Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees

Are you excited at the prospect of going to college, but not ready to commit to a specific field? Or serving in the military and want to begin your college experience? Earning your AA or AS online at the University of Montana means you’ll have a well-rounded education including math, language arts, sciences and humanities. While both degrees cover a general education, our AS degree includes additional studies in STEM.

Our two year AA and AS degree programs are 100% online. The recommended classes can be taken in an 8-week format which allows you to focus on just two classes at a time. Depending on your schedule, you also have the flexibility to add courses. An AA or AS from Missoula College gives you the opportunity to explore all your academic interests.

With the solid foundation that UM associate’s degree provides, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of career paths. Your AA/AS degree is applicable towards one of Missoula College's bachelor degree programs. You can also pursue a variety of professional certificates alongside your associate’s degree.


average salary for AA/AS graduates.


of general studies majors pursue a bachelors degree


Over $100,000 in scholarships

Options of Study for AA and AS Degrees at UM

Our AA and AS degrees offer several concentration areas to study and refine.

  • Business Management
  • Communication Studies
  • Professional Communications
  • Psychology
  • Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
  • Public Health

For details on all emphasis areas, visit the advising center page. MC’s also offers certificates you can earn in tandem with your AA or AS degree. 

If you choose to further your education at Missoula College, we have many bachelor’s degrees to consider.

What can you do with an AA or AS degree?

Your Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree is considered an academic or transfer degree. Each is meant to prepare you to enter the workforce across broad range of industries and meet the general requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Jobs you can get with an AA or AS degree

  • Preschool teacher
  • Industrial designer 
  • Paralegal
  • Web developer 
  • Executive assistant
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Operations manager
  • Account executive 
  • Medical Assistant
  • Graphic designer
  • Customer service representative

Salaries for AA or AS degree holders

According to a 2021 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with an associate’s degree earn an average of $50,076 annually. Compared to $42,068 for those with a high school diploma.

For example, the average salary in Montana for a/an: 

  • Graphic designer is $50,894
  • Medical assistant is $37,660
  • Operations manager is $89,839

Experiential Learning in the Associate Degree Programs

At Missoula College, we know the value of real-world experience. We provide diverse opportunities to gain the skills employers expect.

  • Internships: 1 in 3 interns receive a job offer at the conclusion of their internship.
  • Service learning in our community or with organizations such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps Vista

Study Abroad Opportunities for Associate's Degree Students

We live in a global society and exposure to other cultures and an understanding of world issues is integral to a successful career.

The University of Montana offers you the opportunity to study abroad through Partner Universities and the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP). Locations include China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Undergraduate Research Experiences for AA for AS Students

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds a large number of math-oriented research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites Program. A group of ten+ undergraduates work in the research programs of the host institution.

Working closely with other researchers and faculty, you’ll work on a specific project. These assignments include stipends and, generally, assistance with housing and travel.

As an undergraduate at MC, your opportunity to engage in meaningful research is enhanced by our support of academic research. Research opportunities exists within all UM disciplines. They are an invaluable hands-on application of classroom learning that connect you with cutting-edge research methods.

Career Development Options in the AA/AS program

The faculty at Missoula College has a broad range of experience in many fields. Professors are committed to mentorship in support of your individual interests and goals. They work diligently to ensure that, as an online student, you feel embraced by the campus community.

Networking and Professional Development in AA/AS Program

You’ll have multiple internship and field work opportunities with local businesses. Our partner employers know UM understands the skills they value which means your internships can easily translate into job offers.

To help you succeed in class — and your life pursuits — we support you throughout as a Missoula College student and long after graduation. Services include academic and career advising, transportation and access to Curry Health Center. For a full list, visit our Student Life page.

Clubs and Student Organizations in Your Associate's Degree Program

At the University of Montana, we know involvement with your peers is essential to your college experience. We have over 200 academic, pre-professional, spiritual, political, musical and special topics groups from which to choose. To make connecting easier, all groups are connected via Griz Hub.

Explore Classes for General Associate's Degrees

To prepare you to embark on any career path, AA and AS curriculum is relevant to today’s marketplace. You’ll develop your critical analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. With courses in public speaking, intercultural communication, statistics and career readiness, you will be equipped to pursue a job or further your education.

One of MC’s most popular associate’s degree class is Introduction to Visual Rhetoric (COMX140L). Focusing on social issues such as power, culture and gender, it explores how symbols are interpreted from historical and contemporary perspectives. The course breakdowns impact from advertising, cartoons, photographs and film.

See Associate of Arts (A.A.) courses at Missoula College.

See Associate of Science (A.S.) courses at Missoula College.