Difference between BA and BS

There is a vigorous tussle to decide whether science is good or arts, for an excelling carrier opportunity. But what you should know is both have their own importance.

Updated by Navya B on 7th February 2019

"The right decisions are always the hardest to make it. But they must be made in order to live the life you deserve" - Trent Shelton

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts?

Life can be pretty tough especially when it comes to choosing a career path.

And being a student, the choice of the stream is among the toughest decision we make.

There may be several thoughts going through our minds.

  • What if we don’t do well in this?

  • What if the course is too difficult?

  • What if we regret this decision?

Our minds are flooded with thoughts like these.

If you ever get stuck in a situation like that...this article might work for you.

What is a B.A. Degree?

A B.A. or Bachelor of Arts degree is an undergraduate degree which can be completed in three to four years, depending on the course and the educational institute. It is a post-secondary degree and the term Bachelor’s of Arts can be interchangeably called as Baccalaureate of Arts degree.

In the following years, you will earn about 120 credits in a semester-based program or 180 quarter credits in quarter-based programs. The B.A. degree has fewer specializations as compared to the other degrees. Some of the common programs offered in this degree are B.A. in History, B.A. in English, B.A. in Journalism and many others.

It offers a wide perspective of the various subjects and the topics covered under it and prepares a student to enter the professions available after completion of the degree.

Eligibility and Requirements for enrolling in a B.A. Degree

  • You must have a high school graduation certificate or have an equivalent degree.

  • A complete application form.

  • Have a GED certificate (if required).

  • Have required ACT or SAT scores.

  • Minimum GPA requirements must be met.

  • Completed an Associate’s Degree (if enrolled in any).

  • Official college transcripts.

  • You should complete 120 semester hours of credits for successfully graduating.

  • Complete the general education and elective programs.

  • Meet college standards.

  • Complete the major course.

A Bachelor of Arts degree will equip you with deep knowledge about the subject. It would provide an all-round development and make you a potential candidate for the job opportunities you wish to gain. It includes various general or liberal arts courses.

The focus is mostly on liberal arts, social sciences, and humanities, and it would provide you with various options to choose from when it comes to career perspectives.

The degree has an interdisciplinary approach and comprises of general education subjects along with electives, and core subjects.

Many B.A. degrees are offered in accelerated forms which would help you to complete the course quickly at your pace. This usually takes place in online education.

Why is a Bachelor of Arts Degree important?

  • Employment opportunities- Since a Bachelor’s Degree is a minimum requirement in many sectors; it can be a relevant degree which can be opted. It would make you a potential candidate for employment in various sectors. For example- the best online colleges offer many Bachelor of Arts degrees which can be completed in an accelerated form.

  • Better Wage Rate- Since the degree would equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform efficiently in any sector; it would also help increase your salary. You would make money more than the high school graduates. 

  • The requirement for Graduate Studies- In order to enroll in a graduate degree, be it, Masters of Arts Degree, you need to complete the undergraduate degree successfully.

Bachelor of Arts degree division

General Education Courses: It will require you to complete the coursework in many subjects such as social sciences, humanities, mathematics or natural sciences. The course is flexible and hence will provide you with various academic options to choose from, according to your interest.

Most of the colleges require their students to complete the general education courses in the first two years of the colleges which comes under the lower division classes. After completing these, the students move towards the upper division classes. It would include the major subjects.

Core Papers: These are the papers you are going to major in. The options are numerous such as history, literature, music or sociology.

Electives:  During a degree program, you would get to choose a few courses either related or not related to your degree program or the major you’re going to pursue. It gives freedom of choosing subjects and brings diversity into the degree program.

For example, you are going to major in Economics, and you choose an elective subject as Psychology, due to your interest.

BA degree programs - Core Papers

A degree in arts mainly focuses on sharpening a student's critical thinking and knowledge by offering courses from a broad list of varieties to choose from. Some of the major subjects offered in the degree are:

  • Psychology – It is the study of the human mind in a scientific, biological and psychological manner. Psychology deals with human behavior and interaction between humans.

  • Education - This stream trains a student on how to become a teacher and acquire knowledge and skills. Education includes various methods of teaching and improves communication skills.

  • Philosophy - It is a study of a theory or a guiding principle and mainly focuses on subjects such as reality, existence, God and many more. Philosophy provides various theories about existence in the universe.

  • Sociology - It is the study of human society and social relationships. It includes societal development, functioning and societal issues existing in the society.

  • Communications -A study in this area would cover a wide range such as journalism, marketing, public relations, business and even education. It deals with the methods and process of communication. It provides tools for effective communication.

  • Journalism - A study in this field mainly trains a student in the art of writing for various issues and mediums. It trains students to indulge in extensive reading and writing. Some of the things are broadcasting news, writing for magazines and many others.

  • International relations – It is the study of economics, culture, and politics at a global level. The subject studies the interaction of various countries and their interdependence in this era in various contexts.

  • Human Biology- The subject studies about human anatomy and physiology along with concepts such as genetics, ecology, evolution and many others.

  • Religion - This area is devoted to the learning of various religious existing throughout the world such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism. It studies the history of various religious institutions and their founders.

  • Anthropology - It is the analysis of past trends in human societies and development and the evaluations of the present human societies. 

Elective subjects in Bachelor of Arts

Some of the electives offered in the Bachelor of Arts degree are -

Introduction to Ecology Principles of Accounting
Elements of Chemistry Business Communication
World Geography Microeconomics
Business Analytics Website Designing
Art History Cost Estimating
Ethics in Technology Criminal Law

B.A. tuition fee

The tuition fee varies with each course and institution. However, the value of the various courses taken up remains the same. It may differ in terms of curriculum and job opportunities.

Few colleges/universities which offer Bachelor of Arts degree

Colleges/Universities offering B.A degree
Ashworth College University of Florida
Penn Foster College University of Missouri
Northern Illinois University Capella University
The University of Texas Grantham University
Tennessee State University Liberty University

Career options after completing a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree

The various subjects offered in this degree are all valued equally.  It offers various job opportunities depending on the course you pursue. A student who wishes to take up a degree in Bachelor of Arts can work in many fields and can have flexibility at work.

  • Operations Manager - Operations manager mainly is responsible for running an organization and maintaining organization in the industry.

  • Executive Manager- An Executive manager supervises the entire institution/organization.

  • Human Resources - An HR takes care and maintains all the necessities of all the employees in the company. It manages the recruitment process and helps in maintaining ethical standards in an organization.

  • Content Writer - A content Writer is responsible for writing creative stuff for various purposes and media platforms. They have good written and verbal skills.

  • Business Development Manager - A business development manager is responsible for the marketing and administration of an organization. It researches market trends and development.

So basically, a Bachelor of Arts Degree imparts good knowledge about the subjects and also helps specialize in various areas. Upon completion of the course, you may get various job opportunities and may also help you become a recruiter.

What is a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree?

A B.S Degree or Bachelor of Science Degree is a three-five year undergraduate course which provides highly specialized courses in various streams. Some of the streams which are offered are Computer Science, Statistics, Botany, and many others. The program is best suited for the students who want to lay down their focus more towards the core/major courses; however, you will find many options for electives. The BS degree offers many specializations which are mostly technical or science based. Since the specializations are many, the students would have to pursue more courses in general.

Eligibility and Requirement for a BS Degree

  • The student must be a high school graduate or have an equivalent degree.

  • Official transcripts of high school must be presented.

  • Candidate must have a minimum ACT or SAT scores.

  • Must have a minimum GPA.

  • Complete general, core courses and elective programs.

  • Requires 120-128 semester credits for graduation.

  • Meet the college requirements and standards.

  • Have a GED certificate (if required).

  • Completed an Associate’s Degree (if directly enrolling in the third year).

A Bachelor of Science Degree would provide you with adequate knowledge about the subject and equip you with the skills necessary for getting a job. It includes various courses and provides an interdisciplinary approach towards it.

Bachelor of Science Degree Division

General Education Courses: The degree would require you to complete coursework in subjects of natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and many others. It provides flexibility to the students to choose their academic options, depending on their interest.

The colleges mostly ask the students to complete the courses in the first two years of the degree and then move towards the upper division courses/classes which includes the major subjects.

Elective papers: These are the optional subject papers provided to the students who are diverse in nature. From liberal arts to social sciences, it includes many subjects as such. It may be related to the core subjects or not. For instance, if you’re pursuing a degree in biotechnology, you can choose sociology as your elective subject.

Core/Major Papers: The main subject in which you are going to major in is called the core paper. For example, majors in mathematics, computer science or psychology.

Why is a Bachelor of Science Degree important?

  • Increases job opportunities- As most of the sectors require the candidates to be a graduate, a bachelor of science degree would help fulfill that criteria. It would help fetch various job opportunities as the curriculum and the course structure provides technical knowledge in particular fields.

  • Better Salary- You can earn more than a high school graduate since the degree has a great value. Since the job opportunities are wide, the wage rate also increases.

  • Graduate degree requirement- The basic eligibility for getting enrolled in a graduate degree is the completion of an undergraduate degree. For example, if you want to pursue MS in Physics, you should have a BS in Physics or related fields.

  • Provides foundational knowledge in the subject- The degree provides the basic knowledge of the subject and hence proves to be a pioneer of success.

Major subjects for a Bachelor of Science Degree

Few major subjects in the BS Degree are:

  • Biology - Biology is the study of the living organisms and their structure, chemical, and metabolic processes, evolution and many other concepts as such.

  • Physics - It is the study of matter and its interaction in the universe. It includes concepts such as momentum, big bang theory, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and many others.

  • Chemistry - It is the study of the substances and matter in nature and the study of atoms and molecules.

  • Mathematics - It is the discipline which deals with the numbers, quantities, the abstract methods, and applied mathematics.

  • Engineering - Engineering is related to the study of science, technology, designing of materials and structuring them.

  • Biochemistry - It is a study of both biology and chemistry, and the interactions and relations between them.

  • Earth science - Earth science deals with the physical aspect of earth and its atmosphere. It deals with the scientific issues existing on the planet.

  • Sport/exercise science – In this subject, people gain knowledge about how a human body reacts during playing any sport or indulging in exercises. It studies human health.

  • General science - It is basically a combination of many basic sciences taught as one. It integrates physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and many other subjects.

Jobs you can get after completing a Bachelor of Science degree

A Bachelor degree in Science can fetch you jobs such as:

  • Accountant- You can work as an accountant in any corporate company. It requires you to have knowledge of accounts, receipts, economics, and finance.

  • Engineer- After completing a degree in Engineering, you can build, analyze, or design various structures and machines.

  • Nurse- After completing a degree in nursing, you can opt for this profession. It would train you to take care of the patients, study medicine and many other subjects as such.

  • Chemical Engineer- The professional must have skills in chemistry, chemical engineering using the concepts of biology, chemistry or physics. The BS degree in Chemical Engineering helps gain those skills.

  • Environmentalist- It is a profession which is concerned with saving and conserving the environment through various methods. 

  • Biologist- The professionals who study the living organisms and their surroundings are known as a biologist. The degree in biology helps one to become a biologist.

 Elective subjects offered in Bachelor of Science 

Macroeconomics Art History
American Government Data Processing
World Civilizations Criminal Procedures
Business Analytics Child Development
College Mathematics Money and Banking
Cultural Anthropology Healthcare Management

Universities that provide Bachelor of Science degree

Universities offering Bachelor of Science (BS) degree
Capella University Walden University
North Carolina Central University Saybrook University
Ashford University Duke University
Liberty University Grantham University

So basically, this course will grant you with all the required arrows in your quiver that one needs to excel in the field of science. A Bachelor of Science degree focuses on science and technical-based subjects. Bachelor of Science degrees is offered in areas like computer science, nursing, mathematics, biochemistry, and physics. It would help you find many job opportunities in your respective field.

Difference between Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS)

The basic difference between the Bachelor of Arts (B.A) and Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree.

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree mostly focuses on a wide range of education in the major.  On the other hand, Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree is more centralized to a specialized major and specific education system.

  • You guys have a chance to take a variety of liberal art subjects such as humanities, literature, social sciences, communications, and a foreign language probably if you are opting for Bachelor of Arts (B.A).

  • So be prepared for thorough study routine throughout the semester.

  • But, you have fewer chances to take classes outside of their major in a Bachelor of Science(BS) degree.

  • A Bachelor of Science(B.S) degree is generally offered in technical and scientific facts and aspects.

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree provides a more diverse education in a particular major, therefore, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree generally requires fewer credits than a Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree.


So now when you might be having some idea about both the courses, it might be easy for you to choose because this is going to be a crucial decision that is going to affect your career.

  • A bachelor of arts or a bachelor of Science Degree both is recognized equally. One is neither better than the other. It is totally up to you if you want a broader or specialized education in your major.

  • You must do more research on both the courses and colleges providing these courses and make your choice wisely…!!

There is a vigorous tussle to decide whether science is good or arts, for an excelling carrier opportunity.