Do you want to make a positive impact on society? Work closely with individuals in your community to improve their daily lives? One way to do this is through the field of psychology. Professionals are involved in research, clinical roles and related industries like public policy, social work, medicine and public administration.
Overall, psychology presents opportunities in these areas and many more related to behavioral science. However, prospective psychology professionals can pursue multiple paths into this field. Two of the most direct include a Bachelor of Arts in psychology or a Bachelor of Science in psychology.
But how are the BA and BS different? Why should you choose a BA in psychology over a BS, or vice versa? Let's explore those important questions.
What's the difference between a BA and a BS degree?
Before we compare and contrast the psychology BA and BS tracks, it's crucial to understand the differences between a Bachelor of Arts program and a Bachelor of Science.
First, the similarities:
- BA and BS degrees in the same field grant similar levels of qualifications.
- Both a BA and BS are typically completed in four years.
- Both are undergraduate degrees that are potentially valuable to employers and students.
So why go with one over the other?
That's where the differences come into play. A BA curriculum is tailored to be more holistic and wide-reaching. As the word "arts" may imply, BA students often take arts and humanities classes in addition to their major. Common learning outcomes of a BA include critical thinking, communication and writing skills.
A Bachelor of Science curriculum is often more focused on the major, with many classes in that area and fewer in the arts and humanities. As a result, students may take a greater number of classes related to the technical and practical skills of their desired industries, as opposed to general courses.
In simple terms, BA students often take more classes outside their majors in pursuit of a comprehensive education, while BS students may enroll in more classes in their majors to build a specialized subject matter expertise.