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See the Difference Between Bachelor of Arts (B.A) and Bachelor of Science (B.S)

Filed in Education by on March 27, 2019

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See the Difference Between Bachelor of Arts (B.A) and Bachelor of Science (B.S).

Difference Between B.A and B.S… Prospective students trying to chart their course through college may find themselves wondering what the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. is. Both the Bachelor of the Arts (B.A), and Bachelor of Science (B.S), are four-five year undergraduate degrees.

Bachelor of Arts(B.A) and Bachelor of Science(B.S)

Difference Between Bachelor of Arts

The primary difference between the two types of degrees is the focus of the coursework students are required to complete in order to earn them.

Most colleges and universities offer both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree programs. That’s because the most common undergraduate degrees are the B.S. and the B.A.

But does one really understand the meaning of these terminologies? If “No”, then it will be apt to give a clear description of the terminologies in case one may ask:

What is a Bachelor of Science (B.S.)?

Programs resulting in a Bachelor of Science degree are generally more strictly focused on their subject matter, requiring more credits that are directly linked to the major. Students are expected to concentrate their academic energies on mastering the technical and practical facets of their field.

They have fewer opportunities to explore topics outside of the subject of their major. Bachelor of Science degrees are usually offered in technical and scientific areas like computer science, nursing, mathematics, biochemistry, and physics.


What is a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)?

A Bachelor of the Arts degree program provides students with a more expansive education, requiring fewer credits that are directly linked to a particular major. Instead, students are expected to earn credits in a variety of liberal arts subjects. Courses in the humanities, English, the social sciences, and a foreign language are typically part of this degree program.

Students can pick and choose from a broad array of courses to fulfill these requirements, allowing them greater flexibility to customize their education to match their individual goals and interests. Bachelor of Arts degrees are commonly offered in fields like English, art, music, modern languages and communication.


Are There Areas of Overlap Between the Degrees?

Some subjects like psychology, accounting and business are regularly offered in both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. In this case, students can choose whether they prefer the broader sweep of the Bachelor of Arts track or the more tightly focused approach of the Bachelor of Science track.

It is a choice most students are being offered, that even hard science degrees are now being presented in both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science tracks by some universities. Other universities are offering a combined Bachelor of Arts and Science degree option.


Main Differences Between B.S and B.A Degrees

Understanding the differences between the two isn’t simple. At some colleges, in fact, graduation requirements are exactly the same.

In general, a Bachelor of Science is more focused on practice while a Bachelor of Arts is more focused on academia and general education.

So, if you’re acquiring a Bachelor of Science degree, you can usually expect to take more courses that include labs or other practical learning situations.

A few of the most popular majors that fall under the B.S. umbrella include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing

These majors, along with many others, focus heavily on mathematics and science-related subjects. If you like numbers and enjoy solving problems and numbers, you might want to consider pursuing a B.S. degree.

If you want to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, you can usually expect to take more general classes and electives in areas like foreign language, history, and the arts.

Again, this isn’t always the case necessarily. It depends on your specific college, and even so, there’s often a lot of overlap between these types of degrees. Some colleges offer both, while others offer only one or the other. Keep in mind that you don’t have to decide during your first semester! Below are a few of the common majors that fall under the B.A. umbrella:

  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • English
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology

Which Degree is Better?

Academically, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree are equally valued. Both offer the students who earn them the opportunity to continue their education at the master’s degree level if they are so inclined. But, the two tracks do tend to hone different strengths.

The coursework required for a Bachelor of Arts degree generally allows students to sharpen their communication and writing skills. By comparison, the demands of a Bachelor of Science degree typically foster analytical skills and a detailed understanding of subject matter.


How Can this Affect Your Career?

When choosing whether you want to pursue a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts, think about the future career path you want to take when your education is over, especially if your college offers both types of programs.

A Bachelor of Arts degree is great if you intend to go on to get your master’s degree or even a doctorate in the field. This is a great choice for a career in the arts or academia.

But keep in mind; you’re not limited to education or academia. While both are great fields to pursue, B.A. graduates can also go on to study law or work within law enforcement. Some graduates apply their sociology degree towards positions in government or business.

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science degree is a great option if you want to work in the field. Many graduate of this type of degree program also go on to earn advanced degrees, but in a master of science program, you’ll be focused on more practical applications, such as is the case if you pursue a degree in a healthcare-related field.

If you’re still not sure which program is right for you, think about your favorite classes in high school or the job you hope to get after you graduate. What area of study would hold your interest while preparing you for your future? Sometimes it helps to meet with an academic adviser or school counselor to discuss your options.

You don’t have to declare a major right away, but it does help to have some idea of your aspirations. Researching online or talking with your peers can also help you identify your educational interests and career goals.


Conclusion

When deciding which degree program is the best fit, students should think about what types of classes they have enjoyed in the past, what they are currently interested in studying and what future career options they would like to pursue.

Understanding the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. can help students choose the degree program that is right for them.

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