Electing to pursue a four-year degree is a life-changing decision countless Americans make every year. Identifying the most appropriate program of study and subject matter makes finding a suitable college or university much less of a daunting task. Although myriad factors likely will play a role in the ultimate decision, understanding the integral differences between a BA versus BSC acronyms will provide a valuable steppingstone.
Nationally Recognized Standards
American universities and colleges typically award degrees according to nationally recognized standards. Post-high school educational awards usually begin with a certificate of completion.
An associate's (AA) generally necessitates two years of study and can be completed at any accredited institution, including a community college. A bachelor's degree, also called an undergraduate degree, typically consists of four years of study. A contender for a bachelor's does not have to possess an AA.
Bachelor's degree-level courses must be taken at an accredited four-year institution. Contenders may choose to pursue their bachelor's via one of two routes. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) favors those who wish to pursue a subject that falls within the arts or humanities disciplines. A Bachelor of Science (BS) is awarded to students who show academic proficiency in science-related disciplines. The acronym BSC is simply an alternative way some schools choose to refer to the Bachelor of Science.
The BS and BSC are generally indistinguishable. In addition, both the BA and BS (or BSC) demonstrate the same level of academic achievement. Neither is more or less highly regarded.
Although the BA and BS (or BSC) typically recognize different abilities in different subject areas, they do share certain commonalities. Both a BA and BS (or BSC) require approximately 180 hours of coursework. Both provide an in-depth of knowledge in a given academic or professional field. Both arm students with a basic university-level education in core areas, namely math, science, English, social sciences, arts and humanities. Both also allow a student to pursue elected courses in line with personal career or subject preferences.
Unique to the BA
Students awarded a BA degree typically complete a series of courses in the following fields: arts, humanities, foreign languages, natural sciences, social sciences, behavioral sciences and quantification.
Unique to the BS (or BSC)
Students pursuing a BS degree complete coursework more closely focused on natural and social sciences. Contenders for a BS degree delve less into liberal arts-related subjects and more into subject-specific classes, namely computer programming, engineering, business administration that prepares them for a career in a specific field. Those wishing to pursue a medical degree often opt for a BS major and complete pre-med classes (courses required for admission into medical school) during the undergraduate degree phase.
Although admission to BA and BS degree programs likely will vary among universities, certain basic criteria remains standard. Most colleges and universities accepting students to a bachelor's program will mandate proof of a high school diploma or GED certificate. SAT scores also will play a key role in the admissions process. Transcripts denoting high school grades also are required as is an application essay outlining your career goals and professional aspirations. Most universities also ask prospective students to include a letter of recommendation from at least one person familiar with their work.
- Photo Credit graduation day for an international student at an asian universi image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com
BS Degree in Education Vs. BA Degree in Education
It may seem confusing that some education programs offer a bachelor of arts (BA), while others offer a bachelor of science (BS)....
What Is a BA Honors Degree?
Honors degrees are to university what gold stars are to kindergarten. Many universities offer bachelors degrees with "honors" ratings. At a U.S....
BS Degree Vs. BA Degree
Choosing between a bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of science degree may be straightforward for some students, but for others...
The Difference Between a BA & a BS Psychology Degree
College students who are looking at majoring in psychology have two paths they can choose. Depending on what their eventual career paths...
BSc Nursing Training
The Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in nursing is one of the career pathways to becoming a registered nurse, the largest health...
Difference Between a BSc & MSc
Both a BSc (bachelor of science) and an MSc (master of science) are higher education degrees awarded in scientific subjects. Undergraduates who...
Anyone can study gemology and be called a gemologist, but not all gemologists hold a degree in gemology. Having a degree in...
What Is the Difference Between MBA & BA Degrees?
As the world becomes more complicated, specialization is becoming more necessary. The broad choice of college degrees reflects this fact. Before you...
What Is the Difference Between a B.S. & a B.A. Degree?
The most common goal of completing four years in college is getting your B.S. (Bachelor of Science) or a B.A. (Bachelor of...