The most common goal of completing four years in college is getting your B.S. (Bachelor of Science) or a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree. Either is an opportunity to pursue a career right out of school or continue on in college toward an advanced degree. Understanding the differences between a B.S. and B.A degree helps put you on the right path for both your education and career pursuits.

The Biggest Difference Between B.A. and B.S.

The most significant difference between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees is what you will be doing after college. Your major helps dictate which degree you pursue. The curriculum for a B.S. degree is focused more on technology and science while a B.A. degree contains more liberal arts curriculum.

The Similarities of Bachelor Degrees

Most schools require that B.A. and B.S. degrees have a reasonable balance of several components. Either type of bachelor's degree should provide a concentrated background and preparation for a professional career or academics and include college level studies in math, social sciences, arts and humanities, science and communication. Each college varies in its specific requirements.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree usually includes a well-rounded study in history, literature, philosophy, the arts and social studies. notes that the B.A. degree is more popular than the B.S. degree. The B.A. also has more elective hours and fewer specified hours in your major.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science degree is focused on technology and science curriculum including math, physics and statistics. You should consider a B.S. degree path if you plan to go into engineering, computer science, accounting, or any math, science or technology-related field.


Each university has unique requirements for degree completion. While most are similar, the school you attend may specify different classes or requirements for completing a B.A. or B.S. degree. Check with your adviser or the school's guidance department to make sure you are taking the appropriate classes for your degree.