There are a lot of people who wonder why some bachelor degrees, when you get them, designate you as a bachelor of arts and other bachelor degrees designate you as a bachelor of science. Well, the answer is very simple.
A Bachelor of Arts degree goes to somebody who gets a bachelor degree in any non-technical, or science related field. A Bachelor of Science degree goes to somebody who does get a degree in a science related field. The designations are set up by the colleges themselves.
So, what’s the difference? Does it really matter?
The answer to that question may shock you. It matters very much.
The reasons will not be immediately apparent to the student, but when he or she goes into the real world to get a job, they are going to be in for a rude awakening if they’re looking for a specific type of job and don’t have a bachelor of science degree.
If you’re scratching your head wondering why this even matters, the answer is as follows. Most Bachelor of Science programs are a little more intense than a Bachelor of Arts program. In other words, in addition to the degree having to be in a science related field, the degree itself will contain more required courses than a Bachelor of Arts degree. Of course this varies from college to college, but within each school the bachelor of science program is always more intense than the bachelor of arts program. There may be one more required course per semester, or more science courses required. The bottom line translation is, the program is harder to get through; in some cases, a lot harder.
So why does this matter? Well, there are certain jobs, such as in the fields of engineering, chemistry and physics, just to name a few, where if you look in the classified ads in your local paper, it will clearly say, “bachelor of science degree required”. So if you graduated college with a bachelor of arts degree, you won’t be able to apply for that job. Oh, you can still send in your resumé, but don’t expect to be called in for an interview.
Now, here is where this becomes very important. There are some colleges that will allow you to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in math, which is technically one of the sciences. The program doesn’t have as many requirements. So when you graduate, while you technically have a degree in one of the sciences, because of the fact that you don’t have a bachelor of science degree, you will not be eligible for that particular job that says “bachelor of science degree required”.
It may seem like a nit picky thing, but these companies want to know that you can get through the tougher curriculum. They want to know that you have a good chance of being able to handle the job that you’re applying for. Is there a really big difference between a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree? In an undergraduate program, probably not too much. But in the minds of the companies, where there is so much competition for jobs, it is a big deal.