With an emphasis on communication, argument, and critical thought, an associate degree in liberal arts can help students build a generalized knowledge in a wide variety of subjects, from humanities and social sciences to foreign languages. The broad scope of these curricula prepare you for a range of entry-level careers, but many programs also allow concentrations in a specific subject, such as psychology, fine arts, or business administration. An online liberal arts associate degree also lays the foundation for a more advanced degree, such as a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate, while increasing your earning potential in the short term. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, professionals with associate degrees earn 15% more than those with only a high school diploma.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1 Brandman University Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

Brandman University began in 1861 under the name Chapman University, before starting Chapman University College in 1958. Located in Irvine, California, Brandman boasts 10,000 learners and ranks as the sixth most innovative school on U.S. News & World Report's list. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits this private school.

Brandman's 60-credit associate of arts in general education offers a foundation for diverse bachelor's degrees. Students polish written and presentational skills through four basic courses, including oral communication. Learners must also complete two liberal education foundation courses, but they may tailor remaining classes for interests and goals. Specifically, learners complete 18 elective credits and choose humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences classes.

An applicant with 11 or fewer credits must complete an admission exam, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and boast a 2.0 GPA. Candidates with 12 or more credits do not need admission exams to pursue Brandman's online liberal arts associate degree. Learners can also pursue certificates in fields such as business communications, nonprofit management, digital marketing, and instructional design.

Resident and nonresident learners pay identical tuition. Military students benefit from a 50% discount for associate degrees. Online students can attend virtual Brandman events, such as orientation and program information sessions. Brandman also offers a blog with tips on learning, college funding, and specific careers. Learners benefit from enrollment coaches and career resources, including mock interviews through Big Interview software.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in General Education
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Admissions tests in math and English (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (877) 516-4501
Email: apply@brandman.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2 Excelsior College Albany, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

The New York State Board of Regents started Regents External Degree Program in 1971 with financing from the Carnegie Corporation and Ford Foundation, before becoming Excelsior College in 2001. Currently, Excelsior students can choose from over 30 degrees in business, liberal arts, health sciences, public service, nursing, and technology. The private, nonprofit school targets working professionals and holds accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The college's associate in arts or science in liberal arts explores various disciplines to develop problem-solving, communication, and analytical skills. Students complete 60 credits for this online liberal arts associate degree, with an optional focus. Each degree seeker must also complete a capstone.

Students can transfer as many as 57 credits. Excelsior offers credit for military training, career accomplishments, credentials, and certifications. Learners may also earn credit by taking Excelsior College UExcel assessments after self-paced study.

Students can then pursue Excelsior's bachelor of arts or science in liberal arts, or four-year degrees in fields such as history, business, and criminal justice.

Excelsior students benefit from equal in-state and out-of-state tuition and asynchronous courses that start every eight weeks. The school's career center provides professional services for interviews, cover letters, and career choices. Students can also browse job-related articles through the center's website. Online candidates receive access to thousands of library materials and may use the Online Writing Lab for guidance on grammar, research, and the writing process. The Online Writing Lab also provides an online workshop for English as a second language learners.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA or AS in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 647-2388
Email: admissions@excelsior.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

The University of Alaska Fairbanks began in 1917 from a bill signed by Alaska Territorial Governor John Strong. The public institution boasts around 35,000 graduates, along with 10 schools and colleges. Student enrollment in fall 2018 surpassed 8,000, with learners benefiting from an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The U.S. News & World Report ranks UAF among the top public schools and national universities. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits this university.

Candidates can earn an associate of arts in liberal arts online through UAF. This program includes courses in communication, mathematics, perspectives on the human condition, natural sciences, and library and information research for a total of 60 credits. UAF delivers the majority of online courses asynchronously.

Students can complete this program in two years by studying full time. Graduates can pursue online UAF bachelor's degrees in applied management, business administration, justice, psychology, homeland security and emergency management, and sport and recreation business.

Online students pay standard tuition, with additional expenses that include an e-campus fee. UAF learners can access Career Coach for career assessments and a resume building tool. The Career Services department also provides virtual mock interviews and information on cover letters and resumes. UAF libraries participate in the Interlibrary Loan program and offer more than 300 virtual resources. Online learners can also attend online orientation. Full-time students can participate in study abroad opportunities after finishing two semesters, provided they hold at least a 2.5 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA
Tuition: $212/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACCUPLACER, or ACT Plus Writing (if applicable); ALEKS for classes with mathematics prerequisite

Contact
Phone: (800) 277-8060
Email: uaf-ecampus@alaska.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4 Southwest Virginia Community College Richlands, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

Since 1967, Southwest Virginia Community College has educated 100,000 students and conferred over 17,000 degrees. This Cedar Bluff, Virginia public school offered over six million dollars in aid for 2015-2016. SWCC holds accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

SWCC offers an associate of arts and sciences in general studies with a liberal arts specialization. This 61-credit program allows students to fulfill first-year and sophomore requirements for bachelor's degrees in fields such as economics, history, literature, library science, education, and political science. After earning this associate in liberal studies online, students can transfer to schools that hold guaranteed admission agreements with SWCC. Learners should determine their transfer schools early to ensure that courses apply to their bachelor's programs.

Required courses include college composition, principles of sociology, and principles of psychology. Candidates must also complete humanities or social science electives. Learners with at least three years of high school foreign language classes can earn credit by examination.

Each applicant must complete one laboratory science, two math, one history, and four English classes in high school. Candidates can finish the program in two years.

SWCC offers emergency funding to students for natural disasters, medical situations, and other hardships. Enrollees who study part time or full time, hold GPAs of at least 2.0, and complete six credits can apply for this assistance. Online learners can also use library resources, including e-books, and search for materials near their home through WorldCat.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Arts and Sciences in General Studies With Liberal Arts Specialization
Tuition: $154/credit in-state; $331/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: Virginia Placement Test

Contact
Phone: (276) 964-7207
Email: brian.wright@sw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Saint Leo University began in 1889 through the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida. This private, nonprofit university educates approximately 15,000 learners and ranks on three U.S. News & World Report lists: 47th for regional universities in the South, 31st for best colleges for veterans, and 14th for best value schools. The Catholic institution boasts accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Learners can pursue Saint Leo's associate of arts in liberal arts online. This program prioritizes analytical thinking, cultural diversity, and social frameworks.

Students must earn 60 credits, including in foundation courses in academic writing, college mathematics, and basic computer skills. Learners must also choose courses in the following categories: the human adventure, the human mosaic, science in a changing world, the creative life, the reflective and spiritual life, and general electives.

Graduates with this online liberal arts associate degree can work in business, state agencies, and government, or pursue four-year degrees. Saint Leo offers online bachelor's degrees in fields such as liberal studies, business administration, and sociology. Juniors and seniors in these bachelor's programs can participate in Saint Leo's study abroad opportunities to places such as Australia, Greece, Italy, Ecuador, and England.

Resident and nonresident students pay equal tuition. Saint Leo participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which offers financial help to military members. Saint Leo provides students and alumni with job postings and career service benefits. Online learners can view library resources, such as ebooks, and use the Ask-A-Librarian feature for research help. The library also participates in Interlibrary Loan.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $360/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: CLEP and AP (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (877) 622-2009
Email: admissions@saintleo.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6 Cowley County Community College Arkansas City, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

Cowley College was founded in 1922 as the Arkansas City Junior College. Located in Kansas, this public school's 2015-2016 student enrollment surpassed 4,500 learners. Students can explore over 80 academic options and benefit from a 23-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. CC holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

CC offers an associate of arts in liberal arts. Students in this program can explore various career paths while completing coursework for four-year degrees.

Earning this associate in liberal arts online requires 62 credit hours. Learners must complete composition, college algebra, public speaking, and computer applications courses, but choose all other classes from categories. Degree seekers take nine credits in humanities, nine credits in social sciences, five credits in laboratory sciences, one credit in health and physical education, and 23 credits in electives. With more than 600 online course options, learners can select classes that reflect personal and career interests. Fifteen credits total must come from CC.

Each applicant must hold a 2.0 GPA to graduate and can then pursue bachelor's degrees at schools with CC transfer agreements. Cowley College delivers online courses asynchronously, with few exceptions, and offers vocational certificates in disciplines like cosmetology, welding, childcare, and medical coding healthcare.

Online CC students can access the school's e-library and utilize online tutoring through Tutor.com. Alumni can obtain Legacy scholarships and a bookstore discount; they may also attend alumni events. Graduates may earn the Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award for professional and community achievement.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $57/credit Cowley County residents; $68/credit in-state; $78/credit Oklahoma residents; $116/credit all other students
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT and course placement exams (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (620) 441-6335
Email: admissions@cowley.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7 Seminole State College of Florida Sanford, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

Seminole Junior College welcomed its first class in 1966, with 800 learners total. This public school became Seminole State College of Florida in 2009. In 2017-2018, Seminole State educated 29,467 students and conferred nearly 6,000 degrees. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits this institution.

Seminole State delivers an associate of arts in general education. This 60-credit program prepares learners for four-year degrees by requiring entry-level classes in English, math, science, communication, humanities, and social sciences. Learners may need to visit campus for orientations and tests.

Candidates can earn this associate in liberal arts online in two years, but they must complete 25% of their coursework at Seminole State. Other graduation requirements include a 2.5 GPA and at least a C in all English and math courses.

Graduates can pursue bachelor's degrees in fields such as accounting, geography, social work, computer science, and English. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Seminole State among the top 200 schools for online bachelor's programs.

Seminole State also offers certificates in business, education, health, public safety, and information technology for career-focused credentials. The school provides virtual tutoring in algebra, trigonometry, statistics, accounting, and Microsoft Excel. The Academic Success Center also delivers digital resources in math, science, and writing, offering tips for thesis writing and biology practice exams.

Distance learners can browse Seminole State Library's electronic databases, including subject-based collections, e-books, and video tutorials.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in General Education
Tuition: $80/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: Placement tests (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (407) 708-2424
Email: elearning@seminolestate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8 Rowan College at Burlington County Pemberton, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Rowan College at Burlington County started as Burlington County College in 1966. Almost 9,000 students enrolled at RCBC in fall 2017. This public school in Pemberton, New Jersey conferred 1,429 certificates and degrees during the 2016-2017 academic year. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits RCBC.

Students can pursue two online liberal arts associate degrees at RCBC, including an associate of arts in liberal arts. This degree provides insight into the human condition, cultural awareness, and societal changes. Learners can choose from the following concentrations: art and design, art education/art therapy, communication arts, English, history, journalism, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and theater. Enrollees who choose a concentration must complete 12 credits or four classes in that discipline.

The associate in science in liberal arts and sciences explores scientific theories, research, and methodologies, all of which enhance analytical abilities. Students can select concentrations in health or natural sciences, but they must complete 18 credits in that area.

For either path, degree seekers complete 61 credits, including courses in mathematics, communications, social science, natural science, and history. Both programs prepare for transfers into four-year degrees, so learners should review policies for their transfer school to determine which courses satisfy bachelor's degree requirements.

RCBC delivers online courses through Blackboard with timed exams, discussion forums, and other assignments. Distance learners can view videos using Blackboard and live chat with technical support for one-on-one guidance. Online students can also browse available jobs through the Career Services Center and obtain information on career events by following the center's social media. RCBC also offers a distance education scholarship.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts; AS in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Available Concentrations: AA - Art and design; art education/art therapy; communication arts; English; history; journalism; philosophy; political science; psychology; sociology; theater. AS - natural sciences; allied health
Tuition: $126/credit Burlington County residents; $142/credit in-state; $207/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 61 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, PARCC, ASVAB, or ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (856) 222-9311
Email: dlearn@rcbc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 24%

Located in Wahpeton, North Dakota State College of Science began in 1903. As of fall 2018, this public school boasted 2,957 learners and over 80 programs. Of the graduates from 2018, 99% earned employment or furthered their education; a total of 94% of NDSCS students obtain financial aid. The U.S. News & World Report ranks NDSCS among the top national universities and public schools. NDSCS holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The institution offers two online liberal arts associate degrees: the associate of science and the associate of arts in liberal arts. For both degrees, students can explore career goals and majors while earning credit for four-year programs.

Either program requires 65 credits, with core courses such as fundamentals of public speaking, composition, and science of success. Candidates also take classes in wellness; humanities/history; math, science, and computer information systems; social and behavioral sciences; and electives.

The college offers dual credit classes for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors with 3.0 GPAs. These students may receive reduced tuition. Graduates can transfer to four-year schools in North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota to benefit from NDSCS's transfer agreements.

NDSCS's career services department hosts events and a virtual job site, provides practice interviews, guides learners on resumes, and delivers online self-assessments. Online students can also benefit from tutoring through Smarthinking and TutorND. The Mildred Johnson Library maintains digital collections and participates in Interlibrary Loan.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts; AS in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $136/credit in-state;$363/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 65 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Contact
Phone: (701) 671-2317
Email: wade.king@ndscs.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Southern New Hampshire University began in 1932 as the New Hampshire Accounting and Secretarial School with less than 50 learners. This school now includes over 200 programs and more than 85,000 students. U.S. News & World Report both ranks SNHU as the most innovative school in the country and among the top regional universities in the North. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits this private, nonprofit school.

SNHU's associate of arts in liberal arts develops communication, problem-solving, technological, and creative-thinking skills. Candidates complete 60 credits in eight-week, asynchronous classes, including English composition, perspectives in liberal arts, and public speaking. Degree seekers must also take math, history, social science, natural science, and free elective courses. SNHU does not require standardized test results or specific GPAs for undergraduate admission.

Learners can earn this online associate in general studies in two years or less by transferring in 75% of their credits. Graduates can pursue four-year degrees, such as SNHU's online degrees in creative writing, history, marketing, computer science, and general studies. Candidates can also earn introductory positions in administration, social services, and business. SNHU also offers online undergraduate certificates in human resource management and accounting.


Online students pay equal tuition, regardless of residency. Military students earn financial assistance through discounts, the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, and the Yellow Ribbon Program. Distance learners can benefit from online tutoring through Smarthinking, library access, guidance from the online writing center, and webinars from career services. Virtual students can also use SNHUconnect for networking, professional tips, and club access.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 327-SNHU
Email: enroll@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11 Kaskaskia College Centralia, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Kaskaskia College in Illinois began as Centralia Township Junior College and currently offers 150 programs to more than 7,000 learners each year. These students benefit from a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and enjoy $7.2 million in financial aid every year. In 2018, KC conferred nearly 500 degrees. This public school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

KC's associate in general studies targets learners with multiple interests or without specific career goals. Students must complete 64 credits to earn this associate in liberal arts online. Courses must include math, science, social science, humanities, and personal and social development. Thirty-four program credits, however, come from electives, allowing learners to personalize the degree. KC offers courses asynchronously through Blackboard.

Applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores and may complete the Online Assessment System for Internet Students to see if online learning works for them.

To graduate, each degree seeker must hold a 2.0 GPA. Students can transfer to schools using KC's transfer agreements. Learners should consult transfer schools before pursuing the associate to determine which classes transfer to the bachelor's program.

Some high schools offer dual enrollment, where students can earn college credit for free. High school learners in KC's district can also participate in Jump Start for college credit at discount rates. KC accepts AP test scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate in General Studies
Tuition: $152/credit in-district; $251/credit in-state; $411/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 64 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (618) 545-3240
Email: jpryor@kaskaskia.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia began in 1971 and currently boasts more than 100,000 students from more than 80 countries. This private, nonprofit school grounds curriculum in Christian traditions and ranks as one of U.S News & World Report's top national universities. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Liberty.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers an associate of arts in interdisciplinary studies for students with multiple transfer credits or interests. The program builds communication, technical, and research skills to prepare for various entry-level positions. Learners complete 60 credits to earn this online associate in liberal arts, including 21-24 credits in electives. Liberty's asynchronous courses last eight weeks.

Candidates can graduate in 1.5 years -- or faster by transferring 75% of program credits. Liberty also awards credit for military training, professional training, and experience. Graduates can transfer to four-year programs, including a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies through Liberty.

Each applicant must hold a 2.0 GPA but may postpone the application fee. Transfer students can begin courses before Liberty receives transcripts. In-state and out-of-state learners pay the same tuition, with military students earning a discount. Liberty offers free digital textbooks for undergraduate classes.

Online students can submit drafts to and request Skype appointments from the online writing center. The department provides online resources on topics such as APA format, grammar, plagiarism, and punctuation. Distance learners can live chat with the center. Liberty provides online tutorials on time management, study tips, and online learning, and the Jerry Falwell Library delivers research tutorials and participates in Interlibrary Loan.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Interdisciplinary Studies
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: English proficiency exam (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luoundergrad@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

Ocean County College opened over 40 years ago. More than 8,000 learners enrolled at OCC in 2018, with over 36% choosing liberal arts programs. This public school in Toms River, New Jersey holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Students can pursue an online associate degree in liberal arts at OCC. This program requires 64 credits, with classes including fundamentals of public speaking and English. Learners must also choose courses from the following categories: humanities; social science; history; diversity; mathematics, science, and technology; and electives. A maximum of six credits may come from business classes.

OCC offers liberal arts concentrations in elementary education, elementary education - disability education, English, history, physical education teaching K-12, sociology, music education, music education - piano, pre-nursing, and psychology. Applicants may need to supply an immunization form and take the ACCUPLACER exam. High school students can earn college credit through Jump Start.

OCC conferred 485 liberal arts degrees in 2018, and graduates can pursue four-year degrees at schools that hold transfer agreements with OCC. Liberal arts graduates can work as editors, research assistants, historians, and marketers.

Online students can access library resources, including databases, journal articles, and 200,000 e-books. The writing center provides tutoring through email submission. Distance learners can also log into Student Planning to determine remaining program requirements and register for classes. OCC students can earn scholarships for study abroad opportunities to places such as Morocco, Ireland, and Costa Rica.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Available Concentrations: Elementary education; English; history; elementary education - disability education; physical education teaching K-12; sociology; music education; music education - piano; pre-nursing; psychology
Tuition: $121/credit in-county; $139/credit in-state; $225/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 64 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (732) 255-0400
Email: occadmissions@ocean.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Austin Peay State University (APSU) has been educating students since 1927 through their ground campuses in Tennessee and Kentucky, and now through their online programs. One such online program is their liberal arts associate degree program.

Students in this program engage with other students and instructors using the D2L synchronous learning platform, which uses deadlines and specific start and end times. Services available to on-campus students, such as library services and advising, are available to online students as well.

The 60-credit program is designed for students who want to transfer to a four-year college or university. Upon completing this degree, students are equipped to take on more responsibility at work or pursue higher education. will also give students better qualifications when seeking new employment.

To apply for the program, students must fill out their applications depending on their student type. Admission rules vary for first-time, transfer, military, international, or nursing students. Official high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores are required, and students may also apply for financial aid.

Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $274/credit in-state; $635/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (931) 221-6643
Email: kingsandersn@apsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15 San Antonio College San Antonio, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 38%

San Antonio College (SAC) has been educating students for over 90 years. With online options now available in addition to their San Antonio campus, SAC offers many opportunities for students to discover career paths.

SAC's general liberal arts associate degree is offered 100% online and is ideal for students planning to pursue a bachelor's program. The 60-credit program usually takes two years to complete, though part-time students will take longer. Students wishing to transfer to a four-year degree should check with their future school to confirm that transfer credits from SAC will be accepted.

Students can expect to take classes in composition, mathematics, natural sciences with a laboratory component, and social and behavioral sciences, plus 15 credits in major-related topics. To apply for the program, applicants must fill out an admissions form, submit their high school or GED transcripts, meet placement test requirements, and schedule an appointment with advising.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in General Liberal Arts
Tuition: $99/credit in-district; $215/credit in-state; $466/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: TSI Placement Tests

Contact
Phone: (210) 486-0000
Email: sac-ar@alamo.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16 Brenau University Gainesville, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

Located in Georgia, Brenau University has been helping students pursue their educations since 1878. Brenau offers an associate of arts degree in liberal studies online and on campus. This two-year program is ideal for students planning to continue on to a bachelor's degree.

This program requires 61 credits earned through 20 courses. Covered topics include computer literacy, art appreciation, communications, earth science, and personal finance. The aim of the program is to produce well-rounded graduates who are ready to take on a variety of careers.

Brenau uses the Canvas learning platform to offer the same quality education as on-campus classes, with personal attention from instructors and a low student-to-faculty ratio. Courses are also offered in accelerated 7-week sessions, allowing students to complete their studies sooner. To apply, incoming students must submit transcripts from all previous schools with a minimum 2.75 GPA from high school or 2.0 GPA from other colleges.

Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Studies
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 252-5119
Email: info@brenau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17 Florida Institute of Technology-Online Melbourne, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, has been helping students strive towards leadership for 60 years. Florida Tech offers programs both on campus and online, including an associate of arts in liberal studies, which is 100% online.

This 61-credit program focuses on problem-solving and critical-thinking by studying a variety of fields, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and literature. Courses give students a broad knowledge base from which to pursue careers or higher education. Courses cover business computer skills, composition and rhetoric, statistics, and writing about literature. In addition to these core courses, students also choose seven elective courses. Courses last eight weeks, and the average student completes the program in two years. Applicants need proof of a high school diploma or GED and transcripts from any previous colleges. There is no application fee.

Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: CLEP, Advanced Placement, or DANTES

Contact
Phone: (855) 300-1469
Email: information@floridatechonline.com
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Located in Minnesota, Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) has been educating students since 1961. ATCC offers a liberal arts and sciences associate in arts degree to meet the flexible and ever-changing needs of students.

This program satisfies the first two years of a bachelor's degree. It requires 60 credits and usually takes two years for full-time students. Course requirements include 11-16 general elective credits, 1-3 wellness elective credits, 2-3 information literacy electives, 40 credits from the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, and 1-3 career exploration credits.

Students who take this course online can balance other life responsibilities with studying, and advising services are readily available. To apply to the program, aspiring students must fill out an application, pay an application fee, and supply transcripts from high school, GED programs, or any college previously attended. ATCC welcomes transfer, international, and military students.

Alexandria Technical and Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Tuition: $199/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (320) 762-4600
Email: info@alextech.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

19 Lincoln Land Community College Springfield, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

Founded in 1967, Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) is based out of Illinois. The school has been offering online courses for 20 years, including an associate of liberal arts degree designed for students who want to transfer into bachelor programs. The 60-credit program can be completed in two years.

This online program covers a range of topics, offering courses in public speaking, social science, natural science, fine arts, and humanities. To make things simpler, LLCC offers a recommended course schedule that can be completed in four semesters.

While the program can be taken completely online, students can also take classes on campus as it suits their schedules. The college recommends a mix of learning formats and uses Blackboard for online learning.


To apply, students must submit an application and transcripts from previous schools attended, and scheduling a meeting with an adviser. Tuition varies by student type; you can view the tuition and fee schedule here.

Lincoln Land Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $132/credit in-district; $263/credit in-state; $395/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (800) 727-4161
Email: info@llcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Worthington, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Minnesota West Community and Technical College (MWCTC) in Worthington, Minnesota offers an associate of arts in liberal arts program that helps students transition into bachelor degrees by fulfilling freshman and sophomore prerequisites.

The 60-credit program allows students to test drive various occupations and narrow their focus. Covered courses include speech and communications, biology, composition, chemistry, and physics. Students also choose 6-10 free electives and they can expect to graduate in less than two years if they attend school full time. Online students can access the same resources as on-campus students, including libraries and advising services.

To enroll, students must provide high school transcripts or GED documents, plus transcripts from any previous college education. There is also a college assessment test that applicants must complete before officially registering. MWCTC also offers a free introduction to online learning course for online students who are unsure about enrolling.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $184/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (800) 658-2330
Email: kari.larson@mnwest.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21 Louisiana State University-Alexandria Alexandria, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Founded in 1961, Louisiana State University at Alexandria offers a variety of undergraduate programs, including an associate of arts liberal arts program and an associate of science liberal arts program. Both programs require 60 credits and can be completed in two years by a full-time student. Students who graduate from these programs can transfer their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Associate of arts graduates can become teaching assistants, paralegals, consultants, or advertising sales agents. Associate of science graduates can pursue careers as computer network support specialists, web developers, or engineer technicians. If you have a specific career goal in mind, it's best to check common education requirements for your career before enrolling in a college program to ensure that you will be qualified upon graduation.

Core courses in this associate program include English composition, algebra, physical science, fine arts, and computer literacy. This program is an excellent opportunity for students to explore subjects and find what interests them most.

Tuition varies depending on whether students are in-state or out-of-state residents. Applicants must have a 2.0 minimum GPA, and must submit high school transcripts and ACT scores.

Louisiana State University at Alexandria is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA or AS in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Tuition: $234/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or COMPASS (if applicable)

Contact
Phone: (844) 213-2753
Email: admissions@lsua.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22 Clovis Community College Clovis, NM Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Clovis Community College (CCC) in Clovis, New Mexico was founded in 1991 and offers an online associate of arts degree in liberal arts to meet student need for flexible education options. This degree is ideal for students who want to explore subjects before declaring a major in a four year degree. The program offers learners a solid foundation for a bachelor's degree.

Students will graduate this program able to identify tasks and solve problems, communicate effectively, and think creatively, giving them a competitive edge over candidates who only have high school degrees. The program requires 67-68 credits, and students who enroll full time can finish in four semesters, which usually takes two years.

To apply, students must fill out an application, submit transcripts from previous schools, and set up an appointment with an adviser. Fall tuition is determined by credits, and CCC offers discounts for in-state or senior students.

Clovis Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts; AA in General Studies
Available Concentrations: Education for liberal arts
Tuition: $44/credit in-district; $54/credit in-state; $111/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60-68 credits
Program Length: 4 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (575) 769-4020
Email: marcus.smith@clovis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Located in the beautiful Honolulu, Hawai'i, Chaminade University of Honolulu was founded in 1955. The school offers a hybrid associate of arts in liberal arts program, with options for studying partially online. This 60-credit program can be completed in two years by a full-time student.

Courses in this program include history, English, fine arts, religion, and social sciences. The interdisciplinary approach provides a strong educational foundation, and credits can be transferred toward a bachelor's degree. Online students can study from anywhere, taking classes on their own schedules and balancing education with other life commitments.

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA, and at least 15 core credits must be completed in person at the Chaminade campus, plus 12 credits of the student's concentration. To apply, students must submit an application, an application fee, and transcripts from all previous schools, including high school, GED programs, or other universities.

Chaminade University of Honolulu is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Arts
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 735-3733
Email: admissions@chaminade.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) is a public university founded in 1852 in the city of California, Pennsylvania. The school offers an associate of arts in liberal studies degree completely online in which students can expect to take courses in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These courses build analytical skills and help students adapt to an ever-changing career landscape.

Graduates of this program can pursue career advancement or apply to new positions from a solid academic base. Careers this degree leads to include advertising, marketing, consulting, sales, and public relations. Students can also transfer credits into a bachelor's degree, and full-time students can complete this 60-credit program in two years.

California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Liberal Studies
Tuition: $3,858/semester in-state; $5,787/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (888) 412-0479
Email: admissions@calu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25 Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 16%

Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wake Technical Community College (WTCC) offers an associate of arts in liberal arts degree completely online. This 64-credit program can be completed in less than two years.

Lessons are delivered to students' mobile devices or computers, which makes studying convenient at any time. Online students have access to the same advising support as on-campus students, and the university offers tutorials for its online learning environment to help students get comfortable.

To apply for the program, students must complete an interview, submit an application and official transcripts, take a placement test, and meet with advisers.

Wake Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (919) 532-5768
Email: ealewis@waketech.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

CAREER PATHS

The versatile curriculum of an associate degree in liberal arts prepares students for a range of career possibilities. Critical thinking, effective argumentation, and written and verbal communication are essential to careers in sales, business, the arts, and social services. Most entry-level jobs are attainable with an associate degree, while positions with greater leadership roles and responsibilities typically require a bachelor's degree or higher. However, an associate degree is a great way to evaluate a career path before deciding upon further education.

Administrative Assistant

Performing clerical and administrative tasks at offices of all types, administrative assistants carry a range of responsibilities, from filing and preparing documents to scheduling appointments and offering staff support.

Median Annual Salary - $37,230
Projected Growth Rate - 3%

Sales Associate

Sales associates work in retail environments, offer customer service, and maintain store facilities. They may be employed in a variety of industries, such as clothing, electronics, cars, and furniture.

Median Annual Salary - $22,900
Projected Growth Rate - 7%

Writer

Writers create written content for publications like books, magazines, advertisements, and websites. While some are employed by companies and work in offices, others are self-employed and work from home.

Median Annual Salary - $61,240
Projected Growth Rate - 2%

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

A liberal arts associate degree builds a strong foundation for further education. If you're interested in career advancement and management opportunities, you should consider transferring your associate credits toward a full bachelor's degree. The broad nature of the liberal arts curriculum prepares you for a range of educational paths in just about any subject that interests you. Along with specialized knowledge, you'll also increase your earning potential dramatically; PayScale reports that, on average, bachelor's degree holders earn about 20% more than associate degree holders.

  • English: English majors study the intricacies of writing and literature, while learning to develop compelling arguments and communicate effectively throughout writing. Many graduates pursue jobs as teachers, but English is applicable to any field that involves writing.
  • History: Students in history programs examine the history of countries, regions, cultures, ideas, and people. They analyze history itself and also the processes that create it. Like English, history is a versatile subject that helps distance learners develop skills in writing, communication, argumentation, and critical thinking, making it relevant to a range of careers.
  • Social Sciences: This broad field explores the practices of human socialization, providing students analytical and research skills to examine human behavior patterns. Social sciences may include disciplines as diverse as psychology, anthropology, international studies, and sociology.

ASSOCIATE IN LIBERAL ARTS SALARY

Given the range of careers available to liberal arts graduates, salaries can vary widely based on chosen profession. This chart collects median salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some common liberal arts careers.

Median Salary by Career

Job Title Average Salary
High School Teacher $58,030
Writer $61,240
Social Worker $46,890
Graphic Designer $47,640
Human Resource Specialist $59,180

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Liberal arts students and professionals connect with one another through an assortment of professional organizations and associations, and feature members from around the world. These groups offer a vast selection of resources for those studying or employed in liberal arts fields, like mentoring, knowledge sharing, networking, job opportunities, trade publications, and professional conferences. The following groups are open to undergraduates studying liberal arts.

You have several options to fund your associate liberal arts degree, but your first step is to complete the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal funding. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for some combination of grants, scholarships, work study, or student loans. If you're pursuing a specific career path, such as teaching or social work, you may also be eligible for increased scholarship or grant opportunities in exchange for working with certain communities or organizations upon graduation.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts of 2018
Rank School Location
1 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
2 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
3 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN
4 Southwest Virginia Community College Richlands, VA
5 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND
6 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
7 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN
8 Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown, VA
9 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
10 Lake Region State College Devils Lake, ND
11 Bucks County Community College Newtown, PA
12 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
13 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
14 Ridgewater College Willmar, MN
15 Lincoln Land Community College Springfield, IL
16 Palo Alto College San Antonio, TX
17 Rowan College at Burlington County Pemberton, NJ
18 Eastern University Saint Davids, PA
19 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
20 Cowley County Community College Arkansas City, KS
21 New England College Henniker, NH
22 Brescia University Owensboro, KY
23 Columbia College Columbia, MO
24 Chesapeake College Wye Mills, MD
25 Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS
Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
2 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
3 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN
4 Southwest Virginia Community College Richlands, VA
5 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND
6 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
7 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN
8 Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown, VA
9 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
10 Lake Region State College Devils Lake, ND
11 Bucks County Community College Newtown, PA
12 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
13 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
14 Ridgewater College Willmar, MN
15 Lincoln Land Community College Springfield, IL
16 Palo Alto College San Antonio, TX
17 Rowan College at Burlington County Pemberton, NJ
18 Eastern University Saint Davids, PA
19 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
20 Cowley County Community College Arkansas City, KS
21 New England College Henniker, NH
22 Brescia University Owensboro, KY
23 Columbia College Columbia, MO
24 Chesapeake College Wye Mills, MD
25 Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS