A Bachelor of Science degree (BS) is a four-year degree obtained from a college or university. A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is usually obtained from a technical college, possibly in fewer than four years. (A Bachelor of Business degree is granted only in Australia or New Zealand.) In the United States, there are many hybrid options, such as obtaining an online BBA from a traditional college or from a business college that includes liberal arts.

Bachelor of Science

A Bachelor of Science degree is like a specialized Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Fewer subjects in other areas are required. Some colleges grant both. Many liberal arts colleges grant only BA degrees even if a student majors in economics or in science. A few American colleges besides the military academies grant only BS degrees. A traditional BS is expected to include the breadth of knowledge and philosophical thinking prized by liberal arts institutions.

Careers for BS Degree

In today’s market for technology and the science of information, companies that formerly sought employees with a BA are now open to candidates with a BS. Careers that can be found with BS degrees include nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, biologists, chemists, forensic scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, engineers, academic administrators, criminologists, computer programmers, lawyers and teachers.

Bachelor of Business Administration

The BBA degree is likely to be offered online or by institutes of technology, also called technical colleges. These programs don’t value the breadth of knowledge or philosophical thinking of liberal arts colleges. Technical institutions and students who choose their programs get right to the “how to.” They regard studying other subjects in which they are not interested as a waste of time and money.

BBA plus Liberal Arts

The BBA may also be offered by traditional four-year colleges that include a foundation in liberal arts. The University of Cincinnati College of Business includes requirements in foreign language, global area studies and study abroad. This is combined with a major in a business discipline. Since this is an on-campus program, students can practice leadership skills and learn to be part of a team through involvement in campus and professional activities.

Online Programs

You can earn a BBA online. The University of Massachusetts offers both a residential degree and “a part-time degree completion program that is ideal for those who have work, family or other commitments that make it difficult to attend classes” on campus. Online programs can be fitted to an individual student’s schedule and pace. Undergraduates can earn the Bachelor's degree in Business Administration in four majors: accounting, finance and operations management, management and marketing.

Less Than Four Years

Non-traditional colleges such as Metropolitan College of New York make it possible to earn a BBA in two years and eight months, even while working full-time. There are day, night and weekend classes in this accelerated program. It “offers a balanced approach of practice and theory that prepares students for success in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive business environment.”

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

There is also a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. Like the BBA, this may be combined with liberal arts studies or not. At the University of Maine, this program “provides students with a broad knowledge of modern business and management theories.” Students must elect a major in either management or accounting. In addition to business classes, students take courses in the arts, English, humanities, and social and natural sciences