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.

Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts
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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

How do we determine the best online liberal arts associate degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Syracuse University

    #77 institution's historical influence
    #1450 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Syracuse, NY

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    Online Degrees

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

    University of Delaware

    #304 institution's historical influence
    #1237 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Newark, DE

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    Online Degrees

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

    University of Montana

    #588 institution's historical influence
    #417 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Missoula, MT

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    Online Degrees

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

    Providence College

    #912 institution's historical influence
    #1192 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/29

    Providence, RI

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Nyack College

    #2340 institution's historical influence
    #1082 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    945/20

    New York, NY

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Faulkner University

    #2877 institution's historical influence
    #1032 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    Montgomery, AL

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    City College of San Francisco

    #1651 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    14K

    San Francisco, CA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Arts and Humanities
    • Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Science and Mathematics
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Northwest Nazarene University

    #4008 institution's historical influence
    #1168 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/23

    Nampa, ID

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    Park University

    #2469 institution's historical influence
    #640 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    8K

    Parkville, MO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Amridge University

    #5911 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    Montgomery, AL

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Southern New Hampshire University

    #1468 institution's historical influence
    #1034 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    84K

    Manchester, NH

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    Online Degrees

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

    Catholic Distance University

    #5729 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Student body

    <1K

    Charles Town, WV

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • Catholic Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    New England College

    #2185 institution's historical influence
    #1273 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    4K

    Henniker, NH

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Holy Apostles College and Seminary

    #6710 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    100%

    Student body

    <1K

    Cromwell, CT

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    Pima Community College

    #4580 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    14K

    Tucson, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Administration of Justice
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Communication
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Elementary Education
    • English
    • Ethnic
    • Gender and Transborder Studies
    • Fashion Design
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Social Services
    • Sociology
    • Translation and Interpretation Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Chaminade University of Honolulu

    #3036 institution's historical influence
    #872 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Honolulu, HI

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Point University

    #3772 institution's historical influence
    #169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/18

    West Point, GA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Humanities

    Concentrations

    • Social Media Marketing
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
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  18. #18

    Upper Iowa University

    #1869 institution's historical influence
    #319 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Fayette, IA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    University of the Cumberlands

    #3511 institution's historical influence
    #580 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    Williamsburg, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • 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
  20. #20

    Bristol Community College

    #6531 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    5K

    Fall River, MA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Humanities Transfer
    • Psychology Transfer
    • Behavioral And Social Sciences Transfer
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    Santa Barbara City College

    #3133 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    10K

    Santa Barbara, CA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts & Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Arts & Humanities
    • Social & Behavioral Sciences
    • Science & Mathematics
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    Austin Peay State University

    #2149 institution's historical influence
    #581 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Clarksville, TN

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Arts

    Concentrations

    • Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    Montgomery College

    #2678 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    14K

    Rockville, MD

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    Online Degrees

    AA in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • Humanities
    • Arts
    • Communication And Languages
    • Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    Saint Leo University

    #3000 institution's historical influence
    #291 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    10K

    Saint Leo, FL

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    Rogers State University

    #4503 institution's historical influence
    #201 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    3K

    Claremore, OK

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • 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

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