourism industry will find the associate in hospitality management degree programs easier than anticipated. Of course, good communication skills, patience, and problem-solving skills are valuable for success, but these traits can also be developed as a student. 

Students can choose from several programs lasting from under a year to two years of full-time study. Specializations are also offered, and these can include travel, food and beverage, hotel management, and event planning. It’s common to find 60-credit programs with a curriculum that combines general education and core courses. 

Albany Technical College

Albany Technical College

1704 South Slappey Blvd., Albany, GA 31701
(229) 430-3500

Associate of Applied Science in Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Management

Albany Technical College’s Associate of Applied Science in Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Management program is ideal for students requiring the essential occupational attitudes, skills, and knowledge for career advancement, retention, and acquisition in the hospitality and restaurant industries.

To graduate, students must have 60 credit hours of Core, Occupational, and Elective courses. Its Elective course selection has a variety of topics to choose from that can be integrated into the hospitality and food & beverage industry, including Advanced Floral Design, Culinary Safety and Sanitation, Tour & Cruise Management, Organizational Behavior, and Small Business Management. The Core courses are categorized into four major components, namely Humanities/Fine Arts, Natural Sciences/Mathematics, Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Language Arts/Communications.

Admission into the associate program includes minimum ACCUPLACER test scores, documentation of a chest X-ray or negative tuberculosis skin test, and a high school diploma or equivalent.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Early in their training, students are encouraged to develop their occupational skill sets and soft skills to serve them well after graduation. The graduation outcome is considered among the best because graduates can acquire jobs and advance in their careers with an associate degree.


Peninsula College

Peninsula College

1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, WA 98362
(360) 452-9277

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Ecotourism

Due to the strategic location of Peninsula College, the school offers its Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Ecotourism program. With Washington State as the home of the Olympic National Park, Peninsula College’s Hospitality and Ecotourism program is primarily designed to educate and prepare students to work in a diverse range of careers that cater to visitors on the Olympic Peninsula. The academic program teaches students sustainable ecotourism, advocating responsible travel and conservation in natural areas and improving the well-being of locals.

To earn the Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Ecotourism degree, students must complete 91 to 95 credit hours. They will take courses in Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism Policy & Planning, Hotel Operations, Social Media Marketing, and Food & Beverage Management. Apart from that, Hospitality and Ecotourism majors must accomplish the Hospitality Internship and opportunity for service learning initiatives with local companies or employers.

The academic program can be completed within six quarters. Although students can start during the fall term, the program will also accept students to start during winter or spring semesters.

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

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Students at Peninsula College get the opportunity to learn the basics of ecotourism, event management, and tourism policy—and the business side of things!. Their internship experience working with local employers also gets them a foot in the door, a good thing for employment purposes. 

Lawyers may be the face of the legal industry, but there are hardworking people behind their performance. Legal assistants and paralegals perform crucial roles, including investigating the facts behind cases and researching legal precedents. Such is their importance in allowing lawyers to do their job well that they are among the most sought-after legal professionals. 

The best way of becoming one is to earn an associate degree in legal studies, a way of getting entry-level jobs and preparing for further legal education. Students learn legal principles, practices and processes; terminologies and jargon; and ethics in their studies. Their coursework can be heavy in constitutional and contract laws and research planning and writing of reports. 

And the jobs that await graduates are aplenty, too! The growth forecast for Paralegals and Legal Assistants is 12% from 2020 to 2030, indicating an above-average career outlook compared to other occupations. 

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee Community College

444 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304-2895
(850) 201-8488

Associate in Science Paralegal/Legal Studies

Tallahassee Community College offers an Associate in Science Paralegal/Legal Studies program that prepares students to perform effectively as essential parts of the legal services team. The 64-credit associate program helps students to become legal assistants and/or paralegals. Its curriculum also highlights courses that will serve as an informal stepping-stone for associate graduates aspiring to complete law studies.

Some of the core required courses include Litigation Procedures I and II, Applied Ethics Seminar, Real Estate Law and Property Transactions, Legal Concepts of Business, and Family Law. Students can finish their degree in five terms, depending on the number of credit hours taken per term. As part of the culminating requirement, students must choose one of the following courses to take:

  • Criminal Law
  • Microcomputer Applications For Business
  • Technology and Professional Programs Internship

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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TCC isn’t just your run-of-the-mill diploma mill! The college has received accolades for its exceptional quality of instruction, and one of these accolades was ranked #1 in AA degrees by Community College Week.


Herkimer State University of New York

Herkimer College

100 Reservoir Road, Herkimer, NY 13350
(315) 866-0300

Associate of Applied Science in Legal Studies

Herkimer State University of New York’s Associate of Applied Science in Legal Studies program will prepare students for a variety of career opportunities in federal, state, and local government sectors, brokerage houses, real estate firms, financial institutions, and law offices. The holistic program improves students’ skills and expertise essential in the field of the legal justice system. Its curriculum will discuss the different techniques and methods on how to assist lawyers/attorneys on legal research, prepare documents for trials or hearings, and highlight the major legal principles of family law, tort law, and property & real estate law.

While students can work in traditional settings, graduates of the A.A.S. in Legal Studies program can work in corporate legal departments, insurance companies, bank trust departments, and title companies. A total of 62 credit hours is required for the completion of the program. Some of the courses they will take include Intro To Law For Paralegals,  Administration of Estates, Constitutional Law, Torts & Personal Injury, and Family Law.

Although Herkimer’s Associate of Applied Science in Legal Studies program is not designed as a transfer program, transfer articulation agreements have been made with the following institutions:

  • Bellevue University
  • Berkeley College
  • Charter Oak State College
  • Franklin University
  • Hilbert College
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Graduates with the associate program can pursue a baccalaureate degree in any of the specified schools, with seamless transfer of academic credits.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) 

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Students can transfer credits earned due to the articulation agreements with several colleges, including the SUNY Institute of Technology. The program’s instructors also have experience on their side, which immensely benefits students. 

Associate in Medical Assisting

With projected job growth of 18% between 2020 and 2030, or 729,900 new jobs, there will be plenty to go around for associate degrees in medical assisting programs. These programs typically have 64 credits that will take two years of full-time study to complete; part-time enrollment is allowed in many programs but will take longer to complete. 

Students may choose their specialization. Usually clinical medical assisting or administrative assisting, but it isn’t offered in many schools. Their coursework includes general education in English, math, and communication, and core courses like medical coding, quality patient care, and medical terminology. Internships are a required part of every program, and these are conducted in various healthcare settings. 

Graduates may or may not be required to take a certified medical assistant exam, depending on the state’s regulations. 

Point University

Point University

507 West 10th Street, West Point, GA 31833
(706) 960 2067

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting

The Associate of Science in Medical Assisting program at Point University helps prepare learners to become proficient and find successful careers in the healthcare sector as medical assistants. With a faith-based curriculum, students’ faith will be strengthened with a set of coursework taught from a Christian perspective. It is a 100% online academic program with a professional internship that can be completed near students’ residences. With a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, distance learners participate in asynchronous learning through Point’s online learning management platform.

The 61-credit hour asynchronous program has no required meeting schedules, so distance learners can complete their coursework at their pace and convenience. However, weekly deadlines are part of the curriculum. Depending on students’ course load, they can obtain their associate degree in two years.

Point University’s Associate of Science in Medical Assisting program equips learners with a strong foundation in office management, patient safety and confidentiality, medical procedures and systems, and medical terminologies. After completing the degree, they will have the opportunity to qualify for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certified Medical Assistant credential. Graduates can also continue their studies by pursuing a baccalaureate program in healthcare administration.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 

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Instructors teach the courses with a Christian perspective that, in turn, makes them more compassionate and competent medical assistants in the future. Graduates can sit for post-program certification exams like the National Center for Competency Testing’s Certified Medical Assistant exam.


Herzing University

Herzing University

275 W. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 210, Milwaukee, WI 53203
(800) 596-0724

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Services

Herzing University is one of the best associate degree programs in Medical Assisting due to its comprehensive student support services and perks. Through the university’s Everywhere Classroom, students can complete their degrees at their pace and schedule. It is a 60-credit hour associate program consisting of a variety of courses in major topics, including general education courses, professionalism and ethics, insurance claims, administrative skills, and medical terminologies.

Students can earn their A.S. in Medical Assisting Services degree within 20 months. Throughout the program, they will be trained in administrative and clinical tasks that include managing insurance forms and medical records, routine laboratory procedures, and clinical exam room procedures and assistance. 

Although the academic program has online course works, students are required to meet with a proctor at a healthcare facility to demonstrate their medical assisting proficiencies. As part of the Clinical Lab requirements, students must first take and pass the Student Readiness Training proctorship. Apart from that, they must also take a Basic Life Support CPR class from the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. 

The academic program also includes a 180-hour Externship requirement. Students must complete this requirement in a doctor’s office or medical clinic in an 8-week duration during the final semester. Depending on the externship site of students, they can expect to accomplish 25 to 40 hours weekly.

After completing the associate degree in Medical Assisting Services at Herzing, graduates can qualify to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination. For the first attempt at passing the exam, Herzing University will pay for the associated examination fees.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Graduates can sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification exam. Better yet, the university pays for their first attempt with most graduates acing it. 

Associate in Entrepreneurship

These programs are offered in the business schools of four-year colleges and universities and community colleges as standalone programs. But these have their similarities, including a 60-credit curriculum with a two-year suggested completion rate, a choice between an AS and AAS track, and an entrepreneurship focus. 

While students may seek employment in business settings, many more pursue the entrepreneurship path. The latter is possible since these programs prepare students to become successful business owners. The in-depth training includes business strategies, accounting and marketing principles, and legal obligations. 

Internships in local employers may be a requirement for graduation, too. Many other programs require a capstone project to demonstrate the students’ skills.  

Forsyth Technical Community College

Forsyth Technical Community College

2100 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336)723-0371

Associate in Applied Science in Entrepreneurship

Forsyth Technical Community College designed its 66-credit hour Associate in Applied Science in Entrepreneurship program for students to make informed decisions in their existing and future businesses. The comprehensive coursework covers relevant topics, including business funding, strategies and solutions; innovation and creativity; and accounting procedures. Since we live in a computer-driven economy, students are also trained in business-relevant computer applications. 

Applicants must have strong math and communication skills. Once enrolled, their training will include soft skills development, particularly in leadership and teamwork. Students emerge with a renewed sense of perseverance, patience, and adaptability. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The program’s exceptional quality of instruction has produced several successful entrepreneurs whose success also inspires others. The college is also well-known for its student support services.


Northwest Arkansas Community College

Northwest Arkansas Community College

One College Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712
(479) 986-4000

Associate of Applied Science in Business Management – Entrepreneurship 

The Associate of Applied Science in Business Management – Entrepreneurship program at Northwest Arkansas Community College isn’t all academics! The best thing about it is that its students gain practical skills and access to useful resources during their studies. These aspects establish the foundation of their success as entrepreneurs and business owners. 

The coursework lays down the foundation of accounting, marketing, and business management, including real-world processes and practices. Electives enhance their interests, such as in the culinary arts, which makes the program more enjoyable. To graduate, students must take at least 60 credit hours of General Education, Core Business, and Elective courses.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Students leave the program with the tools and mindset to push their business success to the next level. Their business skills range from accounting to customer relations and, thus, cover most aspects of the business. 

Associate in Graphic Design

Graphic designers are creative professionals in many industries, including advertising, manufacturing, and publishing. Their occupation allows them the benefit of either being employees or self-employed professionals or even both. Their training starts with enrollment in associate in graphic design programs that combine academic work and hands-on experience. 

Online programs have the same high quality of instruction as brick-and-mortar programs but with the convenience of learning from home. The curriculum consists of 60 to 65 credits divided into general education courses, core courses, and electives. Many students fulfill the requirements within two years with full-time enrollment. 

Foothill College

Foothill College

12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(650) 949.7777

Associate of Arts in Graphic & Interactive Design

Foothill College’s Associate of Arts in Graphic & Interactive Design program requires 90 units, including the 50-unit Core courses and 8-unit Support courses. Graphic & Interactive Design majors can choose a variety of courses to fulfill their Support requirements, including Virtual Reality Game Design, Motion Graphics, Mobile Game Design, Cartoon & Comic Illustration, and Design Thinking.

The associate program in Graphic & Interactive Design is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind. Students will receive a balance of instruction, including general courses and visual arts courses, that offers a well-rounded curriculum in the field of graphic design. They will develop essential advanced and basic skills in the processes of design while mastering a variety of professional graphics applications. 

Given that Foothill College’s A.A. in Graphic & Interactive Design program is a diverse academic degree, graduates can find a wealth of career opportunities in the field of digital art, garment and T-shirt printing, illustration, publishing, digital marketing, advertising, web and mobile design, game design, motion graphics, and UI/UX design.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and College (WASC)

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The immersive training in the various areas of design results in competent graduates whose skillsets are desired by employers and clients. Their well-rounded education also allows them to maintain great relationships with others, particularly customers.


St. Charles Community College

St. Charles Community College

4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, Cottleville, MO 63376
(636) 922-8000

Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design

The 72-credit Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design program features a combination of state-of-the-art technology and traditional art to prepare learners for a variety of graphic design-related roles. It is an academic program that covers all aspects of current and advanced skills required by companies and employers. 

Graphic Design majors complete 24 credits of General Education Requirements, while 48 credits are required in the Core Course Requirements. Some of the required courses they’ll take include Survey of Western Art History I and II, Black and White Portfolio, 3-D Design, Typography, and Digital Imaging & Illustration.

Graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design degree from St. Charles can pursue a plethora of career opportunities in the aspects of Interactive, and Design & Production of graphic design. Depending on their preferences, they can work as video editors, web designers, illustrators, motion graphics animators, production artists, or mobile designers. Unlike other rigorous professions, completing an associate degree in Graphic Design can easily lead to lucrative careers in a variety of industries.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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The public community college has established a reputation for exceptional instruction, and its growing number of students is proof of it. The faculty members boast impressive credentials for a community college, which translates to better student outcomes. 

Associate in Construction Project Management

A high school diploma, as well as standardized exam results (ACT or SAT) with minimum scores, are the common admission requirements for these programs. Many programs also ask for relevant work experience in the construction industry, but it isn’t as selective as you imagine. Soft skills, including good writing and communication skills, are preferred due to the occupation’s nature. 

The courses are designed to enable students to appreciate the construction and business side of their future jobs. These include introducing construction safety and supervision, blueprint reading, surveying and mapping, and management and leadership. 

But it isn’t just as construction field superintendents that graduates can apply for. Many are employed as land-use planners, construction contractors, and construction cost estimators. 

San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College

9331 Mariposa Rd, Hesperia, CA 92344
(866) 544-7898

Associate of Science in Construction Management

San Joaquin Valley College offers an Associate of Science in Construction Management program that can be completed 100% online or on-campus. The on-campus program will provide students with the opportunity to obtain the OSHA 10-hour Construction Outreach Training Completion Card. While each student has different commitments and schedules, the Construction Management associate program at SJVC can be completed in as few as 14 months.

Graduates with an Associate of Science in Construction Management degree from San Joaquin Valley College can pursue a variety of career opportunities in the field of construction, including purchasing agents, operations and general managers, cost estimators, foremen, supervisors, and construction managers. 

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

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Career options available for graduates include estimators, construction managers, and site supervisors with potential employers expressing appreciation for their skills.


Rockford Career College

Rockford Career College

1130 S Alpine Rd #100, Rockford, IL 61108
(888) 680-6682

Associate of Applied Science in Construction Administration

Rockford Career College’s 7-month Associate of Applied Science in Construction Administration program is completed 100% online. The associate program will accept students who already have a diploma program or a specific number of credit hours in a related specialization. Specifically, the online program in Construction Administration requires applicants with 54 credit hours in a skilled trade specialization.

Through the academic program, Construction Administration majors will learn a variety of techniques for contract management and project planning. Apart from that, they will have an in-depth analysis of project supervision and quality control.

Both distance learners and on-campus students receive comprehensive support from Rockford, including financial aid options, free tutoring services, and networking with industry professionals.

Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

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The curriculum provides students with career-specific knowledge and skills instead of general education-heavy education. Graduates say that their skillsets are exactly what employers are looking for. Plus, RCC has free tutoring services, networking opportunities, and financial aid options for students. 

Associate in Retail and Sales Management

Traditional and digital commerce are discussed in depth in these programs because it’s what the times demand. The instruction includes the development of retail and sales plans, as well as their implementation and evaluation. Students start with learning core business principles as a foundation for their advanced-level business law, marketing research, and sales management courses. 

Interested individuals will benefit from a background in business and marketing during their high school years, but it isn’t a mandatory admission requirement. Upon graduation, career options available include distribution associates, social media marketers, and product sales associates. 

American Public University

American Public University

111 W. Congress Street, Charles Town, WV 25414
(877) 755-2787

Associate of Arts in Retail Management

American Public University offers an Associate of Arts in Retail Management program, educating students and preparing them with the basic skills and knowledge required to effectively manage a diverse range of retail operations. To graduate, students must have 60 credit hours, including 30-semester hours of General Education courses, 6-semester hour Electives, and 3-semester hour Retail Management Seminar. Courses begin monthly, with a 100% online learning format and vary from 8 to 16 weeks duration.

APU’s Retail Management associate program features a curriculum that is updated annually to ensure students receive up-to-date learning and content of the program. Its curriculum will discuss knowledge essential for front-line supervisory roles, including customer relations, retail industry organization, finance, and inventory management. Apart from that, soft skills developed in the program include critical thinking, communication, managerial, and interpersonal skills of students. 

The A.A. in Retail Management program of APU has derived its programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council For Business Schools and Programs. After completing the associate degree, graduates can transfer a maximum of 45 academic credits for further studies in retail management. The university offers zero cost for both transfer credit evaluation and application of the A.A. in Retail Management program.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

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The curriculum is updated on an annual basis to reflect the current trends and latest data, and, thus, students learn in a dynamic environment. Their training prepares them for competitive jobs in the ever-changing retail industry.


DeVry University

DeVry University

1200 E. Diehl Road, Naperville, IL 60563
(877) 496-9050

Associate Degree in Business – Retail Management Track

The Associate Degree in Business – Retail Management Track at DeVry University is designed to prepare students for advanced roles in merchandising. Similar to the standard business program, students will learn how to address business challenges with technology and teams in the retail setting. It covers six major components of business-related studies, namely:

  • Business Planning
  • Collaboration
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Ethics
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technology

Apart from that, students will also develop a variety of essential skills in communication, customer relations, collaboration, and data analysis. Since the university has a unique 2-in-1 design, students pursuing the Associate Degree in Business will also receive the Business Essentials undergraduate certificate. Program-specific courses include Consumer Behavior Fundamentals, Contemporary Retail Management, Human Resource Functions, and Customer Relations. 

A total of 61 credit hours will be required to complete the degree in Retail Management. Each course completed in the associate program applies to DeVry’s Bachelor’s in Technical Management program. Students can earn their degrees in one year and four months, with an accelerated option with qualifying transfer credits.

The university’s Associate of Business program has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council For Business Schools and Programs.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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DeVry has several notable alumni whose successful careers serve as an inspiration to current students. The university is known for its excellent quality of instruction, facilities, and student support services.  

Associate in Theology

If your passion lies in religious thought and service, you may want to apply to a reputable associate in theology program. While clergy jobs are popular among graduates, many also choose to pursue non-clergy occupations like educators and administrators. The specific coursework depends on the school, the program’s focus, and the religious denomination, but there are similarities. 

Students typically learn about the Bible and its history, youth ministry, and pastoral care and become servant leaders. Their education may also include community work, public speaking to spread the faith, and religious studies. For this reason, many graduates also work as community workers and human service assistants. 

Lucent University

Lucent University

1009 Jupiter Rd. Suite 500, Plano, TX 75074
(806) 808-4040

Associate of Theology

Lucent University has an Associate of Theology program that offers a 30-day trial for aspiring students. The university is confident enough to offer such a trial since they believe that students’ expectations are exceeded, requiring no credit card information or any type of commitment. It is a Bible-based academic program developed to prepare men and women wanting to enter the ministry. As part of the associate program, the Billy Graham Evangelistic School of Evangelism course is integrated into the curriculum.

Considered as one of the most affordable associate programs, the university calculates the cost of its Associate of Theology program depending on the Purchasing Power Parity of the World Bank. Tuition fees are determined by the average income of the country where the student resides. To enroll, students must have a high school diploma and must have English as their native language.

Lucent University’s associate program in Theology requires 60 credit hours and is divided into four major terms. Each term consists of five courses and lasts six months, totaling 15 credit hours per term. Life of Christ, Hebrew Old Testament Tools and Exegesis, Biblical Christianity, Servant Leadership, and Biblical Counseling are some of the core required courses to be completed in the academic program.

Upon completion of the Associate of Theology degree, graduates will be prepared to completely exercise any ministerial activity, including working as teachers, chaplains, church leaders, pastors, and missionaries. 

Accreditation: Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ASIC)

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The university has an affordable tuition structure and provides several benefits to students, including all-inclusive materials.


Franciscan University

Franciscan University

1235 University Boulevard, Steubenville, Ohio 43952
(740) 283-3771

Associate of Arts in Theology

The Associate of Arts in Theology program at Franciscan University offers three pathways to admission. Depending on students’ prior credentials and experience, they can either pursue the College Transfer, Traditional Entry, or Non-Traditional Entry pathway. It is a fully online associate program, providing students with the flexibility and convenience of completing their degree anytime, anywhere. Courses are taught in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Theology majors will also have the opportunity to take classes one at a time, or five classes at a time.

Since it is a 100% transferable program, all academic credits obtained through the A.A. program are transferable to the university’s on-campus programs. The curriculum highlights the essential topics, skills, and expertise to help students pursue a variety of related fields, including Catholic education, adult faith formation, youth ministry, evangelization, and catechesis.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Students can take classes five at a time or one at a time; classes are offered in the spring, summer, and fall terms. Alumni are leaders in the Catholic faith as evangelists, clergy members, and laypeople. 

Associate in Network Administration

The shortened two-year associate in network administration program is an opportunity for individuals to enter the workforce and become gainfully employed sooner. Network administrators earn well, too, with a 2019 median annual salary of $83,510. The number of jobs is also expected to increase, so now is the time to consider an associate degree. 

The coursework is heavy on computers and includes database management, IT project management, and web authoring. Training includes the installation, management, and troubleshooting of computer networks. Completion results in preparedness for passing the CompTIA and Cisco certifications, which boosts job prospects. 

Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University

4400 West 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55435
+1 952-545-2000

Network Systems Administration Associate’s Degree

Rasmussen University has a Network Systems Administration Associate’s Degree program that provides comprehensive training to help graduates start a career in network administration and technology. Through the program, students will gain a set of skills essential for their future profession, including quality support, network security, problem-solving, and hardware & software installation.

The associate program consists of 25 courses, with a total of 90 credit hours for degree completion. Both distance learners and on-campus students can enroll in the program, requiring at least a high school diploma or equivalent credentials. Students will complete courses in Systems Analysis and Design, Windows Directory Services, and Linux Administration.

While each student has different preferences and commitments, Rasmussen’s Network Systems Administration program can be completed in as few as 18 months. Since the program features $149-self-directed assessments, students can demonstrate their mastery of specific courses and choose not to include them in the curriculum.

Completing a Network Systems Administration Associate’s Degree at Rasmussen will prepare graduates to sit and pass industry certifications, namely:

  • Cisco® CCNA
  • CompTIA® A+
  • CompTIA® Linux+
  • CompTIA® Network+
  • CompTIA® Security+
  • Microsoft® Windows 10 MD-100

Rasmussen University will reimburse students any out-of-pocket expenses of the application fees for every 1st attempt of a maximum of three designated industry certification exams for which they can qualify to take.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Students undergo training that prepares them for industry certifications, such as CompTIA Linux+, Cisco® CCENT, and CompTIA Network+. The university’s ladder curriculum allows students to transition from their associate degree to a Pre-Bachelor’s Cyber Security Certificate and then a bachelor’s degree.


The University of Toledo

The University of Toledo

2801 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, OH 43606
(800) 586-5336

Associate Degree in Computer Network Administration

The University of Toledo’s Associate Degree in Computer Network Administration program will prepare students for a variety of roles in the computer networking industry. Through the program, students will learn more about computer-integration, networking fundamentals, programming, and operating systems management. After completing the program, graduates will have the skills and knowledge for completing a diverse range of professional certifications from CISCO, CompTIA, and Microsoft.

Computer Network Administration majors will have access to UToledo’s state-of-the-art technology and work hands-on using tools and apps often used by companies and employers. The 61 to 62-credit hour academic program requires courses in Computer Concepts, Networking Operating Systems Support, PC Operating Systems, Network Technologies, and Computer Hardware.

To enroll, students must have a high school diploma or GED. The university will also cross-check all applications with the National Student Clearinghouse. UToledo is also a member of the National Council For State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), making it easier for out-of-state learners to pursue the associate program in Computer Network Administration at UToledo.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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Students have direct access to their academic advisors and success coaches who work with them for their success. UToledo also has several useful resources, including eLibrary, eTutoring, and IT Help Desk for online students.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider online associate degree programs? 

Besides the more affordable cost and more accessible admission requirements, getting an associate degree brings the following notable benefits. 

  • Flexibility is the oft-cited reason for getting an online associate degree, as discussed above. You can maintain a better work-life balance with a self-paced program.
  • Cost-effectiveness also draws individuals because an associate degree takes less time to acquire, yet it can open doors of opportunities quickly. You’re more likely to be employed with an associate degree than with a high school diploma. You may also be able to pay off your student debt faster.
  • The probability of graduation is higher because of the greater focus on skills, the shorter time commitment, and the lower costs involved. You may also think of it as a stepping stone toward a higher goal – a bachelor’s degree. You can try to see if the program you’re enrolled in is aligned with your personal and professional goals.
  • Job opportunities and career advancement come easier, too, for many reasons. First, you’re more prepared for jobs because of your practical skills. Many employers look for higher education, such as an associate degree, because it indicates the applicant’s determined character, too.

Second, you have a better chance of being hired in jobs that require some college education or an associate degree. You will also be more likely to enjoy a higher earning potential. 

In a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, people with an associate degree earn $887 in median weekly earnings and have a 2.7% unemployment rate. In contrast, people with some college but no degree and high school graduates earned less – $833 and $746 in median weekly wages, respectively. The latter were also likely to be unemployed – 3.3% and 3.7%, respectively. 

Over a lifetime, the difference in wages can equate to $300,000 to $500,00 on average! The bottom line: Getting an associate degree is well worth your time, energy, and money. 

What considerations will make interested individuals have second thoughts about them? 

Unfortunately, there’s a significant stigma surrounding higher education at community colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools in certain cohorts. In a June 2018 survey, parents and families have a “very stigmatized” opinion of community college transfers.

But conversely, college advisors and administration staff held little to no stigma about community college transfers! The conclusion here is that the more first-hand knowledge and experience individuals have about community colleges and the like, the lower the stigma felt. 

There are also other indications that the stigma isn’t as widespread as feared. In a higher education survey conducted by New America, Americans have high regard for community colleges and similar institutions. 

It helps, too, that college credits earned in an associate degree are considered for admission to a bachelor’s program. Sometimes, it’s easy; sometimes, it’s a pain in the neck. The trick is in asking the admissions officer about the credit transfer process before making your decision. 

You may also ask your state education officials about the state policy on transferability. At least 30 states implement a favorable transfer of lower-division courses, including a statewide guarantee of associate degree credits transfer. 

Who will benefit the most from easy online associate degree programs? 

Every adult, both men, and women can benefit from online associate degree programs. According to data, however, more females earned an associate degree than men in the United States – 629,443 females and 407,219 males (2018-2019). 

But certain individuals are more suited to these programs. If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, then you may well be one of them. 

  • Do you want to earn more college credits so you can earn a formal degree? You may already have “some college” (i.e., less 60-semester credits), but you want a college degree.
  • Do you have 60 college credits and want to consolidate them? You can consider an associate degree as a way of consolidating these credits.
  • Do you want to get higher-paying jobs, but you don’t have the time, money, and inclination to get a bachelor’s degree? Your associate degree is the perfect stepping stone that will bridge the gap!
  • You must take the time to determine your suitability for an online associate degree program considering your present circumstances and aspirations for the future. One thing is clear, nonetheless: You’re likely to reap the benefits if you earn an associate degree!

What are the common admission requirements for these programs? 

The admission requirements differ between educational institutions, such as the requirements below, while others have open admission policies.  

  • Minimum age 
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent 
  • A minimum GPA in high school 
  • Passing grades in the prerequisite courses 
  • Minimum score on SAT or ACT 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Personal statement 
  • Clean background check 

Due to the differences in admission policy and requirements, it’s always best to ask clarificatory questions of the admission staff. 

What are the credit requirements and transfer policies? 

Like the admission requirements, the transfer of credits varies between schools, so be sure to clarify them first. But transfer admissions may allow the transfer of credits earned from AA and AS programs to bachelor’s degree programs. This is possible through legislation, articulation agreements, and board policies, among other pathways. 

In general, an associate degree program requires completing at least 60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits as eligibility for graduation. These credits are equivalent to about 20 college-level courses. 

Many schools also offer so-called 2+2 programs. Here, students earn their associate degree in the first two years and then decide whether they want to continue earning their bachelor’s degree in the next two years. The credits earned in the former are then applied in the latter if the continuance is decided on. 


Check this out: The 10 Best Online Accredited Trade Schools

Related Article: Top 10 Online Associate’s Degrees

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor