What is the Difference Between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences?

What is the Difference Between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences?

By Brianna Burrows

Deciding which degree program is best for you can be a daunting task. The USA has over 5,000 colleges and universities to choose from. Many schools even offer the same program but with different degrees. For example, at some schools, students can choose from a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Sciences (BS) in Psychology. What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences?

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts degree offers students a broader education in their major. Students are required to take a variety of liberal art subjects such as humanities, literature, history, social sciences, communications, and a foreign language. Students can select from a diverse list of courses that fulfill each liberal arts requirement. This allows students to actively mold their education to their interests. A BA degree provides a more diverse education in a particular major, therefore, a BA degree generally requires less credits than a BS degree. For example, the University of Washington (UW) offers a BA and BS in Psychology. A BA in Psychology from UW requires less mathematics and statistics courses than a BS in Psychology.

Bachelor of Sciences (BS)

A Bachelor of Science degree offers students a more specialized education in their major. Generally, a BS degree requires more credits than a BA degree because a BS degree is more focused in the specific major. Students are required to focus on studying their major at a more in-depth level. Students have fewer chances to take classes outside of their major. A BS degree is generally offered in technical and scientific topics like engineering, technology, mathematics, computer science, nursing, and biochemistry. Although a BS degree is generally offered in scientific degrees, many schools offer BS degrees in specialized fields, for example, Northeastern University offers a BS degree in Music with a concentration in Music Industry.

A Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences are both perceived equally. One is neither better than the other. It strongly depends on whether you’d like to receive a more broader or specialized education in your major. Take some time to learn about each program you are interested so you can make the best decision for yourself.   

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Brianna Burrows is a freelance marketing specialist and alumna of Northeastern University. She specializes in event management, social media management, and content branding. Follow her on Twitter here.

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