How to get an Associate degree?

An Associate degree can be obtained through proper verification of colleges, applying into one, cracking the eligibility criteria, getting the acceptance letter, going through the classes and other things. Read on this blog to know the required information.

Updated by Arpit Sachdeva on 1st February 2019

Seeking an Associate degree

Thinking about getting an associate degree? Confused about certain aspects included in this process?   

Well, you have come to the right place. This blog will answer all the questions that could arise in a person’s mind related to an Associate degree. 

Let’s roll then!

What is an Associate degree? 

An Associate’s degree is a two-year post-secondary degree which takes half the time of the Bachelor's degree, and therefore generally costs half compared to a traditional 4-year Bachelor degree.  

Some occupations require workers to have at least some college qualification associated with their educational background, in the case of which, an Associate degree is a perfect fit. 

Formally, an Associate’s level program is 60-semester credits of study. This equals about 20 college courses.  

Associate degreeSource-

Types of Associate degrees

There are mainly 4 types of Associate degree programs which are as follows- 

Associate of Arts (AA) - An Associate of Arts (AA) degree mostly covers general subjects related to performing arts, literature, languages or even the fine arts such as music or art. 

Associate of Science (AS) - These programs focus more on math and science subjects, which can convert directly into entry-level work in their specific field. 

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) - This program is mainly built to prepare the students for a career in their chosen area of study. 

Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) - This program is also built to train students in focused artwork like visual arts, fiber arts. 

Difference between Associate Degree and Bachelor Degree 

Associate Degree   Bachelor Degree  
Can be completed in two years.   It’s a four-year degree program.  
Less expensive than a Bachelor’s degree.   Comparatively expensive.  
Can be focused on professional fields   Mostly academic.  

When to seek an Associate degree? 

When You -

Already have some college, but credits earned are less than 60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits and would like to add to your old credits quickly to earn a formal degree.

Already have about 60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits of the previous college and would like to find a college to quickly consolidate these credits into an associate degree.


[Also Read: Scholarships for you]


When you are seeking jobs with associate degree requirements. 

Not enrolled in any college and want to earn a full-fledged degree as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

When to enroll in associate

Why choose an Associate’s degree? 

Possible reasons for choosing an associate’s degree can be-

You may want to enter the workplace as quickly and cost-effective way as possible.

Or you may want to study a full bachelor’s degree but not have enough grades, or simply like the idea of paying lower tuition fees for a few years before transferring to a bachelor degree. 

How to get an Associate’s degree? 

Finding the right colleges with online programs.  

Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), online or in a hard copy format. 

Wait for the acceptance letter, so that you can begin your classes. 

Start with your classes, completing all the work and examinations. 

Complete the practical tasks or internships assigned, and obtain your degree.

How to get an association 

Admission requirements for an Associate degree 

Associate degree programs may require any, all, or none of these criteria for admissions, so it's important to check with the college requirements that you are interested in. 

 A list of other common admissions requirements includes the following. 

  • A minimum high school grade point average 

  • Minimum standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) 

  • Passing grades in any necessary prerequisite courses 

  • Statement of goals or purpose 

  • Letters of recommendation 

Associate degree program requirements 

Common requirements for graduation from an Associate degree program consist of-  

  • Successful completion of all needed coursework   

  • A minimum GPA  

  • Students may also require to earn a minimum grade in general education courses, such as math and English.

  • These are generally 2-year programs that are available both online and on-campus. 

  • For the majority of associate's degree programs, you'll need a minimum high school GPA and test scores, among other potential requirements.

requirements for an associate 

Careers after an Associate degree 

Some of the careers options that are adopted by the students after completing an associate degree are- 

Psychical Therapist Assistant 

You must acquire an associate degree program, that the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has accredited. All states require a license to practice. 

Occupational Therapist Assistant 

To become an OTA, enroll in a program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Every state requires a license. 

Ultrasound Technician 

Acquire an associate degree or bachelor's degree in medical sonography if you want to be an ultrasound technician.

The program you enroll yourself must have accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). 

Respiratory Therapists 

Respiratory therapists, in consultation with doctors, make treatment plans for patients who have breathing or cardiopulmonary problems.  

Web Developers 

A degree isn't needed to work in this field, but for most who do, have an associate in web design. 

Web developers design and create websites and make sure the websites perform optimally. They usually write code and sometimes the content appearing on the site. 

Paralegal and Legal Assistants 

You can obtain a bachelor's or associate degree in paralegal studies to work in this stream.

Paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys to prepare for legal proceedings such as trials and hearings.  

Colleges/Universities offering an Associate degree

There are several accredited universities and colleges offering Associate degrees in diverse fields. The colleges provide proper industry-related curriculum to prepare the students for entering the professional world. Some of the institutions offering this degree type are given here. 

Ashworth College  Columbia Southern University 
Grantham University National American University 
Liberty University  University of Phoenix 
Aspen University  Keiser University 


Associate degrees are nevertheless important degrees as it is a first step after the post-secondary education. Associate degrees may not be such a formal degree but it holds its importance as it helps the students to move forward towards their goals. 


  What do you need to get an Associate degree? 

Common requirements for graduation with an Associate degree program include successful completion of all the needed coursework and a minimum GPA. 

Students may also need to earn a minimum grade in general education courses, such as Math and English 

  How long does it take to earn an Associate degree?

An Associate degree takes 2 years to complete.

  How many credits are required to complete an Associate degree?

It takes 60 credits of college courses to complete an Associate degree, an amount of work that can be done in two years if you are studying full-time. 

  How much does it cost to get an Associate degree? 

Online and traditional institutions vary in cost, all though, for an Associate degree, it costs somewhere between $25,000 and $35,000. 

  What are some high-paying jobs with an Associate degree? 

Many high-paying jobs don't require anything more than an Associate's degree. The most lucrative ones are found in the technology and medical sectors.  

  What are the common admission requirements for the Associate degree programs?

Basic requirements in the admission process include - A minimum high school grade point average, Minimum standardized test scores (ACT or SAT), Passing grades in any necessary prerequisite courses, Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation.