25 Best Online Associates in Liberal Arts Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

Are you curious about options for getting an associates in liberal arts online?

Online Associates in Liberal Arts Degree

People are increasingly pursuing this degree path using online programs and virtual classes.

Best Associate’s in Liberal Arts Degrees Online

Did you know that there are actually two mainstream degree paths when getting an associates degree in liberal arts online? One of the first decisions you’ll make as a student is your specialty.

  • Associate’s in Liberal Arts
  • Associate’s in General Studies

You can choose to pursue liberal arts or general studies when selecting the two-year option for a degree.

Associate’s in Liberal Arts

liberal arts degree student studying in university library

An associates degree in liberal arts offers a broad spectrum of study. You’ll be introduced to courses and concepts that include global issues, business, art, literature, communications, and politics.

You will ideally emerge from your academic time with sharply honed analytical and critical-thinking skills.

An associates degree in liberal arts online is perfect for a curious, interested mind. It’s going to prepare you to work for businesses and organizations that need and appreciate well-rounded experts.

This is also a nice foundation for a four-year degree in a liberal arts subject.

Associate’s in General Studies

liberal arts degree students studying in library

A general studies degree allows you to cover the basic courses necessary for more technical degrees.

Most people complete a general studies associates degree with the intention of moving onto a major at a four-year school.

A general studies degree provides an opportunity to knock out those “core” courses that lay the foundation for a longer college path.

As student, you can expect to take general courses that cover biology, the arts, math, social sciences, humanities, and literature.

Liberal Arts Curriculum & Courses

liberal arts student studying at a cafe

An associates in liberal arts really delivers that well-rounded college experience that people want when pursing higher education! The coursework involved allows you to dabble in the great concepts, discoveries, and works of art that shape industries and societies.

What’s more, you’re being enriched by learning skills that will make you more marketable in your chosen field.

Here’s a look at some of the courses you might take while pursuing your associate’s degree:

Art History looks at the great works of art that are held and valued in the hearts, minds, and museums of the world! Students will learn about specific artists, pieces, and movements that have shaped the world. Works by iconic artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol are studied.

English Composition introduces students to the concept of effective written communication for professional, research, and persuasive purposes. Students will analyze both outside works and their own compositions.

English Literature is an examination of great works of British literature. This course often goes all the way back to the epic poem of “Beowulf” before exploring works from greats like Chaucer and Shakespeare.

Foreign Language classes in languages like Spanish, French, Latin, Italian, and Japanese are often offered at two-year schools. These courses may be of particular interest to you if you’d like to work in an industry where foreign-language skills are beneficial.

Geology explores the physical history of the planet. Students learn how to look at events, structures, and substances within the planet’s makeup to understand and investigate natural processes.

History looks at the events and historical figure that shaped societies throughout time. Some introductory history courses focus on presenting a global picture of world history. Others focus on very precise windows of time in specific regions.

Introduction to Psychology introduces students to accepted theories regarding human psychology and the individual psyche. This course typically covers influential psychological studies that have been done within the past century. In addition, contributions regarding concepts like the ego from Sigmund Freud are examined.

Introduction to Sociology explores theories regarding social behavior, individual behavior, and societal dynamics. Students also learn how to apply the concepts they’re learning to local and global contexts in the real world.

Math lays the groundwork for complex theories of algebra or geometry that must be taken later on in the degree path by science, medical, or engineering majors. However, you’ll generally find that math courses required for liberal arts degrees are designed for non-math majors.

Public Speaking is an interactive, practical course that introduces students to the concepts of effective oral communication. Presentations or debates on topics are often used for grading.

A student who graduates with an associates degree in liberal arts has confidence regarding their ability to explore new concepts with an open, analytical mind. Many students find that an affinity for a specific course opens up inspiration for a specific field of study or career path.

Liberal Arts Careers & Salaries

Liberal Arts Careers & Salaries

You might say that the sky is the limit when it comes to where you can go after you get your liberal arts degree. Graduates truly work in all industries!

Yes, the opportunities waiting on the other side of this degree are vast. In fact, they are almost too vast to really pin down in a single list. We can still take a look at some salary expectations for common job roles people fill after obtaining their associates degrees in liberal arts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for workers in roles that require associates degrees is $52,830. Here’s a look at how it breaks down for some specific roles:

Careers Average Annual Salary
Sales Manager $126,640
Executive Assistant $61,550
Legal/File Assistant $59,999
Human Resources Assistant $41,620
Administrative Assistant $39,850
Announcer/Communications Personality $39,790
Customer Service Specialist $34,710
Social and Human Service Assistant $33,750
Receptionist $30,050
Sales Representative $28,180

Graduates of associates programs really shine in support roles. However, the analytical and problem-solving skills they’ve learned in their studies prime them to be candidates for promotion after beginning in entry-level roles.

Choosing a Liberal Arts Degree

liberal arts degree student studying at a cafe

How do you choose a liberal arts degree that’s going to support your educational and professional goals? It’s important to look at factors like course offerings, scheduling, and availability of faculty.

Many schools that offer associates degrees in liberal arts are focused on fostering well-rounded learners. You should see course offerings that represent the “mainstream” classes that are available at most two-year and four-year colleges.

Don’t be afraid to inquire about instructors. It may be important to you that instructors at the institution you attend have very specific backgrounds and specialties that qualify them to teach subjects. You should also investigate the types of job roles graduates take on after graduation.

Lastly, it’s important to look at options like flexibility and online learning. You may be at a point where it’s only feasible to pursue a liberal arts degree if you can do your learning online. Be sure to investigate the resources available to virtual learners before settling on a degree program.

Admissions Requirements

liberal arts student studying at a cafe

What does it take to get accepted into an associates degree liberal arts program? Let’s talk about where to start if you want to apply to programs.

Generally, liberal arts associates programs tend to have more flexible and lenient acceptance requirements than four-year institutions. You’ll still need to prove that you meet a program’s criteria before you can enroll. Here’s a glance at the basic admissions requirements for associates programs.

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Passing grades in any required prerequisite courses
  • Personal letter/statement of goals
  • Letters of recommendation

Requirements vary by institution. For instance, you may find that the minimum required GPA for high school work is different for each school. Some institutions may require students to take placement tests in mathematics and English.

Accreditation

Associates in Liberal Arts Accreditation

You may have seen or heard regional accreditation discussed while doing your research regarding schools and programs. This designation means that a school has been recognized by an accrediting body that is approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

An example would be accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The big perk of going with a regionally accredited school is prestige. Additionally, credits from regionally accredited schools are typically easier to transfer. That’s important to know if there’s a chance you’ll transfer some or all of the credits you earn while pursuing a liberal arts degree.

Liberal Arts Professional Organizations

business professionals having a conversation during a seminar

One of the exciting things about becoming a professional in a field is joining a professional organization.

Membership is really an opportunity for making connections, building personal development, gaining access to job openings, and keeping up with developments in your field.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

financial aid for liberal arts students

The good news is that two-year institutions often charge significantly less per credit than four-year institutions. That means you’re saving money starting from the time you enroll!

Of course, you’ll still want to pursue financial aid opportunities for an associates degree in liberal arts. Students are eligible to apply for federal aid via FAFSA. Federal grants, loans, and scholarships are available for students pursuing liberal arts degrees.

Additionally, private or local scholarship opportunities may be open to students pursuing liberal arts or two-year degrees.

It may be necessary to apply to new scholarship programs each year or semester. Most scholarships can only be awarded to each recipient once in a lifetime.

The good news is that strong GPA and academic performance as you move through your semesters will increase your odds of being awarded additional scholarships.

Associates Degree in Liberal Arts

What Can You Do With an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts?

An associates degree in liberal arts is a versatile jumping-off point for an exciting future. Some students begin this degree path with a goal of landing a support role at a company or organization after graduation.

Liberal arts graduates routinely enter entry-level or support roles in human resources departments, sales departments, and government agencies.

It is also common for liberal arts graduates to take on roles as executive or administrative assistants. Being the “driving force” behind an executive team or department is a very fulfilling career path.

Many students who graduate with associates degrees in liberal arts have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution in mind. An associates degree is a natural bridge to a higher degree.

Is an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts Worth Anything?

office receptionist talking to client on the phone

Yes, this is a valued degree! Looking at the numbers is sometimes all it takes to see why.

The annual median salary of $52,830 for a person in an occupation requiring an associates degree is much higher than the $36,100 median for workers in occupations that only require high school degrees.

What Is the Difference Between AA and AS?

An AA is an associate of arts degree. An AS is an associates of science degree.

An AA exclusively focuses on courses in the realm of liberal arts. An AS blends liberal arts and science. However, a much greater emphasis is placed on courses in science and math.

What Classes Are Required for a Liberal Arts Degree?

office secretary working on her computer

A liberal arts degree typically encompasses art, literature, fine arts, social sciences, and humanities. Students can expect to take a variety of classes that incorporate human development, societal structures, and great works of art into a robust curriculum.

Additionally, highly practical courses like public speaking and communications help to create a well-rounded experience.

This is a degree path that offers a “taste of everything” because it’s preparing you to be a dynamic person in any job role you take on!

What Kind of Career Can You Get With an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts?

An associates in liberal arts is a great path if you’re interested in landing a support role or entry-level position at a corporation or organization. This degree is commonly held by executive and administrative assistants.

It’s also possible to get entry-level sales or communications jobs with an associates degree in liberal arts.

How Long does it Take to Complete an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts Online?

sales manager working at a cafe

An associates degree is designed to be completed in two years. However, many schools allows students to go at their “own pace.” It’s important to look at credit hours instead of focusing on how many “years” you’ll be in school.

Most programs require a student to complete 60 semester credits before being permitted to graduate. You can often accelerate or reduce the path to graduation by taking extra or fewer classes. Additionally, a minimum GPA requirement may be in place to graduate.

How Much does an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Studies Cost?

Actual cost per credit varies by school. Most two-year programs charge between $100 and $500 per semester credit. Costs vary based on factors like residency and degree program.

A student can expect to save thousands of dollars by completing an associates degree instead of jumping right into a four-year institution.

Schools Offering Online Liberal Arts Associate’s Degree Programs

Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer liberal arts associate’s degree online.

#1  Alexandria Technical and Community College

Alexandria Technical & Community College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences

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

#2  Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University campus

  • AS in Liberal Arts

Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#3  Brandman University

Brandman University campus

  • AA in General Education

Brandman University is accredited by the WSCUC Senior College and University Commission.

#4  Brenau University

Brenau University campus

  • AA in Liberal Studies

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

#5  Brescia University

Brescia University campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

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

#6  California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania campus

  • AA in Liberal Studies

The California University of Pennsylvania is a public university accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#7  Cowley College

Cowley College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

Cowley College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8  Excelsior College

Excelsior College campus

  • AS in Liberal Arts

Excelsior College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#9  Florida Tech

Florida Tech campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10  Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University campus

  • AA in General Studies

Golden Gate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#11  Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences

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

#12  Holyoke Community College

Holyoke Community College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts and Science

Holyoke Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#13  John Tyler Community College

John Tyler Community College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

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

#14  Keiser University

Keiser University campus

  • AA in General Studies

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

#15  Kennebec Valley Community College

Kennebec Valley Community College campus

  • AA in Liberal Studies

Kennebec Valley Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#16  Lewis-Clark State College

Lewis Clark State College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

Lewis-Clark State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#17  Liberty University

Liberty University campus

  • AA in Interdisciplinary Studies

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

#18  Louisiana State University – Alexandria

Louisiana State University - Alexandria campus

  • Associate of General Studies

Louisiana State University at Alexandria is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#19  New England College

New England College campus

  • AA in Liberal Studies

NEC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#20  Ocean County College

Ocean County College campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

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

#21  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

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

#22  Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida campus

  • AA in General Education

Seminole State College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#24  University of Alaska – Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks campus

  • AA in Liberal Arts

UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#25  Wilmington University

Wilmington University campus

  • AA in Liberal Studies

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Associate’s in Liberal Arts Degree Online

office secretary working on her laptop

An online associates liberal arts degree gives you the ability to bring a global classroom into your home! It’s exciting to think that centuries of art, literature, and scientific research can be learned from expert professors right from your own home without the need to visit a campus.

Is it time to take that leap toward furthering your education to break down the barriers between a degree requirement and your “dream” job? Apply to an online liberal arts degree program to get things moving.

This article is brought to you by
Carmen Reed
Carmen Reed
Author
Joy Mays
Joy Mays
Director