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What is Associate Degree in USA: Top Universities, Fees, Admission Requirements & More

Yocket Editorial Team

If you have completed your higher secondary level, and looking to start your professional career in a specific field, opting for an associate degree in USA is a great idea. Associate degree programs in USA will impart all essential skills to start your professional career without attaining any full-fledged degrees and universities.

The United States has always been an educational hub because of its high academic standards, renowned universities, and a wide variety of degrees. An associate degree is one of the most sought-after degree programs in USA for multiple reasons. Thus if you are looking to study an associate degree program in USA, this blog covers all the necessary information regarding an associate degree for international students in USA and much more.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is an Associate Degree in USA?
  2. Why Study Associate Degree in USA?
  3. Types of Associate Degree in USA
  4. Top Colleges for Associate Degree in USA
  5. Admission Requirements Associate Degree in USA
  6. Admission Process for Associate Degree in USA

What is an Associate Degree in the USA?

Let us begin with the basic question, what is associate degree in USA? An associate degree in USA is basically an academic program pursued by students at an undergraduate level right after completing their higher secondary. The degree aims at providing basic technical and academic knowledge, and transferable skills to students to utilize their learning in the practical world.

The associate degrees are not only offered in the USA, but also in other countries such as Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. In the US, an associate degree typically takes two years full-time to complete. 

Now that you know what an associate degree in USA means, let us now look at some of the reasons why to study associate degree in the USA:

One Year Stem Courses in USA

Why Study Associate Degree in USA?

USA is the top choice for students to pursue associate programs. To know and understand the benefits of studying in this diverse country, go through the points below:

  • Flexibility: Getting an associate degree will give you flexibility in more than one way. For example, you can pursue an associate degree online which will save time if you don't have the luxury of free time and have to maintain a busy schedule.
  • Subject Focused: The best part of pursuing an associate degree in the USA is that it allows you to study the core subjects at an initial phase. After grasping the knowledge and the skills to complete the program, you can use the skills in the real world.
  • Specialisation: An associate degree focuses only on a specific field, making it highly valuable for students who want to get specialisation in a specific field. If you are someone looking to jump straight into the workplace from class, then enrolling in this program would be an excellent option.
  • Higher Earning Potential: It is worth noting to say that having an associate degree will increase your chances of getting employed, rather than having a high school diploma degree. Along with that, your salary also has some chances to increase with post-secondary credentials on your resume.

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Types of Associate Degree in USA

After understanding what is associate degree in USA and its benefits, you must also know about the different types of associate degree that may align with your interest. Here are the four types of associate degree in the USA you can opt for:

  • Associate of Arts (A.A)
  • Associate of Science (A.S)
  • Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S)
  • Associate of Applied Business (A.A.B)

A.A. and A.S. are transferable degrees whereas A.A.B. and A.A.S. is a career-oriented degree that resembles the first two years of your college along with some prime subjects, and general education is also provided. You also have an option to transfer the credits to the 4-year university.

Top Colleges For Associate Degree in USA

USA is home to various well-established and recognised universities offering a range of degree programs for international students. The associate degree in USA universities is a popular preference among the students right after their intermediate. Thus to help you choose better, here we have listed some best associate degree colleges in USA:

  • Fort Scott Community College
  • Coastline Community College
  • Rend Lake College
  • Cochise College
  • Mitchell Technical Institute

Let us now discuss each college along with the associate degree cost in USA for each one:

1. Fort Scott Community College

Live in the beautiful city of Kansas and pursue associate degree program in USA

Fort Scott is an oldest continuous community college empowering students, community and employees to achieve their goals by providing opportunities in a supportive, and safe environment. It offers admissions to more than 35 fields of study in addition to 50 general education programs such as agriculture, art, education in both elementary and secondary levels, engineering, mathematics, etc.


Fort Scott, Kansas

Average Annual Fees

13,000 USD

Programs Offered


 Biological Sciences

 Computer Science




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2. Coastline Community College

Pursue associate degree program in USA by living in the beautiful city of California

A community college located in the heart of Orange, CA offers in-person classes as well as distance learning and work-based education to their students. The main aim of this college is to guide a diverse student population toward the attainment of degrees that leads you to career advancement, and personal empowerment. It provides numerous degrees and certificate options in several popular fields which are in demand by employers.


Fountain Valley, California

Average Annual Fees

8,842 USD

Popular Programs



 Marketing and Related Support Services

 Liberal Arts and Sciences

 General Studies and Humanities

Public Universities in USA

3. Rend Lake College

Pursue associate degree for international students in USA by living in Illinois

Rend Lake College offers education opportunities across the cultural and economic boundaries to serve the diverse student population. It is committed to its student's success in achieving the educational goals to meet the community-focused program objective. Provides admissions to a wide range of courses such as architecture, biomedical, business, engineering, mathematics and many more.


Ina, Illinois

Average Annual Fees

13,000 USD

Popular Programs

 Liberal Arts and Sciences

 General Studies and Humanities

 Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

 Health Professions

 Computer Science


Education System in USA

4. Cochise College

Pursue associate degree for international students in USA admist the beauty of Sierra Vista

Another best associate degree colleges in USA is the Cochise College. It is a leading and responsive college that aims to transform and empower the community by fostering collaborative relationships and providing innovative educational pathways to students. The college offers admissions to a number of associate degree programs that lead you to an exciting career in your specific field.


Sierra Vista, AZ

Average Annual Fees

12,300 USD

Popular Programs

 Military Technologies and Applied Sciences

 Liberal Arts and Sciences

 General Studies and Humanities

 Health Professions

 Elementary Education

 Computer Science

 Business Administration

Cost Of Studying in USA

5. Mitchell Technical Institute

Witness the beauty of South Dakota while pursuing associate degree in USA

Mitchell Technical Institute is one of the nation's best-performing community colleges that continues to advance the student experience with an even higher level of technology, student services and affordability. The curriculum is designed to land you in a highly desirable career in your dream field. Its exciting programs are led by outstanding instructors in agriculture, transportation, communication, business, manufacturing etc.


Mitchell, South Dakota

Average Annual Fees

7,524 USD

Popular Programs

 Health Professions


 Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences

 Construction Trades

 Automation Engineering Technology

 Business Management 

Community Colleges in USA

Admission Requirements for Associate Degree in USA

To pursue an associate degree program in the USA, you must have to qualify a set of eligibility criteria and admission requirements. These requirements can vary based on the college choice, however, a standard requirement for the degree is discussed below:

Higher Secondary Certificate

The first requirement to study an associate degree program is having a higher secondary certificate or 10+2 degree in a relevant subject. Although there are no official scores required, a minimum score of 60% to 70% is asked by most colleges.

Academic Transcripts

You are required to submit official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended previously. However, if you haven't attended any of the post-secondary institutions, you can submit official high school transcripts or a GED. A cumulative high school GPA of 2.0 or above is also required in some institutes.

ELP Test Scores

ELP or English Language Proficiency is a test score needed by international students to study at any study abroad institution. Most of the institutions accept test scores in terms of IELTS or TOEFL. The minimum scores required to study an associate degree in USA for international students are

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS: 6.5

Student Visa

A valid passport and a student visa are a must to get an associate degree for international students in USA. It is recommended to apply for your student visa at least three months prior to the expected date of travel.

So these are some of the requirements you must have to apply for an associate degree. Now let's check out the admission process in the USA:

Admission Process for Associate Degree in USA

Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to apply for admission to an associate degree in USA universities.

  • First identify which associate course you want to study for.
  • Finalise the university or college offering the same course in the USA.
  • Check out all the Associate Degree requirements in the USA by visiting the university's official website.
  • Fill up the application form and submit all the related documents before the submission date.
  • Pay the application fees and wait for the confirmation.
  • Once you have been selected, apply for the available scholarships and the student visa.

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Pursuing an associate degree in USA for international students proves to be a fruitful investment. This will not help you to enhance your skills and knowledge in your favourite subject, but also get exposure of working in various areas. If you have further queries regarding what is an associate degree in USA, connect with our Yocket Professionals for guidance and assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate Degree in USA

What is the duration of an associate degree in USA?

Is an associate degree in USA equal to graduation?

How much does an associate degree cost in USA?

How many credits is an associate degree?

Do we need an ELP Test score for an Associate Degree in the USA?

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