Associate in Science in Business Administration

The associate degree program in Business Administration provides a foundation in business that, through two options, prepares graduates for either entrance to the Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) programs in business or for direct entry into the work place. The primary objective of this major is to provide a business-oriented program with sufficient communicative and mathematical skills, socially relevant course work, and specific business specialties to develop a well-rounded and knowledgeable graduate.

Penn State Harrisburg offers the General Business Option, which provides an introductory foundation to core aspects of the business environment while also preparing students for future transfer into the Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB).

Students who plan to continue into Harrisburg's B.S. business programs should meet with their advisers regarding entrance to major and other related requirements.

For the Associate in Science degree in Business Administration, a minimum of 60 credits is required.

Career Opportunities

The associate degree program in Business Administration is a management-focused program that develops skills through course work in mathematics, communication, and general education, and through course work in the business disciplines. Graduates should be prepared for a variety of entry-level positions in the broad career field of business. They will have the necessary skills to lead and supervise people, organize tasks and solve financial problems. Jobs are found in business, local and state government, health care, hotels, real estate, banking, restaurants, not-for-profit organizations, insurance, and sales.

Job Market

The employment of Business Administration graduates with an associate degree is spread through many jobs in various career fields. Overall, employment opportunities for qualified managers are expected to be excellent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total jobs in management are expected to increase by 19 percent through 2008, which is higher than the average for most positions. Projected growth does vary, however, among industries. For example, significant opportunities are expected in service industries, while fewer jobs are anticipated in finance, insurance, and real estate. Declines are expected for managers in the manufacturing industries.

Job Settings

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, two-thirds of all general business graduates work for businesses and corporations in the private, for-profit sector of the economy. Another 15 percent are self-employed. The government employs one out of 10 graduates and 4 percent work in education. The remaining 3 percent of graduates work for private, nonprofit organizations.

Job Title

There are many entry-level opportunities for graduates of the program. Examples of job titles include: Account Executive, Business Manager, Department Manager, Teller, Administrative Assistant, Insurance Processor, Claims Representative, Customer Service Representative, Auditor, Accountant, Bookkeeper, Human Resource Assistant, Assistant Manager, Convention Service Manager, Office Manager, and Retail Store Manager.

Continued Education

Associate degree graduates may consider opportunities within Penn State to complete a baccalaureate degree in business or another area. It is highly recommended that interested students speak to an academic adviser about opportunities for further study.


The Associate Degree in Business Administration program and all other programs in the Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration have achieved accreditation from the AACSB.


Students are encouraged to take advantage of internships and volunteer opportunities that could strengthen job potential. Business Administration internships provide opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a typical workplace. Internships can be approved for a varying amount of credits based on the number and sophistication of the tasks a student will perform, the extent to which the internship will foster independent effort, and the specific outcomes of the experience. Prospective interns should consult with their adviser about internship opportunities and apply 3 to 6 months before they expect to participate. Additional information can be obtained from the School of Humanities.

This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.