Difference between Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Updated on September 28, 2015

Both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S. or B.Sc.) are undergraduate degrees that normally take four years to accomplish. In the academic world, both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science are recognized and essentially have the same value. In some countries degrees in some disciplines are given as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) by one university and as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) by another university. In the United States of America, there are liberal arts colleges that offer only Bachelor of Arts degrees even in the science fields. There are some general differences and specifics in each type of a bachelor degree. We will take a closer look at those.

Definitions

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Bachelor of Arts diploma

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) is the degree program that normally takes four years for students to accomplish. The program requires a certain number of degree credits in disciplines associated with liberal arts. Those disciplines include Arts, Languages, Literature, Philosophy, History and others.

Bachelor of Science diploma
Bachelor of Science diploma

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) is the degree program that also normally takes four years to accomplish. The program is characterized by covering science subjects such as Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Physiology  with more focus required on the subject matter of a given major.

Comparison chart

Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Science
Requires fewer credits associated directly with the majorRequires more credits linking directly to the major
Focus on communication and writing skillsFocus on analytical skills and an in-depth understanding of subject matter

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) vs Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

What is the difference between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science? Let’s compare the two programs in terms of required credits and angle of focusing.

  • A Bachelor of Arts degree generally requires fewer credits that are associated with the chosen major of the student. A Bachelor of Science degree in general demands more credits linking to the major.
  • The course for Bachelor of Arts tends to be focused on a number of communication skills as well as writing skills. A Bachelor of Science course, on the other hand, encourages students to go through in-depth understanding of the given subject matter. A Bachelor of Science course of study also normally requires greater analytical and practical skills than a Bachelor of Arts course.
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