Top 25 Online Associate in Business Administration Programs for 2019

The skills obtained through an online associate degree in business will prepare you for a career in many different industries. Organizational, interpersonal communication, budgeting, and marketing expertise will make you a competitive candidate for jobs as an administrative or executive assistant within corporations, healthcare organizations, and technology firms.

The BLS projects this field to grow 3% by 2024. Graduates are also prepared for careers in restaurant management, which has a projected job growth of 5% by 2024. An online associate degree in business provides the flexibility to continue working while completing courses.

What Are the Best Online Associate in Business Administration Programs?


Endicott College Beverly, MA

Endicott College’s online associate degree in business emphasizes core business principles. Graduates can transfer credits to a bachelor’s program. The online program requires students to earn 66 credits and takes two years to complete. Courses cover introductory material in accounting, marketing, business communications, and economics. Endicott College, located in Beverly, Massachusetts, created the degree to meet the unique needs of nontraditional students. Students must be 24 years old and have two years of full-time work experience to qualify for admission. Endicott College offers students the opportunity to earn academic credit for their life experiences. Online students also have access to support services, including tutoring and writing help. The Endicott College library offers resources and assistance by phone or fax.


Concordia University Mequon, WI

The Concordia University-Wisconsin online associate degree in business management offers a broad liberal arts and business education. The Lutheran university’s curriculum includes practical courses in business management, finance, and marketing. Students have the opportunity to complete internships. The online program allows students to start their degree at any time and complete coursework on their schedule. The program requires students to earn at least 63 credits. A two-year accelerated program is taught through a blended learning option, with online courses and in-person classes that meet weekly. The accelerated program admits students every six weeks. Learners can earn up to 24 credits in a single year. Graduates are prepared for careers in sales, management, and human resources. They are also prepared to start their own business.


Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN

Students can complete Indiana Wesleyan University’s online associate degree in business in 26 months. The program emphasizes general business studies and offers start dates every six weeks. Faculty members have real-world business experience, which complements their academic credentials. Class formats include lectures, seminars, and interactive learning opportunities. The program’s real-world business case study acts as the capstone experience. Students take one course at a time. All courses are scheduled after students complete their one-time registration, so students don’t have to worry about unavailable classes. The cost of the program — tuition, books, fees, and other necessary resources — is paid in installments. All books and course materials are shipped directly to students. The library also has dedicated staff members to assist online associate degree in business students. The program is taken in a cohort format.


Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN

Crown College, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers an online associate degree in business that combines Christian principles and ethics with core business knowledge. The school, one of four Christian and Missionary Alliance colleges in the United States, requires students to earn at least 64 credits. The curriculum requires students to complete Christian education courses in addition to general and business education studies. A mandatory college success strategies class helps students develop skills to succeed online. Collaborative learning experiences supplement lectures and offer opportunities to form personal connections with classmates. The online format allows students to work around their professional or family commitments. Credits transfer to the online bachelor’s degree offered by Crown College.


Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX

Dallas Baptist University offers service learning opportunities as part of its online associate degree in business administration. The 60-credit program uses participation in civic or nonprofit activities for educational purposes and development of leadership and citizenship skills. Distance students pay the same tuition and fees as on-campus students, and payment plans are available. Online classes use the Blackboard learning system, which supports mobile devices, web conferencing, and media on demand. Courses are taught asynchronously and instructors require weekly participation. A hybrid option is also available, which requires some face-to-face interaction. Military or corporate training may satisfy some of the general education requirements. Courses include principles of financial accounting, corporate financial management, and information systems.


Bryan College Dayton, TN

Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, offers an accelerated format for its online associate degree in business, allowing students to start the program every six weeks. Students take one class at a time. Christian principles form the basis of the curriculum, though the college is not affiliated with any denomination. The 60-credit degree allows students to complete all general education requirements, which can be transferred to an undergraduate program. Bryan College allows students to transfer up to 50% of the required credits. Students are required to complete a Biblical foundations and Christian thought course as part of the general education requirements. Major courses include economics, marketing, and personal finance. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and earn at least a C- in all major courses.


Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA

Toccoa Falls College in northern Georgia offers an online associate degree in business administration with a focus on character development. The college, affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, requires two semesters of service and outreach, which provide hands-on learning opportunities. Students serve the community through church ministries, mentoring programs, and nonprofit agencies. The 63-credit curriculum includes instruction in the areas of accounting, ethics, management, and marketing. Online students have the option to participate in study abroad opportunities, preparing them for a global business environment. A required online orientation prepares students for the online course format. Applications include transcripts and a personal statement and could include a personal interview. Full-time emergency first responders qualify for tuition discounts.


Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA

Bay Path’s online associate degree in business administration emphasizes leadership and decision making. The program requires students to earn at least 60 credits. Students can take the program completely online or in person, one day a week. The accelerated format allows students to complete their degree in one year. Rolling admissions allow degree seekers to begin classes throughout the year. Each class lasts six weeks. The women as empowered leaders and learners class allows students to develop leadership skills in a collaborative environment. Bay Path University is a leader in educating women. The school created the One Day A Week College in 1999 and The American Women’s College online in 2014. Bay Path University accepts transfer credits, and the school offers college credit for skills gained through work, volunteer, or military service.


Baker University Baldwin City, KS

Baker University designed two tracks for its online associate degree in business: the foundations track and the pathways track. The foundations track is for students with less than 24 college credits; the pathways track is for students with more than 24 credits. The Methodist university’s business program includes fundamental courses such as business and accounting. Specialty courses are also offered, which examine the economic impact of social problems and the leadership examples provided by Biblical figures. Baker University, located in Baldwin City, Kansas, uses Moodle to manage online learning resources. Faculty members use weekly sessions and discussions to meet course objectives. The asynchronous online platform allows students to complete the 63 credits on their own schedule. Students can earn credit for professional certifications or military training. The accelerated classes begin every seven weeks, and the school offers rolling admissions.


Belhaven University Jackson, MS

Belhaven University offers a two-year, 62-credit, online associate degree in business. Tuition discounts are available for active duty and reserve military members, veterans, military spouses, and dependents. Courses last eight weeks and are delivered through an asynchronous, online learning platform. Students may transfer credits from prior college experiences and earn up to 45 credits through examination, military training, professional certifications, and portfolio assessment. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the degree offers a foundation for students who wish to continue their studies with a bachelor’s degree. The Presbyterian college offers core business courses and an examination of ethical leadership course. Numerous publications and organizations have recognized the school for its focus on character development and its Biblical curriculum.


Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX

The online associate degree in business administration from Southwestern Assemblies of God University approaches business from a Christian perspective. The Pentecostal-affiliated school focuses on ethics in the foundational business courses. Students are required to earn at least 61 credits. First-time students and transfer students may apply. Nontraditional students with work experience may qualify for up to 15 credits through experiential learning. The Blackboard online learning platform provides students with continuous access to courses. Students also have access to online academic resources and student development workshops. The business for missions program offers a hands-on learning and service experience, helping to grow micro-businesses in third-world nations; this program is not required. The program includes research and data collection, development of business plans, communication, and analysis of the business’ success.


Colorado Christian University Lakewood, CO

Students seeking an online associate degree in business administration from Colorado Christian University can take some classes in person or complete all coursework online. The program combines a faith-based curriculum with business education, such as computer information systems. The degree requires students to earn 60 credits and can be completed in two years. The school accepts up to 45 transfer credits, and students can earn academic credit for work, military, and technical experience. Students complete one course every five weeks. Online coursework is completed asynchronously, while classroom-based courses meet once a week at one of the six regional learning centers in Colorado. The interdenominational Christian school allows students to enroll at the start of each new five-week course period. All credits apply toward the Colorado Christian University bachelor’s degrees in business administration or accounting.


St. Leo University St. Leo, FL

Saint Leo University, located in Florida, offers an interactive learning experience with its online associate degree in business administration. A rolling admissions process allows students to start classes during any of the six, yearly eight-week terms. Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, courses cover business fundamentals and liberal arts general education. The degree requires students to earn 60 credits, 24 of which focus on business. A professional development seminar provides a capstone experience, requiring students to create a professional development plan for their career path. The school accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions. Students with prior work or military experience may earn experiential learning credits. Learners can take exams to accelerate degree completion.


Averett University Danville, VA

Averett University consulted corporate partners in Virginia, including Verizon and United Parcel Services, when they developed the online associate degree in business administration. The curriculum focuses on communication, critical thinking, and mathematical reasoning, providing a strong foundation for students who plan to continue their studies at the bachelor’s level. Classes include case studies and the practical application of business theories. Learners with no college experience can complete the 60-credit program in two years. Averett University also allows students to transfer up to 36 credits, with free transfer credit evaluation. The Moodle online learning platform provides continuous access to course materials. Students log in and complete assignments on their schedule, but must meet instructor deadlines.


Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA

Northwest Iowa Community College offers an online associate degree in business management through the Iowa Community College Online Consortium. Online students pay about $15 more per credit than resident students. The 62-credit program offers specializations in business management or financial and insurance services. Students take 16-week classes or eight-week accelerated classes. Four-week intensive courses in winter and summer terms allow for students to accelerate their degree. Northwest Iowa Community College credits transfer to numerous four-year universities, often satisfying the general education requirements for bachelor’s programs. Northwest Iowa accepts transfer credits from other accredited colleges. The school uses the Canvas learning platform. Online students may access online tutoring through Smarthinking, which provides academic and writing support.


Southern New Hampshire University Hooksett, NH

Southern New Hampshire University’s business administration associate degree online is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The program requires students to earn 60 credits and prepares them for entry-level positions. Courses provide a foundation in financial accounting and human resources. Classes also cover international business topics. Southern New Hampshire University offers credit transfer, making it easier for non-traditional students to complete their degrees. Students may transfer up to 45 transfer credits. The accelerated course format allows students to take one class every eight weeks, with continuous access to online course materials. Students also have access to online research materials, tutoring services, and career counseling. The school offers tuition discounts for members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses.


Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI

Chaminade University-Honolulu incorporates hands-on learning as part of its online associate degree in business administration. Students must earn at least 60 credits. The curriculum focuses on written communication and practical experiences. Enrollment is capped at 16 students, allowing greater interaction with the faculty. Internship experiences are encouraged. The Catholic university allows up to 45 transfer credits toward degree requirements. Transfer applicants must have earned a 2.0 GPA in college coursework and must also provide a personal statement for admission. Rolling admissions allow students to begin the program in January, April, July, or October. Students take courses in 10-week accelerated terms. The accredited program also fulfills the general education requirements of the bachelor’s program.


Alexandria Technical and Community College Alexandria, MN

Alexandria Technical and Community College offers an online associate degree in business administration. The school designed the curriculum for students planning to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree. The 60-credit program takes approximately two years to complete. Distance Minnesota handles course delivery for Alexandria College, with articulation agreements in place with Minnesota State University at Moorhead and the University of Minnesota at Crookston. Students looking to open businesses have the option of completing a certificate, a diploma, or extra credits that cover business fundamentals such as accounting and business law. Some courses require on-campus meetings the first week of class. Students who are unable to attend the in-person meetings may contact the instructor by email.


Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, PA

Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s part-time, online associate degree in business administration requires students to earn 60 credits. Learners can complete the program in two years. The curriculum prepares graduates to enter the workforce or continue their education in a bachelor’s program. Students with prior college experience can transfer up to 30 credits. Non-traditional students may earn additional credits through examination or for professional experience. Out-of-state, online students pay a higher tuition than residents. Active duty military and veterans qualify for special tuition discounts. Instructors utilize multi-media presentations, discussion forums, and collaborative learning through the Desire2Learn delivery platform. A hands-on, real-time orientation, conducted online the week before classes begin, allows students to familiarize themselves with the technology.


Dakota State University Madison, SD

The online associate degree in business management from Dakota State University integrates technology throughout the 60-credit program. Professors bring academic and professional experience to the classroom. Courses emphasize the software used in the field. The advanced computer applications spreadsheets course ensures that students are proficient in the applications before entering the workforce. Online students have access to free tutoring services. Students access assignments, lecture notes, and exams through the Desire2Learn platform. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The school provides opportunities for collaboration among online and on-campus students. An online transfer equivalency calculator helps transfer students see how many of their credits will transfer. Students pay for courses by the credit instead of a bulk rate.


Independence University Salt Lake City, UT

Students gain experience in business management and accounting through Independence University’s online associate degree. The 20-month program includes 97 credits. Courses cover business fundamentals such as accounting, finance, and business law. They also delve into issues of business etiquette, professional branding, and accountability. The online associate degree in business management curriculum does not include liberal arts electives, it instead focuses on career-specific knowledge. The online format allows students the flexibility to complete coursework around their schedule. New classes start every month. Tuition includes the cost of textbooks, and the school provides students with a tablet and a laptop, both loaded with applications necessary to complete course requirements. Success coaches provide one-on-one support to students. Students may access a variety of online tutoring and academic support services.


University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX

The online associate degree in business administration from the University of the Incarnate Word requires 22 hours of community service in addition to the 60 academic credits. Classes last eight weeks. By taking two courses per eight-week term, students can complete the program in two years. Students may transfer up to 30 credits, provided they earned a grade of C or higher in the course. The school provides textbooks at no charge to undergraduate students. University of the Incarnate Word, the largest Catholic university in Texas, assists first-generation Hispanic students in meeting higher education goals. While students may complete all of the courses online, flexible in-person classes are also available through learning centers in San Antonio, Killeen, and Corpus Christi.


Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, AK

The online associate degree in business administration from Alaska Pacific University includes courses in critical thinking, finance, and organizational leadership. The fully online program offers year-round admission. Small class sizes allow students to collaborate, and faculty also serve as mentors. The competency-based approach allows students to accelerate their studies. Students must earn at least 64-credits. Alaska Pacific University integrates active learning opportunities throughout the program, with an emphasis on interaction with peers, research, and reflective writing. Courses include required “live chats” once or twice a week. Online students attend an on-campus training session in the eLearning system before taking their first course. Credits from prior college learning are accepted. Students must complete the final 16 credits through Alaska Pacific University.


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide addresses the unique needs of the aviation industry with its online associate degree in business administration. The school works closely with leaders in the aviation and aerospace industry to provide relevant course work. Students gain practical business experience that can set them apart when applying for operational and executive positions. Professors help students develop leadership, communication, and analytical skills. Courses cover information management, accounting, and management for aeronautical science. Classes start each month, with 60 credits required to graduate. Students may transfer credits from prior college experience or military training. The accelerated course format allows students to complete a course every nine weeks. Academic advisers work with students to develop personalized degree plans.


Community Care College Tulsa, OK

Community Care College introduced its online associate degree in business and industry management in the spring of 2017. The school designed the curriculum for students looking to increase job opportunities within their chosen industry. The program is not designed for students seeking a bachelor’s degree. Faculty can tailor each course to a student’s industry to ensure that coursework is relevant. Learners who have taken core academic college classes can complete the degree in ten months. Students with no college experience may need up to two years to earn the degree. Students enjoy access to instructors by phone, email, text and chat. Community Care, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, focuses on the educational needs of paraprofessionals.

How to Choose an Online Associate in Business Administration Program

Pursuing an online associate degree in business administration will prepare you for entry-level business careers or undergraduate studies. As you research the options available, keep your goals in mind. If you are planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree after graduation, ensure that the credits you earn will transfer and that the institution is accredited. It is important to check if the college or university requires on-campus attendance for part of the program and if classes are held asynchronously or synchronously.

Educational Paths

An online associate degree in business provides transfer opportunities to bachelor’s programs in related fields. Most credits earned from an online associate degree in business fulfill requirements within bachelor’s programs, giving students the opportunity to complete their degree in less time. According to the BLS, graduates of bachelor’s programs in related business fields make higher salaries than those with associate degrees.

  • BS in Business Administration

    This degree prepares students to become effective business leaders and supervisors. Course subjects include accounting, human resources, marketing, and law. Many programs offer additional concentrations in specific areas of business administration, including human resource management and organizational leadership.

  • BS in Organizational Leadership

    This program teaches students organizational behavior and management styles. It also assists in developing leadership skills for strategically managing organizational transitions and major changes. The degree focuses on communication, problem solving, and conflict management

  • BS in Project Management

    Project managers oversee projects, which includes planning, risk assessment, budgeting, execution, and reporting to stakeholders. Project managers are prepared for careers in construction, technology, and the government. Degree coursework emphasizes critical thinking, quality assurance, and time management.

  • BS in Hospitality Management

    This program prepares students for management careers in restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Coursework covers employee supervision, food safety, front office operations, accounting, and marketing. Graduates have the problem solving, interpersonal communication, and leadership skills to advance within the hospitality field.

Career Paths for Business Administration Graduates

Graduates of online associate degree in business administration programs are prepared for careers in many different industries. Entry-level jobs requiring the skills gained from these programs are necessary in corporations, healthcare, hospitality, retail, nonprofit organizations, and technology. Many graduates obtain positions as assistants and managers.

Executive Assistant

Executive assistants support company executives with administrative, clerical, and office tasks. They manage daily schedules, travel itineraries, errands, and correspondence. They oversee other clerical staff members and make hiring decisions. Executive assistants also organize special projects and events and are typically required to work long hours and travel.

Median Salary: $52,948

General Manager, Restaurant

A restaurant general manager oversees all operational details, including hiring and managing staff, menu selection, food ordering, and working with suppliers. They may also make marketing decisions and assist with business planning and budgeting. These managers often assist with special events and are responsible for maintaining the presentation of the restaurant and grounds.

Median Salary: $47,404

Retail Store Manager

Retail store managers hire, train, and oversee staff and their schedules. They manage store operations, including inventory and general store presentation. Managers maintain customer service and brand standards on behalf of the company and are responsible for meeting sales goals. They monitor daily sales and deposits.

Median Salary: $45,514

Office Manager

Office managers oversee all operational aspects of an office and work closely with company executives. They typically manage all supply and equipment orders for the office and are responsible for budgeting. Administrative staff often report to the office manager. Some customer service duties and recordkeeping tasks are also required.

Median Salary: $45,001

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants support an individual or team with secretarial duties, including correspondence, data entry, accounting, and billing. They may also serve in a customer service capacity by taking phone calls and greeting visitors. Administrative assistants manage travel and meeting schedules and are responsible for maintaining a presentable office space.

Median Salary: $37,940

Job Outlook and Salary

Secretary, administrative assistant, and executive assistant positions are projected to grow by 3% between 2014 and 2024. Salaries depend on the specific position and industry. Location also affects salary, as urban areas tend to pay higher salaries than rural. Job growth may be higher or lower based on the actual position selected, such as office manager or receptionist.

Projected Employment for Management Careers
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
3,976,800 4,095,600 (3% increase)

Source: BLS


If you’re pursuing a business administration associate degree online, it’s important to understand that a higher salary is related to years of experience. The careers listed below offer additional opportunities for enhanced responsibility, including event and project management, which can result in increased compensation. Depending on the industry, salary levels can be even higher. Executive assistants will earn more working for a Fortune 500 corporation or technology firm than for a local small business.

To determine the best online associate in business administration programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 25 best associate in business administration programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.