30 Best 1 Year Associate Degree Programs Online [2023]

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If you want to fast-track your professional development, you might consider researching 1 year associate degree programs online.

Best 1 Year Associate Degree Programs Online

These programs are designed for students who wish to shorten the time they spend in school in order to enter the workforce sooner.

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Traditionally, most online associate degrees take 2 years to complete if you enroll full-time. But accelerated programs allow you to take a more rigorous courseload so that you can complete an associate degree in 1 year.

1 Year Associate Degree Programs Online

Are you wondering if you can get a 1 year associate degree online? Colleges and universities offer a broad range of 12 month associate degree programs online. Below, we list 30 degrees that can help prepare you for a variety of career paths or additional education.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

Exploring your options may help you determine which academic path is right for you.

Online Associates in Accounting

Accountants working on invoices and financial liquidation

This accelerated associate degree covers foundational business and accounting concepts and practices. The specific courses vary by program but typically include business law, federal taxation, financial accounting, math, and payroll systems.

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Graduates with online associates degrees in accounting may secure entry-level accounting and administrative positions in businesses and nonprofit organizations. Some graduates become accounting assistants and bookkeepers. Others work as accounts receivable clerks, billing clerks, and payroll clerks.

Online Associates in Business Administration

Business Administrator discussing with staff

A 1-year associates in business administration teaches students fundamental business approaches and skills. Common course topics include applied marketing strategies, introduction to international business, principles of accounting, and human relations.

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Students who earn this degree may work in a variety of business environments. Some graduates become administrative assistants and office managers. This degree can also help you qualify for roles like customer service supervisor, human resources specialist, and project manager.

Online Associates in Computer Science

Computer programmer working on her project

Students who want to learn basic coding and web design skills might consider an online associate in computer science. This degree covers topics like computer networks, principles of computer science, cybersecurity, and database management.

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Additionally, students study programming languages, such as JavaScript and Python. Graduates can apply their knowledge by pursuing entry-level careers in tech and other industries. Many work as cybersecurity specialists, software testers, and web developers.

Online Associates in Criminal Justice

Police officer investigating at the crime scene

If you’re passionate about public safety, you might be interested in an accelerated associate in criminal justice. You’ll learn about the legal system and study methods to prevent and investigate crimes.

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Courses often cover criminal law, forensic science, introduction to criminal justice, and principles of law enforcement. This degree helps prepare students for careers in emergency services, law enforcement, and private corporations. Graduates often pursue careers as police officers, loss prevention specialists, and paralegals.

Online Associates in Cyber Security

Cyber Security specialist monitoring network threats

This quick associates degree focuses on cybersecurity concepts, issues, and practices. Students learn how to identify and respond to common cyber threats, such as hacking and malware. Courses may include cloud computing, data privacy, programming languages, and network security architecture.

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Many companies need cybersecurity professionals, so graduates can work in a broad range of industries. They may qualify for positions like cybersecurity engineers, information systems security specialists, and security analysts.

Online Associates in Data Analytics

Data Analyst working on visualization

If you want to learn how to interpret and apply data, you might consider a fast associate degree in data analytics. This degree teaches students how to collect, clean, manage, and analyze raw data.

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The curriculum typically explores subjects like big data fundamentals, data mining, data visualization, and programming languages. Graduates with an associate’s in data analytics may pursue many jobs, such as data analysts, market research analysts, and project managers.

Online Associates in Digital Marketing

SEO manager discussign to the team

An associate in digital marketing combines traditional marketing approaches with cutting-edge social media marketing strategies.

Students study topics like email marketing, marketing principles, search engine optimization, and social media campaigns. They also explore consumer behavior and psychology. This degree can unlock many career opportunities in marketing firms and corporations.

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Graduates may pursue careers as e-commerce managers, email marketing specialists, SEO managers, and social media specialists.

Online Associates in Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education teacher guiding her students

If you want to work with children, you might consider an online associate’s degree in early childhood education. This degree teaches you how to support children’s development and help them gain knowledge.

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The curriculum typically includes classroom management, language and literacy, and child psychology. Graduates who complete this degree may qualify for many positions involving infants and children. Common job titles include camp counselor, daycare provider, recreation coordinator, and teacher assistant.

Online Associates in Education

Preschool teacher guiding students in reading

An associate’s degree in education helps prepare students for entry-level careers in schools and other educational settings.

Students may specialize in a particular area of education, such as art education, health education, or physical education. Core classes often include assessment and learning, introduction to child development, and instructional methods.

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This degree can open many career paths. Many graduates work as childcare workers, preschool teachers, school librarian assistants, and tutors.

Online Associates in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur working with his staff

Students who want to start their own businesses may find earning a fast degree in entrepreneurship beneficial. This degree focuses on foundational accounting and managerial skills to plan, fund, and manage a new venture.

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Standard course topics include business ethics, personal finance, and principles of marketing. Many graduates use their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to launch start-ups and small businesses. Others secure positions in corporations, such as marketing specialists and project managers.

Online Associates in Fashion Merchandising

Fashion Merchandisers displaying new products

If you love fashion and design, you may be interested in an associates in fashion merchandising. You’ll study the latest fashion trends and learn how to market clothes and accessories to diverse audiences.

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Courses explore topics like display and visual merchandising, the history of fashion, and textiles. Graduates often work in the fashion and retail industries. Potential career paths include online merchant, purchasing manager, and wholesale buyer.

Online Associates in Fire Science

Firefighters checking reports

You can expand your knowledge of fire safety and prevention with an associate degree in fire science. This degree explores the chemistry of fire and fire protection methods.

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The curriculum typically covers topics like fire behavior, principles of fire and emergency services, and hydraulics and water supply. Many graduates apply their fire science knowledge by pursuing careers as firefighters. Others become alarm technicians, fire investigators, and paramedics.

Online Associates in Finance

Financial clerk doing audits

An associates in finance covers fundamental accounting and business practices and theories. You’ll learn how to help businesses maximize their financial performance and mitigate risk.

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One year associate’s in finance programs frequently offer classes on financial accounting, investments, microeconomics, and principles of finance. This degree may help you qualify for entry-level positions in banks, credit unions, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Graduates often work as bookkeepers, financial clerks, and real estate brokers.

Online Associates in Health Services

Medical office receptionist collecting patient's data

You can learn how to use administrative practices and the latest healthcare technologies to support patient care with an associate’s in health services. This degree usually covers subjects like human resource management, medical billing, medical office management, and medical terminology.

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Graduates tend to use their degrees to pursue administrative and managerial roles in various healthcare settings, such as assisted living facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and private clinics.

Online Associates in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare Administrator discussing with a doctor

You can prepare for a fast-paced administrative career in the medical field with an associate degree in healthcare administration. This 12 month program focuses on basic medical knowledge and administrative tools used in healthcare environments. You can study topics like anatomy and physiology, medical coding, and medical records.

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After graduation, you may qualify for a broad range of healthcare careers. For instance, you might work as a medical transcriptionist or a health office manager.

Online Associates in Homeland Security

Homeland Security specialists working at the national headquarters

If you’re interested in national defense, you may consider a fast associate degree in homeland security. This degree examines threats to homeland security and strategies to protect public safety. Common course topics include counterterrorism, disaster management, and terrorism.

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Many graduates apply their degrees by pursuing jobs in the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. Other potential employers include law enforcement agencies and private security firms.

Online Associates in Human Resources

HR Specialist discussing with managers

An associates degree in human resources teaches students how to hire, train, and manage staff. Standard classes cover topics like business ethics, human relations, and principles of management.

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Most businesses need human resource specialists to handle employee operations, so graduates may discover many career opportunities. Possible job titles include human resources clerk, payroll clerk, and records clerk.

Online Associates in Information Technology

Security Information Analysts working at the data center room

You can study foundational computer science principles by earning an associate’s degree in information technology (IT). You’ll learn how to install, maintain, protect, and repair IT systems.

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You may have the opportunity to explore subjects like database systems, information security, and web design. This degree can help unlock many job opportunities in businesses and tech firms. Potential career paths include customer support representative and web developer.

Legal Assistant providing trial paperwork to the lawyer

You can deepen your understanding of laws and the legal system by earning a legal studies associate degree in 1 year. Classes generally cover criminal law, ethics, legal research, and paralegal practices. Students can also improve their critical thinking and communication skills.

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Graduates can pursue a variety of non-lawyer positions in law firms and the justice system. Many go on to become paralegals and legal assistants, while others work as compliance officials and jury consultants.

Online Associates in Liberal Arts

Event planner discussing with client

An associate degree in liberal arts enables students to study a broad range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

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The specific courses vary by program but may include topics on economics, English, history, and psychology. This degree allows students to strengthen their critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Graduates can use their abilities to secure many jobs, such as daycare teachers, event planners, and paralegals.

Online Associates in Management

Manager discussing with department supervisors

You can hone your leadership and organizational skills by earning an online associate degree in management. You’ll learn to manage people, projects, and resources in business environments. Common course topics include financial accounting, fundamentals of management, and sales management.

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Graduates often use this degree to pursue managerial positions in businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Potential career paths include office manager and sales support manager.

Online Associates in Marketing

PR Specialist discussing with Marketing associates

You can gain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and sales techniques with a quick associates in marketing. This degree allows you to study traditional and digital marketing concepts and strategies.

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You may take courses on topics like integrated marketing techniques, microeconomics, and principles of retailing. People who earn this degree may land jobs in corporations and marketing firms. Many graduates work as public relations specialists, marketing associates, and social media managers.

Online Associates in Medical Assisting

Medical Assistant doing follow up visit with elderly patient

You can learn how to support healthcare practitioners by enrolling in an online associate’s in medical assisting. You’ll gain hands-on skills, such as drawing blood and performing diagnostic tests.

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Additionally, you’ll study subjects like healthcare ethics, medical billing, and phlebotomy. This degree helps prepare students for entry-level medical assisting and allied health careers. Assisted living communities, physician offices, and surgical centers hire these professionals frequently.

Online Associates in Medical Coding

Medical coder encoding patient's info

Healthcare organizations and insurance companies use medical coding to record and bill medical services. An associates in medical coding teaches students how to translate medical records into codes, process insurance claims, and bill patients.

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Standard topics covered in the curriculum include electronic health records, medical terminology, and regulatory issues in healthcare. Graduates frequently seek employment as medical coders and registered health information technicians.

Online Associates in Paralegal

Paralegal taking notes of lawyer's research tasks

If you want to work in the legal field, you could consider a fast associate degree in paralegal studies. This program helps you develop skills that you can use to assist attorneys with legal research and writing.

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Standard course topics include civil law, introduction to law, and legal research and writing. Many graduates apply their legal knowledge as paralegals and legal assistants. Others become administrative or executive assistants for corporations.

Online Associates in Psychology

Youth Counselor in a session with a student

You can explore the intricacies of human behavior and psychology with an associate’s in psychology. This degree introduces students to human development and psychological disorders.

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Popular course topics include abnormal psychology, human sexuality, and positive psychology. This degree can help prepare students for several entry-level positions in education and healthcare. For example, graduates may become home care aides, research assistants, or youth counselors.

Online Associates in Small Business Management

Small Business Manager checking inventory with her assistant

You can develop foundational business and leadership skills with an associates in small business management. This degree helps prepare students for supervisory positions in businesses with fewer than one hundred employees.

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Degree requirements vary but may include courses like human resource management, organizational behavior, and performance management. Graduates may use this degree to pursue leadership roles in various corporate settings. Potential job titles include customer service associate, recruiter, and store manager.

Online Associates in Sociology

PR specialist and research assistants in a meeting

You can study the complex relationships between individual behavior and social systems with a quick associates degree in sociology.

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You can gain a foundational understanding of sociological concepts, theories, and issues. The curriculum typically covers topics like cultural geography, family dynamics, and social trends. This degree can help graduates qualify for careers in education, marketing, social work, and other industries. For instance, some become PR specialists, while others work as management consultants.

Online Associates in Software Engineering

Software Engineers testing their code and checking for bugs

If you’re interested in computers and programming, you might be interested in an associate’s in software engineering.

You can learn how to develop, test, and maintain various types of software, such as mobile applications and websites. You could also study topics like networking fundamentals, programming languages, and user experience design.

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Graduates may secure a broad range of entry-level tech jobs. Many apply their knowledge as software developers, software engineers, and web designers.

Online Associates in Supply Chain & Logistics

Supply Chain Coordinators & warehouse staff, checking on inventory

You can strengthen your knowledge of the global flow of products and services with an associates in supply chain and logistics. This degree teaches students how to optimize supply chains and handle disruptions.

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Standard course topics include demand and inventory management and principles of supply chain management. All industries rely on supply chains, so graduates can pursue careers in many areas. For example, they may work as buyers, materials analysts, and supply chain coordinators.

1 Year Associates Degree Admissions Requirements

student preparing requirements for 1 Year Associates Degree

Can you get your associate’s degree in one year? While it is possible, your first step is to apply to the program of your choice.

Colleges with 12 month associate degree programs online typically have fewer requirements than bachelor’s degree programs. Here are a few common admissions criteria:

  • Online application form with an application fee
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
  • A short essay outlining your interest in the program

You may also be required to complete a pre-college curriculum, which could include English and math classes.

12 Month Associate Degree Programs Accreditation

University offering 12 Month Associate Degree Programs

Is it possible to get an associate’s degree in one year? While it is possible to earn an associates degree online fast, it’s beneficial to earn it at an accredited school.

Many colleges and universities earn regional accreditation to prove that they provide quality educational services. Accreditation is a voluntary process overseen by external accrediting agencies. These organizations typically require institutions to complete an evaluation and receive an on-site inspection.

Attending an accredited school ensures you receive a credible education that complies with industry standards. Also, many employers prefer to hire graduates from accredited programs because they know these students have received high-quality training.

You can verify the accreditation status of specific schools by visiting the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How Many Credits Are Required for an Associate’s Degree?

Student taking an Online Associate's Degree

The specific number of credits needed to earn a 1 year associate’s degree online varies between schools and programs.

Most programs, though, require students to complete at least 60 credit hours. If the program consists of 3 credit hour courses, it’d be necessary to take 20 classes. These credits typically include a mixture of general education courses, major courses, and electives.

You may be required to take general classes like communication, English, and math, regardless of your specific degree.

Can I Get My Associate’s Degree in One Year?

Woman taking One Year Associate's Degree online

Getting an associates degree in one year is possible at many colleges and universities. Accelerated online programs allow students to earn their degrees in 6 to 12 months. But, accelerated programs typically have a much heavier courseload than traditional two-year programs.

Many schools offer asynchronous classes that students can complete on their own schedules for faster learning. Still, it may be necessary to take extra courses each semester to stay on track. In addition, some accelerated degree programs accept transfer credits, which can shorten the time to graduate.

Is an Accelerated Associates Degree Online Worth It?

students attending an Accelerated Associates Degree online

Yes, an accelerated associates degree online is worth it for many students. These quick and easy associate degrees allow students to acquire the same knowledge and skills as traditional associate’s students but in half the time. As a result, students can graduate faster and start gaining work experience sooner.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate tends to be lower than the national average for those who hold an associates. Additionally, students who earn a 12 month associate’s degree online can often transfer their credits to a bachelor’s program. This strategy could enable students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2 years instead of 4.

Colleges Offering One Year Online Associates Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer one-year associate degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bethel University

Bethel University campus

At Bethel University, a 60 credit Associate of Arts or Associate of Science may be earned online, potentially in just 1 year. The AS program allows students to major in business and leadership or to create their own individualized plan of study. The AA program provides a general liberal arts education.

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

Fashion Institute of Technology

Fashion Institute of Technology campus

The Fashion Institute of Technology offers online associate degrees that students who already have 30 college credits may be able to complete in just 1 year. Possible majors include Advertising and Marketing Communications, Communication Design Foundation, and Fashion Business Management. The programs aim to teach industry-specific knowledge and a global perspective.

The Fashion Institute of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Greenville Technical College

Greenville Technical College campus

At Greenville Technical College, an associate degree can potentially be completed online in just 3 semesters, or 1 year. There are two 7 week terms during the traditional fall and spring semesters, and the summer semester is 10 weeks long. Courses are available online, on campus, and in a hybrid format.

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

Howard College

Howard College campus

Howard College offers a 12 month Transition Associate Degree Nursing Program that enables students to go from being an LVN to an RN. Articulation agreements with Texas universities also make it easier to transfer into a BSN program. The lecture portion of the program is online. New students may start in the summer or spring.

Howard College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College campus

An associate degree can potentially be earned in just 11 months at Ivy Tech Community College. The program consists of five 8 week terms completed with a cohort. Possible majors include business administration, informatics, and liberal arts. Class sizes are small to help provide individualized attention. Classes are held during the daytime Monday through Friday.

Ivy Tech Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Lake Michigan College

Lake Michigan College campus

Lake Michigan College offers more than 50 associate degree programs, including a cohort-based accelerated pre-nursing pathway that consists of a series of 7 week courses. Other associate degree programs, in fields such as business administration, child development, or history, can potentially be completed in 1 year for those with qualifying transfer credits.

Lake Michigan College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Marian University

Marian University campus

Marian University offers a fully online Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies that can potentially be completed in 14 months. The program requires the completion of 66 credit hours. Classes are 5 weeks long, and there are nine start dates every year. Internship opportunities and one-on-one mentorship are available in the program.

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake Community College campus

At Salt Lake Community College, an accelerated Business AS can potentially be completed in just 14 months. The program is designed for busy working professionals. Courses are 10 weeks long. Potential courses in the curriculum include Business Communications, Principles of Microeconomics, and Survey of Financial Accounting. Students progress through the program with a cohort.

Salt Lake Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

South Piedmont Community College

South Piedmont Community College campus

At South Piedmont Community College, an Associate in Arts can potentially be earned in 1 year. Courses are available online, on campus, and in hybrid formats. They are typically 5 weeks long and taken just two at a time. South Piedmont Community College strives to provide a supportive learning community.

South Piedmont Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College campus

Tidewater Community College offers accelerated AS degree programs in business administration, general studies, and social science that can typically be completed in 1 year. Each program consists of 60 credits that can be completed 100% online. The student-to-faculty ratio is low to help students receive personalized attention. Graduates of these programs may transfer into a 4 year program as a junior.

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

Truckee Meadows Community College

Truckee Meadows Community College campus

Truckee Meadows Community College offers a fast-track program to earn an Associate of Arts in Business degree in potentially just 1 year by taking 5 week classes online. Students typically focus on two classes at a time alongside a cohort. Graduates of the program are usually eligible for junior standing in many bachelor’s degree programs.

Truckee Meadows Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati campus

The University of Cincinnati has an online certificate to associate program in healthcare management. It is designed to enable those with a Physician Practice Management Certificate to earn an Associate of Applied Business in Healthcare Management Technology in potentially just 1 year. Credits earned in the program may be transferred into a bachelor’s degree in healthcare leadership or health information management.

The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

University of Massachusetts Lowell campus

The University of Massachusetts – Lowell offers AS degrees in business administration, IT, electronic engineering technology, and mechanical engineering technology. All programs can potentially be completed in 12 months. The business administration and IT programs are available online or in a mixed format, and the engineering programs are available on campus or in a mixed format.

The University of Massachusetts – Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

University of Wisconsin Green Bay campus

The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay offers an Accelerated Associate of Arts and Sciences that consists primarily of 7 week online classes designed for working adults. Some classes may be 14 weeks long. Students in the program may choose an area of emphasis or create their own customized plan of study.

UW – Green Bay is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Wilson Community College

Wilson Community College campus

Wilson Community College’s Fast Track options are designed to allow students to potentially earn an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science in just 3 semesters, or 1 year. Courses are 8 weeks long. Graduates can typically transfer into a 4 year college or university as a junior.

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

Getting Your One Year Associate Degree Online

student getting One Year Associate Degree online

Can you finish an associate’s degree in a year? Actually, a growing number of colleges and universities offer 12 month associate degree programs online.

These accelerated programs let students expand their knowledge and gain career-ready skills in many areas, from accounting to supply chain management. Graduates who earn an associate degree in 1 year can generally kickstart or advance their career faster than students who follow a traditional schedule. Also, these programs may cost less than more extended degrees.

If you want to earn a 12 month associate degree online, you can start researching programs from accredited schools today.

Ready to start your journey?
Brianna Anderson
Brianna has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include careers and professional development, digital pedagogy, and first-year writing.