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DIfference between BA and BS degrees?

I am an astronomy/physics major and am currently pursuing a BS degree. I would like to ultimately work in a scientific discipline and/or for the government, and was wondering if a BS degree makes a big difference from a BA? What kind of job would a BA physics degree candidate be able to have? #jobs #university #physics #degrees #government-jobs

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Gary’s Answer

good question...
Both the B.A., or Bachelor of the Arts, and the B.S., or Bachelor of Science, are four-year undergraduate degrees. 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.

The following information is copied from a website, bestvalueschools dot com:

Academically, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree are equally valued. Both offer the students who earn them the opportunity to continue their education at the master’s degree level if they are so inclined. But, the two tracks do tend to hone different strengths. The coursework required for a Bachelor of Arts degree generally allows students to sharpen their communication and writing skills. By comparison, the demands of a Bachelor of Science degree typically foster analytical skills and a detailed understanding of subject matter.
When deciding which degree program is the best fit, students should think about what types of classes they have enjoyed in the past, what they are currently interested in studying and what future career options they would like to pursue, advises admissions director Rachelle Hernandez. Understanding the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. can help students choose the degree program that is right for them.

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Steve’s Answer

A BA is a more general education, that - while valuable - is not as respected. You may actually have more and higher-level courses in your major than an equivalent BS, but your certificate may not even state your Major. If you want to work in Science, Math or Engineering, go for a BS. With a BA you will not be taken seriously. You will have to prove your competence over and over. Less qualified and less experienced people will pass you up for promotions because they have that "S". I speak from experience.

Steve recommends the following next steps:

Forget the BA - go for BS.

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Skyler’s Answer

Hello Amina,
I'm not sure if NASA and our contract workforce is in the majority in this sense, but I can tell you that for our jobs we require a B.S. degree in engineering, mathematics, or any physical science from an ABET accredited institution. This applies to all of our entry-level engineering and technical positions and I think that is safe to assume for those types of positions in government and/or techncial fields. So a B.A. degree could be career limiting without an additional B.S. or M.S. graduate degree.

So it sounds like you need to study hard, tough it out, and stick with that B.S. in Astronomy/Physics. Best of luck!


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professor daniel’s Answer

Mathematics is often in the school of Arts (BA).

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Mathematics, BA</span>

Mathematics, BA

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics

Required Courses:

Math 140 - Calculus I

Math 345 - Probability and Statistics IMath 141 - Calculus Ii

Math 360 - Abstract Algebra IMath 242 - Multivariable and Vector Calculus

Math 361 - Abstract Algebra IIMath 260 - Linear Algebra I

Math 450 - An Introduction to Real AnalysisMath 280 - Introduction to Proofs

Phys 113 - Fundaments of Physics IMath 310 - Applied Ordinary Differential Equations

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Frank’s Answer

BA is Bachelor of Arts. BS is Bachelor of Science. Generally, sciences award BS, not BA degrees. I've not seen a BA in any scientific, or engineering discipline.