Comparison BA General, BA Honours and Liberal Arts Degrees

Comparison BA General, BA Honours and Liberal Arts Degrees

For students passionate about humanities and liberal arts, undergraduate degrees like BA General, BA Honours and Liberal Arts are attractive options after 12th.

But what is the difference between these popular programs and which is better suited for you? In this guide, we have compared BA General, BA Honours and Liberal Arts Degrees.

Examining the Course Structure

BA General Course Structure

BA General programs are 3-year degrees with 1-2 core subjects and a range of electives across humanities and social sciences. Students have the flexibility to sample diverse subjects before choosing a specialization.

Typical electives include history, political science, sociology, economics, languages, psychology etc. BA General suits students who are undecided about specializing in one particular subject.

BA Honours Course Structure

BA Honours programs focus intensively on a single specialized subject for 3 years – for example Economics, English, History, Sociology etc. Students study core papers from their chosen main subject in depth.

Usually 75% of credits are from the Honours subject, and 25% are from electives. BA Honours is best suited for students who are clear about their specialization from the outset.

Liberal Arts Course Structure

Liberal Arts programs aim to provide a balanced education by requiring students to study core subjects and a wide array of interdisciplinary electives over 3 years.

There is foundational learning in diverse areas like humanities, social sciences, languages, art, math, science etc.

Critical Skill Sets Developed

BA General Skills

BA General programs build a broad understanding of diverse humanities and social science subjects. Students also develop strong interpersonal skills and general analytical capabilities. Oral and written communication skills are honed through assignments.

BA Honours Skills

By specializing in one subject, BA Honours students gain in-depth expertise including a strong grasp of theories, concepts and analytical tools used in the chosen discipline.

Subject-specific research, knowledge application and specialized communication abilities are strengthened.

Liberal Arts Skills

Through exposure to diverse disciplines, Liberal Arts programs foster a multi-disciplinary perspective connecting varied ideas.

Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills are enhanced. Students learn interdisciplinary research and analysis.

Career Prospects Across Different Degrees

BA General Careers

BA General develops skills suited for careers in public administration, policy analysis, academic research and education across disciplines.

Graduates can work as writers and content developers in education, media and similar domains. It also prepares for diverse office administration/management roles.

BA Honours Careers

BA Honours enables students to specialize and pursue focused careers in academic research, think tanks, public policy, governance, administrative services etc within their chosen subject area. Opportunities also exist in specialized journalism, law and content writing roles.

Liberal Arts Careers

The wide skill set developed in Liberal Arts opens up opportunities in general management, marketing, advertising, entrepreneurship, consultancy and creative careers.

Graduates can work as writers, researchers, designers, HR professionals, social workers, media professionals and teachers across disciplines.

Choosing the Right Program for You

BA General offers the advantage of flexibility to explore before specializing but no specific subject expertise is built. BA Honours builds deep expertise in one chosen area suited for focused academic/research careers.

Liberal Arts develops well-rounded soft skills applicable across diverse roles. Assess your own interests, career goals and strengths before deciding. With passion and hard work, you can succeed in any of these rewarding programs.

Comparison Table

BA General3 yearsFlexible course sampling of diverse subjectsBroad-based humanities knowledge, writing, and research skillsPolicy, academia, content writing, administrative roles
BA Honours3 yearsFocused study in 1 specialized subjectIn-depth expertise in chosen subject, analytical capabilitiesSpecialized research/analyst roles, niche journalism
Liberal Arts3 yearsMultidisciplinary mix of humanities, arts, scienceCritical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communicationGeneral management, advertising, social work, entrepreneurship

Choosing the Right Program for You

  • Assess interests, career goals and strengths before deciding on a degree
  • BA General offers flexibility to explore but no specific specialization
  • BA Honours builds expertise suited for focused academic/research careers
  • Liberal Arts develops a wide skill set applicable across roles
  • Success comes from passionately immersing yourself in the program
  • Making the most of opportunities during undergraduate years is crucial

Summary Of The Article in List Form

BA General Skills

  • Develops broad-based perspective and understanding of diverse humanities/social science fields
  • Builds strong general academic and analytical capabilities across subjects
  • Enhances oral and written communication abilities through varied assignments
  • Nurtures research orientation and academic rigour across disciplines

BA Honours Skills

  • Provides in-depth expertise in the specialized subject through intensive study
  • Students gain a strong grasp of theories, concepts, tools and techniques of the chosen discipline
  • Enables subject-specific research, data analysis and knowledge application
  • Hones specialized writing and communication skills for the chosen field

Liberal Arts Skills

  • Develops multi-disciplinary outlook connecting diverse concepts across arts, humanities, sciences
  • Strengthens creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving from exposure to varied subjects
  • Builds people skills – communication, collaboration, empathy, emotional intelligence
  • Teaches interdisciplinary research and analysis integrating diverse viewpoints


BA General, Honours and Liberal Arts degrees offer diverse undergraduate paths for humanities students. While the course structures differ, your passion, hard work and initiative ultimately determine career success. Choose the program closely aligned to your academic interests and career vision.


Which has better value – BA General or Honours?

This depends on your goals. BA Honours provides specialization valued in focused academic/research roles. BA General offers flexibility to explore options.

Is BA General an easy degree?

BA General allows breadth but requires discipline to complete assignments across subjects. Proper time management is key.

Can I pursue an MA after a BA General?

Yes, you can pursue an MA in your preferred specialization after a BA General degree. MA allows you to pick a concentration.

Which has better job prospects – BA or Liberal Arts?

It depends on the role. BA Honours suits specialized fields while Liberal Arts provides broad skills applicable across functions.

What’s the minimum percentage for BA admission?

Most colleges require a 50%+ aggregate in BA. For top institutes and Honours programs, the cut off is higher – around 60-70%.

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