2024 Best Online Associates in Social Science Degrees

By Holly Mooney
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on May 6, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?
Discover the best online associates in social science programs for 2023. Explore diverse majors like psychology, sociology, and more. Start your journey today!

Pursuing an associates in social science can help you build a professional foundation to enter the workforce or further your studies in the field of your choice.

Best Online Associates in Social Science Degrees

By definition, social science is the science and study of societies and how they relate to the overall human experience.

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Social science can involve the study of law, linguistics, economics, education, human development, and other related disciplines. Read on to learn more about social science degrees and related careers.

Universities Offering Online Associates in Social Science Degree Programs

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

Brookdale Community College

Brookdale Community College offers numerous degree programs fully online, including a general associate degree in social sciences. There are also opportunities to earn an A.A. in Social Sciences, with options in History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Students can interact in discussion forums but do not have set class times.

Brookdale is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Broward College

At Broward College, associate degree students can choose to study many of the social sciences. Options include anthropology, geography, history, international relations, Latin American studies, political science, psychology, social psychology, and more. Broward College provides small class sizes and the chance to choose from day, evening, and online class options.

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

Colorado Mesa University

At Colorado Mesa University, students can earn an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Social Sciences. The program meets the requirements of the Colorado Statewide General Education Core. Upon earning this associate degree, students in Colorado will need no more than 60 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Colorado Mesa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Community College of Allegheny County

At the Community College of Allegheny County, an Associate of Arts in Social Science can be earned on campus or online. Students can choose to complete a general degree or to get a concentration in History, Political Science, or Sociology and Anthropology. The programs are designed to give students a strong foundation in liberal arts and a variety of electives.

The Community College of Allegheny County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College offers an AA in Liberal Arts and Science: Humanities and Social Science. The degree can be completed 100% online but is also available on campus. Online courses are available in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. The programs are designed to help students easily transfer to 4 year programs at other SUNY schools.

Genesee Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Greenfield Community College

The social sciences associate degree program at Greenfield Community College includes coursework in anthropology, political science, psychology, and sociology. The curriculum is intended to develop strong analytical skills. The program can be completed fully online. Students can enroll either part-time or full-time. Full-time students usually finish in 2 years.

Greenfield Community College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers an Associate of Arts with a Social Science emphasis. The curriculum includes the first two years of coursework for a bachelor’s degree in sociology, social work, or human services. Students develop strong writing and critical thinking skills.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Northern Virginia Community College

The A.S. in Social Sciences program from Northern Virginia Community College is designed to prepare students for further study in a variety of fields.

The program covers quantitative and qualitative research methods and strives to give students a strong liberal arts foundation. Students often go on to continue studies in economics, geography, geographic information systems, history, political science, psychology, sociology, teacher education, and more.

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

Ohio University

Ohio University offers an Associate of Arts with a Social Science emphasis. The program features asynchronous online courses for maximum scheduling flexibility. Traditional classes are also available at multiple campus locations. Students have opportunities to take courses in anthropology, economics, political science, social work, and more.

Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College offers an Associate in Social Sciences. The program is designed for students with strong interpersonal skills who are preparing for further education in history, sociology, and related subjects. Students can choose from online classes and multiple campus locations.

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

Online Associates in Social Science Degrees

Because the field of social science is so broad, you have quite the selection of majors to choose from. You can review the examples below to get a better understanding of what each degree program focuses on and what career fields fit each category.

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

You can explore these programs to see which ones best match your interests and goals.


associates degree in psychology

An associates degree in psychology allows students to explore the human condition as it relates to the intricate studies of human behavior and the mind.

Psychology is a complex topic that provides various learning opportunities and outcomes. Course topics offered include psychology, medical terminology, psychology theories, psychological development, and counseling.

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Obtaining an associates degree in psychology may open the door to entry-level job opportunities in areas like family advocacy, counseling, psychiatric nursing, and assistant roles in research and education.


associates degree in sociology

Sociology is the study of social life and its influence on human behavior. Students who pursue an associates degree in sociology can learn about the social interactions of people groups and how those diverse communications affect the overall community.

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Sociology courses can cover anthropology, sociology, psychology, religious and ethnic studies, and cultural geography. These types of classes can help prepare graduates for positions like paraprofessional, social worker assistant, and correctional officer.

Human Services

associates degree in human services

An associates degree in human services can prepare individuals for entry-level positions in various fields of human services and relations. Positions in this field often aim to serve members of the community.

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Course topics taught in this program can include social work, social diversity, minority group studies, and developmental psychology. Common careers in the field of human services include social service assistant, community service manager, and care advisor.

Criminal Justice

associates degree in criminal justice

An associates degree in criminal justice can prepare you for general career paths related to criminal justice. This program highlights the importance of law and public safety, sectors that create and maintain structure within various communities.

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This associates degree provides foundational knowledge about criminal law, criminology theory, media law, international law, ethics, and other related topics. Graduates tend to pursue careers in law enforcement, community corrections, and crime scene investigation.


associates degree in history

An associates degree in history can be a solid stepping stone toward careers that promote the importance of historical data and research.

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Topics covered in this program typically include general US and world history, historical groups, global and provincial wars, and cultural diversity. Knowledge in these areas is crucial when establishing careers in museum curation and research assistance. Others may work toward becoming archivists, journalists, congressional aides, or teacher assistants.

Communications & Public Relations

associates degree in communications

An associates degree in communications and public relations can help you develop skills in marketing and communication. This skill set is often utilized to effectively promote a business or connect with a target audience.

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Topics covered in this type of program include public speaking, professional writing, business organization, and general media. Career opportunities in this field include journalist, social media writer, and marketing assistant.

Social Sciences Careers & Salaries

Social Sciences Careers & Salaries

If you decide to pursue an associate degree in social science, you may have the opportunity to explore the variety of industries in the field. Industries like education, healthcare, historical institutions, and social services all require experience and knowledge of the social sciences.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following entry-level careers are related to various social sciences.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers $64,610
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Social Workers $50,390
Social Science Research Assistants $49,720
Correctional Officers and Bailiffs $47,920
Community Health Workers
Human Resources Assistants $45,630
Social and Human Service Assistants
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants $36,680
Teacher Assistants $29,360

Additional education or experience may be required for some positions, depending on the employer. Associate’s in social science degrees can be good starting points, whether you decide to advance toward a career or further your education with a major in social science.

Social Science Associate’s Curriculum & Courses

Social Science Associate’s Curriculum

Whichever branch of social science you choose to study, you may experience a general range of coursework within the social science field to build the foundation of your chosen program. Here are examples of some courses you may come across:

  • Sociology: This class teaches the structure and development of organized groups in social institutions.
  • Psychology: This class explores how social interactions influence the behaviors of individuals.
  • Anthropology: This course examines the creations of various cultures and their social interactions.
  • Geography: This class goes over the physical properties of the world and how they influence cultural and societal involvement.
  • Philosophy: This course goes over human nature, human rights, and social justice and how these topics relate to social behaviors.
  • World History: This course covers a wide range of historical events that lead to the formation of modern society and cultural behaviors.
  • Criminology: This subject explores the study of crime and criminal law and how it is used to address certain aspects of human behavior and justice.
  • Economics: This class goes over the basics of economics that correspond with both individual and societal needs.
  • Public Speaking: This is an oral communications class that prepares students to speak effectively and address important topics throughout a variety of public settings.
  • English: This course teaches key principles that foster engagement between audiences through written communication.

Participating in these courses can equip you with basic tools and techniques for the area of social science you have decided to study.

Social Science Associate Degree Admissions Requirements

Associates in Social Science admissions

While programs will vary, the admission requirements for an associates degree in social sciences often call for items like the ones listed below:

  • SAT or ACT scores (if required)
  • High school transcripts
  • Application fee

A growing number of schools no longer require SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admissions. Some schools may also request additional documentation, but these requirements can be a good starting point as you gather your information.


Associates in Social Science accreditation

To ensure you are receiving a quality education, it’s strategic to research schools that are accredited and have met the criteria established for postsecondary institutions.

In a regionally accredited program, you are more likely to experience robust coursework offered by skilled professors. Your school’s accreditation status can also affect your eligibility for certain forms of financial aid, such as federal aid.

In addition, many schools only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. This information is especially vital if you plan to transfer the credits you earn from your associate’s degree into a bachelor’s degree program. To verify a school’s accreditation status, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Associates in Social Science financial aid

Financial aid is available to students who qualify. Different types of financial aid include federal and private loans, scholarships, grants, and payment plans. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can help determine your eligibility for federal and state aid.

Some institutions offer scholarships customized to their school or program, so you may want to research any available financial aid opportunities for each school you’re considering. It’s beneficial to maintain good standing with your program. Financial aid can be impacted by the number of credit hours taken, final grades earned, and even course withdrawals.

If you have questions about your financial aid status, you can contact your institution’s financial aid office for further assistance.

What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Social Science?

Associates Degrees in Social Science

The social sciences offer a broad scope of job opportunities and areas of specialization. The job options available to you will also depend on your chosen major.

For instance, graduates with an associates in criminal justice may want to enter law enforcement as police officers or correctional officers. Many graduates also pursue jobs in the communications field. They may work as administrative assistants, public relations specialists, or human resources assistants, depending on their specialty.

Other entry-level positions in the social science field include social worker assistant, community health worker, teacher assistant, and social science research assistant. An associate’s degree in social science can also help equip you with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to advance in your studies.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate’s Degree in Social Science?

AA vs. AS in Social Sciences Degree

The time it takes to complete an associate’s degree in social science can vary from program to program. On average, it takes 2 years to complete an associate degree with full-time enrollment.

A traditional academic calendar consists of 16 week semesters. Some programs may allow students to complete their studies in less time if they follow 8 week terms and stay continuously enrolled year-round. It may take you longer to complete your associates if you choose to attend part-time.

What’s the Difference Between an AA vs. AS in Social Sciences Degree?

There are two types of degree paths when pursuing a social science associate degree. There is an Associate of Arts (AA) degree and an Associate of Science (AS) degree.

Here are some similarities and differences between these degree paths.

Associate of Arts Associate of Science
  • Emphasis on humanities-based subjects, like history, psychology, and marketing
  • More flexible educational experience due to broadly taught social science topics
  • Commonly used to advance into a 4 year degree
  • Emphasis on science- and math-related subjects, like computer science and engineering
  • Specialized educational experience that focuses on certain skills within the social sciences
  • Commonly used to advance directly into the workforce

Both an AA in Social Science and an AS in Social Science are suited for careers in this dynamic field. When deciding which degree path is best for you, you may want to consider which one best fits your goals and aspirations.

Is an Associate in Social Science Degree Worth It?

Associate in Social Science Degree

Yes, an associate in social science degree is worth it for many professionals. Jobs related to the social sciences are steadily growing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you want to start by gaining general knowledge and experience in social science, an associate degree can be a good building block to begin your educational journey. Many graduates take their skills to the next level and enroll in bachelor programs so they can further their education and meet additional job requirements.

Having an associate can also help you qualify for a variety of entry-level jobs. Due to the shorter completion time, an associates degree program in social science can enable you to enter the workforce sooner.

Getting Your Associates in Social Science Online

Associates in Social Science Online

An associate degree in social sciences can equip you with a broad knowledge of topics that address human behavior and social connections. You may utilize your skills to assist others and address various needs within your community.

With an associates program in social science, you can expand your general education while specializing in a certain social science branch of your choosing. You can choose from a variety of program options—both in-person and online—to accommodate your schedule and career goals and advance your skills.

Taking the time to explore accredited programs and financial aid options can help you prepare for your educational journey into the realm of social science and its many opportunities.

Ready to start your journey?