EducationWhat's the Difference Between a BA and a BS?

What’s the Difference Between a BA and a BS?

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees are the two most widely accepted undergraduate degree options in the world of higher education. Both degrees are valuable, but they differ in specific ways that make them stand out. To assist you in choosing your academic path, let’s examine the differences between BA and BS degrees.

Difference Between a BA and a BS

Recognising the Fundamentals

It’s crucial to understand the fundamentals of BA and BS degrees before getting into the details. After completing a four-year undergraduate programme at a college or university, both degrees are typically earned. They give students the fundamental know-how and abilities they need to be successful in their chosen fields.

Degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences are highlighted in the Bachelor of Arts degree. It promotes the growth of students’ communication, analytical, and critical thinking abilities. English, History, Psychology, Sociology, and Political Science are just a few of the majors available in BA programmes. They offer a broad education that enables learners to delve into a variety of topics and develop a well-rounded viewpoint.

BS in Science, or Bachelor of Science

Science and technology-related topics are the focus of the bachelor’s degree in science. It is targeted at disciplines like math, engineering, computer science, biology, chemistry, and physics. Students who enrol in BS programmes receive a solid foundation in technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and quantitative reasoning. Typically, the curriculum is more structured and includes courses explicitly related to the chosen field of study.

Major distinctions between a BA and a BS

Curriculum Focus: The curriculum focus is the main point of distinction. While BS degrees focus on scientific and technical fields, BA degrees emphasise a broad liberal arts education. This means that while BS programmes offer more specialised and in-depth study within a particular field, BA programmes encourage exploration of various subjects.

Course Requirements: BA programmes frequently allow students to choose their courses with more freedom, allowing them to customise their education to fit their interests. BS programmes, on the other hand, have a more structured curriculum with clear requirements that guarantee a thorough understanding of the chosen field.

Math and Science Emphasis: Compared to BA degrees, BS degrees typically call for more advanced math and science coursework. The emphasis on quantitative skills better prepares students for vocations that require strong analytical skills and scientific knowledge.

Research Opportunities: BS programmes frequently offer more research opportunities, enabling students to conduct practical experiments and advance science. Individuals interested in pursing careers in research or in higher education can benefit from these opportunities.

The decision between a BA and a BS degree can affect one’s potential career paths. BA graduates frequently find employment in fields like education, communications, social services, and public administration. On the other hand, BS graduates can work in technical fields like engineering, healthcare, technology, or research that demand specialised knowledge.

Between a BA and a BS

There are a number of things to take into account when choosing between a BA and a BS degree:

Take a moment to consider your interests and passions. Think about the topics and professions that interest you the most and fit with your long-term objectives.

Academic Strengths: Evaluate your areas of academic strength. A BS degree might be a good fit for you if you perform well in math, science, and problem-solving. A BA degree might be more appropriate if you have a keen interest in the humanities or social sciences.

Research the professions that each degree is associated with. Investigate the employment landscape to find the skills that employers in your desired field are looking for.

Keep in mind that there is no solitary “right” or “wrong” decision when deciding between a BA and a BS. In the end, it will depend on your unique objectives, skills, and interests.


The emphasis on math and science, the course requirements, the research opportunities, and the potential career paths are the main differences between a BA and a BS. When deciding between these two degrees, it is crucial to take your interests, academic strengths, and career goals into account. You can make a choice that is in line with your goals and puts you on the road to success by being aware of the differences.


Can I change from a BA to a BS or the other way around? 

It’s frequently possible to change between a BA and BS programme. Institution-specific guidelines and procedures, however, might differ. For advice, speak with your academic advisor.

Do employers value BS and BA degrees differently? 

Skills, knowledge, and experience are typically more valued by employers than a particular degree type. In the job market, your accomplishments, internships, and pertinent skills are very important.

With a BA or BS, can I pursue advanced degrees? 

Yes, graduates with a BA or BS degree can continue their education by enrolling in master’s or doctoral programmes in their respective fields of study.

Are BS and BA degrees regarded as having the same level of academic rigour?

The academic rigour can differ depending on the institution and programme. When evaluating academic rigour, it is crucial to conduct research and take into account elements such as curriculum, faculty, and research opportunities.

How do I choose the degree that will best advance my career goals?

Investigate various career options, speak with experts in your area of interest, and take into account your personal interests and strengths. Finally, pick a degree that will help you achieve your long-term professional objectives.

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