Formal education has become a paramount stage before our professional career. However, picking the right educational program can be a challenging task. There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, with many of them boasting little to no difference. When planning your or future of your children, it’s important to understand key aspects of degree programs in the offer. With that in mind, we’ll detail the key difference between B.A. and B.S. degree programs. Read on!

The B.A. or also known as the Bachelor of the Arts and the B.S. also known as the Bachelor of Science represent four-year undergraduate programs. However, the two are different in a way of which courses they access to obtain the degree. The decision can be really tough, especially if some programs like psychology can be offered by both programs as is the case with a major like psychology. In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between these two programs, but first, let’s define them.

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The Bachelor of the Arts (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts offers a broad and expansive education throughout different fields. It focuses on liberal arts subjects and as such it requires fewer credits to a certain major. It focuses on fields such as languages, both maternal and foreign, arts, music, literature, communications and other social fields.

This degree program offers students the possibility to select a variety of broad courses they’ll enroll to complete their education. The reason students enroll in these programs is so they can learn more about themselves and what they really want to do in life. This program allows greater flexibility as students can customize their educational path and pick what interests them on the go.

The Bachelor of the Arts focuses on theoretical knowledge from an expansive array of subjects. Moreover, these students often get encouraged to continue their education and enroll in the Master’s program or get even a Ph.D. degree in the field. If students move towards teaching or researching careers, they’re even more so attracted to complete the higher education programs.

Given that the B.A. degree offers a more diverse and versatile education, it takes fewer credits than the B.S. degree. There are various universities that offer a B.A. degree from different fields like languages, philosophy, arts, psychology, and others. If you pick some particular degree that exists in both B.A. and B.S. programs, the B.A. will introduce less mathematics, physics, probability and statistics and other natural courses as opposed to the B.S. program.

It’s widely established that the B.A. takes around four years to complete. However, depending on the major you pick, or country you come from, the education length may be longer or shorter. In some countries, B.A. takes anywhere from three to five years to complete. To know how long some degree program takes to complete, it’d be best to check the institution you want to enroll in.

The countries that have the B.A. degree program which lasts four years include the USA, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Ireland.

The countries with a B.A. degree program taking three years to complete include most of the EU countries, Canada, Australia, Norway and New Zealand.

Finally, the Bachelor of the Arts is a diverse degree, for those who resort to abstract thinking, enjoy leading empowering and inspiring debates and enjoy earning broad knowledge of various subjects.

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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Unlike the B.A. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program focuses on a specialized set of subjects targeted towards students. It requires more credits compared to the B.A. because it focuses on more details regarding an individual subject.

Additionally, given it’s in a tight relationship with the chosen subjects, there are fewer chances for a student to pick a broader set of subjects outside the program. Like its name suggests B.S. degree focuses on more scientific majors such as mathematics, technology, computer science, engineering, medicine, biochemistry, nursing and more. Nevertheless, some universities in the USA offer a B.S. degree in broader fields like Music, although it has an emphasis on the music industry.

This degree is more strictly oriented towards education. Students must concentrate their academic days towards practical methods in their fields and study the chosen subjects in more depth. That said, there are more opportunities for internships and practical specialization, as well as laboratory work on a frequent basis.

Similarly to the Bachelor of the Arts degree program, the Bachelor of Science can last from three to five years depending on the university, country and field of specialization. However, both the USA and Canada are known to boast B.S. systems that take four years to complete.

Are there similarities?

As mentioned above, there is a field of expertise offered by both B.A. and B.S. programs. Such fields include business, economy, psychology, accounting, law and more. In those cases, students must decide whether they want a broad outlook on the chosen subjects or to be specialized in a particular field.

While there are universities that offer both types of degrees on the same subjects, it’s worth mentioning that there are some educational institutions that mix the two degrees where they find it suitable. That way, a broader view is provided on some subjects, while other subjects require specialization and practical work.

B.A Vs B.S: Which to choose?

The choice of a degree program is entirely on the student. However, both programs are equally valued and respected. If you want to move towards the master’s degree and Ph.D., both degrees are valued. However, it all comes down to what you want to do, where do you want to study, and how broad are your views on education. If you find yourself enjoying the practical work, the laboratory, tinkering and find yourself to be more visionary, the B.A. is more suited for you.

We hope that this guide helps you in deciding whether the degree is the right for you. In the end, the final choice comes down to you and your interests.

Related: Bachelor’s vs. Master’s Degree and Program

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