Guide On BS vs BA Graduation Degree In Detailed (2024)

When having an graduation students have to choose between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. While both degrees take four years of full-time study to complete, there are some main differences between the two that students should understand before selecting one.

In this post we will learn “what is a BS vs BA Degree in detailed”. In general, a Bachelor of Arts degree focuses more on the liberal arts and humanities, while a Bachelor of Science degree concentrates more on scientific, mathematical, and technical skills.

Main Differences of BS vs BA

Some of the major points of distinction between BA and BS degrees include:

Types of Courses

  • BA degrees emphasize arts, humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies. Coursework often covers subjects like history, literature, philosophy, foreign languages, economics, anthropology, political science, and more.
  • BS degrees prioritize mathematics, statistics, science, and technical skills. Course loads feature more classes in areas like biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, statistics, engineering, and quantitative fields.


  • BA degrees offer a broader, more liberal arts-focused curriculum that is less strictly specialized in one field.
  • BS degrees provide concentrated training in a defined technical or scientific discipline like software engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, and more. Course plans follow a more tightly structured sequence with fewer electives.

Math and Science Requirements

  • BA options usually have lighter math and science prerequisites, allowing students to more deeply study their major concentration area. Math requirements may top out at college algebra or statistics.
  • BS tracks require intensive lab science and math credits in areas like calculus, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Career Pathways

  • BA degrees opens opportunity for industries like journalism, advertising, media, public administration, cultural institutions, nonprofit agencies, and more. Graduate school is also possible.
  • BS credentials directly qualify graduates to enter STEM or technical fields like engineering, data science, finance, health informatics, and applied scientific research. Some fields mandate a BS.

Examples of BS vs BA Degrees

The availability of earning a BA or a BS varies across colleges and majors based on program structure and requirements. Here are some illustrative examples of commonly offered BA and BS degrees:


  • BA in Psychology: Focuses on social sciences and research into human behavior. Applicable across community services, social work, human resources, etc.
  • BS in Psychology: Concentrates on neuroscience and psychobiology. Prepares for healthcare roles.

Computer Science

  • BA in Computer Science: Interdisciplinary blend with humanities and liberal arts.
  • BS in Computer Science: Specialized technical curriculum perfect for software engineering.


  • BA in Economics: Emphasizes economic theory, policy analysis, and philosophies. Broad applicability.
  • BS in Economics: Focuses more on mathematical models, data analysis, and finance. Better for banking.


  • BA in Physics: Rare but provides general overview combined with humanities.
  • BS in Physics: Rigorous lab science and math to become research scientists.

As demonstrated above, some majors have relatively similar BA and BS options with varying emphasis, while others strictly differentiate with separate career aims.

Considerations in Choosing

When weighing whether to undertake a BA or BS, it helps to carefully consider these factors:

  • Interests – Are verbal skills or mathematical reasoning more enjoyable?
  • Abilities – Do you excel at science and math coursework or struggle with these subjects?
  • Goals – What industry or job role do you hope to enter after graduating? Will graduate school be required?
  • Program Availability – Which degree options does your target college offer in your desired major?

Thinking through these points and clearly articulating preferences to academic advisors can help navigate the BA vs BS decision.

Graduate School Implications

In some fields like psychology, pursuing an advanced degree is necessary for professional licensing or to open up senior career opportunities. When graduate school is the eventual goal:

  • BA graduates may need to take supplemental math and science courses to meet graduate program prerequisites. Having a BA is generally not a barrier to admission.
  • BS graduates can more seamlessly transition into related Master of Science or doctoral programs since they already meet base expectations for scientific aptitude.

So BS recipients tend to have a bit of an advantage for entering science-based graduate tracks like data science, engineering, medicine, and so on.

Choose the Best Path

Deciding between having a Bachelor of Arts vs a Bachelor of Science degree ultimately comes down to honestly evaluating one’s talents, passions, and aspirations. There is no universally “better” or more prestigious option. Students who select the degree type best aligned to their interests and strengths will thrive once immersed in a program.

Keeping an open and flexible mindset is also wise, as many undergraduates change majors at least once. Allowing space to explore different academic fields before declaring a major enables consciously validating the BA vs BS decision.

With sound self-reflection and mature career planning, either a versatile BA or a rigorous BS can excellently prepare graduates for prosperity in life after college.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I earn both a BA and a BS degree?

Yes, some ambitious students choose to double major or pursue a second bachelor’s degree. This needs fully completing all requirements for both programs.

Which degree has a heavier course load?

BS pathways generally have more demanding curriculum requirements and credit hours expectations due to all the math, lab sciences, and technical courses mandates.

What if I change my career goals – will my degree still work?

Both BA and BS degrees build broad skills like communication, critical thinking, research, and analysis that apply widely. While different industries, graduates can pivot into alternative fields that align with their experience profile.


When weighing completion of a Bachelor of Arts vs a Bachelor of Science, considering personal talents, subject matter affinities, prospective career paths, and availability of program options can lead to the right fit. BAs give deep liberal arts focus while BSs facilitate scientific expertise. Remaining open, determined in choices, and willing to work hard will lead to undergraduate success.

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