Best Online Associate Degrees in Maryland 2023

Best Online Associate Degrees in Maryland 2023

Find the best online associate degrees in Maryland ranked by the academic success of faculty and alumni associated with the colleges and universities and their online degree programs.

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Colleges and Universities in Maryland

The Old Line State has 46 colleges and universities, 30 of which are public and 16 of which are private. The United States Naval Academy offers programs in physical sciences, aeronautical engineering, and naval architecture. The largest private institution, Johns Hopkins University, has just over 24,000 students and a tuition rate of $54,000. Located in Baltimore, this research university is known for its science and medical discoveries.

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The University of Maryland in College Park boasts over 35,000 students with a price tag of $11,000. The school has 15 campuses, and students can choose from areas of study like criminal justice, communications, physics, and sociology. The most affordable school in the state, Baltimore City Community College comes in at $3,000 and has 37 associate degree programs to choose from. Maryland also provides loan forgiveness programs for its residents, including those for dentists and public servants. Students can also check out the Maryland SmartBuy Home Buyer Assistance and Forgiveness Program, where eligible applicants can receive up to 15% of the home purchase price toward outstanding student loan, to be paid off as part of closing.

Maryland is a state bursting with history, from its numerous museums to its historic battlegrounds. Students who attend school in Maryland can explore the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Park and walk the same streets as many influential Marylanders, including Francis Scott Key, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday, and Thurgood Marshall.

Whether you’re looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Maryland offers its students history, legacy, and numerous degree paths.


What are Maryland’s Colleges & Universities?

Maryland’s Best Overall

What is an Associate Degree?

An associate degree is a two-year degree that can be earned at state community colleges, vocational schools, and most accredited colleges and universities.

What will I study with an associate degree?

The associate degree provides an introductory level college education. You will usually take an array of liberal arts or humanities courses along with introductory level courses in a specific subject area. Most associate degree programs are available to both on campus students and online students.

Why get an associate degree?

There are several good reasons to get an associate degree. An associate degree is an affordable and accessible way to get a college education while improving your earning potential. The associate degree is popular both among students looking for entry-level work in their field, and for those who are already working.

The online degree is particularly popular at the associate level because so many students must balance work responsibilities and studies. Online courses and complete online programs make it possible for students to earn associate credits and degrees without disrupting daily work responsibilities.

The associate is also a far more affordable and accessible alternative to earning a bachelor’s degree. The associate degree takes about half as long to earn as a bachelor’s degree. Associate students need 60 credits to graduate, versus the 120 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree. And many state community colleges offer low tuition rates.

Can I get a job with an associate degree?

You can get an entry-level job in your field with an associate degree. Many students will use the associate degree as a way to get relevant job training before entering the job market. In fact, many associates will pursue entry level work in their field while earning a bachelor’s degree through online education.

Should I get an associate degree before pursuing a bachelor’s degree?

You may want to get an associate degree first to save money, or improve your admission chances, before getting a bachelor’s degree. The associate degree is a popular stepping stone for students who will seek a bachelor’s degree. When you earn an associate degree from an accredited state community college, you can usually transfer your credits toward your bachelor’s degree program.

Can I get an online degree at the associate level?

You can definitely get an online degree at the associate level. A growing number of online colleges offer high-quality associate-level online courses and complete online programs. Online students will typically take the same courses and curricula as on campus students.

Are associate degrees from online colleges respected?

Online degrees at the associate level are respected as long as these online degrees come from accredited community colleges or two-year schools. Regional accreditation is important when it comes to online colleges. If you plan to go into a bachelor’s degree program at a regionally accredited school, you must earn your online degree from a regionally accredited associate degree program.

If you need more answers to frequently asked questions about online degrees, we can help.

Best Online Associate Degree Programs in Maryland
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Best Online Associate Degrees in Maryland 2022

  1. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    7K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Advertising and Marketing
    • Business Communications
    • Health Care Professionals
    • Human Resources
    • Leadership
    • Small Business Management
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

    Concentrations

    • Digital Forensics
    • Networking
    • Security
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Information Systems, Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in English - Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Gender and Sexuality Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Psychology - Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Montgomery College

    Rockville , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    13K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Business
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Computer Science and Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • Humanities, Arts, Communication and Languages
    • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
    • Social Sciences, Administration and Health
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS/AA-T in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    10K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA/AAS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Economics
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Information Systems Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Network Technology

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Cisco
    • IT Support
    • Microsoft
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Communication and Media Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Creative Writing
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in English
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Interpreter Preparation
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in General Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in History
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Services Counseling
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Health Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Health Informatics and Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 70
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Aircraft Dispatcher
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Cloud and Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    11%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS-T in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Law Enforcement and Correctional Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Legal Assistant
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS-T in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Allied Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Health Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS-T in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Commercial Transportation Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  8. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 10 months
    • Format: Online
    AA in English
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in History
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    Chesapeake College

    Wye Mills , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    1K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • 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.