20 Fastest Online Associate Degrees in 2021

In both on-campus and online settings, the average time to complete an associate degree is two years. This presupposes a full-time course load of about ten classes every year, often including the summer term. 

But there are ways to finish an associate degree in less time, too! This is important as even an associate degree involves fairly substantial annual tuition ranging from $3,570 in public institutions to $14,587 in private colleges. The annual total cost, including transportation, room and board, and incidental expenses, can go as high as $24,602. 

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No wonder that many individuals interested in earning an associate degree are looking into online programs to reduce costs! This is on top of applying for financial aid, including institutional scholarships, federal aid, and military discounts. 

Going back to the ways of earning an associate degree in less than two years, the best ways are: 

  • Start in high school by earning as many college credits as you can. Most associate degree programs accept these college-level credits, which means lesser time spent in earning the degree.  
  • Enrolling in an accelerated program with innovative ways of cutting the program’s duration. For example, lower Columbia in the State of Washington will launch its Transfer Express program wherein students can complete an associate degree in a single year. Students have their course selection, and sequence including electives, already mapped out for them, and they must complete the courses in four quarters instead of the usual six quarters. 

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will also start its trimester format, resulting in early graduation for students. Instead of the usual 16-week course schedules, these will shift to 14 weeks, but courses will be extended by 10 minutes every day. Students will benefit from the condensed material, shorter trimester, and year-round start for all courses; all courses are available on three start dates – fall, spring, and summer. 

  • Use your military training and other relevant work and life experiences as college credit. While military service may only be applied to electives, it can reduce college time between 25% and 50%! This will depend on your military occupation specialty, the number of years in service, and rank. 

As for work and life experiences, many schools accept them as college credits provided certain criteria are met. Challenge tests or prior learning assessments, corporate training programs, professional licenses or certifications, and competency-based education are the most common methods. National University, Walden University, and Drexel University are a few notable examples. 

With transferred credits, accelerated format, and effective study habits, your associate degree will be in your hands in less than two years!  

20 Fastest Online Associate Degrees

M E T H O D O L O G Y

The associate degree programs featured here were selected because students can finish them in less than two years. The reduced time is possible because the programs: 

  • Allowed students to transfer credits earned during their high school years; 
  • Accepted credits for military training and work and life experiences; or 
  • Implemented an accelerated format, such as year-round course availability and summer terms. 

Of course, the number of months you will spend earning your associate degree will depend on your course load, schedule, and preference. If you choose a part-time schedule, you will spend more than two years in a program. If you have transferable credits, get a full course load every term, and enroll during the summer terms, cutting your time by half is possible. 

We also considered the following aspects in choosing the featured schools and their programs:  

  • Accreditation is a must since it’s a testament to the quality of instruction, faculty, and facilities of the school and its programs. The accreditation can be national, regional, and programmatic. 
  • Overall reputation in the academe, larger community including the alumni and among stakeholders in the education sector. The colleges and universities must be recognized for their positive impact on their students, alumni, and community. 
  • Flexible scheduling options, a quality curriculum that meets standards set for the degree, and fast-track options were also considered. These are crucial to online students who want to finish their degree faster but still within their pace and terms. 

When considering an associate degree program, we suggest clicking on the link to get more information. This way, you make an informed decision about its suitability for your personal needs and professional goals. 

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FAQs on Online Associate Degrees

What are the types of associate degrees? 

There are three major types of associate degrees, namely: 

  • Associate of Arts (AA), a broader degree that can be used in various fields after graduation. AA programs also have at least five credits in humanities and social sciences. 
  • Associate of Science (AS), a more science-based program with at least five credits in math and science. AS programs are usually in these areas of study, too, such as nursing and engineering. 
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS), a terminal degree in the sense that its credits aren’t usually accepted into a bachelor’s degree program. Students looking for immediate employment after graduation can look into it. 

Both the AA and AS degrees have transferable credits if you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future. 

There are also other associate degrees, including: 

  • Associate of Applied Business 
  • Associate of General Studies
  • Associate of Applied Arts
  • Associate of Fine Arts

Except for the AAS degrees, associate degrees are designed to provide students with the first two years of the bachelor’s degree experience. 

What are the benefits of the fastest online associate degree programs?

Fresh high school graduates, working professionals, and adult learners benefit from the advantages of online associate degree programs on this list. 

  • Speed 

Students can enroll in courses multiple times during the academic year and complete the degree faster. There are also more terms every year so more courses can be taken and completed. With just four- and eight-week courses, students have the opportunity to take more courses and complete the program in less time. 

  • Efficiency 

With the favorable transfer of credit policies, students benefit from a shorter program duration and the continuity and applicability of their real-life experiences. Think of it as building upon your current skill set and taking your newfound knowledge and skills into your work, a cycle that continues positively feeding itself. 

  • Career Advancement 

Students can look forward to the opportunity to find gainful employment or enjoy career advancement faster than the average. Employers also prefer prospective workers with some college – an associate degree, for example – than people with only a high school diploma. An associate degree, after all, is proof that its holder has acquired suitable skillsets for jobs in the field. 

What can students expect from accelerated associate degree programs? 

Keep in mind that getting a degree in the fastest time possible isn’t an easy-peasy achievement! Since you’re taking on more classes during each term and enrolling in every term, you must work harder. You must cover more ground and, thus, effective study habits and time management skills are important. 

When choosing your courses, you must consider your personal and professional obligations. There will be online lectures to attend or listen to, reading assignments, quizzes, and assessments. These are all crucial aspects of earning an associate degree, not to mention that most of these activities will be graded. 

Every course will have its specific schedules and academic coursework, and these must be considered when planning your schedule. It can be easier with an asynchronous class schedule; with a synchronous schedule, rules about attendance must be followed to remain in a program. 

Be sure to ask about the technology requirements, too. These include the technical specs on your computer, a strong and stable Internet connection, and audio-visual accessories. Students are also required to download the program’s learning management software (LMS), such as Canvas or Blackboard. 

Will credits from an online associate degree transfer into a bachelor’s degree? 

Yes and no, and the answer depends on a few factors. First, you must consider the similarity or disparity between the associate degree and the bachelor’s degree. The more different these two degrees are the fewer credits that can be transferred. 

Most general education credits can be transferred from associate degree to bachelor’s degree, but there may be a few courses that cannot be transferred. But when it comes to major-specific credits, there’s less chance of transferring unrelated credits. 

If you’re proceeding to a bachelor’s degree in music after earning an associate degree in computer science, likely none of your major-specific credits can be transferred. Your best bet is to transition between the same field or related fields, such as from AS in Web Development to BS in Information Technology. 

Second, you must ask the school where you plan to earn an associate degree about its reciprocity agreements with other schools. You want to ensure that most, if not all, of your completed courses in the associate degree program can be transferred into your choice in a bachelor’s degree program. 

A related question is: Will it limit your career advancement if you settle for an associate degree instead of pursuing a bachelor’s degree? Well, it depends on the occupation or profession, as well as your personal and professional goals. Many occupations require only an associate degree, but there are also occupations where a bachelor’s degree is a must for career advancement. 

An associate degree is sufficient for veterinary assistants, but a bachelor’s degree in nursing is preferred for nursing specialists. It’s all up to you! 

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20 Fastest Online Associate Degrees

Accounting

The typical admission requirements are a high school diploma or GED with minimum GPA, perhaps with math and English skills assessments. Candidates must demonstrate attention to detail, good communication skills, and organizational skills since these are the traits of a good accountant. 

The curriculum covers foundational accounting topics with an associate degree program, including financial statements, business, and economics. General education courses also comprise the coursework, which typically includes 60-65 credit hours. The duration can last from one year for accelerated programs to two years for traditional programs. 

The coursework includes topics like: 

  • Financial statements within the context of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)  
  • Federal income tax 
  • Accounting software 
  • Payroll accounts receivable and accounts payable management 
  • Cost accounting 
  • Data management 

Graduates can apply for entry-level accounting positions in diverse industries since nearly every organization needs professionals to maintain the books. These positions receive a median annual salary of nearly $52,000 and the opportunity for career advancement with work experience.  

Florida Institute of Technology

AA in Accounting 

150 W University Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901, United States
(321) 674-8000

Students can complete FIA’s AA in Accounting program in 20 months through accelerated coursework. The curriculum includes classes on: 

  • Financial statement processing, preparation, and interpretation
  • Payroll and inventory management 
  • GAAP and their implications on accounting practices 
  • Global business 
  • Business management 
  • Statistics 

Instructors emphasize the crucial roles that accountants play in an organization’s overall health, including profitability. The liberal arts-influenced curriculum contributes to a well-rounded education and marketable skills. Students learn not just about accounting but also develop their communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. 

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

Why choose this online school_

Florida Tech is a well-respected institution with a reputation for educational excellence and returns on investment. With an AA in Accounting combined with your marketable skills, being gainfully employed becomes a reality. 

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Southern New Hampshire University

AS in Accounting

2500 North River Road Manchester, NH 03106
(800) 668-1249

SNHU’s AS in Accounting program allows candidates to transfer up to 45 credits toward its 60-credit curriculum. Students whose earned credits were approved for transfer can then cut their time in the program by nearly a third! Candidates will also benefit from the absence of standardized tests and application fee requirements. 

Learning outcomes include: 

  • Maintenance of financial records and statements (From bookkeeping to accounting functions) 
  • Analysis, interpretation, and presentation of accounting information 
  • Determination of GAAP applications in organizations 
  • Adoption of ethical decision-making 

Suitable candidates include individuals who want to build a robust foundation for further accounting education and increase their accounting skillsets. Working professionals and adult learners are welcome, and they will find the online format convenient, too. 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Why choose this online school_


You can access the online course materials anytime, anywhere. You will also appreciate the affordable tuition rates that come with private school education. 

Addiction Counseling

Addiction counseling is a challenging yet rewarding occupation because of the difference it can make in an individual’s life. Thus, students in associate degree programs in addictions counseling are encouraged to develop deep empathy and effective communication. These programs also incorporate on-campus, hands-on training, perhaps with an internship experience, to develop the necessary on-field skills. 

Many programs don’t focus exclusively on addiction counseling because of the complex nature of the occupation. Students also learn the basics of psychology, human behavior, and addiction science. The curriculum can also include courses on: 

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Behavior modification
  • Counseling history, theory, and techniques
  • Addiction theories 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Group and individual counseling 

Many programs meet the education requirements for individuals planning to become Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professionals (CCJP) or Certified Substance Abuse Counselors (CSAC). Be sure to ask the admissions counselor or any person of authority in the program if you have such plans. (Most associate programs don’t meet the certification requirements.) 

SUNY Monroe Community College

AS in Addiction Counseling

1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 292.2000

MCC’s AS in Addictions Counseling degree meets the State of New York’s requirements for its Credentialed Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) license. It’s only among a handful of community colleges in the state to offer the degree – and it’s arguably the best, too! Graduates may choose to transfer their earned credits from the associate degree into a bachelor’s program in a related field, including social work and psychology. 

Both the academic coursework and 300 hours of practicum emphasize practical skills, including: 

  • Intake screening 
  • Case management 
  • Crisis intervention 
  • Treatment planning 
  • Consultations and referrals with health professionals 
  • Legal aspects related to addictions counseling 


The curriculum includes seven specialized courses in chemical and alcohol dependency counseling. Psychology, communication, sociology, and communication are also included in the coursework. 

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Why choose this online school_


With SUNY’s prestigious reputation, finding entry-level work in addictions counseling becomes easier. New York’s shortage of qualified addiction counselors will also work in your favor. 

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Beal University

AA in Addiction Counseling

99 Farm Road, Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 307-3900

Beal’s AA in Addiction Counseling program can be completed in eight months, and it’s considered among the best in the country partly because of its exceptional faculty. The faculty members come from diverse backgrounds and possess knowledge and skills that students benefit from, mainly through relevant education. 

Students learn both the academic side and the practical skills necessary for a productive career as an entry-level worker in addiction counseling. The courses include: 

  • Introduction to Addiction Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  • Ethics and Boundaries in Addiction Counseling
  • Crisis Identification and Resolution
  • Interviewing and Counseling

The faculty members have academic, research, and addictions counseling expertise and deliver exceptional instruction. Students study through the hybrid learning arrangement.

Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Why choose this online school_

You will learn everything that you will need to become an effective addictions counselor, thanks to the hands-on training provided by the faculty. You can transfer your earned credits into a bachelor’s program. 

Art History 

The study of art history has its place in the contemporary world! When we study it, we gain valuable insights into the civilizations and communities of years past and appreciate them. It’s also an effective way of decoding the visual messages that have been handed down through generations. 

For these reasons, an associate degree in art history has value beyond our expectations. Students become enlightened about society and its workings through the years via intensive coursework including: 

  • Surveys of art from the ancient world to the Renaissance and modern world, including pop art, anime, and Japanese art 
  • Surveys of photography from its early days to its modern developments and direction 
  • Influence of art on society and civilization, as well as on the individual 

Students gain useful skills, too, which can be applied in diverse occupations and industries. Graduates often find work as museum workers, artists or artisans, and even administrative services managers. The latter is possible because of the emphasis on organization and innovation in an art history program. 

Cerro Coso Community College 

AA In Art History

 3000 College Heights Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555-9571
(760) 384-6100

Individuals planning to earn a bachelor’s degree in art history but who want to test the waters first will appreciate Cerro Coso’s online AA in Art History program. The two-year program allows for a seamless transition into a bachelor’s degree in any four-year university in the California State University system. But eligible students can cut the duration spent in the program by transferring credits earned from a previous institution. 

The program requires the completion of 60 units taken over four semesters or less. The courses include modern art history, drawing, and sculpture, which enable students to learn the: 

  • Analysis and interpretation of the creative and technical nature of art
  • Applications of methodologies and terminologies of art history in art analysis and interpretation 
  • Presentation of art among diverse cultures concerning their social and historical contexts 

Accreditation:  Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)  

Why choose this online school_

You can be familiar with the ins and outs of the art production process, a skill set that opens doors toward diverse occupations. These include museum tour guides, artists or craftsmen, or art gallery workers. 

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Foothill College

AA in Art History

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

The 90-credit AA in Art History program requires 30-31 credits on major subjects, and transfer of credits may shorten its duration. Candidates must also demonstrate English and math proficiency through prerequisite subjects, including English 1A, Math 105, and Math 109. Students must complete general education and elective courses with a minimum GPA; major courses must have at least a “C” grade. 

Individuals seeking deeper awareness and appreciation of the impact of art on society, politics, and religion will find it to their liking. Students become more sensitive to the crucial roles that art and artists play in history and become more active in society and its development. Strong communication, critical thinking, and analytical thinking are a must for success. 

Accreditation: ACCJC 

Why choose this online school_


Once you graduate, you can find work in several industries. Among the possibilities are museum or art gallery workers, film and television production assistants, and tour guides. 

Criminal Justice

Associate in criminal justice programs vary in terms of the number of credits and duration, but 60 credits and two years are typical. All programs, nonetheless, provide foundational training for aspiring police officers and others in law enforcement. These are available in both the AA and AS paths, which prepare students for either related entry-level jobs or a bachelor’s degree. 

Due to the nature of criminal justice-related occupations, students undertake academic coursework and internships. The academic coursework builds the theoretical foundation, while the internship allows students to transform their knowledge into skills. In the field, both aspects are vital for success.  

Concentrations, or sub-disciplines, at the associate level are rare but possible. These sub-disciplines aid graduates in setting themselves apart from the competition for entry-level jobs and in gaining admission to a bachelor’s degree program. Graduates can apply for diverse jobs, including homeland security, law enforcement, and corrections.  

Keiser University

AA in Criminal Justice

2600 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
(561) 478-5500

Keiser’s AA in Criminal Justice program shines the spotlight on the history and contemporary workings of the American criminal justice system. Students of the 60-credit program learn about law enforcement organizations, legal principles and doctrines, and juvenile systems. While most of the lessons happen online, many courses are also filled with hands-on activities. 

Learning objectives include: 

  • Provide students with detailed knowledge and appreciation of the country’s criminal justice system 
  • Teach practical skills in dealing with the issues related to criminal justice 
  • Equip students for entry-level employment

Accreditation: SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

You will earn an associate degree from a nationally-ranked university known for its social mobility and best value for the money record. Your career opportunities will be better for it, especially among employers who value practical skills. 

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Trine University

Associate in Criminal Justice

One University Avenue, Angola, IN 46703
(877) 701-3343

Trine University, a private institution, offers an outstanding Associate in Criminal Justice program for students in the Midwest and beyond. Students learn about the basics of their chosen profession under the tutelage of faculty members with suitable academic credentials and real-life experiences. There’s an equal emphasis on theory and practice, a good mix for students seeking entry-level work or planning to transition into a bachelor’s degree. 

This is a 60-credit program consisting of 21 credits of general education, 15 credits of online learning orientation and electives, and 24 credits for major courses. The latter includes: 

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminal Law &Justice
  • Criminal Justice Report Writing
  • Criminal Procedures & Evidence

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_

Trine’s commitment to excellence touches every part of its education-related operations, including its associate programs. Your education and training will occur in one of the Midwest’s best institutions – and isn’t it enough reason to become a Trine student? 

Cybersecurity

Not every person will succeed in an associate in a cybersecurity program because of its strong emphasis on math and computer science. Students must also possess effective analytical and critical thinking skills and be detail-oriented and creative in finding ways of thwarting cybersecurity threats. While the library and online resources can provide a good foundation, getting more math, science, and engineering credits in high school is preferred. 

Coursework can be intensive due to the wide-ranging coverage of cybersecurity. The common subjects include: 

  • Safe software development 
  • Network security and cloud technology
  • Cybersecurity methods  
  • IT administration and support services 

Students also develop their skills, including communication, teamwork, and leadership. Technical skills are as important as personal skills as cybersecurity experts must describe their projects.  

Graduates are equipped with competitive, marketable skills for entry-level jobs like information security engineering assistant, application analyst, and network administration. 

Franklin University

AS in Cybersecurity

201 S Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 797-4700

Franklin’s AS in Cybersecurity program is 100% online, a convenient aspect for students who want to maintain a good work-school balance. But there are plenty of hands-on lab assignments that put the students’ knowledge and skills to the test. Students learn the skillset to make appropriate responses to malware, viruses, and other cybersecurity threats. 

The major courses, which covers 24 credits, include: 

  • Principles of Programming
  • Database Management Systems
  • Management Information Systems
  • Communication and Network Security

Such is the comprehensive nature of the curriculum that students are equipped with skillsets that they won’t gain in other similar programs. But students are also encouraged to work hard to learn better, not just to maintain their grades. 

Accreditation: HLC

Why choose this online school_

Your education comes from a non-profit institution and, thus, you are assured of quality instruction and facilities. Franklin also knows the challenges of adult learners and ensures their success through exceptional student support services. 

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Trident University 

AS in Cybersecurity 

2200 East Germann Road, Suite 150, Chandler, AZ 85286
(800) 579-3197

Trident’s AS in Cybersecurity (ASC) has a 100% online format designed for fresh high school graduates and adult learners. The 60-credit program can be finished in two years or less, depending on transferred credits and course load. 

Students should complete at least 15 credits at Trident to earn the degree, which means as many as 15 credits can be transferred. Trident allows credit transfers from: 

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST/DANTES)
  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • Excelsior
  • A college or university with some national or regional accreditation 

Students learn about information security management, intrusion detection, and network defense. Some courses use materials relevant to the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certification exams, although completion of the degree won’t lead to eligibility. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_

Your intensive training can pave the way for gainful employment in cybersecurity-related occupations. You can also use the credits earned toward a bachelor’s degree or earn a certification. 

Fire Science

Aspiring arson investigators and firefighters who want the fastest path toward these careers should consider an associate in fire science degree. Said degree provides them with proficiency in dealing with fires in rural and urban settings and emergency and rescue training. But there are differences in their roles – arson investigators must have excellent investigative abilities while firefighters have exceptional physical endurance. 

The courses offered to cover 60 credits and discuss topics like: 

  • Building code and construction concerning firefighting 
  • Fire investigation and analysis 
  • Fire combustion and behavior 
  • Fire rescue and emergency services 

Programs combine academic coursework and hands-on experience, which means a hybrid curriculum. The hands-on training can blend on-campus and on-field activities, such as internships in fire departments. 

Graduates have a competitive advantage in entry-level jobs in emergency management, firefighting services, and public safety. Jobs include firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and fire inspection jobs. With additional education, such as certification, and relevant work experience, an associate degree can lead to more advanced careers. 

Purdue Global University

AAS in Fire Science

2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100, West Lafayette, IN 47906
(866) 522-7747

Purdue’s AAS in Fire Science program has a 12-month completion rate, thanks to its 10-week terms. Students must be up to the task of 15-hour weeks to complete the academic requirements for 90 credits. Such effort, however, will be amply rewarded because it’s an outstanding program recognized by the US Fire Administration as an official Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) program. 

Students become proficient in a wide range of fire science-related topics, including fire codes and inspections, firefighting and prevention, and emergency rescue. The foundational knowledge learned can be supplemented by hands-on experience through an optional internship. Students are well-advised to go on an internship since it will strengthen their skillset on fire science’s technical, technological, and legal aspects. 

Ideal candidates include individuals who want a firefighting career or who want a career in fire-related emergencies. 

Accreditation: HLC and International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC)

Why choose this online school_

You have several options to earn the degree faster and, thus, enter your preferred occupation faster. These include articulation agreements, certifications earned from an IFSAC-accredited or Pro Board-accredited programs, or courses earned from the National Fire Academy. All these allow for the transfer of credits to the associate degree. 

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American Military University

AS in Fire Science

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

AMU’s AS in Fire Science program consists of 56 semester hours divided into 38 for general education courses and 18 for core courses. The latter includes English, math, and social sciences, including Fire Behavior, Building Construction, and Fire Combustion. Students are typically able to finish the program in about two years with a full-time course load, although AMU allows students to complete it in seven years. 

But it has an accelerated option via favorable transfer credit policies. Candidates can transfer up to 46 credits earned from a previous institution. Graduates can then pursue careers as firefighters, arson investigators, and emergency rescue workers in less time than with a typical associate degree program. 

The program meets the United States Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer Program’s academic requirements. 

Accreditation: HLC and IFSAC

Why choose this online school_


If you’re looking for a military-centric education and training, then AMU may well be your best choice. Its commitment to excellence attracts the best students and brings out the best in them. 

Fisheries Management or Technology

Associate in fisheries managment or technology programs are science-based programs emphasizing fish biology, ecology, and habitats. Students learn the principles and practices in commercial fish farming and wildlife conservation that, in turn, opens up numerous career opportunities. These include jobs as hatchery worker, fisheries biologist, and conservation assistant, among other entry-level positions. 

Most programs combine lectures, discussions, and quizzes as part of the academic coursework and laboratory and field activities. Students may even be involved in projects related to habitat manipulation in diverse environments, such as ocean fisheries and salmon streams. 

Programs last for two years with a full-time course load, including an internship period. Students can shorten the duration by requesting for transfer of credits and enrolling during the summer term. The courses include: 

  • Ichthyology
  • Dendrology
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Habitat and wildlife maintenance 
  • Wildlife policy and laws 
  • Use of equipment 

Students learn about possible food solutions in fisheries and best practices in aquaculture, too. Indeed, food sustainability is among the commendable goals that students take on during their studies. 

Tacoma Community College

Associate of Science – Specialization in Environmental Sciences or Specialization in Biology

6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, Washington 98466
(253) 566-5000

TCC offers well-designed courses covering the freshman and sophomore years of a bachelor’s degree program in aquatic and fisheries sciences. But the associate degree can stand on its own, too, since it’s a recognized credential for entry-level jobs in the fisheries and aquaculture industries. 

Students learn the value and best practices in sustaining healthy fish habitats in salty and freshwater environments. Many of the courses also shine the spotlight on the adverse effects of human activities on aquatic ecosystems. It isn’t all doom and gloom as students also learn the best ways to prevent and reverse their effects. 

With their intensive training, students are well-prepared to take on roles in entry-level jobs. These include salmon hatchery technicians, marine biologist assistants, and fisheries technicians. Students can also choose their specialization, either Biology or Environmental Science. 

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Why choose this online school_

You will gain an excellent education in fisheries, but your mind will also be enlightened about its issues and possible solutions. You may even be able to come up with creative solutions to persistent issues! 

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University of Alaska – Southeast

AAS in Fisheries Technology

11066 Auke Lake Way, Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 747-7717

This AAS in Fisheries Technology degree can be translated into a four-year degree with the UAS School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The 60-degree program combines general education courses and core courses, including: 

  • Fundamentals of Fisheries Oceanography
  • Introduction to Limnology
  • Fundamentals of Fisheries Biology
  • Fisheries Management Techniques

Due to the applied science aspect, students must engage in an internship program and laboratory activities in fisheries management. The program’s emphasis is on students gaining comprehensive educational and practical skillset in fisheries technology. At its culmination, students have the skillset to apply for entry-level jobs in the State Department of Fish and Game, US Fish and Wildlife, and private fisheries companies. 

Career opportunities include fisheries technician, culturist, and surveyor. Many also go on to careers as fisheries management assistants, hatchery technicians, and habitat restoration technicians. 

Accreditation: NWCCU

Why choose this online school_

Your training will include collaborations with faculty and students from diverse backgrounds but with a shared passion for fisheries. UAS maintains collaborative research partnerships with other organizations, such as the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit. 

General Studies

The associate in general studies degree is suitable for individuals with plans of pursuing higher studies but have yet to determine their specific field of study. Also known as liberal studies, it covers general education courses that strengthen the individual’s communication, critical thinking, and analytical thinking skills. These are valuable skills in pursuing advanced studies in all fields of study, from accounting to zoology. 

There are many occupations that an associate in general studies degree is recognized for its value. Holders can enter occupations related to social work, business, and even politics and pursue bachelor’s degrees. The latter can be as diverse as psychology, sociology, social work, biology, business, and education. 

Ivy Tech Community College

Associate of General Studies

9301 East 59th Street Indianapolis IN 46216
(317) 921-4413

The 60-credit curriculum of Ivy Tech’s Associate of General Studies can be completed in just 11 months! While it’s designed as a four-semester program, its duration can be shortened through the transfer of credits. Candidates must coordinate with an admissions officer and academic advisor for this purpose. 

For a community college, its curriculum for associate degrees is known for its rigor and high expectations. Students must apply themselves to their studies, especially when on the accelerated format. The coursework covers a comprehensive range of topics, including math, biology, art, chemistry, public speaking, and psychology. 

Accreditation: HLC

Why choose this online school_

You have the opportunity to customize your education that, in turn, means establishing your foundational skillset for whatever specific career you’re aspiring for. You may discuss your options, particularly in elective courses, with an academic advisor. 

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Arkansas State University

Associate of General Studies

2105 East, Aggie Rd, Jonesboro, AR 72401, United States
(866) 621-8096

The 100% online Associate of General Studies program at ASU prepares students for careers in several fields, such as business and education and higher studies. Critical thinking, analytical thinking, and communication skills are marketable skills that are developed in the program. 

This is a 60-credit program consists of 25 credits of general education courses and 35 credits of electives. Cutting short the amount of time spent in the program is possible through ASU’s transfer of credits policy. Candidates must discuss the number of credits that can be transferred during the admission process. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_


The multiple start dates and 7-week courses also contribute to the program’s accelerated format. You will get top-notch education from a highly respected university in the country, too. 

Health Information Technology

Aspiring health information technologists are well-advised to pursue an associate degree to qualify for entry-level jobs. Students learn about electronic medical records and coding, as well as the pertinent healthcare industry standards. Take note that health information technology combines science and technology with privacy laws and hands-on patient care. 

Graduates may or may not choose professional certification, but most employers prefer it. The professional certification is proof of proficiency in health information technology standards, thus, the preference. 

Most programs have a two-year completion rate, but accelerated programs with a favorable transfer of credits policy can cut the time in half. Online academic coursework is typically combined with an on-site internship in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or clinic. The curriculum includes general education courses, core courses, and electives like: 

  • Introduction to Health Information Management
  • Healthcare Information Technologies (HIT) 
  • HIT Medical Terminology
  • HIT Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Medical and Procedural Coding

Health information technologists earn between $42,630 and $51,000 per year, on average. Other titles include medical billers, medical coders, and medical records clerks. 

Fremont College

AS in Health Information Technology

18000 Studebaker Rd, 900A, Cerritos, CA 90703
(800) 373-6668

Fremont’s AS in Health Information Technology program appeals to individuals interested in a fast path toward a rewarding career. Full-time students can complete it in just 15 months! But the quality of instruction isn’t compromised by the quick completion time as students learn in-demand skills. 

Students learn the HIT skillsets through a combination of academic work and hands-on training in several areas, including: 

  • Medical insurance and billing 
  • Medical terminology and procedural codes 
  • Disease classification 
  • Electronic health records and technologies used 
  • Healthcare law and ethics 

The graduation requirements include a capstone project. Upon graduation, the degree holders will qualify for entry-level jobs as health information technologists and other related occupations. 

Accreditation: ACCSC

Why choose this online school_

Your time in the program will be marked by personalized mentorship from the admission process to the graduation process. You will be provided with guidance about the curriculum, including course details and sequence. 

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DeVry University

Associate in Health Information Technology

1400 Crystal Dr., STE. 120, Arlington, VA 22202
(866) 338.7955

If you have qualifying transfer credits, you may earn the Associate in Health Information Technology degree in just 15 months! This is a five-month reduction in the two-year program, and it’s convenient for adult learners and working professionals. 

The program has programmatic accreditation from CAHIIM, additional proof of its excellent quality of instruction. Students also benefit from its intensive coursework preparation for the RHIT certification exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The associate degree can be treated as a standalone credential or a stepping stone toward a related bachelor’s degree. 

The courses include: 

  • Introduction to Health Services and Information Systems
  • Basic Medical Terminology
  • Health Information Processes with Lab

Students must complete a practicum component for graduation purposes. 

Accreditation: HLC and Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) 

Why choose this online school_

You will not only receive exceptional HIT education with the opportunity to become an RHIT, but you will also receive helpful support from career services. Becoming gainfully employed is in your near future! 

Human Resources

Associate degrees in the human resources field can choose between a standalone AA or AS in Human Resources or an AA or AS in Business Management with a Human Resources concentration. Either way, students explore wide-ranging topics in organizational behavior, human resources management, and employee recruitment. As with all associate programs, general education courses characterize the freshman year. 

Depending on the program, students may have concentration options. If there are options, we advise choosing one as it’s an effective way of standing above the competition with their generalized education. Furthermore, students must develop their soft skills and technical skills since these have equal importance in the workplace. 

As such, the coursework includes classes in communication skills and ethics. Students learn about mediation and negotiation between employees and management, too. 

Bryant & Stratton College

Human Resources Specialist Associate

110 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 884-9120

The online Human Resources Specialist Associate program has the same curriculum, outcomes, and instructors as its on-campus counterpart. Students then receive ample support and guidance from their instructors and administrative staff, instrumental in their academic success. But online students have the added benefit of convenience and flexibility that characterize online programs. 

The core courses include: 

  • Accounting Principles 
  • Business Principles
  • Introduction to Human Resources
  • Organizational Behavior and Leadership
  • Recruitment, Selection, and Staffing
  • Employment Law and Labor Relations

Aside from academics, students must complete a capstone project under the guidance of academic advisors. Learning outcomes include the ability to discuss human resource issues and possible solutions. 

Accreditation: MSCHE 

Why choose this online school_

Your education will establish the foundation of your success as a human resource specialist. You will have a basic understanding of human resources on the local, state, and national levels, particularly concerning employment rules and regulations. 

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Davenport University

Human Resources Associate

6191 Kraft Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
(800) 686-1600

The 61-credit Human Resources Associate program can be completed in two years, but it can be shortened with the transfer of credits. The latter typically covers general education-related credits earned from prior education. The 18 credits for major courses, however, must be completed at Davenport, and these include: 

  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Law Foundations
  • Training for Organizations
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Corporate Finance

Students gain a deeper appreciation for the strategic roles they will play as human resources specialists in business organizations. Take note that online classes are delivered via the Real-Time Virtual (RTV) format; a hybrid format is also available. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_

With small class sizes (15:1), your education will be marked by personalized attention and mentorship – but it isn’t spoon-fed education either! This is a demanding program that encourages its students to see it as a preparation for a demanding career and higher education. 

Human Services

As a discipline, Human Services addresses human needs by applying a multidisciplinary knowledge base that focuses on preventing and remediating human issues. Its main objective is to improve the overall quality of life for the cohorts being served, and, as such, it’s among the most popular degrees for people who want to make a positive difference. 

The typical associate in the human services program involves 60 credits and a completion time of two years. But most programs accept earned credits from prior institutions for transfer purposes. These programs cover the basics of counseling, psychology, and social work and develop empathy, communication skills, and quick thinking among students. 

While it’s fairly rare at the associate level, there are concentration options like community programming, counseling, and chemical dependency. These concentrations can be useful for students seeking admission into advanced training and as a way to stand out from the competition. 

Career opportunities include social services assistant, mental health support worker, and youth and adult worker. 

Minot State University

AS in Human Services Major in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

500 University Avenue West – Minot, ND 58707
(800) 777-0750

Earning this associate degree from Minot is the first step toward providing direct professional support to individuals with developmental disabilities. This is a ladderized program that starts with a certificate followed by an associate, a bachelor’s, and a master’s degree in the university. The associate degree is a standalone degree that will open opportunities for entry-level work in human services, but higher education is necessary for advanced career opportunities. 

The beauty of a ladderized program is the opportunity to learn while you earn. Your employer may have a favorable attitude toward higher education and support your education journey in this program. 

This is also a flexible and convenient program due to its asynchronous format. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_

Minot State has a 30-year history as the breeding ground for the state’s best human service professionals. Plus, if a community-based I/DD service agency employs you, you may be able to avail of reduced fees on 100-200 level I/DD courses. 

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Great Basin College

AAS in Human Services

1500 College Parkway, Elko, Nevada 89801
(775) 738-8493

The 61-credit AAS in Human Services program has a four-semester format, but its duration can also be shortened with transferable credits and a full-time load. There are no prerequisites to the entry-level human services courses, and classes can be started at any time except for the practicum courses. Students must complete a human services seminar and a two-part practicum to be considered eligible for graduation. 

Interactive videos are the norm for online classes, while an independent study is allowed, albeit on a case-to-case basis. Students undertake a rigorous curriculum that combines theory and applications in real-life situations. There’s an emphasis on practical skills that result in effective and ethical client interactions, too. 

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities or NWCCU

Why choose this online school_

You can earn your associate degree while also earning a Certificate of Achievement in Human Services and another one called the Certificate of Achievement in Substance Abuse Counselor Training. Talk about hitting three birds with one stone! 

Logistics

There are several names that an associate in logistics degree can be called, such as logistics management, logistics, and operations management, and supply chain management. While there may be slight differences, these associate degrees establish the foundational knowledge and skills in logistics. The coursework enables students to work in the transportation, materials management, and warehousing sectors. 

Most programs have a more practical approach due to the nature of the work. While online academic coursework is present, students engage in more hands-on instruction through on-campus training and internship. The courses include: 

  • Basic principles of logistics and supply chain management 
  • Transportation management 
  • Inventory control 
  • Computerized logistics 
  • Contracts and claims 

Students also develop their communication and problem-solving skills since these are essential in dealing with clients and cargos. 

Arkansas Tech University

AAS in Logistic Management

1700 Helberg Lane, Ozark, AR 72949
(479) 667-2117


Arkansas Tech’s AAS in Logistic Management consists of a series of courses designed to prepare students for successful transportation, supply management, and logistics careers. Students learn from a comprehensive curriculum that includes courses on: 

  • Business management and project management 
  • Economics of supply and demand 
  • Data management and computer fundamentals 
  • Creation and management of local and global supply chains 

Students can demonstrate their understanding of logistics from these courses, including its tools and technologies, develop their soft skills, and be prepared for success. The program has a 150-hour internship requirement. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_

You will be following in the successful footsteps of alumni who have become effective transportation coordinators, procurement and supply coordinators, and warehouse and inventory specialists. Alumni have also worked in many of Arkansas’ largest companies like Dancor Transit, USA Trucks, and ArcBest. 

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Colorado Christian University

AS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

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

The 60-hour AS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management program is designed for completion in less than two years. This is even when you don’t have prior college coursework. But its duration can also be cut short by applying for transfer of technical and military credits. 

While the program establishes the foundational skillset for a career in logistics and supply chain management, it has three specific focus: 

  • Purchasing and inbound logistics 
  • Operations 
  • Transportation management 

Take note, too, that students get a Christ-centered education that will enable them to make a positive difference in the workplace through Christian values. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_


You won’t have your hands full with academics since the courses are taken one at a time for five-week blocks. This is a convenient feature when you’re an adult learner or a working adult. 

Mathematics

Individuals with a knack for math and who plan on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the future may want to consider an associate degree first. This way, a solid foundation in the concepts and theories of math can be gained first before advancing to higher studies. Besides, an associate degree in math can lead to employment opportunities in economics, business and finance, and engineering. 

Job opportunities include entry-level claims adjusters, financial clerks, and actuaries; most employers look for a bachelor’s degree in math for career advancement, however. Many associate degree holders also pursue higher education in math and related fields, and they are more likely to be successful because of their prior education. 

Liberty University

AS in STEM- Mathematics

1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24515
(800) 424-9595

Liberty’s AS in STEM – Mathematics program features a 100% curriculum with 8-week courses that can be completed in two years. But candidates with prior credits can transfer eligible credits for up to 75% of the degree total. Just imagine earning the degree in a fraction of the time! 

Of course, Liberty University is among the country’s topmost online universities and, thus, its associate program is an excellent training ground for aspiring mathematicians. But it isn’t just math that the program focuses on – its students also gain a foundational understanding of advanced science, technology, and engineering concepts. 

With math as its concentration, the courses include: 

  •  Introduction to Computing Sciences
  • Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • Introduction to Discrete Mathematics
  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

The university is recognized for outstanding academic quality, accessibility, and affordability, which adult learners and fresh high school graduates can appreciate. It’s one of the best online universities in the country, and it’s the #1 reason for enrolling in its program. 

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Front Range Community College

AS in Mathematics

3645 W. 112th Ave. Westminster, CO 80031
(303) 404-5513

The beauty of the AS in Mathematics program at the Front Range is that it’s a useful degree for aspiring statisticians, engineers, and economists, among other occupations. Don’t dismiss it as “just an associate degree from a community college” because it’s as rigorous as a bachelor’s degree program! Indeed, completion of the program means earning credits for the first two years of college. 

Students who complete the program can enter as juniors with bachelor’s degrees in math programs like the University of Colorado, Fort Lewis College, and Colorado State University. They also can learn and earn via a paid internship program, the Geo-Launchpad, during the summer term. This is an 11-week program, from mid-May to early August, at UNAVCO in Boulder, Colorado. 

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_


All the faculty members have either a master’s or a doctorate, which translates to a world-class education. The average class size, 17:1, also means more attention and guidance from the faculty. 

Mechanical Engineering Technology

We want to emphasize that associates in mechanical engineering technology programs have a hybrid format. The field requires plenty of on-campus hands-on experiences and lab activities, thus, blended learning. Most of the academic coursework, however, is conducted online. 

The most common career track for graduates is mechanical engineering technicians, but the degree can also be applied in other engineering-related professions. The coursework includes general education courses, such as math, English, and humanities, as well as core sources like: 

  • Computer-aided drafting (AutoCAD) 
  • Manufacturing materials and processes 
  • Physics 

Graduates can choose to plunge into the workforce as mechanical engineering technicians or pursue a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering program. The average salary for the former is $65,000 per year.  

University of Massachusetts Lowell

AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology

839 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01854
(978) 934-2474

The AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology program at UMass Lowell is as competitive as you would imagine it to be, but the rewards are worth the effort. Students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA, complete 68 semester hours, and fulfill on-campus residency requirements to be eligible for graduation. 

Students acquire a robust foundation in the theories and applications of mechanical engineering that, in turn, results in marketable skills. Such is the extensive training that they can provide support engineering activities across diverse areas. Their skillset includes the design, testing, operations, and maintenance of mechanical systems. 

Accreditation: NECHE 

Why choose this online school_

You have the opportunity not only to pursue a career as a mechanical engineering technician but also to pursue higher education, whether it’s a bachelor’s degree or a Certificate Program in Manufacturing Technology. 

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ECPI University

AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology

5555 Greenwich Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(844) 334-4466

Students of the AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology program at ECPIU become effective problem solvers, a skill that can serve them well in future jobs. These include mechanical engineering technicians and engineering support providers, which are usually part of a team. Graduates can apply for entry-level positions in manufacturing and construction companies, among other career opportunities, 

Yet another great thing about it is that it can be completed in 1.5 years! Students should talk to the academic advisors about this aspect during the admission process. The coursework includes: 

  • Computer-aided engineering graphics and analysis
  • Material science and manufacturing processing
  • Electro-mechanical devices and controls

Accreditation: SACSCOC 

Why choose this online school_

You will acquire the skillset to make you the best in your field, whether you become a mechanical engineering technician, a manufacturing technician, or a plant maintenance technician. Your practical skills are the best marketable skills you can possess.  

Missions and Ministries

An associate degree in missions and ministries prepares students for careers in the church, such as a director of youth ministry or minister of a fledgling church. Many graduates also pursue careers in relief organizations, such as coordinators and assistants. Many also pursue higher education since the associate curriculum establishes a good foundation. 

Take note that this associate degree doesn’t usually result in ordination. Every church organization also has its rules about employment, so it’s best to check whether it’s aligned with your professional goals. 

University of the Cumberlands

Associate In Ministry and Missions

6178 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, KY 40769
(877) 713-8767

Biblical history, theology, and literature are the focus of the Associate in Ministry and Missions program. The dynamic curriculum encourages students to look at these topics from a contemporary perspective, and the practical skills gained can be applied in modern situations. Indeed, there’s nothing old-fashioned and static about the program! 

Think of the associate degree as your ticket to entry-level jobs with excellent career advancement opportunities. Potential occupations include worship minister, children’s minister, and professional missionary. But it won’t result in ordination in any established church, a factor that candidates must consider.  

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

This program is the perfect fit for individuals who want to follow their calling in spreading the Gospel and strengthening the faith of others. The 100% online curriculum is also a flexible and convenient format for most people. 

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Bethany Global University

AA in Intercultural Ministry

6820 Auto Club Road Suite C, Bloomington, MN 55438
(952) 829-2403

BGU’s AA in Intercultural Ministry is a popular degree in a university with an excellent track record for training missionaries from around the country. The curriculum is equivalent, if not the same format, as the freshman year in the Bachelor of Intercultural Ministry program. The courses include biblical and theological studies, missions and ministry, and personal spiritual development. 

Students must balance their academic coursework with the eight-week intercultural practical during their sophomore year. The practicum is designed to equip them with practical skills and exposure to real-life situations of ministry. 

Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)

Why choose this online school_


If you want the intense experience of a college learning experience with work integration, go for this program! BGU is one of only nine work colleges in the country. 

Fastest Online Associate's fact 5

 Nursing

Of course, there are accelerated online associate in nursing degree programs! But these can be rigorous because you’re cramming more courses in a term than the typical course load. But you will also be getting into the nursing profession faster than the typical student. 

Since nursing is a healthcare profession, students in the first ladder must comply with academic requirements, clinical rotations, and lab work. Associate in nursing programs isn’t 100% online since on-campus activities and internships are a must for graduation. 

The admission process can be competitive with students evaluated based on their GPA, completion of prerequisites in English, math, and biology, and work ethic. The curriculum is just as challenging as courses in anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, to name a few. 

Upon graduation, you must sit for NCLEX-RN or the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and meet other state-level requirements to become registered nurses. 

Excelsior College

AS in Nursing

7 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-5159
(888) 647-2388

The 66-credit AS in Nursing program can be completed in two years or four semesters. But the program accepts up to 31 credits from prior schooling, thus, reducing the time spent on the program. Note that only the median number of transferable credits accepted is 22, but you can aim for more credits. 

Students progress at their own pace with the eight-week courses delivered 100% online. Access to the learning materials, including webinars and tutorials, is guaranteed, as is the support from the faculty and academic advisors. Courses include: 

  • Foundations in Nursing Practice
  • Essentials of Nursing Care: Health Differences
  • Essentials of Nursing Care: Health Safety
  • Reproductive Health

Since it’s a competency-based program, students must demonstrate their competencies in diverse areas of nursing. Commitment to academic excellence combined with proficient practical skills and work ethic are a must for success.

Accreditation: MSCHE and New York State (NYS) Board of Regents

Why choose this online school_

Aside from the exceptional education in nursing, Excelsior also provides its graduates with free NCLEX-RN exam preparation. The college also has an impressive pass rate in the certification exam. 

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Northwestern Michigan College

Nursing, Associate Degree (ADN)

1701 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI
(231) 995-1000

The 70-credit hybrid ADN program covers mental health nursing, advanced maternal child nursing, and nursing management, among others. This is designed for full-time students who can attend on-campus lab and clinical courses, usually for 2-3 days per week. The rest of the academic classes are conducted online. 

NMC will ensure that online courses are available to full-time students until they have completed the program, provided that the full-time model schedule is adopted. Online students who change their full-time status or whose studies fall out of the recommended sequence will be moved into the on-campus program. 

Accreditation: HLC and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Why choose this online school_

The rigorous curriculum prepares students to hurdle the NCLEX-RN and thrive in the pressure cooker environment of healthcare jobs. The college has established a reputation for being the home of the best registered nurses in the larger community.  

Occupational Health and Safety

The associate in occupational health and safety degree equips students with the skillset to ensure workers’ safety, health, and welfare in the workplace. Graduates are prepared for paraprofessional roles in this capacity. 

The curriculum covers several disciplines, including ergonomics, occupational health and safety management, and workplace laws. Aside from creating a safe and healthy workplace, practitioners also ensure the health and safety of the general public that will be affected by the workplace.

The degree can prove useful in applying for entry-level jobs in diverse industries. Career opportunities abound in the construction, manufacturing, healthcare, mining and oil and gas extraction, and services industries. 

Columbia Southern University

AS Occupational Safety and Health

21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36561
(251) 981-3771

Established in 1993, the occupational safety and health degree programs at CSU continue to be recognized as the gold standard for the field in Alabama. The faculty members have academic credentials and field experience, and many of them have national recognition for their work. 

Students tackle numerous subjects, including: 

  • Principles: Fire and Emergency Services Safety and Survival
  • Introduction to Workplace Safety
  • Introduction to Regulatory Compliance
  • Hazardous Materials Safety

This is a 60-credit program, but candidates can request a transfer of up to 45 credits. 

Accreditation: DEAC 

Why choose this online school_


You will appreciate the relevant, flexible, and rigorous curriculum as preparation for the demanding yet fulfilling job in occupational health and safety. 

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Carl Albert State College

AAS in Occupational Health & Safety

1507 S. McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953
(918) 647-1200

Students in the AAS in Occupational Health and Safety program complete a total of 62-63 credits but can request for transfer of credits. The minimum admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, standardized test scores, and official high school transcripts. Candidates must also pass an admission test to be considered eligible.  

The comprehensive curriculum is just as challenging as the admission requirements to meet, too. The courses include: 

  • Principles of Management
  • Introduction to Safety and Health
  • Introduction to Fire Science
  • OSHA: Construction Industry and Safety Regulations
  • Legal Aspects and Environmental Regulations

Accreditation: HLC 

Why choose this online school_

You have the choice between getting into an entry-level job or pursuing higher education at prestigious institutions such as the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and Columbia Southern University. In either case, you have the academic credential and the skillset that comes with it. 

Physical Education

Most Associate’s in Physical Education programs have a hybrid format since students must engage in face-to-face, on-campus activities. But the general education courses are completed online. There are still the benefits of flexibility and convenience! Many programs have physical admission requirements, too, in that candidates must undergo a series of physical tests like running, swimming, and aerobics. 

Students learn a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical skills that translate into coaching, refereeing, and teaching skills. The coursework also emphasizes safe and effective management of the exercise environment. The courses include weight management, strength training, and pool management. 

Note: You may also look into an associate degree in kinesiology, a related field, except it emphasizes the science of movement and exercise. 

Essex County College

AS in Physical Education

303 University Ave, Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 877-3250

Students who don’t need to take developmental coursework and enroll in the summer terms can shorten the typical two-year duration. Be sure to check with the admission staff if you have to take development courses in English, reading, and math before enrolling in the core courses. 

The major courses include: 

  • Healthful Living 
  • Introduction to Physical Education 
  • First Aid and Safety 
  • Concepts in Physical Education 

Students also choose from PE electives. Upon completing the program, the associate degree holders can apply for entry-level jobs in schools and other organizations in PE-related positions. 

Accreditation: MSCHE

Why choose this online school_


There are plenty of well-paying jobs available, including recreation assistant, personal trainer, gym assistant, even a teaching assistant for PE classes. 

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SUNY Erie Community College

AS in Physical Education Studies

121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-1322

The AS in Physical Education Studies has a 50-50 split between online coursework and on-campus activities, which is common in PE programs. Students acquire a solid foundation that enables them to take various roles as PE teachers, personal trainers, and gym managers in the future. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree with the earned credits is also a recommended path. 

The courses have been designed with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Standards for Pre-Service Physical Education Teachers. This means that students benefit from a top-notch education recognized by colleges and universities across the country. 

Accreditation: MSCHE 

Why choose this online school_

The faculty members on the online and on-campus programs are the same, and there’s no difference in the instruction provided. You can learn at your own pace and based on your commitments. 

Public Health

Individuals interested in careers as health coaches, patient service coordinators, and public health community outreach workers should consider an associate in the public health degree. Beyond an associate degree, it can also be used to step toward a bachelor’s degree in public health or related fields. These include epidemiology, community health, environmental health, and health administration and health education. 

An even split between general education courses and core courses is likely, and it can be advantageous if you’re looking for a generalist education. But there are also programs with a greater leaning toward public health or that offer sub-concentrations. Most, if not all, programs have a 60-credit curriculum that may or may not include an internship component. 

Major courses include: 

  • Biology 
  • Biomedical ethics
  • Medical terminology
  • Emerging issues in public health
  • Health education promotion
  • Global health
  • Personal and community health behavior

AA and AS degrees are best for students who want to pursue higher education at a future time. AAS degrees are more suitable for students who want to gain immediate employment. 

Point University

AA in Public Health

507 West 10th Street, West Point, GA 31833
(706) 993-9559

The asynchronous AA in Public Health program has a 60-credit curriculum, but up to 30 credits can be transferred. This means eligible students can cut their degree time by half, and it’s among the fastest of its kind. Point University has a Christ-centered approach to its degree programs, so students are prepared for leadership roles and professional excellence. 

There are no set log-in times so that students can study the learning materials at their convenience. The completion time will then vary depending on the student’s course load per semester. Aside from the Christ-centered perspective, the program has a solid footing in the liberal arts. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Why choose this online school_

Asynchronous learning, faith-based coursework, and mentorship support are a few reasons for enrolling in the program. Throw in quality instruction and small class sizes, and you have more reasons. 

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Northampton Community College

AAS in Public Health

3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18020
(610) 861-5300

Students in the AAS in Public Health program aren’t just getting quality instruction but, more importantly, learn to save lives, promote public health, and educate people. This is a 100% online program that can be completed in two years or less, depending on your enrollment status and course load. 

All courses are led and facilitated by credentialed instructors. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions and interact with their fellow learners. Freshmen students study public health and biology while sophomores get first-hand field experience, and their capstone course strengthens their practical skills. 

Accreditation: MSCHE

Why choose this online school_


Outstanding, comprehensive, and accessible education is the main benefit of NCC training in public health. Innovation is also a hallmark of its success in education. 

Respiratory Therapy

Like all healthcare-related occupations, associate in respiratory therapy programs have a hybrid format that combines online coursework and in-person sessions. The latter aspect involves clinical rotations, hands-on lab activities, and classroom coursework that couldn’t be conducted online. 

Admissions requirements can be lengthy and challenging. These include a high school diploma with a minimum GPA, certification of CPR completion, and proof of completion of prerequisite courses. 

The skills required of professional respiratory therapists include patient evaluation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and comprehensive patient care. These are learned in courses like respiratory care, critical care, and pathology, which are science-heavy subjects that demand study time. 

Seminole State College of Florida

AS in Respiratory Care

100 Weldon Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773
(407) 404-6196

The AS in Respiratory Care program prepares students for the certification exam to become Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT). The broad range of topics includes basic sciences and English skills and advanced courses in critical care medicine and cardiopulmonary physiology. 

Students are evaluated based on programmatic outcomes that measure the achievement rate concerning the programmatic goals. Known as an outcomes-based process, it’s a rigorous measurement that contributes to the program’s overall success. 

The 76-credit program is a limited-access program that challenges the students’ commitment to the field of respiratory care. 

Accreditation: SACSCOC and Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) 

Why choose this online school_

Small class sizes, affordable tuition, and a seamless transition into a bachelor’s degree program are the top reasons students apply. The majority of graduates also find gainful employment soon after program completion. 

Fastest Online Associate Degrees - Divider

Southeast Community College 

AAS in Respiratory Care

8800 O St., Lincoln, NE 68520
(402) 471-3333 

This is a 52.5-credit hours program designed for completion in four semesters, although an accelerated format can be discussed with academic advisors. Fall and spring terms are the start dates. 

The coursework includes a blend of basic and advanced courses, too, including: 

  • Respiratory Care Principles
  • Respiratory Anatomy & Physiology
  • Respiratory Pharmacology and Pathology
  • Critical Care Management

Students must also complete an exam review as part of the graduation requirements. 

Accreditation: HLC and CoARC

Why choose this online school_


You have the choice between full-time and part-time online format. The exam review course is ample preparation for passing the certification exam. 

Fastest Online Associate's fact 4