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What is the difference between bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees?

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Quick Answer

A Bachelor of Arts degree focuses on a broad education in the liberal arts, including humanities, social sciences and foreign languages, while a Bachelor of Science is typically more specific in its focus on one field of math or science. Both degrees command equal respect but lead to different academic and career paths.

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What is the difference between bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees?
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Full Answer

A B.A. requires fewer credits that are linked to a student’s selected major, focusing more on a general education. A student earning a B.A. typically takes a wide variety of classes in subjects such as English, history, language and the arts. A B.A. affords greater opportunities for diversity in course selection, since the requirements for completing the degree are broader. In general, a B.A. emphasizes more qualitative skills, such as writing, communication and abstract thinking.

A B.S., on the other hand, focuses more on a specific discipline, such as physics, chemistry or computer science. Students must take a substantial number of courses related specifically to their chosen majors, and they typically have fewer opportunities to study subjects outside their designated fields. The degree emphasizes more quantitative and analytical skills related to a particular subject. A B.S. may require students to complete more credit hours than a B.A.

The choice between the two degrees is often based on what students want to do in the future. A student interested in science, technology, engineering or math may pursue a B.S., while one interested in writing or communication-based fields may pursue a B.A.

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