Online Distance Learning Undergraduate Business Degree Programs

Learn about online undergraduate degree programs in business. Get an overview of the program types, requirements, course descriptions and continuing education options available for this field.

Essential Information

Online business students learn to manage employees, analyze finances and products, and more. Certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees can all be earned fully online, with optional concentrations in many relevant areas also available.

Associate's degrees are more commonly available through community colleges while bachelor's-level programs are offered through four-year institutions. A number of private schools geared towards distance education may provide both types of programs. Prospective students seeking admission to a bachelor's degree program could be required to have a certain number of previously earned college credits. Majors include general business, business management and business administration.

Programs by Level

Students can pursue distance learning undergraduate programs in majors such as general business, business administration or business management. In these programs, students learn about the theories and accepted practices of finance, operations, communications, sales, management and accounting. Interactive online platforms, available through schools' Web sites, allow students to access and complete assignments, exams, discussions and other course requirements in an entirely virtual format.


Online undergraduate certificate programs in business can generally be completed within a year or less of full or part-time online study. They're ideal for students or current professionals aiming to sharpen relevant business skills within a specific industry. Students may pursue distance learning certificates in general business management or in a specialized field, like agriculture, accounting or information science. Students can expect to take courses in the following areas:

  • Risk analysis
  • Resource allocation
  • Project management
  • Organizational behavior

Associate's Degree

Students enrolled in distance learning business associate's degree programs are educated in fundamental business administration concepts, which typically include:

  • Marketing
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Managerial communications.

Completion of a distance learning associate's degree program-which usually takes about two years-can lead to entry-level positions in business operations and management. Graduates of associate's degree programs may also continue their studies in online or on-campus business bachelor's degree programs. Depending on the program, the foundational course credits earned in the associate's degree program may be transferable towards a bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's Degree

Many online business degree programs at the bachelor's level allow students to select specific concentrations, such as marketing, management or finance. Some colleges and universities also grant credits for completion of relevant internships or other work experiences. Students will complete courses in fields like:

  • Financial management
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Employee management and motivation
  • Human resources
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business law and ethics
  • Corporate communications

Bachelor's degrees often take around four years to earn, but students who already have an associate's degree may be able to earn their degree in roughly half that amount of time.

Continuing Education

Graduates of online bachelor's degree programs in business may start working immediately or continue their studies in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or related graduate-level degree program.

Students can pursue fully online undergraduate degrees in business at the certificate, associate's, and bachelor's levels. These programs of study train them in marketing, economics, and other valuable business knowledge and skills.

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