What’s the difference between a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts?

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Planning your academic journey after high school involves a long list of decisions students need to make. At first, the decisions are broader, like choosing a university or major. Then there are choices that are more nuanced, like electing to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

A common misconception for incoming students is that the difference between a BS and a BA is the field of study you choose. In fact, a Bachelor of Science can be applied toward a more “artsy” degree, like music. Likewise, a Bachelor of Arts can be applied to a more “science-y” degree, like physics.

Student reading a book on campus.

What do BS and BA degrees involve?

These designations refer more to the curriculum the student pursues. A Bachelor of Science is typically more focused on a single area of study, according to Study USA. For example, someone earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance might dive deep into the areas of mathematics, economics, and accounting but will take fewer classes focusing on literature, foreign language or history.

On the other side of the coin, a Bachelor of Arts degree provides a broader education. Someone pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Finance will also take classes in mathematics, economics, and accounting. However, less of this student’s coursework will focus on these fields, and more time will be dedicated to studying a foreign language, communications, or humanities.

As a result, a BS degree typically requires more major-related credits, while a student pursuing a BA degree will have more opportunities to explore subjects and courses outside his or her major. A Bachelor of Science student who wants to branch outside his or her major studies can take electives, add a minor in a different topic, or take on a second major.

Why choose a BS vs. BA degree?

There is no right or wrong answer for deciding to go after a Bachelor of Arts or Science. Both degrees are generally regarded equally in the professional world. It all depends on what you want to do with your online business degree and how you want to direct your education.

In fields that are centered around mathematics and sciences, it may be more typical to pursue a Bachelor of Science. Additionally, this path will generally give you more practice working with various tools, formulas, and ideas that will help you craft your career or prepare you for a Master’s program in that same field.

What will an Online Bachelor of Science degree include?

For students who have already decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science in a business major, the online programs offered through the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business can provide a convenient, high-quality education. Some of the beneficial courses all Bachelor of Science students will take include:

• BUS 102: Business Foundations
• BUS 110: Essentials of Financial Literacy
• AC 200 & 201: Principles of Accounting I & II
• LS 246: Legal Environment of Business

These classes are entirely online and accessible anytime you need them. Seven Bachelor of Science programs are available online at the University of Alabama at Birmingham:

1. Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Every business needs an experienced accountant to manage money, taxes, and other finance-related activities. This degree gives students the information they need to pursue a career in accounting or begin working toward their Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designations.

2. Bachelor of Science in Finance

A degree in finance can give students a closer look at how to manage a business from a financial perspective and help them develop mathematical, social, and analytical skills. Students who achieve this degree may find many job opportunities available to them which include: real estate broker, credit analyst or cost estimator.

3. Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management

People in the human resources field should know how to identify and develop talent, as well as decision-making and problem-solving skills. The Society for Human Resource Management recognizes the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s HRM program as one that reflects its guidelines, which makes this degree from the Collat School of Business very valuable.

4. Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution

The industrial distribution degree combines the complex fields of business and engineering to teach students about the nuances of supply chain management for medical or industrial applications. Some of the career paths a student who earns this degree might pursue include: sales manager, logistician or buyers and purchasing agents.

5. Bachelor of Science in Information Systems

Data is becoming more important in the business world, and that’s where a degree in information systems can come in handy. It can teach students how to create, manage, interpret, and deliver data for a variety of business functions.

6. Bachelor of Science in Management

Strong leaders are important for every company in every industry. Great leadership skills come through practice, experience and the right background—all of which you can find through the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Bachelor of Science in Management program.

7. Bachelor of Science in Marketing

This online degree in marketing can give you all the information you need to develop skills in communications, sales, research analytics, and other areas that help you promote and grow a business.

Online Bachelor of Science Degrees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

If you decide that a Bachelor of Science in a business field is for you, choosing one of the seven online degree program options from the University of Alabama at Birmingham can help you develop the skills you’ll need when you enter the workforce. To learn more about pursuing a Bachelor of Science with the Collat School of Business’s online programs, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.

Recommended Readings:
5 certifications to consider after you finish your Bachelor’s in Accounting
Bachelor of Science in Accounting curriculum: What you may learn at UAB

Sources:
1. https://www.studyusa.com/en/a/1241/what-is-the-difference-between-a-bachelor-of-arts-and-a-bachelor-of-sciences
2. https://businessdegrees.uab.edu/