24 Fastest Online Associate’s Degrees

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You’ve decided to get an associate’s degree! Maybe you are looking to earn more money when you enter the workforce. Or maybe you will continue with your bachelor’s degree later on. You want a degree path you can finish fast from a regionally accredited school you can trust. 

Here are 25 accelerated online associate’s degrees that you can earn in less than two years.

DegreeQuery.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

1. Associate’s Degree in Business Administration

easy associate degrees

Business administration is one of the most common associate’s degree programs. It is possible to get your degree in just 12 months.

RELATED: How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Degree?

It is easy to get started with Purdue University Global’s associate of applied science degree. They have start dates throughout the year. This fastest associate in business management degree can be completed in as quickly as 12 months (With transfer credit and past experience). Career Services will help students with their resume and portfolio. They will help students learn interview skills and network with businesses. This service will help graduates leave the program with many job possibilities. 

You don’t have to go to a four-year university to earn an associate’s degree. A community college can have a similar program for less time and money. Truckee Meadows Community College’s Associate of Applied Science in Business has a  Fast Track online program. TMCC is based in Reno, Nevada. It is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Students in the FastTrack online business administration program will study a wide range of business topics.

Classes include: 

  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intro to information system 
  • Logistics and management

Time to Complete: 12-18 Months 

2. Associate of Arts in Psychology

Do you have an interest in human behavior? Do you wonder why people think, feel and act the way they do? An associate’s degree in psychology will prepare graduates to work in entry-level psychology roles. This includes mental health facilities, substance abuse and rehabilitation centers and childcare facilities. You may also choose to work in the criminal justice and legal system.

Miami Dade College offers an Associate of Arts degree with an accelerated pathway in psychology you can complete in a year. The school is based in Miami, Florida, but is fully online. It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

Students in Miami Dade College’s psychology program will study:

  • introductory psychology
  • social psychology
  • multicultural relations
  • human sexuality
  • abnormal psychology 
  • human development
  • statistical methods

 Time to complete: 12 months

3. Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

If you are interested in a law enforcement career, having an associate’s degree in criminal justice can give you an edge over candidates starting out with just a high school diploma. By earning your degree quickly online, you won’t have to sacrifice years of your life to prepare.

Purdue University Global allows students to earn a criminal justice associate’s degree in just a year. Students will:

  • learn the philosophy and development of the criminal justice system in the United States
  • complete in-depth study of criminology and criminal law
  • work with law enforcement professionals
  • apply their skills and knowledge to real-world scenarios in a capstone project

This fastest associate’s degree program in criminal justice gives students the education employers are seeking.

Truckee Meadows Community College also offers a one-year associate degree. Like all of the school’s Fast Track associate’s programs, the criminal justice program can take as little as 12 months. Students will double-up on their courses and take two five-week classes per session instead of one. You will get the educational background to work in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Investigations
  • Probation
  • Corporate security

Time to Complete: 12 Months

4. Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science

If you’re interested in a firefighting career, Purdue University Global’s associate in fire science program can help you prepare in as little as one year. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The U.S. Fire Administration also recognizes it as an official Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education institution.

Students of Purdue University Global’s fully online fire science program will study:

  • fire prevention
  • firefighter safety
  • defense planning
  • firefighting strategy
  • hazardous materials management
  • building codes and code inspection

The degree path will prepare graduates for a variety of firefighting and emergency services roles in their communities.

RELATED: The 10 Best Online Fire Science Degree Bachelor’s Programs

Time to complete: 12 months 

5. Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies

Just because you have an interest in the legal system doesn’t mean that you want to spend seven years or more pursuing a bachelor’s and then law school degree. With Bryan University’s paralegal studies associate’s degree, you don’t have to. This online Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and Litigation Technologies will prepare graduates for a successful job as a paralegal in under two years. 

Learn more about what degree you need to be a paralegal.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the career outlook for a paralegal is growing much faster than average at a rate of 12% by 2028. Bryan University offers a solid education in E-Discovery software. This training is a vital part of the paralegal profession. Students will benefit from a personalized online learning model. It offers the coaching and flexibility needed to thrive in a career as a paralegal.

Time to complete: Under 24 months

6. Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems or Information Technology

If you have an interest in technology, an associate’s degree in computer information systems or information technology can help you find a job in a rapidly-growing field. Payscale.com has ranked Computer Science and Engineering as the 5th best paid job with an associate’s degree. 

Saint Leo University offers a 60-credit Online Information Technology Associate Degree. This historically Catholic school will prepare graduates for jobs in the growing world of computer systems. Course requirements include:

  • system analysis and design
  • business law
  • principles of accounting
  • programming in Java and C/C++

Florida Institute of Technology is based in Melbourne, Florida. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Students can complete this fastest Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems degree online in 20 months or less. Coursework will include software design and development and programming in languages like Visual Basic and Java.

Time to complete: 20 months

7. Associate of Science in Health Information Technology

If you are looking to start a new career in healthcare service in as little as 15 months, consider the Online Health Information Technology Associate Degree from Fremont College. This fastest associates degree program will give you the skills needed for a satisfying job in a quickly growing industry in health information technology. Fremont College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Health information technology includes:

  • medical billing and coding
  • disease classification
  • healthcare coding in hospitals and other healthcare facilities 

Time to Complete: 15 months

8. Associate’s in Nursing

Whether you’re already licensed or fresh out of high school an associate degree can help you get ahead! If you’re currently a licensed vocational nurse but haven’t yet earned a degree, you could get one in as little as one year by studying online at Howard College. The community college is based in Big Springs, Texas. It also has campuses in Lamesa and San Angelo. It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Students in Howard College’s Accelerated (Transition) Associate Degree Nursing Program will study a range of nursing topics from obstetrics and pediatrics to surgical nursing.

If you don’t yet have experience or a license, don’t worry. You can still earn an associate’s degree in nursing from Rasmussen University. The school is headquartered in Minnesota but has two dozen locations throughout several states. It is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Rasmussen University’s professional nursing program trains students in patient care and clinical decision-making. It also helps them prepare to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLE-RN) test. If you study online, you can complete the program in 18 months.

Time to complete: 12 to 24 months 

9. Associate of Science in Construction Project Management

If you are interested in overseeing a construction project from start to finish and want to be involved in the details of planning and design, this rising career path might be for you.

Penn Foster College’s accredited Online Construction Technology Associate Degree offers on-demand learning that will prepare graduates for jobs such as:

  • construction manager
  • building inspector
  • trades supervisor

Penn Foster is located in Scottsdale, AZ. It offers an affordable, customizable program (PFx) that is mobile-friendly and flexible to work into your busy schedule. 

Time to Complete: 24 months

10. Associate of Occupational Studies Medical Assisting

If you are looking for your place in the healthcare industry, Independence University has an associate’s degree in medical assisting that can be completed in just 19 months. This accredited associate degree is perfect for someone looking to work with patients, doctors and nurses.

This medical assisting associates degree includes courses such as:

  • vital signs
  • medical billing
  • medical records
  • phlebotomy

IU developed their medical assisting associate’s program for those who are career-focused and ready to work in a continually growing field. You will not sacrifice quality of education or personalized support with this online program.

Time to complete: 19 months

11. Associate of Applied Science in Health Science: Medical Office Management

Can you see yourself in an office management role? You don’t need years of education and experience to prepare for the responsibilities of keeping an office organized and running efficiently. You can earn an associate’s degree in medical office management in as little as 18 months from Ultimate Medical Academy. As a student of Ultimate Medical Academy’s Associate Degree – Medical Administrative Assistant program, you will develop skills including:

  • managing office operations
  • scheduling appointments
  • managing patient records and handling billing
  • coding and insurance paperwork

Throughout your coursework, you will increase your communication, organizational and clinical skills. You will be well prepared for a career managing patients’ medical records. Graduates of this program are ready to take certification tests like the Certified Medical Administrative Specialist and Certified Coding Associate examinations. This can be added to your resume.

Time to complete: 18 months 

12. Associate’s Degree Web Programming

Do you enjoy the technical side of web application? Rasmussen University is an affordable, accredited, associate’s degree program that will train students in web development. 

For example: 

  • HTML5
  • JavaScript®
  • SQL databases

Develop a portfolio employers are looking for in this fastest online associate’s degree in web programming. 

Rasmussen University offers a 21-month associate’s degree program in web programming. Students will learn many popular programming languages including: 

  • CSS
  • Java
  • HTML 
  • Visual Basic

They will learn the essential tools and techniques for coding websites and software applications. The coursework in the web programming associate’s degree program can prepare students to earn industry certifications in subjects like Oracle, Java and Microsoft. The program also emphasizes “soft skill”. This includes effectively communicating and collaborating with clients and teammates.

Time to complete: 18-21 months

13. Associate of Science in Design Studies

Do you have an eye for design? You can be more than a “starving artist.” With an associate’s degree in design studies or graphic studies, you can apply your creativity to a career as a designer. 

At Herzing University, you can earn your associate’s degree online in as little as 64 weeks. Herzing University is based in Madison, Wisconsin. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. During the program, students learn to communicate ideas and messages through visuals. They will build a portfolio of their own designs. Upon graduation, students will be able to showcase their technical design skills. They will apply solid writing, speaking, computer and critical thinking skills to a design setting. The program is especially well suited to help students who have already taken some college credits in design complete their degree. Even students with no transfer credits can complete their degree requirements in less than two years.

Time to complete: 16 to 20 months

14. Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education

Do you love working with kids? The first step to a career as a pre-kindergarten teacher, childcare worker or even learning center administrator is an associate’s degree in early childhood education. Whether you intend to make a career out of childcare work or eventually earn a bachelor’s degree to become a licensed teacher, this fastest associate in early childhood education degree can be a stepping stone to achieving your dreams.

At Rasmussen University, you can earn your degree online in 18 months. Along with general education you’ll study: 

  • childhood education
  • teacher preparation
  • child development
  • classroom management 

Time to complete: 18 months 

15. Associate of Arts in General Education or Liberal Arts

Maybe you don’t know yet what you want to study! You just know that having a degree will open doors to opportunities that you might not have otherwise. If you haven’t decided on a specific major, you can earn a degree in general education or liberal arts. These programs provide a broad foundation of college-level education for you to draw from It can be the perfect stepping stone for a career that doesn’t require a specific path of study or for earning a bachelor’s degree at a later time.

RELATED: The 20 Easiest Bachelor’s Degree Online Options

Florida State College is based in Jacksonville and accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges. It offers an accelerated Associate in Arts General Education/ Transfer program. Students can graduate in just 18 months – 12 if they transfer the maximum amount of prior college credits. Students take courses in a wide range of subjects including:

  • Human development
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Science
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Philosophy
  • Mathematics
  • Business 
  • Humanities.

If you have college credits to transfer, you can earn a degree even faster at Northeastern University. The school is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers a fully online accelerated Associate of Science in Liberal Arts degree completion program. In just nine months, you could attain the degree you started without ever having to set foot on campus. 

Time to complete: 18 Months (or less!)

16. Associate of Arts in Graphic Design

Are you interested in design for the Web, print and other media? An associate’s degree can get you started on the path to a graphic design career. At Rasmussen University you can learn the ins and outs of graphic design in 18 months.

In this program, you’ll take courses that expose you to the techniques of traditional art and multimedia design, including:

  • Color theory
  • Photography
  • Typography
  • Print design
  • Interactive media
  • Editing audio and video clips 
  • Designing for the optimal user experience

You can even choose from two specializations, Web and Interactive Design and Animation and Motion Graphics. This will enhance your skills even more in an area of particular interest.

Time to complete: 18 months 

17. Associate’s in Human Resources

In every industry, businesses and organizations need to recruit, train and manage talent. Human resources personnel are professionals who specialize in hiring workers and developing their skills. An associate’s degree in human resources can give you the skills you need for this versatile career.

Human resources students at Rasmussen University will get a solid background in:

  • employment law
  • change management
  • benefits administration
  • managing and training employees

When you graduate, you’ll be ready to take the Professional in Human Resources certification test. This is perfect to add to your resume. 

Time to complete: 18 months

18. Human Services Associate’s Degree

Do you feel a calling to help other people who are struggling through difficult life problems? An education in human services could put you on the right path. Rasmussen University makes it possible to get your associate’s degree in 18 months.

Studying human services will prepare you for roles like:

  • community health worker
  • social and human service assistant
  • social or community service manager
  • community and social service specialist

Throughout your education, you will develop your public service knowledge and leadership skills. You will learn the crisis response strategies to help others cope with an emergency. You can work in settings like victim advocacy organizations, courts and foster homes.

Time to complete: 18 months 

19. Associate of Science in Software Application Development

If your computer skills are matched only by your creativity and resourcefulness, you could find great success as a software application developer. Software development is a rapidly growing industry. An associate’s degree can help you get started sooner rather than later. (Learn more about which degree is best for a software engineer.)

At Rasmussen University, you can earn your associate’s degree in software application development online in 18 months. You’ll study: 

  • software design
  • smartphone app development
  • programming in languages like Java and C++

Your education will focus on practical application. You’ll have the opportunity to build your professional portfolio to show off to prospective employers or clients. The school also offers an accelerated, 18-month bachelor’s degree in computer science for students who want to take their software development education even further.

Time to complete: 18 months

20. Associate of Arts in Accounting

If you think an accounting career is out of reach, think again. You don’t need to spend years in school or earn an advanced degree to get started. An associate’s degree can be the first step to your career, and you can earn it in less than 20 months.

Florida Institute of Technology offers a 20-month associate’s in accounting program completely online. Students will learn the theoretical and accounting standards and fundamentals as well as the practical application of accounting procedures. Through their coursework, they will become familiar with:

  • equities
  • liabilities
  • accounting’s role in business decisions
  • process of preparing financial statements and records

In addition to entry-level staff accountant roles, graduates of this program can seek positions in auditing, financial data analysis and payroll administration.

Time to complete: 20 months 

21. Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management

Not all businesses involve manufacturing and selling products. Even industries like healthcare are businesses. They rely on professionals with excellent management skills to keep them running efficiently and operating at their best. With an associate’s degree in healthcare management, you can break into the exciting, fast-growing field of managed healthcare.

At Florida Institute of Technology, it takes just 20 months (or less) to earn an Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management online. Coursework combines studies in both healthcare and business, giving you the tools you need to succeed. Students will learn about the organizational structure of healthcare, trends in modern managed healthcare and the ethical concerns at play in the medical field. Throughout their coursework, they will have the opportunity to develop their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and a wide range of management tasks, like planning and staffing. By the time they graduate, students will have the skills to work in roles such as:

  • case coordinators
  • office managers
  • risk managers
  • medical administrators.

Time to complete: 20 months

22. Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist

Medical insurance plays a major role in today’s healthcare system, at least in the United States. The need for doctors’ offices and hospitals to handle a massive amount of extensive insurance forms has created positions dedicated solely to insurance billing and coding. In as little as 20 months, you can earn an associate’s degree and make insurance building and coding your career.

Herzing University’s Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist degree prepares students to work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, outpatient medical facilities, nursing homes and home healthcare services. Students will take coursework in:

  • medical terminology
  • coding for procedures and diagnoses
  • use of computer databases for managing patient information

 While the program primarily prepares students to work as medical billers or medical coders, it provides the skills for employment in a wide range of jobs. This includes: 

  • medical clerk
  • insurance claims analyst
  •  medical office assistant
  • health information specialist

Time to complete: 20 months 

23. Associate of Science in Marketing

Good marketing leads people to buy your product, service, or brand. The field is ideal for students who are creative, strategic and analytical. An associate’s degree could be the first stepping stone into a rewarding marketing career.

Florida Institute of Technology offers a fully online associate’s degree program in marketing that you can complete in as little as 20 months. You will combine business studies with a background in liberal arts. You’ll learn the basic principles of marketing. You’ll learn how to plan, create and evaluate advertising and marketing campaigns. By the time you graduate, you will have the skills to work for an established or start-up organization. Graduates from Florida Institute of Technology’s associate’s program in marketing go on to careers in account management and product marketing management. They often start out in entry-level merchandiser and junior marketing associate roles.

Time to complete: 20 months 

24. Associate of Science in Occupational Health and Safety

If health and safety are at the forefront of your mind, you might be considering a career in occupational health and safety.

 Barton Community College offers an accredited, fully-online Associate’s of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Health and Safety (O.S.H.) that can be completed in just 12 months. With the increasing need for safety-trained professionals, those in the manufacturing and construction industry will always be looking for someone to hire. 

Specific roles include: 

  • Site Safety Inspectors
  • Safety Specialists
  • Safety Managers
  • Site Safety Superintendents. 

The associate’s degree from Barton was created to give students the education needed to qualify for these jobs.

Columbia Southern University offers an affordable online Associate of Science in occupational safety and health. 

Their applicable curriculum includes classes such as:

  • hazardous material management
  • legal aspects of safety
  • health and construction safety. 

CSU provides flexible learning options including military and veteran benefits and LifePace Learning. 

Time to complete: 12 months


For students who are eager to earn a degree quickly, accelerated associate’s programs are a fast way to this goal. If you have experience or college credits to transfer, you can also look for accredited programs that recognize the work you have already done. Some programs are competency-based. You can get credit for your relevant work experience and the things you already know. Others specialize in degree completion, so they expect and welcome transfer credits. Taking advantage of accelerated programs, competency-based curricula and transfer credits can help you earn your associate’s degree faster than you ever thought possible.

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