Welcome to our latest blog post, where we delve into the compelling topic of “Bachelor of Arts vs. Bachelor of Science.” Whether you’re a prospective university student, a curious parent, or simply someone intrigued by the world of academia, we’ve all faced this question at some point.
In the vast realm of higher education, there are many decisions to make, and the choice between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree can be a significant one. It is a decision that goes beyond just the title; it reflects your academic interests, career goals, and the kind of educational experience you seek.
So, let’s explore this topic and navigate the fascinating paths of these two distinct degree programs.
Scope of Arts and Science
A Bachelor of Arts is a broad degree that focuses on humanities and social sciences.
A Bachelor of Science is a focused degree that focuses on natural sciences.
It’s important to note that these are generalizations—there are programs out there in both fields combining aspects of the other, like a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Biological Sciences program at some institutions. But generally speaking, if your goal is to get as close as possible to being an expert in one area (say, neuroscience), then you should go for the BSc; if you want more flexibility and perhaps just want to learn about a lot of different topics with less pressure from professors and peers, then BA will be better for you.
What Is a Bachelor of Arts Degree?
A Bachelor of Arts degree is a degree offered by many colleges and universities. The degree can be awarded for a wide variety of subjects and often offers an ideal foundation for graduate studies.
In general, bachelor’s degrees are awarded in liberal arts and sciences; however, they are also awarded in fields such as business administration, engineering, nursing, and education.
Bachelor of Science degrees are often more focused than a BA degree and may require students to choose from a specific set of majors. A bachelor of science degree is also typically more narrowly focused than other types of degrees, such as an associate’s or master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education required to practice most professions. In many fields, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient to gain entry-level employment and may even qualify you for supervisory roles.
What Is a Bachelor of Science Degree?
A bachelor of science (BSc) is a four-year undergraduate degree that typically requires more math and science courses than a bachelor of arts (BA). For this reason, it’s often considered more professionally focused than its counterpart.
In some countries, a bachelor of science degree is considered more prestigious than a bachelor of arts degree. In the United States, however, both are equally respected.
Structure of the Courses
BA and BS are two different types of degrees. A bachelor’s degree (BA) is more general than a bachelor’s in science (BS). Here’s what that means:
- The BA is more focused on humanities and social sciences, while the BS is more focused on the natural sciences, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
- If you plan on entering a career field that requires a specific skill set or type of knowledge base—say biomedical engineering or chemical engineering—the BS might be best for you. If you’re not sure where you want your education to lead but want exposure to as many subject areas as possible, then consider earning an undergraduate degree in general studies instead of picking one particular major.
Fundamental Subjects in Science Courses
A bachelor’s degree in science includes an array of courses that focus on the key fundamental subjects taught at colleges and universities. These courses include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, and computer science. Although some of them may appear to be more theoretical than practical, they all have their place in the world of higher education. The professors who teach these courses often specialize in a specific subject area so they can offer you a deeper understanding of their subject matter.
In addition to these core areas of study, there are also specializations within each field that students can pursue at the undergraduate or graduate level. If you want to continue studying after earning your bachelor’s degree then pursuing an advanced degree may be something worth considering as well!
Fundamental Subjects in Arts Courses
If you have a passion for the human spirit and want to pursue it through the arts, Arts courses will be ideal for you. In Arts, students are exposed to a variety of subjects that help them develop their creative skills and critical thinking abilities. Some of the fundamental subjects offered by Arts courses include English, History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Most colleges also offer Sociology and Linguistics as additional options for interested students.
Communication skills are important in both fields, but the way they’re taught and tested differs. In a bachelor of science program, you’ll have an entire course dedicated to communication skills. You’ll learn how to write academic papers and give presentations, as well as develop research questions and design experiments. Depending on the focus of your degree, you may also explore topics like ethics or data analysis (both of which require effective communication).
In a bachelor’s degree program in English or writing-intensive studies, you will be required to take at least one course that focuses on writing—and many schools offer creative writing courses as part of their liberal arts curriculum. In such classes (which may also be called “composition” or “public speaking”), students write essays about literature or current events; practice their speaking skills by giving speeches; listen closely for common mistakes in spoken language; read aloud from texts carefully chosen for their difficulty level; ask questions about difficult concepts so they can better understand them; use dictionaries when necessary; edit drafts repeatedly until they sound polished enough for publication.
In either field, these skills matter: Communication is vital if you want your ideas heard!
Bachelor of Arts vs. Bachelor of Science: Differences
The difference between a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science is that the former is a liberal arts degree, while the latter is more focused on research.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) is awarded by colleges and universities for the successful completion of undergraduate studies in various fields such as English, history, languages, political science, or economics. A BA provides academic training in critical thinking and writing skills which are applicable to all kinds of careers from law to healthcare management.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Science focuses more on research than other degrees such as a BSc or BS in Biology and Chemistry. Many students who want to become doctors spend four years studying biology before going to medical school where they will study medicine for another five years before becoming qualified doctors with their Doctorate Degree (MD).
The Bottom Line
Now that you better understand the differences between the two degrees, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. If you want to get into science and tech fields, then the bachelor of science may be more suited for your needs. However, if you want more flexibility with your education path or just want more options when applying for jobs, then consider pursuing an undergraduate degree in arts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the primary difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree?
The main difference lies in the nature of the coursework. BA degrees are typically more flexible and provide a broader educational experience, often focusing on liberal arts, social sciences, and humanities. BS degrees, on the other hand, are more specialized and focus on technical and scientific knowledge in a particular field.
Can the same subject be studied for both a BA and a BS degree?
Yes, certain subjects, like psychology, business, economics, etc., offer both BA and BS degrees. The specific curriculum and emphasis will differ based on whether it’s a BA or BS.
Which degree is better: a BA or a BS?
There’s no definitive answer to this, as it largely depends on individual career goals and interests. BA degrees can lead to a wide range of careers, while BS degrees often lead to more specialized careers.
Does a BS degree take longer to complete than a BA degree?
No, both degrees typically take the same amount of time to complete, usually four years for full-time students. However, the course load and intensity may vary.
Is one degree more respected than the other?
No, both degrees are equally respected. What matters most is the quality of the program, the reputation of the university, and how well the degree aligns with your career aspirations.
Can I switch from a BA to a BS program (or vice versa) after starting my course?
This would largely depend on the policies of the university or college. In some cases, switching might be possible, but it could extend the length of your studies due to different course requirements.
Do employers prefer a BS over a BA or vice versa?
Employer preferences will vary based on the industry, the job role, and the specific skills required. Some jobs may require the specialized knowledge of a BS degree, while others might value the broad perspective offered by a BA degree.
Will a BS degree make it easier for me to pursue a Masters in Science (MS) degree later?
It can, because a BS degree often covers more specialized courses that can be a prerequisite for an MS program. However, students with a BA degree can also pursue an MS if they meet the necessary prerequisites.
Are BA degrees only for arts subjects and BS degrees only for science subjects?
Not necessarily. The nomenclature may suggest that, but it isn’t strictly true. You can study subjects like Psychology, Economics, or Business as both BA and BS degrees.
Do BA degrees typically involve more writing and BS degrees more math and lab work?
Typically, yes. BA degrees often involve more reading, writing, and critical thinking, while BS degrees usually require more labs, math, and technical skills. But this can vary depending on the specific program and subject.