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.
|#1||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL|
|#2||Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA|
|#3||Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH|
|#4||Carl Albert State College Poteau, OK|
|#5||Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN|
|#6||Allen County Community College Iola, KS|
|#7||Northern State University Aberdeen, SD|
|#8||McKendree University Lebanon, IL|
|#9||Dakota State University Madison, SD|
|#10||Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA|
Featured Online Schools
The Best Online Associate's in Business Administration Programs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:
The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]
- Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
- Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
- Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
- Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
- Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
- Considers range of electives within that discipline
- Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline
2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]
- Considers education background of the faculty
- Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
- Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
- Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
- Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources
3. Reputation [weight = 20%]
- Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
- “Freshness” of academic knowledge
- Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
- Suitability of graduates for the workplace
4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]
- Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
- Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants
5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]
- Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
- Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business
6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]
Considers the following of the online classes:
- Types of online technology used to deliver content
- Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
- Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
- Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
Considers the following of instructors:
- Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
- Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
- Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
- Ratio to number of students in a class
- Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees
Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.
To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:
- Public or private status
- Acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- ACT/SAT requirements
- Cost in-state / out of state
- Undergrad, grad, or both offered
Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!
If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.
Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!
What Is 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 Is an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Business Administration Degree Program?
Prospective students researching programs may notice several different types of business administration degrees. Associate of science and associate of art programs both prepare learners to transfer to a four-year institution after graduation. An associate of applied science (AAS) prepares graduates for professional roles.
AAS programs 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.
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.
What Jobs Can You Get With 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
Business Administration Associate Degree Salary Information
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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
Frequently Asked Questions
An associate degree in business is a two-year program that provides a gateway to professional roles or additional academic pursuits.
This degree allows graduates to pursue entry-level roles in business administration, with the potential to climb the employment ladder over time.
Full-time learners working toward an associate degree in business typically graduate in two years.
Admission requirements for these programs usually include a high school diploma or GED.
Graduates often qualify for entry-level positions focused on administration, management, and executive support.
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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