Bachelors of Science

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Bachelor of Science vs. Bachelor of Arts: What’s the Difference?

Most colleges and universities offer both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree programs. That’s because the most common undergraduate degrees are the B.S. and the B.A.

But what are the differences between these two types of degrees and which is better for you? Let’s take a look at how these degrees compare.

Main Differences Between BS and BA Degrees

Understanding the differences between the two isn’t simple. At some colleges, in fact, graduation requirements are exactly the same.

In general, a Bachelor of Science is more focused on practice while a Bachelor of Arts is more focused on academia and general education. So, if you’re earning a Bachelor of Science degree, you can usually expect to take more courses that include labs or other practical learning situations.

A few of the most popular majors that fall under the B.S. umbrella include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing

These majors, along with many others, focus heavily on mathematics and science-related subjects. If you like numbers and enjoy solving problems and numbers, you might want to consider pursuing a B.S. degree.

If you want to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, you can usually expect to take more general classes and electives in areas like foreign language, history, and the arts.

Again, this isn’t always the case necessarily. It depends on your specific college, and even so, there’s often a lot of overlap between these types of degrees. Some colleges offer both, while others offer only one or the other. Keep in mind that you don’t have to decide during your first semester! Below are a few of the common majors that fall under the B.A. umbrella:

  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • English
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology

How This Affects Your Career

When choosing whether you want to pursue a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts, think about the future career path you want to take when your education is over, especially if your college offers both types of programs. A Bachelor of Arts degree is great if you intend to go on to get your master’s degree or even a doctorate in the field. This is a great choice for a career in the arts or academia.

But keep in mind, you’re not limited to education or academia. While both are great fields to pursue, B.A. graduates can also go on to study law or work within law enforcement. Some graduates apply their sociology degree towards positions in government or business.

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science degree is a great option if you want to work in the field. Many graduate of this type of degree program also go on to earn advanced degrees, but in a master of science program, you’ll be focused on more practical applications, such as is the case if you pursue a degree in a healthcare-related field.

If you’re still not sure which program is right for you, think about your favorite classes in high school or the job you hope to get after you graduate. What area of study would hold your interest while preparing you for your future? Sometimes it helps to meet with an academic adviser or school counselor to discuss your options. You don’t have to declare a major right away, but it does help to have some idea of your aspirations. Researching online or talking with your peers can also help you identify your educational interests and career goals.

Guide to Accredited Campus & Online Bachelors of Science Degree Programs

Kaplan University – The brand name in online education, Kaplan features programs in the schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Health Sciences, Information Systems and Technology, Legal Studies, Nursing, Kaplan Continuing Education, and Law. Kaplan is one of the nations largest colleges and features a staff dedicated to your learning.
Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University has several schools that offer degrees including: College of Education, Fine Arts and Production, Arts and Sciences, Nursing, and Business. Grand Canyon is built on Christian principles and for each degree program an emphasis is placed on applying Christian values and ethics to the classroom.
Robert Morris University – Students at Robert Morris University can normally complete their bachelor's degree in four years. Besides the bachelor's, Robert Morris offers associates thru master's degrees at the College of Business and Professional Studies; College of Education; College of Health, Human Services, and Science; College of Liberal Arts; and the Smart Track program.
Liberty University – Liberty University offers students over 70 majors and specializations including aeronautics, philosophy, religion, English, worship & music ministry, business, and criminal justice. The university's online degree offerings are tremendous, providing degrees from the associates to doctoral level. The university also has a supportive, Christ-centered environment.
Walden University – Walden University offers students more than 15 online bachelor degree programs and 55 different concentrations. Add this to the school's additional degree options, and you have a well-rounded university that empowers working professionals to earn their degree. Each student is assigned an advisor to help find a degree program that fits their needs.
Strayer University – Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Strayer University provides students with a menu of degree options, including undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting, acquisition and contract management, business, criminal justice, economics, education, health services administration, information systems, marketing, and public administration.
Southern New Hampshire University – Southern New Hampshire University offers multiple degrees for students across the country, like Business, Accounting, Nursing, and Psychology. The university features small classes and excellent faculty. It prides itself on offering an open atmosphere where students can excel and succeed post-graduation.
DeVry University – DeVry University is the mainstay in online education, and offers degrees in the following fields: accounting, electronics & computer technology, health information technology, network systems administration, and web graphic design. A name brand in continuing/online education, DeVry features professors who bring their real-world experiences into the classroom.
Capella University – Capella University offers students a menu of degrees from which to pursue, including bachelor's, master's (MS and MBA) and doctoral (PhD and PsyD) degrees in business, information technology, education, psychology, public health, public safety, and human services. Online courses are designed to provide maximum flexibility to the working professional.
Colorado Technical University – At Colorado Technical University, students are able to select from online technology and engineering focused degree programs in Business, Accounting, Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, Electronics Technology, Radiologic Technology, Nursing, Digital Media, Business, Finance, and Engineering and Computer Science. Students are treated to professors that welcome engaging discussion in the classroom.

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