Difference Between BSc and BA

BSc vs BA
 

Before we move ahead, and talk about the difference between BSc and BA, we ought to make it clear that after 10+2, students must make their priorities clear and then accordingly pursue a bachelor’s degree for a head start on higher studies. There was a time when a bachelor’s degree was considered an achievement in itself, but today, it is more of a stepping stone that needs to be achieved in order to get higher or professional degrees. A bachelor’s degree is also called an undergraduate degree, and a student pursuing such a course is an undergraduate. An undergraduate degree can be in all sorts of subjects and, in general, those pertaining to humanities and social sciences are classified under BA (Bachelor of Arts) while those that are from science stream are categorized as BSc (Bachelor of Science). There are differences between the content, scope, and approach of study in BA and BSc that will be discussed in this article.

A bachelor’s degree lasts for 3 years in general and is intended to provide students a generalized knowledge in a broad range of areas rather than making them skilled or proficient in a single subject. This is why, there are 3 or more subjects from arts or science stream that are taught in a BA or BSc degree course. Bachelor’s degree course is so designed to impart theoretical knowledge with very little emphasis on research.

What is BA?

BA stands for Bachelor of Arts. BA comprises subjects from humanities and languages such as literature, history, geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. Difference colleges and universities offer different combinations of these subjects, and the undergraduates have to choose subjects from them. That is because no one can follow all the subjects as each subject covers a number of different topics. Also, once you have completed your BA, you can go into the professional world. The scope of the professional world covered by BA is huge. For example, if you study Sociology as a subject once you finish your degree, you can become an advice worker, counselor, social researcher, social worker, etc. As you can see, you are not confined to one profession.

Difference Between BSc and BA

Newcastle University offers BA

What is BSc?

BSc stands for Bachelor of Science. BSc is a bachelor’s degree that provides generalized knowledge at the university level in subjects that are chosen from physics, chemistry, mathematics, botany, zoology, etc. There are different combinations of subjects that are offered by various colleges, and students have to choose from these combinations. When it comes to BSc too, you will find that you can find a number of jobs, provided that you have completed your degree successfully. Think that you did a BSc in Biomedical Science. You can end up being a teacher, a lab assistant, a senior healthcare officer, etc.

 BSc vs BA

University of Nottingham offers BSc

What is the difference between BSc and BA?

• The major difference between BA and BSc lies in subjects chosen for study. BA comprises subjects from humanities and languages such as literature, history, geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. BSc is a bachelor’s degree that provides generalized knowledge at the university level in subjects that are chosen from physics, chemistry, mathematics, botany, zoology, etc. There are different combinations of subjects that are offered by various colleges, and students have to choose from these combinations.

• Whether one pursues BA or BSc, is his own volition, and one need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both before opting for either. Art subjects are more suitable for those who do not have a scientific approach and aptitude. There are also some who dread math; they are better off doing BA rather than BSc.

• There are some competitive exams held for jobs that have an eligibility criterion. Only those who are graduates (having completed their undergraduate degree course) can appear in such exams. One has to do BA or BSc to appear in these exams and secure a job for one’s self.

• Both BA and BSc are the first degrees provided at the university level and a stepping stone to higher studies.

• Both BA and BSc come under two types. Those types are Special degrees and General degrees. A general degree lasts for three years while a special degree lasts for four years. But, remember that depending on the university that offers the degree this duration can change. In a general degree, an undergraduate studies several subjects while in a special degree an undergraduate specializes in one subject.

• Both degrees offer degree holders an opportunity to apply for a job after they graduate.

• Once you complete you BA you become eligible for a MA. MA stands for Master of Arts. In the same manner, once you have completed your BSc you are eligible for a MSc. MSc stands for Master of Science.

• Sometimes confusion arises between BSc and BA as different universities follow different methods when offering a degree. Generally, BA is for arts stream and BSc is for science stream. However, some universities go against this normal method. For example, in US, some liberal arts colleges offer only BA degrees, even for natural sciences. Also, School of Communication that belongs to the Northwestern University only grants BSc degrees even for subjects such as dance and theater. So, you have to look at the university that offers the degree and the subject areas covered by it.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Newcastle University by GeographBot (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. University of Nottingham by Barry Mangham (CC BY-SA 3.0)