Associate of Arts in Management



    • Number of Credits
    • 61
    • Cost Per Credit
    • $ 250
    • Total Tuition*
    • $ 15,250
  • *(Before Transfer Credit)

Program Description

The Associates of Arts in Management lays the foundation by introducing students to the theoretical concepts and practical applications in the field of management. Students will explore the skill sets necessary to effectively lead and manage a global workforce. Topics of study include ethics, management communications, human resources management, supervision, human resource development, organizational behavior, and human relations. Successful completion of the program prepares graduates for entry-level supervisory positions and responsibilities.

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Highlights and Announcements

Nationally recognized by the Sloan Consortium for best practices in online education, our diverse management programs are designed to empower organizational leadership. Explore the academic contributions and professional insights from our faculty scholar practitioners on current industry news, trends, and world events.


Program Objectives

Students who successfully complete the Associate of Arts in Management will have completed the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills necessary to be a successful supervisor in a business environment.
  • Explain key concepts, methods and practices for managing human capital in an organization.
  • Compare and contrast ethical theories as they relate to organizational and individual behavior.
  • Prepare a development program for a potential direct report.

Associate of Management

American Public University is part of American Public University System, an accredited university offering more than 180 degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.

Students come to our university from across the globe with varying educational backgrounds and diverse educational and career goals. Choose the category below that best describes you:

Our 5-step admissions process will allow you to apply for admission, complete your new student orientation, request a transfer credit evaluation, apply for Federal Student Aid, and register for classes. Get started today!

Have Questions?
Our admissions staff is available Monday - Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET to answer your questions and provide assistance with the admissions process. You can reach us by phone at 877-777-9081, e-mail us at, or connect with us via Live Chat.

Explore Concentrations

Retail Management Total Credits - 61 Hours
Core Requirements
12 Hours
3 hours

Microeconomics is an overview course that covers how households (consumers), firms (producers), and governments interact in competitive and other markets to set prices, and determine what and how much is produced. Key concepts introduced include the role of scarcity and choice, incentives and competition, and the law of supply and demand.

Human Relations
3 hours

This course is designed to provide basic principles from the behavioral sciences that apply to establishing positive relationships among individuals in the work setting. Through readings, critical thinking, problem solving, writing, role-playing, and case studies, students will develop basic human relations skills essential to effectively functioning in the modern workplace. These skills are applicable to relations with co-workers, supervisors, subordinate workers and customers. The student will be presented with basic concepts for interpersonal relations, including individual differences, communications, group/team activities, cultural relations, leadership, mentoring, customer satisfaction and ethics. This knowledge will then be applied in their analysis of case studies, scenarios, and problem solving exercises in order to develop interpersonal skills that can be used in actual work situations. (Prerequisite: ENGL101)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)

Principles of Supervision
3 hours

This course provides a basic overview of supervision in the workplace including the supervisor's role in management. The course explores goal setting, problem solving, staffing and the training and development of employees. Other topics covered include the Human Resource Professional's role in leading the workforce, effective communications and stimulating improved quality management within the organization. The course is designed as a practical guide for the supervisor or manager and provides key leadership concepts and skills to improve quality standards and achieve established goals within the organization, ultimately improving working relationships, and spurring the organization on to greater productivity and success. (Prerequisite: ENGL101)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)

Ethics Fundamentals
3 hours

Recent scandals have shown us that in business, there’s a lot more at stake than the bottom line. Ethical behavior in organizations is a topic that warrants exploration. The purpose of this course is to investigate some of the ethical issues facing businesses including acceptable risk, intellectual property, workers’ rights, whistle-blowing, ethical leadership, outsourcing, and ethical issues in marketing. Students will be asked to reflect and examine how one comes to terms with being a good citizen and business person that attempts to prevent the dark side of business ethics.

Concentration Requirements
9 Hours
Retail Organization Fundamentals
3 hours

Students taking this course should not take MGMT201. Students will define the basics of retail management functions, principles and techniques found in today's marketplace. Students will also explore ideal characteristics and responsibilities of an effective department or store manager ranging from legal and safety scenarios to understanding the role and importance of logistics to various retail establishments. Embedded in this study of retail organization fundamentals is a focus on the individual, as a contributor, their roles and responsibilities in the retail environment. While, the organizational structure of a retail store may vary by the size and type of the business, most tasks involved with operating a retail business are similar. Some exceptions that are studied include the reality that small or independent retail stores may combine many sectors together under one division, while larger stores create various divisions for each particular function along with many layers of management. A small specialty shop may have all of its employees under one category called Store Operations. A large department store may have a robust staff consisting of a manager, assistant manager and sales associates for its Sporting Goods department, Home and Garden, Bed and Bath, and each additional department. Students will have the opportunity to explore these variations.

Choose 6 Credit Hours from the following:
Customer Relations
3 hours

Students will receive an introduction to customer relations principles including the concepts and practices for delighting customers in ways that lead to effective customer satisfaction. Students will be introduced to the basics of customer relations functions, describe ideal characteristics of good customer relations, and apply them to individuals in both small and large retail organizations. Customer relations is the front line interface between an organization and its constituents. How customers are greeted and treated can influence decisions to do business with a particular retail enterprise. Effective customer relations strategies include effective listening, oral and written communication, analytical and problem solving skills and teamwork based on the organization's commitment to meet customer needs while making customers feel welcome and valued. Customer service in this class is focused on applications and recognition of professional skills and culture required in a retail environment to provide outstanding customer service. Also included will be a discussion of impact that poor customer relations can have on company reputation, retail success and sustainability of customer loyalty. Methods and approaches to addressing problems will be applied including management of conflicts when they occur.

Retail Inventory Management
3 hours

Retail inventory management is a strategic factor in retail environment success. In this course students review Retail inventory management processes and methods used to keep track of stock. These methods control ordering, shipping, receiving, tracking inventory, retail turn-over, and storage. Retail inventory management is a significant factor in managing a business’ profits at a steady margin as well as reducing theft and loss of inventory. Many retail businesses lose money every year because they do not have a successful inventory management system in place. Students will review the following functions for a retail business: Tracking and managing the inventory for the business to keep up with store markdowns; Evaluating how well groups of products perform in sales; Provides analysis for comparison shopping with competitors; Collecting data on the sales and inventory of individual stores using SKU; and Methods to accurately review inventory. Students will distinguish between large and small retail organizations, and variations in inventory management based upon the nature of the inventory (perishable, seasonal, fashion, etc) An analysis of skills, tools, and resources required for effective inventory management will be reviewed as well as strategies for keeping inventory current and ways to identify and mitigate inventory management challenges and risks in order to support retail organization profitability.

Risk Management
3 hours

This course enables students to identify, define, and explain risk situations and to develop management concepts, techniques and processes and understand from a company perspective the impact of safety and compliance policies. To understand risk management students will examine risk management origins and trends from an insurance perspective in retail and develop skills in interpreting the impact that unresolved risk management issues can have on compliance, safety and the bottom line. Risk management is about insurance and developing policies to mitigate risk. This strategic focus and its application are covered in this class.

Commercial Safety
3 hours

Students will define the commercial safety environment and extrapolate various trends in commercial safety, to include strategies and characteristics of a safe work environment, and ways to mitigate potential safety risks. Students will review and analyze case studies and scenarios about employee safety policies and practices and examine the manager’s role to drive safety compliance in order to sustain brand image. In addition, they will examine team safety training and understand practices that emphasize the importance of individual compliance. Students will identify how to establish a corporate safety structure and define and explain the characteristics of an effective commercial safety training system. Finally an examination of best practices to protect employees and to drive continuous improvement in safety practices will be conducted by students.

Finance Fundamentals
3 hours

During this course, students will develop a basic vocabulary and application of finance functions and principles. Students will describe the importance of knowing retail based calculations such as retail pricing, markup, and gross profit. They will relate the concepts of retail math (initial margin, markdown, shrinkage, gross profit dollars and percents) to finance and to the overall business success of the retail enterprise. They will define and apply ending inventory, retail cost, cost compliment, net profit, net sales, controllable expense, and non-controllable expense. Students will examine how retail finance can be applied to products and services in a wide variety of situations and how to review a project and evaluate the financial situation.

Institutional Requirements
3 Hours
Foundations of Online Learning
3 hours

This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to learning theory, the tools available in the online classroom and campus, and online research. Identification of personal learning style allows students to improve their study/learning techniques and prepares them to succeed in college level courses. Students will be introduced to formatting and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on written communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.

General Education
34 Hours

Final Program Requirement
3 Hours
Seminar course must be taken as last course in the AA in Management program.
Management Seminar
3 hours

This course is a culminating course for the Associate of Arts in Management degrees. It is designed to allow the student to review, analyze and integrate the work the student has completed toward a degree in Management. The student will complete an approved academic project or paper that demonstrates your grasp of management study. This is a culminating course to be taken after all other Associate of Arts in Management courses have been satisfactorily completed. Student must have SOPHOMORE standing to register. This course is to be taken as the LAST course in the AA in Management program

Lower Level Electives
0 Hours
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.

Program Completion Rates, Median Debt and More

View more details regarding our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information.


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