The first thing that many newly decided psychology majors may notice is that their universities offer two different undergraduate degree options: Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). The two degrees are usually very similar, but students should be aware of some key differences.
Universities have different requirements, so it’s important to check your school’s undergraduate catalog first to understand the differences between the two degrees. Pay attention to the core courses required for each degree, and then review the required electives and subject courses.
Be sure to talk to your academic advisor to get more detailed information about your university degree program.
Arts and Science Degree
So, what is the difference between a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology? You should be aware of some course differences.
Bachelor of Psychology
Generally speaking, the Bachelor of Arts focuses on more liberal arts general education courses. Students who choose this degree may also need to complete the foreign language section.
The BA option usually involves fewer psychology courses and more courses outside the main field. This means that it may be a good choice for students who are interested in psychology but also want to explore other subjects.
For example, you may want to study psychology, but you also want to take courses in areas such as nutrition and health. This preparation may be perfect for students who are considering professional psychology fields such as health psychology or forensic psychology.
Students who choose this degree option can also choose to continue their studies:
- social work
Students with a bachelor’s degree can choose to focus on careers that involve interpersonal relationships and communication skills, such as social work, human service, or journalism.
Bachelor of Psychology
The Bachelor of Science degree will focus on more science and math courses. Compared with general education courses, students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology may need to take more laboratory and statistics courses.
The BS option involves more focus on the main field of study, with students studying more psychology courses than students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The thematic part of the course may also focus more on research methods and applied psychology courses.
The Bachelor of Science in Psychology provides a good preparation for a scientific career and further graduate study in psychology or related disciplines. If you plan to study at the Graduate School of Psychology, you should definitely consider choosing a Bachelor of Science.
Students with a strong interest in science can also benefit from this degree option’s extensive research on biological sciences and research methods. Students with a bachelor’s degree can pursue careers in fields involving data collection and research, including healthcare, marketing, and industrial organization psychology.
It is important to focus on choosing the most suitable degree yours Unique needs, skills, interests and career goals.
Although one degree is not necessarily better than another, some education experts recommend that students who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology have more flexibility and more opportunities.
Which degree is the best?
Before deciding which option is right for you, please review your university’s requirements for each degree and talk to a counselor in the Department of Psychology for further advice.
You plan to enter the workplace directly after completing your undergraduate degree.
You plan to enter a graduate school in a non-psychological field, such as business, law, consulting, social work, or management.
You are interested in taking a wider range of humanities courses, including foreign language courses.
Consider a BS
You are interested in more scientific courses.
You plan to obtain a graduate degree in psychology.
You are going to medical school.
You are interested in taking a wider range of science-related courses.
According to the American Psychological Association, there is usually little difference between degree options. Instead, they suggest that the most important consideration should be to take courses that can prepare you for graduate school or career.
Whether you earn a BA or BS degree, an undergraduate degree in psychology can open up a range of career opportunities. Some careers you might consider include social services, public relations, human resources, case management, criminal justice, life coaching, and many other entry-level career options.
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A bachelor’s degree in psychology can be an important stepping stone to a valuable career or further graduate study. However, it pays to consider which type of bachelor’s degree is best for your goals.
If you are interested in working directly after graduation, or if you are considering a graduate program in law or consulting, then a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology may be a good choice.
However, if you are considering continuing to study for a postgraduate degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in psychology may be a better choice. Since the Bachelor of Science degree usually focuses more on psychology courses, it tends to provide better preparation for those who want to become a practicing psychologist.
In either case, please consider your goals and what you intend to do with your degree to determine which option is right for you.