BA vs BS

four college grads in their cap and gowns holding diplomas

At the beginning of your college journey, it’s important to have an understanding of the different types of degrees available to you. The two main types of bachelor’s degrees, Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS), are both strong choices. Read more about the differences between a BA and BS below.


As different types of bachelor’s degrees, both a BA and BS are typically awarded after the completion of 120 credits, which takes around four years of study in most cases. They are both undergraduate degrees that qualify students for a multitude of jobs after graduation and allow them to continue their education with a graduate degree program.

What Is a Bachelor of Arts?

As its name suggests, a Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in a subject related to the arts. They focus on the liberal arts and humanities, emphasizing more abstract and theoretical knowledge. Programs are offered in fields like language, philosophy, communication and music, with additional classes available in a diverse array of subjects to provide a broader education. A BA may emphasize writing and communication skills in addition to creativity. Students are encouraged to earn credits in a variety of liberal arts subjects in order to gain a well-rounded education. Other programs include BAs in:

What Is a Bachelor of Science?

A BS tends to be specialized in a certain area. Classes in a BS program provide an in-depth look at the subject of choice, which tends to be of a more technical or scientific nature. At some schools, the curriculum for a BS program may provide less opportunities to take elective classes or other courses not directly related to your major. The technical nature of a BS means that in addition to emphasizing analytical skills, some programs also require practice-oriented learning like laboratory work or practical experiences. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in areas such as:

BA vs BS: Which One Is Right for Me?

The best degree path will vary based on the individual and their educational and career goals. In some cases, your field of study you choose will determine whether you will earn a BA vs BS, but sometimes, both degrees can be offered in a certain subject. In these cases, it mainly comes down to whether you would prefer to gain a more broad or specific education in your area of interest. Conduct research about the curriculum of specific programs to see how BA and BS degrees differ at certain schools and make your decision based on what you value the most in your education. Since neither type of degree is superior to the other in academic weight, there is no wrong choice when it comes to selecting a bachelor’s degree.

To learn more about the wide variety of bachelor’s degrees offered at Grand Canyon University, visit our website or click the Request Info button on this page. Find a degree program that’s right for you and get started on your journey to find your purpose.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.