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Online Associate Degree Programs

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Online Associate Degree Programs

National University can steer you toward success in some of the most in-demand and lucrative career fields. Building on our 50-year history of outstanding academics, dedicated faculty, and a global alum network of 190,000 and growing, National University makes online associate degrees attainable for adult learners, busy parents, and hard-working professionals who need a competitive edge.

Associate of Science in Business Program Page

Featured Associate Degree Programs

National University’s associate degree programs grant you the opportunity to have a well-rounded education in several fields. Whether you want to enter the field of education or something in the business world, an associate degree is your first step into a wider world of learning and potential career growth.

NU’s degree programs are accredited, convenient, and built for working adults. Start your journey today!

1. Associate of Arts in General Education

Are you looking for an education in an exciting and critical field? National University’s Associate of Arts in General Education program encompasses the instruction of English and mathematical skills, plus the humanities, information literacy, science, and social science disciplines.

Pursuing an associate of arts in general education is an opportunity to discover education topics and self-improvement and also serves as an introduction to and foundation for areas of study you may want to explore further. It prepares you for a more insightful, rewarding life in an ever-changing industry.

2. Associate of Science in Business

If you’re intrigued by the idea of managing employees and gaining experience in the business world, the Associate of Science in Business is a natural place to start. The program has everything you need to prepare you for entry-level management positions through coursework defined by your success. Also, after completing this degree, you can easily transition to earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.

Topics of study include general business, accounting, economics, legal studies, management, and marketing — you’ll gain a broad understanding of the business world, plus basic business management and how it applies to planning and implementing an organization’s strategic behavior.

3. Associate of Science in General Education

Expand your intellectual and professional opportunities with an Associate of Science in General Education degree. Throughout the program, you’ll gain hands-on experience that’ll give you a fundamental understanding of education essentials. You’ll cover writing and speech skills, an understanding of science, mathematics, and humanities, and multicultural awareness. In turn, you’ll have a foundation for communicating, learning, and decision-making — in and out of the classroom.

Find the Online Associate Degree Program That’s Right for You

Start Your Journey Toward an Associate Degree

Earning an online associate degree with National University is a big step, but we make it easy to get started:

  1. Determine what type of application you want to apply for and create a free account by providing your basic contact information.
  2. Complete your application online and submit the nonrefundable application fee.
  3. Provide any necessary transcripts (Transcripts are available through Parchment. Paper transcript copies cost $5, e-transcripts cost $7, and both offer expedited shipping options for an additional cost. Learn more about the process and eligibility here.
  4. Provide any necessary text scores (Go to the College Board website for step-by-step instructions on obtaining and sending your test scores).
  5. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  6. From there, National University will review your application and information and send you a letter with the next steps.
Associate of Arts in General Education Program Page

Is it Worthwhile to Earn an Associate Degree?

Yes. Associate degrees open doors for millions of people looking to start a career or jump-start their progress toward a bachelor’s degree. In less than two years at National University, you can acquire the knowledge and skills to pursue some of today’s most in-demand jobs, including entry-level careers in business, education, healthcare, criminal justice, Information technology, and more.

If you’re wondering how an associate degree can affect your earning power, the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some encouraging news: Entry-level occupations typically requiring an associate degree had a median annual wage of $52,830 in 2017, significantly higher than the $36,100 median for workers in high school-level occupations.

Associate Degree vs. Bachelor’s Degree

If this is your first time getting a degree in higher education, you may wonder if there’s a significant difference between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree. There are a few differences and key factors to consider.

  • Length of Study: Generally, an associate degree program — especially an online one — will take less time to complete. Think of associate programs as more of a broad overview of a subject while a bachelor’s explores the nuances of your subject of study
  • Career: Many entry-level jobs are available for people who get an associate degree, but earning a bachelor’s degree can also open the door to more career advancement opportunities and, sometimes, better pay
  • Future Plans: An associate degree is a great place to start if you want to gain an understanding of a field, so if you’re a bit unsure if your career path requires a bachelor’s, begin with an associate degree and use it as a jumping-off point and remember that degree credits are easily transferable
  • Cost: Of course, with fewer classes, you’ll pay less for an associate degree program than a bachelor’s. It may make more sense to start with an associate degree so you can enter your field and gain experience while earning the money you need to further your education

Very few solutions are one-size-fits-all, so be sure to think of what your educational and career goals are as you enroll at National University. We’re happy to help in any way we can.


Accreditation ensures universities have been properly evaluated and validated by education authorities. National University is proud to be regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Why Choose National University

Through our holistic, whole-human approach to education, we offer the academic, emotional, career, financial, and family support needed to reach your educational and professional goals.

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We know your life may not happen on a 9-5 schedule, so we offer courses online or on-site at locations across California.

Associate Degree FAQs

Typically, it takes two years to earn an associate degree. However, thanks to National University’s convenient four-week course format, you can start sooner and finish faster. NU students can expect to earn an associate degree in less than two years.

At a traditional brick-and-mortar university, it takes an average of four years to attain a bachelor’s degree. When earning your bachelor’s degree online at National University, it could take a shorter or longer period of time to complete your bachelor’s depending on your availability and other factors.

An associate degree is a great way to get the necessary knowledge and experience to enter several industries. Many employers have entry-level positions available to associate degree earners. Plus, you can use the credits earned with your degree to continue your education and earn a bachelor’s degree.

National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University
Commission (WSCUC). In addition, NU is:

  • Accredited by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for educator preparation programs
  • Approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
  • Accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)
  • Approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE CDE) for the Master of Science in Cyber security
  • Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) for the Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies, Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies, and Paralegal Specialist Certificates
  • Accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) for the Master of Public Health
  • Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) for National University’s business programs
  • Accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) for the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
  • Accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) for the Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy
  • Approved by the Nevada State Department of Education
  • Certified by the Society of Human Resource Management for the Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
  • Approved by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE) for the Professional Certificate in Marine Technology
  • Approved by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) for the Associate of Science in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

An associate degree allows you to study a subject and walk away with some fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for particular industries. It can be used to move forward to a bachelor’s degree.

National University is a private, nonprofit institution that is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Accreditation ensures our university meets the highest standards of quality in education. Visit our accreditations page to learn more.

Yes. Our goal is to make transferring to NU as seamless as possible, no matter what school you’re coming from. NU has credit transfer agreements with many universities, colleges, and community colleges, and we offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities, including the CCC-ADT Transfer Scholarship and the Transfer to Success Scholarship (available to those who qualify). As a Yellow Ribbon school, we also offer tuition discounts for military personnel and their dependents. Contact an experienced admissions advisor today to learn more about transferring to NU.

Absolutely. Our Career Services team offers many resources to help you and fulfill their professional goals. We will help you define your unique potential for success and foster lifelong professional and career development skills. You will benefit from our innovative workshops, exceptional support, expanded employment opportunities, and community partnerships.

Yes! In honor of our students, and in celebration of our 50th anniversary, National University is investing $50 million in new student scholarships. To learn more about the Opportunity Scholarship, how you can apply, and how much you can save, inquire today.