What’s the difference? [2021 Ultimate Guide]

by

Joy Cromwelle

What is the difference between a BA vs. BS degree ? Which is better ? BS volt BA in Computer Science ? What about Psychology ? View wage & career differences .

BA vs BS difference
What is the difference between a BA vs. BS degree ? Is earning a BA in Computer Science the same as getting a BS in Computer Science ? Is a BA in Psychology more beneficial than a BS in Psychology ?
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As more and more universities give you the choice to choose between a Bachelor of Arts ( B.A. ) and a Bachelor of Science ( B.S. ) degree, it ’ randomness crucial to understand the similarities and key differences between these two types of degrees .

What is the Difference in a BA vs. BS Program?

student standing in hallway thinking
The key difference between a BA and BS degree plan is where you want to take your career long-run .
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
A BA can allow you to study a broad range of subjects related to both your major vitamin a well as general education courses such as write, art, history, doctrine, and religion .

  • BA offers more flexibility for you to explore a variety of careers

This broad foundation for your degree can help you pursue an education that reflects your interests and passions .
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
A BS degree is inaugural and foremost a science degree and normally focuses heavily on science and mathematics courses, building a technical understanding of your major .

  • BS has more stringent requirements

A BS degree typically has a more significant major requirement than a BA. A BS major typically requires around 54 credits .

What is a BA degree?

Simply put, the B.A. degree definition is a bachelor of Arts degree. More broadly, a Bachelor of Arts academic degree is typically designed to provide students with a comprehensive examination education balancing major courses with a general education focused on the broad arts .
Out of the usual 120 to 180 required credits for a B.A., your major will probably only constitute of around 36 credits .
other required credits for a B.A. may be through courses in :

  • Writing
  • Art
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Religion

bachelor of Arts degrees are generally offered in fields related to humanities and the arts such as liberal arts, communication, extraneous languages, English, music, and journalism .

What is a BS degree?

The textbook BS degree definition is a Bachelor of Science degree that prepares you for work in the technical field. According to California Polytechnic State University, a BS major requires 54 credit hours .
A BS degree scholar may major in fields such as :

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Business
  • Computer technology
  • Engineering
  • Psychology

bachelor of Science degrees are broadly offered in science or technology fields such as calculator skill, biota, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental skill, and mathematics .

Can You Choose Between a BA or BS Degree in Certain Fields of Study?

student browsing a college catalog on her laptop
Yes, a count of universities allow you to choose between a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in certain academic degree fields. For case, it ’ mho common to see university offering both a BA/BS in Business, Psychology, and Economics, to name a few .
many students find that a Bachelor of Arts offers more flexibility and elective courses, so it might be considered one of the easiest degrees depending on your major. That being said, mathematics and science are a breeze for many technically-inclined students. For that reason, choosing between a BA or BS degree is largely a personal choice, particularly if you feel that you are hard in the social sciences/humanities ( B.A degree ) or mathematics and science ( B.S. degree ) .
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For those of you who want to get college credits debauched, a BA academic degree may be a better option as it broadly offers more elective courses with no pre-requisites .

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Curriculum

Every university or college has a slenderly different run schedule ; however, there are several overarching course expectations for BA and BS students. Using a Business degree as an example, Concordia University states that a BA academic degree will have more ask liberal arts classes such as history, communication, English, religion, and writing. In contrast, a BS degree will have courses that are more focus on mathematics, science, and statistics .

BS vs. BA – Program Components

While many universities offer the same majors in either a BS or a BA, that doesn ’ t mean that they are the same academic degree. This table compares and contrasts respective significant aspects of a BS and a BA .
Key Components
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science

Average Credit hours for major
36
54

Average Required Credits in the 300-400 Level for Major
18
27

Time to Complete Degree
Usually 3 to 4 years
Usually 3 to 5 years

Common Fields of Study

  • Liberal arts
  • Communication
    Foreign languages
  • English
  • Music
  • Journalism
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Engineering

Average Number of Electives
28 credit hours
12 credit hours

Both degrees can offer value to students and likely employees, but this value increases when it pairs with an sympathy of where you want your career to take you .

Career Preparation

BA vs BS Career Preparation
Despite having the lapp major, the courses that you take in a B.A. will be different than the courses you take for a B.S., aligning you toward different careers .
A B.A. typically prepares students to work hands-on with individuals, while a B.S. typically develops more technical skills. An example of this is how a B.A. in Psychology can help prepare you to be a advocate. In contrast, a B.S. in Psychology can better prepare you for medical school and a career in medicate .
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According to U.S. News, a key dispute in-between a B.A. and a B.S. is the breadth and depth of a career applicant ’ randomness understand. A B.A. is more probable to give you a broad cognition of the field, while a B.S. is more likely to study a finical area in great depth. Both are timbre attributes in a career trajectory but may have unlike values based on what a prospective employer needs .

BA vs. BS Salary Differences

The degree you choose can have life-altering implications down the line, so it ’ s no wonder that people much ask questions like : If I earn a BA in Computer Science will I earn less than if I get a BS in Computer Science ? What are the wage differences in a Psychology BA vs. BS or Biology BA vs. BS ?
overall, there is small difference in pay expectations for a BA vs. a BS .
As you consider the differences in wage for BA and BS degrees it is essential to consider what you want to get out of your degree and how the wage expectations for a BA or a BS will impact your decision.

FAQs - BS vs BA degree

What Does a BA Degree Stand For?

A BA degree stands for Bachelor of Arts degree .

What Does a BS Degree Stand For?

A BS degree stands for a Bachelor of Science degree .

Are BA/BS Degree Programs the Same Thing?

students listening to their teacher in a classroom
BA/BS degrees are not the same degrees .
The key differences between a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science are that a B.A. typically requires more courses in the humanities ( writing, art, history, philosophy, or religion ) while a B.S. normally has more skill and mathematics courses .

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Is a Business Degree a BA or BS?

A business academic degree can be achieved as either a B.A. or a B.S. It is largely subject on the school administration ’ south policy. At many universities, you have the option to choose either one .

What Is the Difference Between a Computer Science BA vs BS?

The difference between a BA in Computer Science and a BS in Computer Science will vary depending on the university. That being said, in most cases, the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science will be considered a Humanities track while the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science will be considered a Science track .
To give you an exercise, let ’ s take a quick look at Florida State University which offers both a Computer Science BA and BS .
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According to the university, the key differences between the Computer Science BA vs. BS are as follows :

  • BA in Computer Science follows a Humanities track.
  • BS in Computer Science follows a Science track.
  • BS in Computer Science is ABET accredited. The BA in Computer Science is not.
  • BA in Computer Science is often a good option for those who want to pursue two majors as there’s more flexibility in the degree program.
  • BA in Computer Science requires fewer mathematics and theoretical computer sciences courses.
  • BS in Computer Science is so mathematics heavy that you will automatically earn a minor in mathematics when you complete your degree.
  • BA in Computer Science has more open electives than the BS in Computer Science.

here ’ s the program guide for the Bachelor of Arts in Computer science :
BA in Computer Science curriculum
And here ’ s the broadcast guide for the Bachelor of Science in Computer skill :
BS in Computer Science curriculum
Although this is fair an example of one university, it can help to give you a very real number sense of the key differences between pursuing a Computer Science BA vs. BS. The same is true for a degree in Computer Programming .

What Is the Difference Between a Psychology BA vs BS?

The primary remainder between a Psychology BA vs. BS is that the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology has more psychology-focused courses which are social skill courses. In contrast, the Bachelor of Science in Psychology is considered a Science track for students matter to in pursuing careers in science. alternatively of focusing so heavy in psychology, there are extra course requirements such as biology, tartar, and chemistry. This may be a great equip for you if you are concerned in heading to graduate school .
Psychology BS vs BA at Concordia University
Let ’ s take a quick look at Concordia University which offers both the Psychology BA and the Psychology BS degrees .
According to the university, the key differences between the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology are as follows :

  • BA in Psychology is a Humanities/Social Sciences track. The BS in Psychology is a Science track.
  • BA in Psychology has more psychology courses.
  • BS in Psychology has more courses in science, such as calculus, biology, statistics, and chemistry.
  • BA in Psychology is best-suited for students who want a career in the psychology field (child psychology, forensic psychology, etc.)
  • BS in Psychology can be a good choice for students heading to graduate school or medical school as they can fit their additional science requirements into the degree plan.
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The option of a Psychology BA vs. BS depends largely on what you want to do after commencement. If you plan to head to graduate school, then Concordia recommends the BS in Psychology. If you want to get right into the work-force, then the BA in Psychology may be a better choice .

What Is the Difference Between a Biology BA vs BS?

The independent deviation between a Biology BA vs. BS is the Bachelor of Science in Biology is a Science track while the Bachelor of Arts in Biology is a Humanities or Social Sciences track .

What Is the Difference Between an Economics BA vs BS?

male economist working in the office
The key difference between an Economics BA vs. BS is the Bachelor of Science in Economics is a Science track while the Bachelor of Arts in Economics is a social Sciences chase .
In the BA traverse, you ’ re likely to study more theoretical concepts and history of the economy, with a broad overview of the fiscal world. The science path will likely focus more on statistics and business mathematics, giving you a better ground in calculating concern rates, annuities, and returns on investment .

What Is the Difference Between a Physics BA vs BS?

The main difference between a Physics BA vs. BS is the Bachelor of Science in Physics is a Science track while the Bachelor of Arts in Physics is a Humanities track .

What Is the Difference Between a Chemistry BA vs BS?

The main remainder between a Chemistry BA vs. BS is the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is a Science cut while the Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry is a social Sciences or Humanities degree track .

What Is the Difference Between a Mathematics BA vs BS?

The main difference between a Mathematics BA vs. BS is the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics is a Science track while the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics is a Humanities or Social Sciences path .

Which Degree is Faster? A BA or a BS Degree?

broadly speaking, a Bachelor of Arts normally has more tractability because there are more elective courses. But a boastfully phone number of accredit universities now offer fast-track on-line classes that can be completed in 5 weeks to 8 weeks on-line. If you enroll at one of these universities, a BA degree calm might give you more flexibility, but the BS academic degree can be completed quickly, excessively .
If you want to graduate deoxyadenosine monophosphate fast as possible, check out our in-depth guide detailing the fastest way to get a bachelor ’ s academic degree on-line .

Which Is the Right Degree for You?

male student walking into a classroom
As you wrestle with the decision of a BA degree vs. BS degree, knowing where you want to take your career can help give you direction as to which degree you choose. By understanding your intend career trajectory, you can choose whether having the initials BA or BS behind your academic degree will better support your ambitions and desires .
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Joy Cromwelle WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a victor of Business Administration in Strategic Management, ampere well as a Bachelor ‘s in Business Administration. Joy ‘s focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerate degree options and credit for prior teach opportunities .

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