Accredited Online Associate Degrees

An associate degree can help you jumpstart your career. Here, we outline the benefits of earning an associate degree online.

March 29, 2022 • 2 Min Read

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Associate Degree Program

Online associate degrees prepare learners for careers or bachelor's-completion programs. Junior and community colleges offer these degrees in many subjects. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Incoming students also take placement tests. The results determine learners' first English and math courses.

Learners pursuing an associate degree online complete general education and major courses. Some associate degree online programs require practicums or other in-person experiences. Graduates can explore several careers, including HVAC mechanic and paralegal. These and other jobs pay more than the median U.S. salary.

This page covers online associate degrees, including costs and degree options.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Associate Degrees

Can I get an associate degree online?

Yes. Many colleges offer fully online associate degrees. However, some online programs require in-person labs or internships.

What is the fastest way to get an associate degree online?

Prospective students can speed up their graduation timelines by taking Advanced Placement courses in high school. Learners can apply these credits toward their associate programs. Learners with work experience can explore programs that award work credits.

What are the different types of associate degrees?

Some associate programs prepare learners for bachelor's-completion programs. Others feature career-aligned curricula.

Featured Online Associate Degree Programs

Why Get an Associate Degree?

Earning an associate degree can help graduates increase their salary potential. As of summer 2020, associate degree holders earn a median annual salary of $46,120. College graduates also benefit from a much lower unemployment rate than high school graduates. Associate degree holders may qualify for more jobs than professionals without a degree. They can also earn a bachelor's degree sooner.

Many online undergraduate degrees use asynchronous curricula. Learners do not attend classes at set times. Instead, they schedule coursework around other responsibilities. Top schools also provide online students with the same career and academic resources as campus enrollees.

How Much Does an Associate Degree Cost?

In 2020, students pursuing associate degrees from public schools paid an average of $3,570 annually. Learners attending private schools paid $14,590. Online learners lower their overall expenses by not paying for campus housing or meal plans.

Students with financial need should focus on public schools. They should also complete the FAFSA, which determines learners' eligibility for federal grants and loans. Many schools use FAFSA results when determining financial aid.

Additional Online Student Fees

Earning online associate degrees can help students save money. Online enrollees do not need to commute to campus and can often continue working while earning their degrees. However, online learners should budget for other expenses like books and course materials. Some schools charge graduation and technology fees.

Students earning an associate degree online should check their school's technology requirements. They may need to buy a new computer or updated software. Learners can save money on these expenses by shopping at companies that offer student discounts. Graduates earning professional certification should factor in application and exam costs.

Featured Online Associate Programs in Business

Available Online Associate Degrees

Online associate degrees require about 60 credits. Coursework emphasizes transferable skills and the major curriculum. Many programs feature electives. Academic and career advisors can help enrollees choose the right courses. Some learners complete comprehensive projects in their final semester.

See below for some online associate degrees students can use to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college. Keep in mind that required courses and graduate outcomes differ among schools. Learners can check with their prospective schools for more information.

  • Administrative Assistant

    This degree qualifies graduates for entry-level administrative assistant positions. Enrollees develop practical math and communication skills. Coursework covers human relations in organizations. Learners also study project management and office procedures. Electives allow students to specialize in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Office. Similar courses train students in the latest office technology.
  • Agriculture Business

    This degree prepares learners for careers in the food industry or agribusiness sector. The core curriculum requires soil and plant nutrition courses and agricultural computer applications. Enrollees also study agriculture business and management. Students intending to transfer take additional courses in financial and managerial accounting. Coursework helps learners develop business management skills.
  • Computer Science

    This program features coursework in calculus, programming concepts and methodologies, and discrete mathematics. Electives include classical mechanics for scientists and electricity and magnetism for engineers. Coursework helps prepare students for bachelor's programs or the workforce.

Accredited Online Associate Degrees
  1. Georgia State University-Perimeter College
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $2181

    From business administration to film and media studies to sports management, Georgia State University's Perimeter College is host to 13 online associate degree programs. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Perimeter College's programs follow the on-campus semester schedule. Students earning their 2-year degree can easily transfer to Georgia State University for work toward a bachelor's degree. Curriculum is implemented through the web platform iCollege, and a semi-structured format requires students to check in often, stay engaged with discussion forums and meet assignment deadlines. The Student Toolkit can assist in students in their studies by providing a large number of supports, including career, health, disability and mental wellness services, as well as access to math, writing and science centers. Although online students will be required to pay a technology and institutional fee, online studies avoid a number of other costs associated with residential learning. On top of this, the school awards a variety of need-based, merit-based and service-based scholarships.

  2. Lone Star College System
    Location

    The Woodlands, TX

    Tuition

    $2736

    For students seeking to complete their education in a fully online format, Lone Star College has 15 associate degree options in subjects such as teaching, accounting, business administration and computer programming. All coursework is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and students generally complete their required 60 credit hours in 2 years or less. Due to the school's open-enrollment policy, the majority of prospective students are accepted following the application process. Upon admission, there are a number of resources to support each student's educational experience, including field-specific scholarships and access to the Virtual Learning Assistance Center, which provides academic advising, technical support and tutoring. Students will also be provided with a free guidebook, 5 Tips for Successful Online Learning. If a student is unsure about taking an online class, they can access the school's SmarterMeasure assessment to determine if distance education is going to be the right fit.

  3. Hutchinson Community College
    Location

    Hutchinson, KS

    Tuition

    $2688

    The online student checklist at Hutchinson Community College makes it easy for students to get started on their distance education journey. Prospective students will be linked to a virtual campus tour, admissions application, scholarship and financial aid information, and placement testing. Fully online programs, which are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, lead to an associate degree in science, the arts or applied science. Additional online courses can be used to earn certificates or to supplement desired specializations. Though online students are learning from afar, instructors at HCC provide one-on-one communication as well as assist in navigating the web platform Canvas. Most programs take 2 years to complete and require 64-77 credit hours to graduate. Flexible start dates and semi-structured courses, however, allow students to build a schedule that meets their needs. Access to the school library, bookstore, academic advising and technical support are additional resources available to assist in online studies.

  4. San Joaquin Delta College
    Location

    Stockton, CA

    Tuition

    $1104

    Anthropology, art, chemistry, horticulture, Italian and psychology are just a handful of courses that are available in an online format at San Joaquin Delta College. Credit hours can be used toward a number of 2-year associate degrees that are available on campus or for transfer to another higher learning institution. Onsite instructors deliver all curriculums, which are accredited by the Commission for Community and Junior Colleges/Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Students will access the web platform Canvas in order to view lectures, work on assignments and engage in discussion forums. For assistance in online classes, students can utilize academic advising, an online library and bookstore, as well as counseling services. The Career Transfer Center and Workforce Development Center aim to make each student's transition into the workforce successful and effective. To cut down on the cost of tuition, there are scholarship and aid opportunities for economically disadvantaged students, those in the health professions, veterans and California residents.

  5. Garden City Community College
    Location

    Garden City, KS

    Tuition

    $1824

    Garden City Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, provides a number of opportunities for students who need to earn a degree from afar. Distance learners can earn an associate degree in science, the arts or general studies as well as choose from additional online course offerings to supplement their interests or areas of specialization. Sixty-four credit hours are required for graduation, and 16 of them must be from Garden City. Although the school is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, prospective students should be sure to check with an online advisor to ensure that their degree program is recognized in their state of residency. Semi-structured classes are conducted through the platform Canvas, and students are encouraged to reach out to their instructor or Canvas administrator for technical questions. The Online Campus webpage links distance education students to an array of free utilities and programs, including an application for creating PDF files, Microsoft Office compatibility packs, media players and photo editing software.

  6. Central Texas College
    Location

    Killeen, TX

    Tuition

    $2940

    Over 25 associate degrees at Central Texas College can be completed 100% online. Programs prepare students to transfer an average of 60 credits to a 4-year university or enter the workforce in the fields of business, education, human services, technology and health care. Courses have multiple start dates throughout the year and last for either 4 or 8 weeks. Certain classes are completely self-paced, while others are more structured and require students to meet specific deadlines. On the school's distance education webpage, students can demo a Blackboard Learn course as well as take a quiz to assess for online readiness. The CTC Distant Learner Handbook highlights important information for accessing curriculum as well as outlines the resources available to support students in their studies. These resources include math and writing tutoring, disability and veteran support services, and academic advising. All degree programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
    Location

    Perkinston, MS

    Tuition

    $2800

    Students have the option to enroll in 1 of 12 fully online associate degree programs at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Subjects range from American studies to business education to elementary education. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits coursework at MGCCC, which is delivered in both structured and self-paced formats through the online platform Canvas. Semesters run for 4, 8 or 15 weeks, allowing students to further tailor their schedules. Online students pay the same tuition rates as on-campus students, and the school awards multiple scholarships, financial aid opportunities and military benefits to assist in funding. Distance education students are encouraged to participate in the textbook rental program, which also helps in cutting down costs. As students near the completion of their 2-year program, they can access the Mississippi Articulation and Transfer Tool to ensure that their credits will transfer to another learning institution for further education options.

  8. Williston State College
    Location

    Williston, ND

    Tuition

    $3399

    Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Williston State College provides fully online options to complete a 2-year associate degree in science, the arts, business management or speech language pathology paraprofessional. Using Blackboard Learn and Interactive Video Networking, students can engage in self-paced coursework as well as real-time interaction with their instructor. In order to graduate, students must fulfill 62 credits, and some programs mandate that a certain number of credits be completed on campus. Prospective students can check here to determine if their program of choice is authorized in their state of residency. Tuition rates are the same for both distance education and residential courses, and the school awards several scholarships and military benefits to help fund education. Students can use the online library and bookstore to support their studies and purchase class materials. The virtual career center features a number of assessments to explore employment options, find resume and interview assistance, and apply for work through a job board.

  9. Ivy Tech Community College
    Location

    Indianapolis, IN

    Tuition

    $4055

    From accounting, to cyber security, to library technical assistance, students can work toward 16 different online associate degrees at Ivy Tech Community College. There are also options to enroll in a hybrid program for early childhood education, human services or paralegal studies. Students generally complete the required 60 credits in 4 semesters. All coursework is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is delivered via the Canvas learning platform. Online studies can also utilize includED, a system allowing students to access digital books, which are included in the cost of tuition. Once enrolled in courses, students can take advantage of the online library, tutoring and academic advising services. Also available to students is the Workforce Excellence Program, which is an online, self-paced class teaching skills for job interviews, resume writing and oral communication. Graduates of Ivy Tech programs have entered the workforce as professional tax preparers, health care administrators and library technicians.

  10. Coastline Community College
    Location

    Fountain Valley, CA

    Tuition

    $1104

    Students at Coastline Community College can choose from over 30 fully online options to complete an associate degree in subjects such as taxation, gerontology and retail management. Programs, which are accredited by the Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, take an average of 2 years to complete and require 60 credits for graduation. Twelve of these credits must be from the school's course offerings. Students will want to check with an advisor regarding class format, as some necessitate participation in labs or exams on campus. Classes are implemented in 8- or 16-week formats through the web platform Canvas. Although there are deadlines, students can access coursework at a time that's convenient for them throughout the week. Distance curriculum maintains the same tuition rates as on-campus courses, and students can apply for the school's scholarships to assist in costs. On top of online bookstore and library programs, students can find support from academic advisors, the career center and distance tutoring.

Featured Online Associate Programs in Business

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