Best Online Associate in Business Administration 2021

by TBS Staff
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An online associate degree in business administration allows graduates to compete for entry-level administrative and support roles.

The curriculum builds both professional experience and academic knowledge and opens the door to bachelor's in business administration programs while helping learners save money on tuition.

Students pursuing this degree enter a thriving field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that roles for administrative service managers will grow 6% between 2019-2029 — faster than the average for all occupations. This role also offers a substantial salary, as the median pay reached $96,940 in 2019. Note that some employers prefer a bachelor's degree for this role, but others will accept an associate degree.

Prospective students researching programs may notice several different types of business administration degrees. Associate of science (AAS) and associate of art programs both prepare learners to transfer to a four-year institution after graduation. An associate of applied science prepares graduates for professional roles and best meet the needs of graduates who want to immediately enter the workforce. These programs require fewer general education credits and include more business-specific classes. However, AAS graduates may not be able to transfer as many credits if they decide to pursue a bachelor's degree later.

Featured Business Administration Associate's Programs

The Best Online Associate's in Business Administration Programs

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University true View School Profile Daytona Beach, FL 62% 14% 96% Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1939 as a school of aviation, Embry-Riddle went on to train pilots during World War II. The institution has since expanded to three main physical locations, with campuses located all over the globe as well as online.

The completely online associate in science in aviation business administration degree requires 60 credits for completion. Students must submit official high school transcripts, GED, or equivalent as part of the admissions process. While not required, standardized test scores are highly encouraged.

Pennsylvania State University true View School Profile University Park, PA 71% 48% 100% Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Penn State launched its online World Campus in 1998 and currently offers more than 150 degree programs completely online.

The associate of science in business administration degree offered through Penn State requires 60 credits for completion at a cost of about $600 per credit. In order to cater to adult learners and nonstandard students, Penn State requires a self-reported academic record in lieu of official high school transcripts as part of the admissions process. Official high school transcripts become necessary to accept an offer of admission.

Southern New Hampshire University true View School Profile Manchester, NH 54% 68% 93% Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

Founded in 1932 as a private school specializing in accounting, SNHU has grown to provide education to over 135,000 students through its campus and online.

SNHU's completely online associate of science in business administration degree requires 60 credits for completion at a cost of $320 per credit. Admission requirements include a transcript from previously attended schools and an electronic attestation form providing proof of high school graduation, GED, or equivalent. Students can transfer up to 45 credits towards an associate degree.

Carl Albert State College View School Profile Poteau, OK 44% 20% 5% Carl Albert State College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

CASC currently serves over 2,700 students both on campus and online and offers eight degrees and three certificate programs online. The institution has recently been voted the best community college in Oklahoma and boasts a national rank of 11th for graduation rates amongst community colleges.

CASC's associate of arts in business administration degree requires 62 credits for completion. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and complete a minimum of 15 resident credits. Admission requirements include a driver's license, Social Security card, official high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores.

Crown College View School Profile Saint Bonifacius, MN 52% 58% 63% Crown College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1916 as the Alliance Training Home, Crown College currently resides 40 minutes west of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The Christian institution has grown to offer 18 undergraduate programs completely online.

Crown's completely online associate of science in business degree requires 60 credits for completion at a cost of under $400 per credit. Students will complete nine credits of Christian studies core as part of the completion requirements. Crown requires only official high school transcripts or transcripts from vocational schools, colleges, or universities for admission.

Allen County Community College View School Profile Iola, KS 38% 12% 75% Allen Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Allen currently offers a variety of degree programs at campuses located in Iola and Burlingame, Kansas, as well as online. The institution proudly serves adult learners, military personnel, high-school students, and high-school graduates.

Allen's online associate in science with an emphasis in business administration degree requires 64 credits for completion. The school operates under an open-admissions policy, meaning a guaranteed acceptance. Applicants must simply provide proof of high school attendance or GED completion as part of the application process.

Northern State University View School Profile Aberdeen, SD 48% 29% 54% Northern State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Northern was founded in 1901 and currently offers 59 majors, 46 minors, and six pre-professional programs with a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution boasts the largest scholarship program in the Midwest.

NSU's completely online associate of science in business administration degree requires 60 credits for completion. Admission requirements include a minimum score on the ACT of 18 or higher, a minimum score on the SAT of 960 or higher, or a minimum high school GPA of 2.6. Those who don't meet these criteria but graduate in the top 60% of their high school graduating class are also eligible.

McKendree University View School Profile Lebanon, IL 54% 49% 42% McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1828, McKendree became Illinois' first institution of higher learning. Today, about 2,200 students attend McKendree annually, seeking degrees across 51 majors, 42 minors, and 13 graduate programs.

McKendree's completely online associate in science in business administration offers courses in eight-week blocks, and the degree requires 68 credits for completion. Students can transfer up to 38 credits into the degree program. Admission to McK requires only high school transcripts, although SAT or ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and an admission interview are highly encouraged.

Dakota State University View School Profile Madison, SD 47% 46% 65% Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

After its founding in 1881 as a teacher education institution, DSU has shifted to specializing in education for the cyber world.

DSU's completely online associate of science in business management degree requires 64 credits for completion and prepares students for effective written communication in the business world. Students must meet one of the following admission requirements: minimum ACT score of 18 or SAT score of 950, a graduating GPA of 2.6 in high school, or graduate in the top 60% of their high school graduating class.

Toccoa Falls College View School Profile Toccoa Falls, GA 59% 42% 58% Toccoa Falls College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Since its founding in 1907, TFC has operated as a private, nonprofit, Christian institution of higher learning. Today, over 1,700 students attend annually and class sizes remain small at a 15-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

TFC's completely online, two-year associate of science in business administration degree combines Christian teachings with current business practices. Students must complete 21 of the required 60 credits at TFC and pass each core class with a minimum grade of "C." Admission requirements include high school transcripts, SAT, ACT, or CLT scores, and a 200-300 word essay.

St. Petersburg College View School Profile Clearwater, FL 32% 27% 57% St. Petersburg College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1927, SPC became Florida's first two-year college. Today, the institution consists of 11 learning sites in addition to online learning platforms and hosts over 53,000 students annually.

SPC's completely online associate in science in business management degree requires 60 credits for completion. Students can enter the program with no additional admission requirements but must achieve a minimum grade of "C" in all foundational and specialization courses. Institution admission requirements include official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores or the College Placement Test.

Mountain Empire Community College View School Profile Big Stone Gap, VA 42% 53% Mountain Empire Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

One of 23 colleges in the Virginia Community College System, MECC operates under state and local community board policies. The school currently serves nearly 4,000 students annually at its main campus and online.

Mountain Empire's associate of arts and sciences in business administration degree requires 62 credits for completion. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent as evidenced through official high school transcripts or test scores, or minimum scores on MECC's aptitude testing.

Trine University View School Profile Fort Wayne, IN 63% 55% 93% Trine University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1884 as Tri-State Normal College, Trine University boasts a rich history of preparing students to lead, succeed, and serve. Today, more than 4,600 students attend Trine annually and enjoy small class sizes through a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Trine online's associate in business administration program requires 60 credits for completion at a cost of under $400 per credit. Admission requirements include official high school transcripts or equivalent and official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended. Students can transfer up to 90 credits into Trine online from previous college courses, experiential learning, college-level examinations, or military coursework.

Brigham Young University View School Profile Rexburg, ID 57% 15% 77% Brigham Young University-Idaho is regionally accredited by the Northwestern Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

BYU's long-standing spiritual traditions have recently extended online through BYU-Pathway Worldwide learning. Today, over 51,000 students attend BYU-Pathway Worldwide annually.

BYU-Idaho's completely online associate of science in applied business management degree requires 60 credits for completion. Students can apply through one of two gateways: preferred path or advanced path. Both require official high school transcripts while preferred path students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Seminole State College of Florida View School Profile Sanford, FL 41% 19% 47% Seminole State College of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Seminole State College of Florida began in 1966 and currently serves almost 30,000 students annually. Graduation rates at Seminole State exceed statewide averages by over 10%.

Seminole State's completely online associate in science in business administration degree requires 60 credits for completion at a cost of about $200 per credit. The syllabus includes 30 credits of required courses, 15 credits of elective courses, and 15 credits of general education courses. Students are required to submit only final high school transcripts as part of the admissions process.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% 90% Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1971, Liberty's deep evangelical liberal arts traditions continue today. More than 100,000 students attend Liberty's 15 colleges and schools annually. Students can choose one of the more than 450 programs available completely online.

Liberty's online associate of arts in business degree requires 60 credits for completion. The fast-paced design of the program allows for completion in as little as 18 months at a cost of under $400 per credit. Admission requirements for Liberty online include official transcripts and a high school self-certification form.

State Fair Community College View School Profile Sedalia, MO 30% 18% 63% State Fair Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

SFCC opened its doors in 1968 to 436 students. Today, almost 14,000 students attend annually both on campus and online.

SFCC's completely online associate of arts and sciences in business management requires 64 credits for completion. Course design allows for ease of transfer to Missouri state universities for bachelor's degree completion. Although not required for admission, high school transcripts and standardized test scores help place students in appropriate level courses. Employment opportunities following program completion include entry-level positions in bookkeeping, banking, human resources management, and foodservice management.

University of Massachusetts Lowell View School Profile Lowell, MA 63% 55% 31% University of Massachusetts Lowell is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

UMass Lowell began its online program offerings over 20 years ago and currently offers more than 70 degrees and certificates online.

UMass Lowell's completely online associate of science in business administration requires 62 credits for completion at a cost of $380 per credit. Admission requirements include official high school transcripts and online application forms. Coursework completed through the associate degree provides ease of transfer to meet bachelor's degree course completion requirements.

Chaminade University of Honolulu View School Profile Honolulu, HI 59% 39% 52% Chaminade University of Honolulu is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Chaminade currently offers over 50 majors and minor programs across five schools and divisions. Today, around 1,100 students attend annually.

Chaminade's school of business and communication offers a completely online associate of arts in business administration degree. Degree completion requires students to finish 60 credits of coursework, 15 credits of which must be completed at Chaminade, and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Chaminade takes a holistic, test-blind approach to admissions, advising students to submit any and all official documents for placement consideration.

Davenport University View School Profile Grand Rapids, MI 45% 59% 73% Davenport University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Davenport has served students for over 150 years and currently boasts a 95% student financial aid rate. Current offerings include over 50 associate, bachelor's, and master's programs.

DU's completely online associate of business administration degree requires 61 credits for completion and allows students to choose one of four different business disciplines. The program boasts hands-on, real-world experience through internships and personalized faculty mentorships. Admission requirements include official high school transcripts and standardized test scores.

Vance-Granville Community College View School Profile Henderson, NC 43% 64% Vance-Granville Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1969, VGCC currently offers more than 40 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Almost 3,200 students attend annually, and the school boasts a 16-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

VCGG's online associate in business administration degree requires 69-70 credits (dependent on electives) for completion at a cost of under $80 per credit. Students who graduated from a United States high school within the last 10 years need only submit official transcripts to apply. Students that graduated from high school more than 10 years ago must take placement exams prior to acceptance.

Huntington University View School Profile Huntington, IN 61% 57% 20% Huntington University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1897, this Christian university of liberal arts currently offers over 70 academic concentrations. Students choose HU for the spiritual environment, career preparation, quality of major, and academic reputation and quality.

HU's completely online associate of science in organizational management degree requires 64 credits for completion at a cost of $390 per credit. Students must complete an online application, answer questions regarding academic and professional goals, and submit official high school transcripts as part of the admissions process.

Baker University View School Profile Baldwin City, KS 59% 32% 36% Baker University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1858 as the first university in Kansas, Baker University currently hosts over 4,000 students annually across campuses in two states and internationally through its online programs.

BU's completely online associate of arts in business degree requires 63 credits for completion at a cost of $420 per credit. Admission requirements consist of official high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and discipline information. Degree coursework outcomes include managing teams, intuitive and data-driven decision-making, and effective communications.

University of Northwestern Ohio View School Profile Lima, OH 58% 69% 16% University of Northwestern Ohio is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The private, nonprofit institution was founded in 1920 and currently offers over 50 degree programs across five colleges and schools.

UNOH's completely online associate of applied business degree requires 108 quarter-credits for completion at a cost of $230 per credit. Admission requirements include official high school transcripts and either SAT or ACT scores or online placement exams. Standardized testing scores and placement exams help UNOH place students in the appropriate college courses. Students who choose to enter subsequent bachelor's programs need not complete 18 of the required 108 credits for the associate degree.

Florida State College at Jacksonville View School Profile Jacksonville, FL 38% 21% 49% Florida State College at Jacksonville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1965, FSCJ has grown to serve 50,000 students annually across 13 bachelor's degrees, 45 associate degrees, and more than 100 technical certificates.

FSCJ's online associate in science in business administration degree requires 60 credits for completion and qualifies for an accelerated coursework program. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts and complete entry placement exams as part of the admissions process. Students must maintain an overall 2.0 GPA, complete 25% of coursework at FSCJ, and fulfill all financial obligations for graduation eligibility.

Online Associate in Business Administration Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following schools based on the quality of their online associate degree in business programs, the types of courses offered, and their faculty, rankings, awards, and reputations, including each school's reputation for effectively providing quality online programs.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Why Get an Associate Degree in Business?

Earning an associate degree in business online helps first-time college students seeking an introduction to the field. The curriculum includes approximately 60 credits focused on both general education and core degree topics. Common courses include introduction to international business, human relations in administration, business systems analysis and design, and financial accounting.

Graduates should have a basic yet thorough understanding of cornerstone business concepts in marketing, human relations, finance, accounting, and management.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

An online associate degree in business administration typically takes full-time learners two years to complete. However, several factors can affect this timeline. For example, students with previous college or AP credits may graduate more quickly.

Working professionals or parents may need to enroll on a part-time basis, slowing their progress. These individuals usually graduate within three years. Other factors worth considering include testing out of courses or taking courses year-round.

What Can You Do With an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

With an associate degree in business, graduates can pursue both professional and academic opportunities. Some students may enter the workforce. Others move directly into a bachelor's of business administration or a bachelor's of business management. Each business degree can help graduates expand their careers in business.

Job Options if You Have an Associate Degree in Business Administration

With an associate in business administration degree, you can get jobs like a sales manager position, a project assistant position, an office manager position, or a support specialist position. Individuals with an associate in business administration typically seek the following jobs:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Administrative Services Manager
  • Assistant Director of Operations
  • Assistant Manager
  • Auditing Clerk
  • Business Assistant
  • Business Service Specialist
  • Customer Service Supervisor
  • Event Planner
  • Executive Assistant
  • Food Service Manager
  • General Office Administrator
  • General Office Clerk
  • Human Resources Administrative Assistant
  • Human Resources Coordinator
  • Information Clerk
  • Inside Sales Representative
  • Inventory Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Media Sales Representative
  • Office Manager
  • Office Support Specialist
  • Operations Manager
  • Payroll Coordinator
  • Procurement Coordinator
  • Project Assistant
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Retail Manager
  • Sales Manager

Salary Potential For an Associate's in Business Administration

Online associate in business administration graduates qualify for managerial roles across several industries. The position each graduate pursues depends on their individual interests and career goals. We highlight a few popular options below.

true Administrative Services Managers
Median Salary: $96,940 Projected Job Growth: 6%

Administrative service managers typically work in administrative positions for companies, meaning they're responsible for internal organization, supply management, record-keeping, or facility management.

true Sales Managers
Median Salary: $126,640 Projected Job Growth: 4%

Sales managers typically work for public-facing businesses where sales are a major source of revenue. These professionals oversee other employees, helping keep them organized and providing resources to make their jobs easier.

Food Service Managers
Median Salary: $55,320 Projected Job Growth: 1%

A food service managers is in charge of keeping a restaurant or other food-related business running. This can mean managing employees, tracking inventory, or interfacing with the public to ensure that customer service is held to a high standard.

Lodging Managers
Median Salary: $54,430 Projected Job Growth: -12%

Also known as hospitality managers, lodging managers are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of hotels, motels, inns, and other hospitality organizations. Their responsibilities can include managing staff, responding to customer service needs, or organizing company records.

Common Questions About Associate's Degree in Business Administration

true What Is an Associate Degree in Business?

An associate degree in business is a two-year program that provides a gateway to professional roles or additional academic pursuits.

true What Can You Do With an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

This degree allows graduates to pursue entry-level roles in business administration, with the potential to climb the employment ladder over time.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

Full-time learners working toward an associate degree in business typically graduate in two years.

Can I Get an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

Admission requirements for these programs usually include a high school diploma or GED.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

Graduates often qualify for entry-level positions focused on administration, management, and executive support.

How Much Do You Make With an Associate Degree in Business?

Salaries fluctuate substantially based on geographic location, industry, role, and experience. According to the BLS, the median salary for administrative service managers in 2018 was $96,180.

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