An associate degree is the lowest level college degree available in the U.S. through distance learning. You can earn an online associate degree from any community college, junior college, or technical college offering distance learning courses. Online associates degrees are also offered by some bachelor's degree-granting colleges and universities. An associate degree is usually comparable to the first two years of a four-year bachelor degree at a college or university. Completion of an associate degree is usually achieved after approximately 20 online courses, or 60 credit hours have been fulfilled. Required courses usually include English & Writing courses, Math & Science, Sociology, and Humanities. Associate degrees are often referred to as "two-year" degrees because that's how long it usually takes a traditional full-time student to obtain such a degree. However, some students of online degree programs have found that they are able to finish in less time.
Two types of associate degrees are available for online students, transfer and occupational degrees. A transfer degree is often a good choice for distance learners that hope to continue their education beyond the associate degree level. Completing a transfer degree allows students to enter a bachelor's degree program with about half of the credits already earned. Online courses typically consist of general education requirements that provide students with an academic foundation and experience before embarking on the more specialized courses required for their major. By earning your degree online, you'll save money by avoiding the costs associated with room and board or commuting to campus. As such, earning a transfer degree online can be a great way to save money while still receiving a quality education. Common transfer degrees include theAssociate of Science (AS), in major areas like: Art & Design, Mathematics, Environmental Science, and Technology, and Associate of Arts (AA) in major areas like: Education, Sociology, Psychology, and Liberal Arts.
Students looking to start a career in a specific field upon graduation may choose to receive an occupational, or vocational, degree online. Occupational degrees offer online courses focused on the information and skills necessary to gain entry level positions in a chosen field of interest. Common online degrees in this category include the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) in career areas like: technology, healthcare, and various business and computer related professions. While some online occupational degrees offer the opportunity to further your education upon completion, many are terminal, in that the credits may not be transferable to a bachelor's degree program. Because of this, it is important to research your options and choose the best online degree program for you.
Online associate degrees are among those most commonly pursued through distance learning. Distance learning programs offer flexible scheduling, allowing students to continue to work full- or part-time while studying. Many community colleges offer both campus and online degree programs. Many associate degree holders earn more, on average, over the course of their life, than high school graduates, and often have higher starting salaries than those without a degree.
Select an option from the list below to search available online associate degree programs and request more information for details on admission policies, program and course offerings, financial aid, and more.