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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) vs Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degrees: What's the Difference?

Are you thinking about going to college? It's an exciting time with many choices to make! One of the big decisions is whether to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Don't worry; we're here to help you understand the differences between these two options.

What is a Bachelor's Degree?

A bachelor's degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by universities and colleges upon the completion of a specific course of study. It typically requires four to five years of full-time schooling to complete, although part-time programs may take longer. Bachelor's degrees are offered in various fields and provide students with a strong foundation in their chosen field.

Differentiating a bachelor's degree from other degrees:

  • Associate Degree: An associate degree is a two-year undergraduate degree often offered by community colleges and technical schools. It provides a more basic level of education compared to a bachelor's degree and may serve as a steppingstone for students who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree later on.

  • Master's Degree: A master's degree is a graduate-level degree that requires additional study beyond a bachelor's degree. It allows students to specialize in a specific field and gain advanced knowledge and skills.

  • Doctorate (Ph.D.): A doctorate is the highest level of academic degree and requires several years of research and study. It is typically pursued by individuals seeking to become experts in their field and contribute original research to their respective disciplines.

What is a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree?

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree is one option you have. It's perfect for those who love humanities and subjects like literature, history, foreign languages, and art. With a B.A. degree, you get to explore a wide range of topics and have more flexibility to choose elective courses that interest you.

Some common B.A. majors include:





Social Sciences



Political Science





Visual and Performing Arts



Communication and Media Studies

What is a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree?

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is another option you can consider. It focuses more on subjects like math, science, and technology. If you enjoy logical thinking, reasoning, and quantitative skills, a B.S. degree might be a great fit for you.

Some common B.S. majors include:

Natural Sciences




Health Sciences


Environmental Science


Computer science

Information technology





Mathematics and Statistics

Main Differences Between B.A. and B.S. Degrees

The main difference between B.A. and B.S. degrees is the subjects you study. B.A. degrees focus on critical thinking and communication skills, while B.S. degrees emphasize logical reasoning and quantitative abilities. The choice between the two depends on your interests and career goals.

How to Choose Between B.A. and B.S. Degrees

Choosing between a B.A. and B.S. degree is an important decision. Here are some things to consider when making your choice:


Think about what you love to learn and what you might want to do as a career. If you are passionate about subjects like history, literature, or art, a B.A. might be the right fit. On the other hand, if you enjoy math, science, or technology, a B.S. might be a better match.

Types of Jobs

Look into the kinds of jobs that are related to the majors you are interested in. Some careers might require a specific degree, while others might be open to both B.A. and B.S. graduates.

Job Industries

Consider the industries you find exciting. If you enjoy creative and communication-related work, a B.A. might suit you well. If you prefer analytical and technical fields, a B.S. might be a good choice.


Think about how you prefer to study. B.A. degrees often offer more flexibility in choosing courses, allowing you to explore different subjects, but may also force you to take some courses outside of your intended field of study. B.S. degrees, on the other hand, are more focused on your major subject, helping you master technical skills.

Advanced Degrees

If you plan to pursue a higher-level degree in the future, like a Master's or Ph.D., consider how your bachelor's degree aligns with your long-term goals.

Benefits of Earning a Bachelor's Degree

No matter which degree you choose, earning a bachelor's degree has many benefits:

More Career Opportunities

Having a bachelor's degree opens up more job opportunities. Many employers look for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree for their positions.

Higher Earning Potential

On average, people with bachelor's degrees earn more than those with just a high school diploma. This difference in earnings can be substantial.

Switching Careers

If you ever want to change careers in the future, having a bachelor's degree can make it easier to transition into a new field.

Building a Professional Network

College is a great place to meet people who can help you in your career. Building a professional network can be valuable when you're looking for job opportunities.

Developing Skills

During your bachelor's degree program, you'll learn valuable skills like communication, time management, teamwork, and critical thinking. These skills are highly sought after by employers.

What It Takes to Earn a B.A. or B.S. Degree

Earning a bachelor's degree requires commitment, time, and resources. Here are some things to know:

Time to Complete

Both B.A. and B.S. degrees typically take four to five years to complete if you study full-time. If you have earned credits from other programs, you may finish earlier.


During your program, you'll take core, major, and elective courses. B.A. degrees allow more room to tailor your education to your interests, while B.S. degrees are more specialized in the subject matter.


Tuition fees for bachelor's degree programs can vary widely by school and major. It's essential to consider the cost of the program and any additional expenses.


Deciding between a B.A. and B.S. degree can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Consider your interests, career goals, and the types of subjects you enjoy. Whichever path you choose, earning a bachelor's degree is a valuable achievement that can open doors to a bright future. Happy studying!

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