Headed for College? Check out the different kinds of BA degrees out there

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Are you a high school student headed for college? Learn about the different kinds of BA degrees that top colleges and universities offer across the country!

BA, BS, BAA, BAS, BFA, BBA… What’s the difference between all of these degrees?

A Bachelor’s Degree is a very common higher education choice for both graduating high school students who have just earned their high school diploma and full or part-time working professionals. 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the U.S. degree system, it can be quite confusing. We know that there are Bachelor’s Degrees… but we start looking at all the different acronyms out there… and it gets a little confusing. BA, BS, BAA, BAS, BFA, BBA… What’s the difference between Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts? Is a Bachelor of Science Degree the same as a Bachelor of Applied Science? How does a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science differ from a Bachelor of Science in Political Science? What about a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration versus a Bachelor of Business Administration in the same major?

Let’s clear up some of this confusion by going over what each type of Bachelor’s Degree title means!

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science are two of the most commonly offered bachelor’s degree programs at top universities across the country.

A BA degree will have bachelor’s degree students engaged in a heavy focus on humanities, arts and sciences. In general, Bachelor of Arts programs will have general education requirements that have students exploring various subject areas including math, history and even literature. 

Students in BA programs receive a well-rounded education and will be well prepared for careers in many industries as well as advanced study in any graduate program.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Like the Bachelor of Arts program, the B.S. is highly popular. The BS degree program has a focus on science and technical skills. Bachelor of Science students will be taking natural science courses, math courses and even engineering courses in addition to any core curriculum established by their college or university. 

Typically, B.S. students take less general education courses than B.A. students.

Many Bachelor of Science students end up taking a lot of lab or technical skills courses. Like BA students, BS students can pursue their top career choices as well as advanced education through a graduate program at a top college or university.

Bachelor of Applied Arts (B.A.A.)

A select few universities in the U.S. will offer a Bachelor of Applied Arts program in which students focus primarily on vocational studies.

Vocational studies refer to courses that focus on training students in practical skills that can be applied to work in a specific career field. One popular example of a Bachelor of Applied Arts program is a BAA in criminal justice. Another example is a BAA in studio arts. 

Most graduates of BAA programs enter the workforce right away.

Bachelor of Applied Sciences (BAS)

A Bachelor of Applied Science degree program, similar to a Bachelor of Applied Arts, is highly skills focused. BAS programs are quite technical, and they will provide students with specific training in a career field of their choosing so that they can be ready to enter or reenter the workforce after graduating. 

BAS programs will focus on specific areas such as culinary skills or renewable energy technology.

Most BAS graduates enter the workforce right away as well.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

A Bachelor of Fine Arts will have bachelor’s degree students dive right into specialized artistic training. Students can focus on different areas such as dance, film production, digital animation, photography, theater, and more! 

BFA programs present exciting opportunities for students who have their hearts set on entering the film industry, performance industry and more! Students will learn about the theories and histories that paint the backdrop of these different art fields. They will also practice techniques and skills so they can become truly artistic and creative professionals.

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

A Bachelor of Business Administration prepares students for work in any business field.

Students will receive a wide breadth of knowledge in general business topics such as finance, accounting, marketing and even management.

Students who complete a BBA program will be ready to pursue any kind of business-related career as well as enroll in a master of business administration (MBA) degree program.

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