An associate of science degree provides college-level training in fields like business, science, engineering, and allied health. During a two-year associate program, undergraduates may take courses on topics like mathematics, chemistry, materials science, management, and healthcare.
Our list ranks the best online associate of science programs for 2021. Prospective students can use the rankings to find the right fit for their interests, budget, and career goals. This article also introduces common AS courses, types of AS degrees, and scholarships for AS students.
FAQ About Associate of Science Degrees
Is an associate of science degree worth it?
An associate of science degree helps professionals increase their skills, qualify for job opportunities, and increase their earning potential, making it a worthwhile investment.
What is the difference between an AS and AA degree?
AS majors include science, engineering, business, and allied health. AA majors include communication, English, and liberal studies. AA degrees typically require more math and science courses than AA programs.
What kinds of jobs can you get with an associate of science degree?
Graduates with an associate of science degree can pursue roles like engineering technician, dental hygienist, and web developer. Graduates can also transfer to a bachelor's program.
How much money can you make with an associate degree?
Professionals with an associate degree earn around a median of $46,000 per year. However, some degrees, including dental hygiene and engineering degrees, lead to higher salary potential.
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Best Online Associate of Science Degrees 2022
#1 Best Online Associate Of Science Degrees 2022
Hazard Community and Technical College
- Hazard, KY
- 2 years
- Online + Campus
Hazard Community and Technical College, located in Hazard, Kentucky, operates as a public institution. The two-year associate in science program accepts applicants with a high school diploma or the equivalent. The school may require placement tests for some incoming students. Contact the program for more information on start dates and admission requirements.
The distance learning format appeals to learners who require a flexible schedule. Enrollees benefit from the program's asynchronous course options, which let students complete coursework at any time of day.
An associate degree from the accredited institution prepares graduates for the workforce or a bachelor's program. Most schools maintain articulation agreements with four-year colleges, enabling graduates to transfer their credits seamlessly into a bachelor’s program.
Hazard Community and Technical College Facts:
Online Enrollment: 1,559
Rate of Undergraduate Admission: Not Known
Undergraduate Graduation Rate: 36%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1
Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176
Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616
Percent Online Enrollment
Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Types of Associate of Science Programs
Students earning an associate of science degree may specialize in disciplines like allied health, business, science, or engineering. These programs emphasize analytical and problem-solving skills.
Dental HygienistDental hygienist programs train students in oral health, periodontics, and anatomy. Graduates with an associate degree in the field can work as dental hygienists, who make a median annual salary of $76,220.
Computer and Information ScienceStudents pursuing an AS in computer and information science study topics like programming languages, web development, and computer science. Graduates can pursue roles like computer programmer, web developer, and computer support specialist.
Business AdministrationAt the associate level, business administration majors study topics like accounting, finance, and management. The degree leads to career opportunities in sales, administrative assisting, and project management.
BiologyBiology majors study topics like ecology, biological systems, and laboratory science. Graduates can work in roles like biology technician or transfer to a bachelor's program.
EngineeringAn engineering degree at the associate level builds technical and problem-solving skills. Students complete courses on topics like materials science, civil engineering, and electrical engineering.
Why Pursue an Associate of Science Degree?
An associate of science degree offers several personal and professional benefits, including higher earning potential and specialized training.
Online AS programs give students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.
Many AS degrees seamlessly transfer to bachelor's programs, allowing students to save money on their bachelor's degree.
Online AS programs allow students to attend top programs in the country without relocating.
Increased Earning Potential
Professionals with an associate degree benefit from a higher median salary and a lower unemployment rate than workers with only a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Are the Requirements for an Associate of Science Degree?
Most associate of science degrees require a high school diploma or the equivalent. They may also require SAT or ACT scores, though this requirement is more common in bachelor's programs. Applicants may also need to submit recommendation letters, a resume, and/or a statement of purpose.
After gaining admission, undergraduates complete major courses, general education requirements, and electives. Some programs include laboratory or practicum requirements to give students hands-on experience. Full-time students typically complete their degree in two years.
Courses in an Associate of Science Program
Associate of science degrees may focus on fields like natural sciences, allied health, engineering, business, and mathematics. During an AS program, learners complete introductory courses on topics like chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering, and biology. Most programs also incorporate math courses. Associate of science courses build strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
While each school sets its own curriculum and major requirements, this section introduces courses commonly found in AS programs.
Introduction to ChemistryChemistry represents a foundational course for many STEM majors. Introductory chemistry courses cover topics like chemical formulas and reactions, atomic structures, and bonding theory. Most chemistry courses include a lab component, which online learners can often complete through simulations or at a local facility.
Introduction to Computer ScienceIntroductory computer science courses cover topics like programming languages, computer systems, and computer networking. Students learn basic programming languages, such as Python or Java, while studying conceptual approaches to programming. The class prepares graduates for advanced courses in computer science and IT.
StatisticsIn statistics courses, learners study topics like data collection, statistical analysis, and interpreting results. They also learn to test hypotheses using statistical methods, evaluate probability, and determine the strength of statistical results.
Scholarships for Associate of Science Students
Students earning an associate of science degree qualify for several scholarship opportunities. Professional associations, private foundations, and businesses offer scholarships to AS students. In addition to the following opportunities, students should research scholarships based on factors like their major, state, and career goals.
Scholarships for Associate of Science Students
||Who Can Apply
Geico Pathway to Completion Associate Degree Scholarship
||Phi Theta Kappa members pursuing an associate degree qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate leadership experience. The award gives preference to applicants with leadership roles in Phi Theta Kappa.
AAWCC National Board Scholarship
||The American Association for Women in Community Colleges offers scholarships for women pursuing an associate degree at a community college. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.75 GPA and submit a personal statement and a statement on their financial need.
Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarship
||The American Association of Geographers offers a scholarship for community college students planning to transfer into a four-year institution to earn a geography degree. Applicants must be enrolled at a two-year institution and must have taken at least two transferable courses in geography. The award considers academic excellence and financial need.