Best Online Associate Degrees in Massachusetts 2022

Best Online Associate Degrees in Massachusetts 2022

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

Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Some of the most talked about universities in Massachusetts are its private schools, including Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which also happen to be the largest. Tuition for these prestigious schools runs between $50,000 and $54,000. Students here have access to some of the top programs in the country in fields such as biology, literature, law, education, engineering, and religious studies. The alumni from New England schools are equally as impressive, including Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

The public higher education institutes also boast top-notch programs, allowing students to pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields like mathematics, social work, medicine, and economics. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the state’s largest public university, offers tuition around $16,000 and serves over 28,000 students. Additionally, students who are interested in attending a religiously affiliated school have 17 options to choose from, most of which feature high graduation rates for their students. For future dental, medical, or mental health professionals, Massachusetts also offers loan forgiveness programs for those working in underserved communities.

As the port of destination for the Mayflower, home to the Plymouth colony, and site of the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts looms large in United States history, but this most populous New England state isn’t just for history buffs. The Bay State is also known for its delicious cuisine, beautiful coastlines, and devout sports fans. Not to mention, it has over 100 colleges for students to choose from.

Find a program that’s right for you and explore the best schools Massachusetts has to offer.


What are Massachusetts’ Colleges & Universities?

Massachusetts’ 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 Massachusetts
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Best Online Associate Degrees in Massachusetts 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    30K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/29

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Sustainable Food and Farming
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Management
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Bay Path University

    Longmeadow , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/27

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Early Childhood Leadership
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Fisher College

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/16

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
    AS in Computer Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
    AA in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
    AS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
    AS in Health Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 71
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
    AA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    14%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Bristol Community College

    Fall River , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    4K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA-T in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in General Management
    • Required Credits: 64-65
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS-T in Computer Information Systems

    Concentrations

    • Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 64-72
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Legal and Social Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Humanities
    • Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Communication
    • Required Credits: 61-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 60-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Hospitality and Culinary Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Human Resources Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS-T in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 62-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Applied Technology
    • Required Credits: 60-62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  8. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in General Business
    • Required Credits: 66-71
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 68-71
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA/AS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 61-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 62-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts: Psychology and Sociology
    • Required Credits: 61-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  9. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60-67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts - English
    • Required Credits: 60-62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts - Social Science
    • Required Credits: 60-63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    4K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Liberal Arts Studies
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  11. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Fire Science
    • Required Credits: 62-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 62-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS-T in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Northpoint Bible College

    Haverhill , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Assemblies of God Credentialing Preparation
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Bible and Theology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Specialized Ministry
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  14. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Fire Protection and Safety Technology
    • Required Credits: 63
    • 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

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.