BA vs. BS

<p>Whats the difference between a BA and a BS degree? Is one better than the other?</p>

<p>BArts is generally reserved for majors other than science related, BSciences for science related majors. You get a number of in betweens, such as where math, chemistry, or physics might be a BA or BS degree at a college or the student can choose either. In those situations you will usually find the difference is mainly in the general education requirements where those going for a BA will have take a higher number of humanities and social studies courses than the one going for a BS who will have instead more required science courses. There are also exceptions where it is difficult to figure out what a college is actually doing -- for example, Berkeley seems to have some highly science oriented majors/programs for which it only gives BA's.</p>

<p>One cannot really be said to be better than the other, although some employers looking for something like chemists may prefer knowing that you did more science for a BS than humanities for a BA in Chemistry. However, if you major in English, it would be silly to give it a BS degree; the same as to a BA if you major in engineering.</p>

<p>thanks drusba. let me ask a more specific question. if i am pursuing a degree in economics or finance, which looks better to employers, a B.S. or a B.A., or again does it not matter?</p>

<p>That's a very commonly held misconception. Considering that, for instance, Harvard awards only BA's in fields like Chemistry and Biology, you can safely assume that it is not less respected in the sciences than a BS. A BA just requires more liberal arts credits than a BS. "Liberal arts" includes all of the physical and natural sciences -- it is a misconception that it is only "arty" majors like English or art history. In some cases you can choose between a BA and a BS, and the BA will require that a larger proportion of your coursework be within the liberal arts, which is ANY FIELD OF INQUIRY from English to physics to languages to astronomy (as opposed to the "practical arts" -- dance, phys ed, etc, sometimes courses in accounting or computer science, but not always.)</p>

<p>Most employers reading a resume probably wouldn't even note which one you had. However, the BS in both of those majors (economics and finance) often means that you are going to be taking more math/statistics courses than you might for a BA and that fact (not the identity of whether it is a BA or BS) could be somewhat of a plus for employment in both those fields.</p>

<p>At my school, if I am able to complete my desired double major I will get a B.A.S, the thing is if i had only done my Stat major I would have a B.A, or if I had a 3.0 by my Junior year I would only have a B.S, even though I would have compleated the same course work. So I don't think the difference carries much meaning any more since schools and department tend to differ greatly when to give what degree.</p>

<p>My husband has a BA in biology from a College of Arts and Sciences. I have a BSJ degree (Bachelor of Science in Journalism). The J school did not have a foreign language requirement, so the degree was not a BA. The CAS had a foreign language requirement. At least, that was the reasoning then.</p>

<p>I have a B.A. in Zoology, and it was because I chose to take a number of foreign language classes. Some of my friends who took other electives received B.S. I don't think it really makes a difference - they're both Bachelor's degrees.</p>