AAS in Business

Associate of Applied Science in Business

Your rapid route to the global workforce

Can’t wait to kick-start your career? Earn an online AAS to meet today’s employer demands in our standard completion time of 24 months.


AAS in Business program structure

Your Nexford Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business starts with general education courses, which give you a solid grounding in essential concepts to help you hit the ground running. Then, build your business knowledge with core courses that resemble reality. Leave with a qualification valued by the global workforce – one that can open up doors to more advanced degrees.

AAS in Business program structure

Dive into the curriculum

This business degree provides you with new skills and post-secondary credentials to help you enter the workforce at speed. With a strong focus on upskilling you with real-world competencies, the AAS in Business degree prepares you to fast-track your career. From general education to core courses, you’ll master competencies that see you operate like a professional from the get-go.

General education

To prepare you for the real world

These courses provide you with a solid foundation. Master topics such as intercultural communication and gain the essentials you need to succeed in different business disciplines. Build your knowledge in essential concepts that act as a bridge to help you understand the level expected from an undergraduate degree.

    American Institutions and Culture

    American Institutions and Culture focuses on the United States as an intricate subject of study, providing a foundation for examining and interpreting the unique economic and cultural impact of the United States across the world.

    This course examines the United States throughout its history and currently on the world stage, provides learners with a practical literacy of the features of American institutions and businesses along with a cultural framework for a fundamental understanding of this nation, and prepares learners for the skills to work within an American business environment.

    CUL1100 View Course
    Science of Happiness

    Science of Happiness offers evidence-based approaches to living a more meaningful, successful, and happy life by applying practical strategies to improve every domain of life, including home, work, and community.

    Despite the enormous hardships that many people face around the world, this course explores how to manage cognitive biases and the impact a positive mindset can have on personal, biological, relational, cultural and global aspects of life.

    SCI1150 View Course
    Micro and Macro Economics

    Microeconomics and Macroeconomics gives learners a foundation in basic economic concepts essential to understanding consumer, business, and public policy decision making. Microeconomics areas of study include the market forces of supply and demand, competition, business organization, and consumer behavior. Macroeconomics areas of study include measuring the strength of a nation's economy, international trade, and the appropriate level of government interaction with the economy.

    This course addresses the knowledge necessary for successful functioning in today's challenging economic times. Economic growth, development, and sustainability is needed at a global level. Micro and Macro economic principles impact emerging and developing markets in different ways than they do for developed countries. This course addresses the knowledge necessary to function successfully as a professional in today's challenging economic times.

    ECO1250 View Course

    Statistics emphasizes the analysis of data collection and statistics through the use of current technology. This course introduces learners to statistical terms, distributions, displaying and interpreting of data collected (probability, validity and reliability), effect size, measures of central tendency (mean, median and mode) and determining statistical significance. Learners analyze hypothesis testing and apply statistical techniques.

    STA1300 View Course
    Nutrition and Wellness

    Nutrition and Wellness focuses on highlighting strategies for a healthy lifestyle. Two changes have led to a significant increase in preventable diseases: a global increase in the consumption of heavily processed food, and cultural shifts in many parts of the world where people are moving away from preparing food at home. Learners are equipped with practical skills to be healthier consumers of food, and consider the importance of a wellness lifestyle with an emphasis on self-responsibility, physical fitness, stress management, and environmental sensitivity.

    NWL2100 View Course
    Environmental Science

    Environmental Science engages learners in examining how health and food is significantly impacted by the physical environment. Learners explore various topics within environmental science to include global warming, pollution, waste, and recycling. Learners examine how humans in increasingly industrialized countries, and the earth itself, are impacted by environmental pollutants and contaminants.

    This course reviews major environmental policies and their impact on the health of communities and the preservation of the earth or lack thereof. Learners discuss the scientific evidence of emerging environmental issues and the focus of the UN SDGs for 2030 is Sustainable Economic Development.

    SCI2150 View Course
    Intercultural Communication

    Intercultural Communication exposes learners to the principles of intercultural communication to advance their efforts to understand and attribute meaning to communicative behaviors among different cultures and social groups.

    Learners study communication and culture, intercultural messages, the role of context in intercultural communication, the impact of culture on one’s identity, and communication style. Learners master the practical skills necessary to improve one’s intercultural communication competence in an international world.

    CUL2200 View Course
    Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

    Problem Solving and Critical Thinking considers how most successful professionals of the 21st century will be able to assess an environment, analyze a situation, design alternative solutions, and assist organizations in creatively overcoming challenges and reaching strategic goals.

    This course focuses on the development of reasoning and problem solving skills by using the scientific method to analyze case studies and controversial topics. Learners consider cultural differences in reasoning, inductive and deductive logic, and how to use positive inquiry and synthesis to solve individual and organizational problems. Emphasis is placed on successful models and proven methods that are transferable within the work environment.

    PBS2250 View Course


A rock-solid grounding in all business areas

Gain new skills in relevant and applicable areas. A rigorous and analytical understanding of the business fundamentals and general management across core subjects prepares you for today’s workforce.

    Business Foundations and Career Success
    Roadmap to Success

    Roadmap to success is the foundational course for Business Foundations and Career Success. This course prepares learners for success in the degree program and promotes a journey towards lifelong learning.

    You’ll develop skills for communication, studying, digital fluency, academic writing, and self-discovery. At the end of the course, learners have established a baseline of their personal, business, and academic competencies and develop an action plan for business and career success.

    BUS1100 View Course
    The World of Business

    The World of Business introduces the domain of business and key elements of the functional areas within the context that an organization operates. You’ll examine a variety of functional areas and types of business in order to understand their interconnectedness. Additional topics include the business cycle, global business practices, and impact on productivity.

    BUS2125 View Course
    Business Career Branding for Success

    The Personal Branding & Business Impact course engages learners in developing and strengthening the business and personal components of one’s own career brand. The learner takes the role of a “CEO” and uses business tools to analyze competitive strengths and weaknesses, create a competency profile, document high-demand marketable and transferable skills, craft a resume and develop a lifelong learning and career development plan that will be revisited throughout the degree program.

    This course is divided into two parts: Part 1 is to establish a competitive benchmark pre-assessment and initial lifelong learning and career development action plan, and Part 2 enables the learner to re-evaluate competitive strengths and weaknesses, finalize the lifelong learning and career development action plan, and create a personal brand and business plan for the individual career path.

    BUS2250 View Course
    International Business
    International Business and Culture

    As the speed of globalization increases, organizations need to be increasingly focused on an integrated global business and culture; this course focuses on international business and the interconnectedness of a global culture.

    Learners examine how an organization operating in the global environment needs to understand and appreciate how to best leverage both global and local cultures for responsible and successful business practices. Topics from the perspective of a global firm are related to management, leadership, the economy, financial reporting and regulatory compliance.

    BUS2100 View Course
    Introduction to Business Law

    Introduction to Business Law engages learners in understanding how laws, rules, regulations, and ethical standards pervade every area of business. This course provides an overview of U.S. law while considering that nearly all business concerns are global in nature in today’s ever-changing political and economic business environment. This course encourages learners to approach legal scenarios with an eye on international application.

    Learners apply several key legal concepts to situations based on real-world legal conundrums and cases. Topics include, but are not limited to: contract law, business organization setup, employment law and intellectual property law. Learners thoroughly review and research legal concepts and apply knowledge to specific sets of legal issues found in the assigned professional scenarios.

    BUS2150 View Course
    Business and Culture in China

    Business and Culture in China examines the position of China within the global economy and how it is leapfrogging development in some areas. This course covers China’s history, civic culture, and public, private, and for-profit sectors, providing learners with the unique and complex components of China’s past, present, and potential on the world economic stage.

    Through the lens of various stakeholders—those internal and external to business enterprises and those who engage in market-based and non-market-based transactions to influence business—learners acquire a practical literacy which prepares them to engage in business within and among Chinese employers, employees, and business partners. Learners gain an understanding of the specific drivers of economic growth and opportunity in China.

    BUS2151 View Course
    Human Resource Management
    Managing Human Resources

    Managing Human Resources is the foundational course for the Human Resource Management Core. This course provides an in-depth survey of concepts, skills and practices in human resource management. Learners are introduced to innovative approaches in human capital management at the local, national, and global levels.

    HRM2100 View Course
    Leadership Management, and Teams

    Leadership, Management, and Teams focuses on how to create a personal and shared vision and communicate effectively with teams, as a leader, a manager and a team member. Topics include setting effective goals and expectations, understanding cultures and explaining the differences between management and leadership, team membership and leadership and the global workplace.

    BUS2200 View Course
    Digital Transformation and Innovation
    Digital Transformation Fundamentals

    Digital Transformation Fundamentals is the foundational course for the Digital Transformation and Innovation specialization. This course provides a survey of three types of capability transformations that enable digital transformation: people, tool, and process. At the people capability level, digital transformation requires the organization to hire and retain customer-centric and service-oriented talent; this talent search demands more collaboration and knowledge sharing while breaking down the silos between business and technology. At the tool capability level, a horizontal digital enabling layer is required to be developed, covering big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, IoT, wearables, augmented and artificial reality, and modular manufacturing. Vertical business applications require digitization by the horizontal digital enablers in vertical business applications such as supply chain management, customer experience, finance and administration, and more. At the process capability level, digital transformation requires the business processes to be automated via the horizontal digital enablers.

    DTF2100 View Course
    Marketing and Communications
    Marketing Fundamentals

    Marketing Fundamentals is the foundational course for the Marketing specialization and is an introduction to the role of marketing in advancing the success of a product, service, experience or organization. Learners explore the evolution of marketing to include a review of the key marketing principles relevant in today’s workplace, an overview of the evolution from the traditional to digital marketing platform, and the differentiation between marketing a product or service versus marketing an experience.

    You’ll examine functions and trends that are critical to staying competitive in the marketplace. This course introduces the functions of an organization for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers. Designed to meet customers' needs and organizational goals, these functions include marketing and behavioral science research, environmental monitoring, target market selection, product selection, promotion, distribution and pricing.

    MKT2100 View Course
    Digital Marketing Fundamentals

    Digital Marketing Fundamentals provides an understanding of the digital marketing landscape, key trends impacting the industry, the changed customer journey, and the role each channel can play in that journey. The course also examines the advantages and subsequent challenges of this expanding marketing venue.

    You’ll explore the tools that currently exist and the potential for future applications of the digital platform for marketing purposes. The course will further explore the digital platform as a tool for businesses in general in order to increase its levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and competitive position in the market space. You’ll also learn how to define and develop a digital strategy to help a business achieve its goals.

    MKT2150 View Course
    Financial Accounting

    Financial Accounting focuses on the foundations of financial accounting concepts and methods used to generate, analyze, and interpret financial statements. Learners perform journal entries and record-keeping of transactions with an understanding of how these accounts are measured and reported in major financial statements.

    ACC2100 View Course
    Fundamentals of Financial Management

    Financial Management focuses on the foundations of finance concepts required to be capable of managing day to day financial operations and to solve complex financial matters. You’ll examine the elements of financial statements of an entity and impact of changes in one element on the other. Additionally, you’ll learn to plan and control cash flows and make decisions in the microeconomic and macroeconomic environment.

    FIN2100 View Course
    Managerial Accounting and Cost Analysis

    Managerial Accounting and Cost Analysis focuses on the techniques managers use to identify and manage production costs for labor, material, and overhead. Learners engage multiple methods for budgeting and cost reporting, and calculate and interpret variances between budgets and actual results.

    ACC2200 View Course

Meet the faculty experts

  • Chief Academic Officer

    Dr. Nancy Rubin

    Chief Academic Officer

    • Ph.D. in Comparative Studies, Florida Atlantic University
    • MS in Information Systems, Marist College
    • BS in Marketing, Syracuse University

    Dr. Rubin has served as the Dean of Continuing and Distance Education at Northwestern Health Sciences University and leads a consulting firm that helps institutions customize and implement online learning programs. Before working at Northwestern Health Sciences, she oversaw the University of Northern Colorado Extended Campuses and was Executive Director for Online Learning at Columbia University.

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    Dr. Rubin holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from Florida Atlantic University, an MS in Information Systems from Marist College and a BS in Marketing from Syracuse University.

  • Chief Learning Officer

    Dr. Robin Johnston

    Chief Learning Officer

    Known for mentoring and competency-based education expertise

    • EdD, Organizational Leadership, Argosy University
    • MS, Human Resource Development, Towson University

    Dr. Robin Johnston serves as Nexford’s vice president of academic innovation and learning design. Throughout her career, Dr. Johnston has held executive leadership positions in higher education, human resources, and healthcare. Prior to joining Nexford full time, Dr. Johnston worked as a consultant for the university.

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    Her past experience includes the director of academic innovation for McGraw Hill Higher Education and associate dean for business at Excelsior College. She has served as dean, associate dean, program chair, professor, instructional designer, adjunct instructor for various online and traditional institutions and mentor for the Online Learning Consortium. Dr Johnston lives in Venice, Florida and holds an EdD in Organizational Leadership, an MS in Human Resource Development and Management, a BA in Psychology, and is a certified job and career transition coach.

  • Visiting Professor

    Dr. Kathleen Hargiss

    Visiting Professor

    Known for dedication to academic excellence

    • PhD, University of South Florida
    • MBA, University of Miami
    • MA, Northwestern University

    Dr. Kathleen Hargiss has been involved in course facilitation and design for numerous online universities for the past twenty-years. Educationally, Dr. Hargiss earned a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida where she also completed Post-Doctoral studies in Technology, MBA from the University of Miami, M.A. from Northwestern University and Post Graduate studies in Stockholm, Sweden.

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    Dr. Hargiss also completed specializations in International Studies and Management Information Systems. To date, she has mentored 488 Doctoral Dissertations and served on 411 Committees. For the past ten years, Dr. Hargiss served as a Co-Chief Editor for the International Journal Strategic Information Technology Applications (IJSITA).