Why This Matters

  • DEVELOP BUSINESS SKILLS IN OVER 10 AREAS

    As an introductory-level degree, an associate’s program will provide foundational coursework in multiple business areas, including accounting, management, business ethics, and computer programs like QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel.

  • JOB GROWTH IN BUSINESS TO RISE 10% BY 2026

    Thanks to globalization, a growing economy, the development of new marketing strategies, and changes in tax regulations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the U.S. will add about 773,800 new business jobs within the next seven years.

  • YOU COULD SAVE $6,570 PER YEAR ON TUITION

    Many community colleges offer associate’s degrees. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, average annual tuition at a public community college is $3,660, compared to $10,230 per year at a public four-year university.

Our Research

The different types of associate’s degrees are Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science. Our list includes all three types; the degree that works best for you will depend on your educational and career goals.

All of the listed programs have regional accreditation. Attending a regionally accredited school for an associate’s degree is important if you plan to transfer your credits to a bachelor’s program at a four-year institution. These schools will typically only accept transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

We also included programs that have special business accreditations, such as the AACSB, the ACBSP, and the IACBE.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated each of them based on reputation, cost, course strength, and flexibility. We then calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best associate’s degree in business administration are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 81 hours to write this article
  • 224 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 417 education programs we compared

The Top 59 Business Administration Associate’s Degrees

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Associate’s degrees are typically designed for individuals who have no prior post-secondary educational experience. As such, the coursework is a combination of general education subjects like English composition, science, and math, and foundational classes in your major area of focus.

An associate’s degree will prepare you for entry-level jobs in business, but it is not meant to take the place of a bachelor’s degree, which you may need to advance in your career or obtain higher-level jobs. Earning an associate’s degree before you enter a bachelor’s program can save you time and money, as you can transfer the credits you earned in your associate’s program to your bachelor’s program. Just be aware that there is likely additional college education in your future after getting an associate’s degree.

All of the coursework for our listed programs can be completed online, but some of them offer elective internships that require in-person attendance. Check in with your program of interest to find out what their internship requirements are, and make sure you can fit them into your schedule.

Business administration is a broad field, but some programs focus on a particular area of business, like entrepreneurship or aviation business administration. Your career goals will determine whether you want to enter a broad or focused program.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Associate Business Administration programs:

  • Does this program offer the specialization that I want? There are many areas of focus within business administration, including management, accounting, and information technology. If you are considering a career in one of these areas, you should find a program that offers a specialization in that topic.
  • Does this school have articulation agreements with four-year universities? If you are planning to transfer your credits to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree, you should find out if the school granting your associate’s degree has an articulation agreement with other schools. Transferring between schools with articulation agreements can make the process easier and faster, and guarantee that your credits will transfer.

As part of your research process, you should also check out the school’s admissions requirements and deadlines, and their financial aid options. This information is typically available on the school’s website, or by contacting an admissions representative directly.