Online Associate's Degree in Professional Studies

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Total Courses
Cost per Credit (Term Based)
2 Years
Average Completion (Term Based)*
15 Hours/Week
Course Effort (Term Based)

Associate's Degree in Professional Studies Overview

It’s your comeback, so build a degree that matches your personal goals and interests. Design a custom program that moves your career forward.

  • Learn to discuss and analyze issues in your organization, communicate solutions to diverse stakeholders, and become an ethical leader in your field of interest.
  • Select from two online pathways: a traditional term-based program or an independent, self-paced study option.
  • Create a flexible Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) that meets your professional and personal interests.
  • Build an open degree with curriculum from Purdue Global and beyond.
  • Get the credit you deserve. Use your past learning and experience to graduate faster and save on tuition. Learn more about transfer credits.

Two Pathways to Your Associate’s

Are you a motivated, independent thinker who’s taken at least one college course? It’s time to take charge of your education. Choose from two program options:

Term-Based Independent
Complete scheduled terms at a set pace Complete courses at your own pace until the capstone (last course of the degree)
Pass eligible instructor-led courses that align with your ILP to earn credit Pass Assessments of Skills and Knowledge (ASKs) that align with your ILP to earn credit
Tuition pricing based on per-credit-hour Costs include monthly tuition fee, capstone course tuition, and ASK fees
Apply for financial and military aid if you qualify Self-pay
You may defer outstanding loans You cannot defer outstanding loans

First Step: Create Your ILP

Start by working with a Purdue Global faculty Advisor to custom design an ILP that matches your career and personal interests:

  • Create a personal career goal statement.
  • Review any college credits you earned in the past.
  • See which of your prior experiences may count for college credit.
  • Identify what you’ll need to do to complete the degree program.
  • Discover course assessments and ways to fulfill your degree requirements.
See Program Degree Plan and Policies

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

Gain New Professional Skills

Study topics such as project management, strategic planning, and problem solving. Your final course includes a portfolio project where you can showcase all you’ve learned.

Get College Credit for Your Work and Life Experiences

Your experience counts at Purdue Global. Complete one of Purdue Global’s credit for work and life experience online courses to create a virtual portfolio of your past accomplishments.

Purdue Global Is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The HLC ( is an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Admissions Requirements

You must be a high school graduate or possess a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or other equivalency diploma. You are also encouraged to complete orientation before you start classes. Refer to the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.

What Courses Will I Take?

In the associate’s degree in professional studies, your courses cover a range of fundamental subjects. Each course is taught by experienced professionals with extensive real-world knowledge.

Sample Courses

  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Public Speaking for the Professional
  • Arts and Humanities—Modern Creative Expressions
  • Sociology
  • Associate's Capstone in Professional Studies
See Professional Studies Degree Plan

Program Requirements

Core Credits
Major Credits
Elective Credits
Total Credits

Program Outcomes

  • Disciplinary Knowledge and Skills: Discuss issues and solutions to improve professional practice.
  • Critical Thinking: Interpret information from multiple sources for an issue in a professional field of interest.
  • Professionalism and Ethics: Apply ethical principles when making decisions as a leader.
  • Communication: Be able to communicate an issue and potential solution to a diverse group of stakeholders in your professional field of interest.
  • Analysis: Analyze a program-based solution to address an issue in a professional career field.

Upcoming Start Dates

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Take the Next Step in Your Education and Career

Continue With Your Bachelor’s Degree

As an associate’s degree graduate, you’ll be prepared to continue your academic journey with Purdue Global’s online Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies. You’ll also be prepared to enter a more structured online bachelor’s program at Purdue Global.

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

Ways to Save on Time and Tuition

Purdue Global works with students to find ways to reduce costs and make education more accessible. Contact us to learn about opportunities to save on your educational costs.

Transfer Credits

Earn credit for prior coursework completed at eligible institutions, including community colleges.

Prior Work Experience Reduction

You could earn undergraduate credit for your life and professional career experiences.

Financial Aid

Learn about federal financial aid programs available for many of our degree programs.

Grants and Loans

Learn about federal and state grants and loan programs that may be available.

Corporate Partner Benefits

Employees of Purdue Global partner organizations may be eligible for special tuition reductions.

Military Tuition Reduction

Undergraduate tuition savings for military include a 55% reduction per credit for current servicemembers and 38% per credit for veterans.

Prior Military Experience

Earn credit for your military training. The average Purdue Global military student is awarded 54% of the credits needed for an associate's and 45% of the credits needed for a bachelor's.

International Tuition Reduction

International students living outside of the United States are eligible for a 25% international student tuition reduction.

View the total cost of attendance for your program.

Calculate Your Time and Cost

Estimate how much your prior learning credits can reduce your tuition and time to graduation.

Get Started

Career Opportunities

Earning a professional studies associate’s degree can prepare you for a wide variety of possible career outcomes, depending on your interests, background, and previous work experience. You can begin a new career or qualify for opportunities in a number of rewarding fields.

Average Salary


General labor market and salary data are provided by Lightcast and may not represent the outcomes experienced by Purdue Global graduates in these programs. Purdue Global graduates in these programs may earn salaries substantially different or less than the amounts listed above. Salary and employment outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, education, and opportunities for employment that are outside of Purdue Global's control.

Lightcast average salary ranges can be explored further using Lightcast’s SkillsMatch tool. Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement.

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

Take a Career Assessment

Discover your work interests, and use them to chart your ideal career path.

Program Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about our bachelor's and associate's degrees in professional studies and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.


Faculty members who have advanced degrees


Faculty members who hold a doctorate


Faculty publications in 2021–2022

More Than 38,000

Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2021–2022

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school- or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, July 2022. 2021–2022 academic year.

Your Path to Success Begins Here

Connect with an Advisor to explore program requirements, curriculum, credit for prior learning process, and financial aid options.


*Estimated Graduation Date and Average Completion: Estimated graduation date is based on the assumption that you will enroll in time to begin classes on the next upcoming start date, will remain enrolled for each consecutive term, and will maintain satisfactory academic standing in each term to progress toward completion of your program. Completion time is based on a full-time schedule. Programs will take longer for part-time students to complete.

Credit for Prior Learning: Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit from any of these sources. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning policy.

Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment.

Financial Aid: Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Eligibility is based on U.S. Department of Education criteria and is determined from data submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may also be required to submit supporting documentation as part of a verification process to determine eligibility for financial aid. Subscription-based program models are not eligible for Title IV federal financial aid.

Future Programs: The University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any future programs. Speak to an Advisor about transfer credit opportunities and see the University Catalog for the Prior Learning policy.