Students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate degrees have many options. Two of these are a Bachelor of Arts, or a B.A., and a Bachelor of Science, or a B.Sc. Both of these programs require approximately 120 credit hours of undergraduate coursework and take about four years to complete. Most universities offer Bachelor of Arts programs in humanities and social science fields, and Bachelor of Science programs in mathematics, engineering and the natural science.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts programs are offered in a variety of fields, including English, history, communications, philosophy, sociology and anthropology. Universities tend to offer this degree program to students who are pursuing degrees in liberal arts. Bachelor of Arts degrees prepare students for entry-level careers in private companies as well as other sectors of the economy, including government, education and health care. Furthermore, many students who complete these degrees pursue graduate programs in their chosen concentration. For example, some students who major in English in college also complete master's and doctoral programs in English.
Bachelor of Arts Curriculum
A Bachelor of Arts degree typically requires students to take two years of general education requirements, a year of major-related courses and a year of electives. Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in their chosen major often take their electives in that field. Students who are interested in one other field, in addition to their major, typically use their electives to pursue a minor in that field, while other students pursue many interests at once and take electives in a variety of different fields. For example, a student might pursue a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, take many electives in sociology and, as a result, end up with a minor in sociology.
Bachelor of Science
Universities tend to offer Bachelor of Science degrees in more technical subjects such as mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology and all types of engineering. Just like the Bachelor of Arts degrees, these degrees also require 120 total credits and prepare students for entry-level positions in private industry, government, education, engineering and health care. Furthermore, many graduates of Bachelor of Science programs also go on to graduate-level work in their chosen fields. Occasionally, scientific and technical departments offer students the choice of pursuing either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in their chosen discipline.
Bachelor of Science Curriculum
A Bachelor of Science degree requires students to take two years of general education courses, one year of foundational courses in the major and one year of major-related electives. For example, students who are interested in mathematics have to take courses such as calculus 1, 2 and 3, differential equations, linear algebra and abstract algebra as a foundational courses, and courses such as abstract algebra 2, numerical analysis, advanced calculus and partial differential equations as major-related electives. Departments that offer students a choice between the two degrees typically require students to take electives in their major for a Bachelor of Science degree, and give students the opportunity to take electives in a non-related area of study for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
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