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What's the Difference Between BA & BS Degrees?

Most fresh high school graduates already have a course in mind even before marching out of their schools. But there are still exceptions to this general rule. Now, a student will look at the course offerings a college provides with the program title comes either a BA, Bachelor of Arts, or BS, Bachelor of Science.

In some institutions, these are similar courses but with different titles. Now, how do these courses differ from one another? The primary difference between the two types of degrees is the focus of the coursework students are required to complete in order to earn them.

Bachelor of Science

Most course offerings in a college are with a bachelor of science degree. This degree usually has more units or academic load than art degrees. It usually has 200 units to cover for a student to earn the title.

The subjects are more connected with the program a student has chosen for BS Degrees. The reason would be to inculcate more practical and theoretical matters related to the subject. It is expected that with such an approach, the student will be more equipped with handling problems that will soon be related to their careers.

Another reason for the extensive academic load is due to the graduate studies available once student graduates. A master’s degree follows suit once they accomplished the required units for graduation. Students usually take a graduate degree due to either wanting to learn more or is required for a certain company role.T

On the Electives...

Electives are fewer. Electives are any subject that may or may not be related to their course but must be enrolled to nonetheless. Bachelor of science has at most 12 excess units for electives. This is a way to adopt new learnings that they could apply in their enrolled course.

BS degrees also have more mathematics in its curriculum. Mathematics is an exact science. BS degrees’ future career path involves numbers. This would all add up on the necessity of mathematics in the degree, even more to those courses related to business, engineering, and information technology.

List of Courses

Business and Accountancy Courses

  • Accountancy
  • Business Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resources and Development Management
  • Tourism Development and Management
  • Banking and Finance

Engineering & Architecture

Chemical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Electronics and Communications Engineering

Information Technology

Computer Science
Information Technology
Information Systems
Digital Arts and Animation

Media Studies

Development Communications


Physical Therapy
Medical Technology

Social Sciences


Natural Sciences

Environmental Science

Applied Science


Most of the programs listed above are available in your preferred college, but it’s better to check the course offerings personally. The amount of programs offered with a bachelor of science is evidently plenty. The aim of the degree is to hone those skills which will be needed in the career path once the student finishes its college.

Bachelor of Arts

AB or Bachelor of Arts degree focuses more on subjects related to society. The degree offers subjects with a lesser focus on the program and more on the electives. As discussed earlier, electives are mandatory academics loads where students can choose subjects either related or unrelated to their program or degree. The reason would be because of the nature of an AB degree.

Instead of a more technical and methodological approach to the study to gain its expertise, AB’s goal is the expansion of knowledge through these elective courses. AB degrees tend to delve more in the theoretical aspect.

On Math subjects...

AB degree has fewer mathematics subject than the usual BS courses. The rationale behind is that for the student to have more knowledge on their respective course, they are given the leeway through elective courses. This flexibility and freedom to choose subjects enable the student to have customized learning tailor-fitted in their own discretion.

If a student is taking AB Psychology but has an affinity with sociological issues, he or she might consider taking some subjects under AB Sociology. The combinations are limitless and will be left under the discretion of the aspiring AB student.

Improving the world?

Graduate studies coming from AB courses are plenty. Its focus on the improvement of the craft and how it could contribute to society on a larger scale. This means that this degree is not to be taken lightly; the results of its research impact or change how the society works.

List of Courses

Social Sciences


Language Studies



Mass Communication
Development Communication
Speech Communication



It is wise to have a look at the curriculum of the school to check whether your chosen degree is being offered. Some courses being offered has already suggested elective subjects that they may take to be more specialized in their field.

In contrast with the BS degree, the course offerings are fewer but the opportunity for future careers are wide open due to lesser competition and a high demand for invested knowledge. As long as there are humans, these courses will not go away. In this time of great technological advancements, it is wise to still have humanistic ideals. And this is what this degree champions; the improvement of humanity through society.


Whether it is an AB or a BS degree, it all boils down what you want as a career. With the K-12 program, you can try out different fields before going into college. 

If you really want to try a lot of things out, consider enrolling in the GAS Strand or General Academic Strand so you can experience and learn about different fields!

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