At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

Can I get a Reputable Associate's Degree Online?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

In order to obtain a reputable associate's degree online, the first step is to verify that the school you are interested in is properly accredited. Any school that lacks accreditation, or offers an associate's degree online without requiring that you undergo the equivalent of two years' worth of study, might be suspect. Studying for a degree online can provide a large amount of flexibility, though you should still expect to complete the same types of courses that you would at any other school. While sticking with the online components of brick and mortar schools is a safe option, many Internet based colleges and universities are fully accredited and able to offer an associate's degree online.

Many online schools list their accreditations prominently on their websites. If a particular school does not list this information, they should be able to provide it upon request. The correct accreditations will vary depending on locale and area of study. A school that lacks the proper credentials can still issue degrees, though they may not be recognized by either other institutions of higher learning, or by employers in the workplace.

A mortarboard and diploma for an associate's degree.
A mortarboard and diploma for an associate's degree.

Once you have located a reputable school for your chosen degree, you should typically expect to complete about two years' worth of coursework. This may take substantially longer or shorter depending on your time commitment and how the program is laid out. Some schools will allow you to complete an associate's degree online in an expedited fashion if you are able to complete the coursework more quickly, or if you have transferable credits from another school.

Some online schools allow you to complete an entire associate's degree online, while others may require you to take certain courses or exams at a physical location. Depending on your area of study, you may have to report to a campus or other location for labs or exams. Other schools will allow you to take proctored exams online. In some cases, exams may be administered online with a proctor accessing your webcam to monitor you during the test.

Studying for an associate's degree online can provide a number of benefits. The tuition may be lower than at a brick and mortar school, and you may be able to structure the classes around your schedule if you work. While disreputable diploma mills do exist, performing a little research on your school ahead of time will ensure that you receive an associate's degree online that will be recognized by employers and other schools.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A mortarboard and diploma for an associate's degree.
      By: Matthew Benoit
      A mortarboard and diploma for an associate's degree.