Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts


Find top-ranked online associate in liberal arts degree programs for students as a stepping stone to furthering their careers or looking to pursue careers in entry-level positions as customer service representatives, journalists, tutors, and administrative assistants.

Top 10 Online Liberal Arts Associate Degrees

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  1. Syracuse University
  2. University of Delaware
  3. University of Montana
  4. Providence College
  5. Southern New Hampshire University
  6. City College of San Francisco
  7. Park University
  8. Upper Iowa University
  9. Santa Barbara City College
  10. Saint Leo University
  1. New England College 100%
  2. Alliance University 100%
  3. Austin Peay State University 93%
  4. Southern New Hampshire University 92%
  5. Chaminade University of Honolulu 90%
  6. Northwest Nazarene University 88%
  7. University of the Cumberlands 85%
  8. University of Montana 82%
  9. University of Delaware 72%
  10. Saint Leo University 71%
  1. Santa Barbara City College 25 to 1
  2. City College of San Francisco 22 to 1
  3. Southern New Hampshire University 21 to 1
  4. University of the Cumberlands 20 to 1
  5. Rogers State University 19 to 1
  6. University of Montana 18 to 1
  7. Bristol Community College 18 to 1
  8. Northwest Nazarene University 18 to 1
  9. Montgomery College 17 to 1
  10. Saint Leo University 17 to 1
  1. Syracuse University $57,591
  2. Providence College $55,988
  3. New England College $40,642
  4. Northwest Nazarene University $34,390
  5. Upper Iowa University $33,609
  6. Chaminade University of Honolulu $27,454
  7. Alliance University $26,500
  8. Saint Leo University $26,050
  9. Faulkner University $23,490
  10. Point University $21,850
  1. Syracuse University $41,616
  2. Chaminade University of Honolulu $27,720
  3. Upper Iowa University $19,685
  4. Southern New Hampshire University $18,900
  5. University of Delaware $17,100
  6. Point University $16,200
  7. Saint Leo University $15,218
  8. New England College $14,568
  9. Alliance University $14,000
  10. Amridge University $10,800
  1. Bristol Community College
  2. Holy Apostles College and Seminary
  3. Point University
  4. Alliance University
  5. Amridge University
  6. Catholic Distance University
  7. Northwest Nazarene University
  8. Rogers State University
  9. University of the Cumberlands
  10. Pima Community College
  1. Point University 47%
  2. Providence College 58%
  3. Syracuse University 59%
  4. Faulkner University 65%
  5. Upper Iowa University 65%
  6. Saint Leo University 71%
  7. University of Delaware 72%
  8. University of Montana 82%
  9. University of the Cumberlands 85%
  10. Northwest Nazarene University 88%
  1. Catholic Distance University 4 to 1
  2. Holy Apostles College and Seminary 8 to 1
  3. Chaminade University of Honolulu 10 to 1
  4. Providence College 11 to 1
  5. Upper Iowa University 11 to 1
  6. Amridge University 13 to 1
  7. New England College 13 to 1
  8. Point University 13 to 1
  9. Faulkner University 13 to 1
  10. Park University 15 to 1
  1. Bristol Community College $576
  2. Santa Barbara City College $1,104
  3. Pima Community College $2,088
  4. Rogers State University $4,710
  5. University of Montana $5,352
  6. Austin Peay State University $6,816
  7. Montgomery College $8,070
  8. Catholic Distance University $8,405
  9. Amridge University $9,000
  10. Holy Apostles College and Seminary $9,080
  1. University of the Cumberlands $4,282
  2. Holy Apostles College and Seminary $4,500
  3. University of Montana $4,932
  4. Rogers State University $4,980
  5. Park University $6,435
  6. Austin Peay State University $8,226
  7. Catholic Distance University $8,370
  8. Providence College $9,750
  9. Faulkner University $10,374
  10. Northwest Nazarene University $10,764

Key Takeaways

  • Employers look for skills in their employees that an online liberal arts education can help build. Analytical skills, critical thinking skills, and communication skills are among them.
  • Health care, education, and retail are common industries for online associate in liberal arts graduates.
  • Employers prefer graduates of colleges with solid reputations for offering online associate degrees in liberal arts.

Featured Programs

An online associate degree in liberal arts degree could be the key advancing in your career if you seek entry-level employment in business, social services, administration, and management. This is quite a solid stepping stone, especially if you’re unsure about what fields or specializations to choose.

Graduates can also use an online associate in liberal arts degree as a springboard to a bachelor’s degree. The American Association of Colleges and Universities found that 80% of employers would want their employees to have studied liberal arts.

This degree program provides the general education foundation necessary for a bachelor’s degree, covering many liberal arts courses. Graduates of online liberal arts associate’s programs may choose to continue their studies at the bachelor’s level or enter the workforce.

This program prepares you for the next stages of your life and education by providing a multidimensional learning environment. You will gain valuable skills such as verbal and written communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, and critical thinking, which are highly sought after in today’s competitive market.

Value of a Liberal Arts Associate Degree

According to recent surveys, 92% of executives say Americans lack the skills to succeed in the workplace. Employers worry about the skills gap, but it is often harder for an employer to instill certain soft attributes than specific work skills!

With students who enhance their writing and speaking skills through an online liberal arts associate degree program, employers can beat this challenge.

Expectedly, liberal arts graduates can properly communicate their ideas to diverse groups and make persuasive arguments backed by evidence. Research, analytical reasoning, and creative problem-solving skills, such as those cultivated through an online associate liberal arts degree, are also universally important.

Benefits of a Liberal Arts Degree

People don’t want to spend time and money on degrees that won’t bring long-term benefits and opportunities for good positions. You can build the essential skills necessary to succeed in today’s modern workplace through a liberal arts education, regardless of the career you’re interested in pursuing.

Consider the benefits stated below when you enroll in an online associate in liberal arts.

Opens Multidisciplinary Perspective

Choosing liberal arts subjects will allow you to explore various ideas, helping you discover your interests, strengths, and potential careers. The broadening of your worldview and the opportunity to gain that valued perspective is ideal for today’s global economy, as you will explore many different philosophical perspectives, cultures, and human experiences.

Become Better Critical-Thinkers

Even if you are already a critical thinker, there will always be opportunities to hone this soft skill even more. In a liberal arts program, you’ll be able to explore your interests, satisfy your curiosity, solve complex problems, and ignite your creativity while receiving an open-ended education without limits.

As opposed to focusing on specific technical or professional skill sets, liberal arts classes typically provide an in-depth understanding of how a particular subject or approach impacts the individual and the collective, which applies to various careers.

Able To Explore Human Experiences

As mentioned, an online liberal arts degree allows you to explore human experiences. With a liberal arts education, you can explore various academic fields that will help develop your interdisciplinary insights.

Job Outlook for Liberal Associate Degree Holders

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can land a job in various sectors while pursuing a career in liberal arts.

Among the jobs for a graduate of an online liberal studies associate degree program, becoming a postsecondary teacher yields the largest increase of demand projected growth for the next decade, which is 12%. However, pursuing higher education is necessary to enter the education sector.

Another occupation that comes with a high demand growth is lawyers. Online liberal arts degree holders must proceed to a doctorate or professional degree to become a lawyer, but an online associate’s degree in liberal arts is a great introductory degree.

There are many other entry-level occupations if you plan to work after finishing an online associate degree in liberal arts. Obtaining an associate degree is just the first step toward obtaining a bachelor’s degree and eventually moving into a leadership role.

Frequently Asked Questions About Liberal Arts Degrees

An associate degree in liberal arts is a two year program that can open the doors to a variety of careers. This degree typically consists of about 60 credits and challenges students to think critically as they move through a diverse curriculum both online and on campus.

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Courses cover topics like English, history, psychology, math, and science, giving students a well-rounded understanding of many subjects. This degree can also come in the form of an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, and is well suited to students who plan to transition toward an undergraduate degree.

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Although some careers may require further education, many graduates find work in entry-level positions as customer service representatives, journalists, tutors, and administrative assistants.

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Learn more about how to major in English.

Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts Degree Programs

Median Salaries of Similar Careers in the U.S.

The following graph depicts the average salaries of similar occupations to Technical Writers in the U.S.


Annual Salary
63230News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists
73250Public Relations Specialists
81120Writers and Authors
81470Technical Writers

Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #9

    Park University

    Parkville , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees




    Student body


    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  4. #12

    Catholic Distance University

    Charles Town , WV

    Tuition + fees


    Student body


    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts


    • Catholic Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #19

    University of the Cumberlands

    Williamsburg , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Online Degrees

    AAS in General Studies


    • Business
    • Health and Fitness
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Information Science and Technology
    • Education
    • Media Studies
    • Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Christian Studies
    • STEM
    • Healthcare
    • Required Credits: 24
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #20

    Bristol Community College

    Fall River , MA

    Tuition + fees




    Student body


    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences


    • Humanities Transfer
    • Psychology Transfer
    • Behavioral And Social Sciences Transfer
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #24

    Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.