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BA vs. BS Degree: Similarities, Differences, & Examples of Each

Ever wondered what the similarities and differences are between a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree? Explore the BA vs. BS landscapes and learn about specific examples of these two categories of bachelor’s degrees.

A graphic of a Bachelor of Science degree diploma scroll rolled up next to a graduation tassle; this is a visual for the blog article on BA vs. BS degrees

Some individuals graduate from college with a Bachelor of Arts, also commonly referred to as a BA degree. Others receive their Bachelor of Science, or BS degree for short.

How are these two similar, what are the differences in a BA vs. BS degree, and what are some examples of each? Let’s start by identifying their similarities.


Similarities Between a BA Degree and a BS Degree

Whether you decide to earn your BA degree or BS degree, you can expect to take a wide variety of classes outside your chosen field of study. These classes are designed to increase your education in English, math, and other general areas, making you a more well-rounded student.

Both BA and BS degree programs are also approximately 120 credit hours in length, which means that they will each take around four years to complete. However, you can complete them faster if you take classes year-round or if you move at a faster pace in an online degree program.

Another similarity between these two bachelor’s-level degrees is that they can each increase your salary potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $461 more per week than someone with a high school diploma. Over a 30-year career, this equates to an additional $719,160.

Although both a BA and BS degree program have many similarities, they have some differences too.

BA Degree vs. BS Degree: What’s the Difference?

When comparing a BA vs. BS degree, one of the most obvious differences is the areas that particular type of degree covers.

If you earn a BA degree, the main focus of your courses is typically somewhere within the humanities or liberal arts. This includes studying topics related to philosophy, history, theater, language, and art. Get your BS degree and you can expect to learn more about math and science.

To make the whole subject even more complicated, some fields of study offer both a BA degree and a BS degree option. A prime example of this is psychology. Graduate with a BA degree in psychology and you’re more prepared to work as a counselor or therapist. Graduate with a BS degree instead and you’re better suited to join the research side of the profession.

Understanding these differences makes it easier to decide which bachelor’s degree option is best for you given your desired career goals. What are some examples of both types of degrees?

Examples of a BA Degree

If you decide that you prefer liberal arts and humanities, thus a BA degree is more in line with your career goals, your exact job title will vary depending on your specific field. That said, graduating with your BA prepares you for positions such as:

  • Social worker (BA in Psychology)
  • Community outreach worker (BA in Human Services)
  • Clergy or chaplain (BA in Religion)
  • English teacher (BA in Middle Grades Education – English)
  • Police officer (BA in Criminal Justice)
  • Copywriter or editor (BA in English with a Professional Writing Specialization)
  • Human resources manager (BA in Management)
  • Marketing manager (BA in Business Administration with a Marketing Specialization)
  • Video journalist (BA in Multimedia Management)
  • Accountant (BA in Accounting)

BS Degree Examples

Maybe you’re more interested in science and math. In this case, earning a BS degree is likely more appealing. Here are a few career options in this category of bachelor’s degrees to consider:

  • Marine biologist (BS in Biology with an Ecology Specialization)
  • Web developer (BS in Computer Information Systems)
  • Information security analyst (BS in Cyber Security)
  • Pharmaceutical sales manager (BS in Healthcare Administration)
  • Biomedical researcher (BS in Biology with a Biomedical and Health Sciences Specialization)
  • Software engineer (BS in Software Engineering)
  • Data analyst (BS in Data Science)

Saint Leo University Offers Multiple BA and BS Degree Options

When you enroll in Saint Leo University, you have access to a variety of BA and BS degree programs. Some are available on campus or at one of the university’s many Education Centers, allowing students access in various cities in Florida, as well as locations in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas.

Other BA and BS degree programs can be taken entirely online. A few fields of study—such as religion and sociology—offer all three of these options.

If you still have questions about a BA vs. BS degree and which is right for you, contact our admissions office today. Our compassionate and dedicated staff are here to help you choose the career path that will help you best reach your personal and professional goals.

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