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Associate in Science inBusiness Administration

Program summary

Develop critical thinking skills, communication strategies, and broad business knowledge through course work in an online business administration associate degree program geared toward a wide range of careers.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by October 31 to start January 13

Credits and costs

60 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Gain Business Administration Skills to Move Ahead in Any Industry

  • Execute effective communication strategies.

  • Use the latest technical business tools to perform your job duties effectively.

  • Analyze and react to the economic issues facing companies today.

  • Collect and analyze business data to make inferences and solve business problems.

Online Associate Degree in Business Administration Courses

This business associate degree program can teach you the fundamentals of accounting, management, marketing, information systems, and economics that will make you a more effective business professional, and you can develop critical thinking, communication, and other essential business skills that companies value.

The objective of the associate degree in business administration is to provide people interested in management with enhanced communications and mathematical skills, socially relevant course work, and a choice of advanced courses in specific business specialties to develop well-rounded and application-oriented graduates

For those wishing to continue their studies, the credits earned toward an associate degree may often be applied toward the requirements of a bachelor's degree at Penn State or other institutions. 

Prescribed Courses (13 credits)

  • 4
    credits

    Introduction to the role of accounting numbers in the process of managing a business and in investor decision-making.

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 21 or a higher math course or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to speech communication: formal speaking, group discussion, analysis and evaluation of messages.

  • 3
    credits

    Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and fourth-semester standing

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • GWS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an overview of the role of information systems in business process design; the current technologies used for obtaining, storing, securing, and communicating information in support of operations and decision-making within a business organization; as well as the concepts and principles for developing and using popular spreadsheet and database tools.

Additional Courses (23–24 credits)

  • 4
    credits

    Explores the ethical, political, social, legal and regulatory, technological, and demographic diversity environment of business.

    • Note

      A student may not receive credit toward graduation for both BLAW 243 and BA 243.

  • 3
    credits

    An intensive, rhetorically based experience in reading and writing that will prepare you both to understand the communications that surround you and to succeed in your own communication efforts.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 4 or satisfactory performance on the English placement examination

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better

    • 3
      credits

      Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

    • 3
      credits

      Quadratic equations; equation in quadratic form; word problems; graphing; algebraic fractions; negative and rational exponents; radicals.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 4 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Relations, functions, graphs; polynomial, rational functions, graphs; word problems; nonlinear inequalities; inverse functions; exponential, logarithmic functions; conic sections; simultaneous equations.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 021 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Introduces and develops the mathematical skills required for analyzing change, and the underlying mathematical behaviors that model real-life economics and financial applications. Develops student knowledge of calculus techniques, and how to use a calculus framework to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 022 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

    • 3
      credits

      Covers terminology and important concepts related to marketing in the business environment. Domestic and international environments that impact marketing are included, with particular emphasis on the marketing environment, segmentation, positioning, and targeting. Not available to students who have taken BA 303.

      • Prerequisite

        ENGL 015 or ENGL 030; ECON 102 or ECON 104; MATH 021 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Covers terminology and important concepts related to marketing in the business environment. Domestic and international environments that impact marketing are included, with particular emphasis on the marketing environment, segmentation, positioning, and targeting. Not available to students who have taken BA 303.

      • Prerequisite

        (ENGL 015 or ENGL 030) and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (MATH 021 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.)

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of fundamental principles and processes applicable to the study of management. Not available to students who have taken BA 304.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (MATH 21 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination)

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 4
    credits

    Descriptive Statistics, frequency distributions, probability and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

    • Prerequisite

      Placement into MATH 21 or higher.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 12–13 credits)

For the supporting courses and related areas requirement students can select 12–13 credits from the course ranges and specific courses listed in this section.

  • ACCTG 300 to 399
  • ECON 100 to 399
  • ENTR 100 to 399
  • FIN 100 to 399
  • HPA 100 to 399
  • LHR 100 to 399
  • MGMT 100 to 399
  • MKTG 100 to 399
  • MIS 100 to 399
  • RM 100 to 399
  • SCM 200 to 399
  • 3
    credits

    A comprehensive view of the contemporary environment of business. This course provides a broad overview of the study of business and its environment, organization, operation, and interrelationships with government and society.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of problems of the small firm, particularly for the student who wishes to venture into business.

    • Prerequisite

      3 credits in economics

  • 3
    credits

    Business organizations and the sociocultural environment; current issues; corporate responsibility; international and multinational business environments.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 202D, MGMT 301

    • US;IL

      This course can be used to satisfy the International Cultures (IL) or the United States Cultures (US) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Review and practice of various communication forms used in modern organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the function and structure of communication in both formal and informal situations.

  • 3
    credits

    Relations, functions, graphs; polynomial, rational functions, graphs; word problems; nonlinear inequalities; inverse functions; exponential, logarithmic functions; conic sections; simultaneous equations.

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 021 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

  • 4
    credits

    Introduces and develops the mathematical skills required for analyzing change, and the underlying mathematical behaviors that model real-life economics and financial applications. Develops student knowledge of calculus techniques, and how to use a calculus framework to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 022 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of the major aspects of international business environment and operations with an emphasis on the cultural dimension.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits
  • Quantification (GQ): 3 credits
  • Any General Education course, including Integrative Studies (Inter-domain or Linked courses): 3 credits
  • United States Cultures (US), or International Cultures (IL) or combined designation (US; IL): 3 credits
    May be satisfied by designated courses that also meet other degree or General Education requirements.
  • Writing Across the Curriculum (W, M, X, Y): 3 credits
    May be satisfied by designated courses that also meet other degree or General Education requirements.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Start or Advance Your Career

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This program can give you a foundation of business concepts and best practices relevant to any industry. You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue a business career in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Operations Supervisor
  • Product Line Manager
  • Sales Supervisor
  • Store Manager
  • Warehouse Supervisor

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

General and Operations Managers

4.2%
employment growth (10 years)
3,376,680
total employment

Sales Managers

4%
employment growth (10 years)
536,390
total employment

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

8.2%
employment growth (10 years)
169,910
total employment

Industrial Production Managers

1.6%
employment growth (10 years)
211,710
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State associate degree?

Apply by October 31 to start January 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

A Head Start toward a Bachelor’s Degree

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor's Degree Program Related to This Associate Degree

Some or all credits earned for this associate degree can be applied to the following Penn State World Campus bachelor’s degree program:

Build a strong foundation in strategic business and project management. This online degree program allows you to align your course work with one of six unique topic areas to tailor your degree to your goals.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Business

Who Should Apply?

Penn State’s online associate degree program in business administration has been designed for entry-level business professionals, people who are looking for a career change, or those who have been working in the field but need a respected degree to take the next step in their career.

Set Your Own Pace

Adult student doing course work online while a child plays nearby

Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Degree in One to Two Years

  • Take 4–5 courses each semester

To Finish Your Degree in Three or More Years

  • Take 2–3 course each semester

 

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

Four sergeants major in the Army pose for a photo with Army uniforms and military honor cords

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, and application instructions.

How to Apply to Penn State

A new student holding a sign that reads, We Are Penn State and #PennStateBound

Apply by October 31 to start January 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by October 31 to start January 13
  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by March 15, 2025, to start May 19, 2025
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by June 30, 2025, to start August 25, 2025

New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.

Steps to Apply

  1. To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

  2. You will need the following items to complete your application:

    High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR) when applying. Official high school transcripts for first-year applicants will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.

    Transfer international students will need to submit their high school transcript before their application can be reviewed.

    Official college or university transcripts and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.

    Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

    English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. Accessing MyPennState

    The MyPennState Portal provides access to our online admissions services. Before accessing MyPennState, you must have a Penn State account that will be used to access all Penn State systems. After creating an account, you will receive a unique Penn State User ID. You will need to enter your User ID followed by @psu.edu when signing in to MyPennState and other Penn State sites. For example, you should be entering something like '[email protected]' in the Sign In field.

    The application consists of six sections:

    1. Application Setup
    2. Program of Study
    3. Citizenship and Residency
    4. Academics and Experience
    5. Miscellaneous
    6. Review and Submit
    Application Setup
    • Be sure to select "Online" for the "How would you like to complete your degree" question if you plan to attend Penn State World Campus.

    • The rest of this section will ask some basic questions about your education experience and military affiliation.

    Program of Study
    • You will choose the degree type and then the starting semester.

    • Your starting campus will be selected as Penn State World Campus by default as long as you picked "Online" in your Application Setup. Click Continue.

    • On the Choose a Program page, select your intended major from the list.

    • Review your selection on the summary screen and click Continue to move on to the Citizenship and Residency section.

    Citizenship and Residency
    • Complete the series of questions about your citizenship status, demographic information, Pennsylvania residency status, and family history.

    Academics and Experience
    • You will need to enter academic experience information about your high school and any attempted courses at a college or university after high school.

    • The Education Gap Statement offers a place to explain any time that has elapsed between your high school graduation and your anticipated enrollment at Penn State. Please provide a summary of why that gap occurred. Some examples that would explain a gap in your education include work, family, attending another college or university, etc.

    Miscellaneous
    • In the Miscellaneous section, you will provide any program-specific requirements (e.g., a personal statement), information about activities, and financial aid information.

    Review and Submit

    Review your information, digitally sign your application, and provide payment for the application fee ($65 domestic or $75 international).

    High School Transcripts and Academic Record
    • After your application is completed, you will also need to self-report your high school course work before the application deadline. You will be directed to fill out the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). It is helpful to have a high school transcript available when completing this section. In the third section, you'll select your program of study and campus.

    • Official high school transcripts or GED transcript, along with records from high school, are required, regardless of the length of time that has passed.

    • Include any college/university transcripts (required), military transcripts, and Proof of English Language proficiency (if applicable). SAT/ACT scores are not required if you are identified as an adult learner or transfer student.

    All official documents should be sent to: 

    Undergraduate Admissions Office
    The Pennsylvania State University
    201 Shields Building
    University Park, PA 16802

    You can also have your transcripts sent electronically through Parchment, eScript-Safe, or the National Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.

    Acceptance

    After receiving your application, application fee, and all required materials, your application will be evaluated for admission. You can check your application status online. This will provide the most up‐to‐date information about the status of your application and is updated once daily, before 8:00 a.m. (ET). Once a decision has been made regarding your application, it will be available to you through the MyPennState portal.

    For information on when you can expect an admissions decision, visit the Dates and Deadlines page of the Undergraduate Admissions website. Make sure you click the "+" sign to see these dates for World Campus Applicants (First-Year and Transfer).

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

Customer service representative wearing a headset

Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the Associate in Science in Business Administration, please contact:  

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

Learn from the Best

This online business administration degree program is offered in partnership with the business schools from 17 of Penn State's campuses and is developed and taught by experienced Penn State faculty with diverse backgrounds.

Faculty

  • Lisa Bertin

    • Degree
      Executive MBA, Kent State University
    • Degree
      B.S., Business Administration, Information Systems Track, Youngstown State University
    • Degree
      A.S., Computer Science, Brunswick Junior College

    Lisa Bertin began teaching both business and IT–related courses at Penn State Shenango in 2001. Professionally, her business experience includes serving as an office controller and account manager. She has received several teaching awards during her time at the University, including the 2015 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her research interests include online learning and management information systems. She currently serves on the board of directors for Mercer Area Library, Athena PowerLink, and Lawrence Mercer Athena International.

  • Veronica M. Godshalk

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Business Administration, Drexel University
    • Degree
      M.S., Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Veronica (M. Godshalk is a professor of management and associate chief academic officer at Penn State Great Valley. She teaches courses in management, leadership, and strategy. She is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Teaching and Learning with Technology Fellowship. Dr. Godshalk has published many books and articles; her research interests include career management and mentoring, as well as pedagogy. She recently published a fifth edition of Career Management for Life. Dr. Godshalk worked in the computer industry in sales prior to entering academia.

  • Stephanie Gresh

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Organizational Leadership, Eastern University
    • Degree
      MBA, Rider University
    • Degree
      BSBA, Marketing, Rider University

    As an educator, Dr. Stephanie Gresh seeks to construct an interactive learning environment in the classroom, as she finds that the best learning occurs through interactive discussion and personal reflection. Her research defines a dynamical system as a set of patterns that interact and continually adapt over time, which she has defined as Dynamic Resolve©. She is an active researcher with the International Leadership Association and serves as a co-editor for the journal Industrial and Commercial Training; a special-issue publication was published last year on followership.

  • Ali Kara

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Marketing, Florida International University
    • Degree
      M.S., Management, Cukurova University
    • Degree
      MBA, Marketing, University of Bridgeport
    • Degree
      B.A., Business, Cukurova University

    Dr. Ali Kara is a professor of marketing and the discipline coordinator of the Business and Economics Division of University College. He has published in such academic journals as Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Research in Marketing, European Journal of Operations Research, and Omega. Dr. Kara teaches a variety of marketing courses. His research focuses on statistical modeling, model comparisons, and identifying segments using data.

  • Michael Ridenour

    • Degree
      M.S., Accounting, Saint Vincent College
    • Degree
      B.A., Accounting, Washington and Jefferson College

    Michael Ridenour teaches a number of accounting courses ranging from financial accounting to taxation. He has worked for the Internal Revenue Service and several certified public accountant firms. He also owns and operates a tax service business. 

  • Frank M. Sorokach

    • Degree
      MBA, Wilkes University
    • Degree
      B.S., Business, Misericordia University
    • Degree
      A.S., Education, Luzerne County Community College

    Frank M. Sorokach teaches economics, project management, business strategy, risk management, and marketing courses. He is the lead instructor and course designer for MIS 204 at Penn State World Campus. He has more than 20 years of applied management and business ownership experience in varied disciplines and has taught for more than 15 years. His research interests include process management, technology integration, risk, and business disruption. He focuses on the application of new concepts, systems, and technologies to improve business, specifically in the integration of technology and management theory.

  • John Paul Weber

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Organization and Management, Capella University
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance, LaSalle University
    • Degree
      B.A., Communications, Temple University

    Dr. John Paul Weber is an associate teaching professor who teaches various business-related courses for both Penn State Berks and Penn State World Campus. Dr. Weber maintains a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Broker of Record real estate license. His research interests include real estate, higher education course delivery methods, and the employer/employee relationship.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State associate degree?

Apply by October 31 to start January 13. How to Apply