7 answers
Asked Viewed 440 times Translate

What is the difference between a BA and BS in psychology?

I want to study psychology but I am more of a science person, so I'm wondering what classes I would need to take for a BS in psychology, or a BA in psychology.
#psychology #degree


+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
8
100% of 8 Pros

7 answers


Updated Translate

Bob’s Answer

As several others have suggested, what do you want to do with your degree? If you are thinking of graduate and post-graduate studies, again your interests and what you what to accomplish with your degree are the key. If you are interested in doing counseling at an outpatient center, Domestic Violence center/shelter, school counseling or similar areas of interests, at BA to MA to maybe PsyD, would be the way you want to go. If you are interested in clinical work, psychopathology, how the brain works and functions, the nature of mental illness, research, psychopharmacology, neuro-psychology/neuroscience or psychiatry, then look toward getting your BS and continue on to your MS and PhD. No to generalize too much, but the BA is frequently focused on the counseling track and the BS is on the clinical track. I personally was more focus on the clinical aspects and around some campuses you'll hear as referred to as the "rat runners", because in some of the early stages we replicate well know behavioral experiments, including the "real cola challenge" and the results aren't what you'll believe and are drastically different from the commercials. It has been replicated thousands of times with the same results since 1948. As, well as put rats in "Skinner Boxes". You'll learn Comparative Psychology and Research Methods. This lead me to my graduate and post-graduate studies in Medical/Health Psychology, helping others cope with chronic and terminal illnesses, including: patients, families, and the health care providers.


0
Updated Translate

Kayla’s Answer

I was in the same boat; however, you need to think in terms of what you want to do post graduation. If you want to go to medical school to be a psychiatrist, a BS would be better, as it gives you the classes required for medical school. However, if you want to get your PhD or PsyD, you don’t need to take those core science classes, therefore, a BA would be sufficient. I liked the neuroscience of psychology more, so what I did was focus my upper division psychology classes on neuroscience and neuropsych, while getting the BA. Rather than taking a lab like social psychology, I took neuroanatomy lab. And a lot of my psychology classes were based around science - like cognitive neuroscience and psychopharmacology. If you are getting your PhD or PsyD, a BS and a BA would be equally efficient, but don’t think you can’t get a knowledge of science if you get a BA. It all depends on what upper divs are available to you; I changed my major from a BA in psych to a BS in biopsych, but did not take the BS classes like ochem or physics. Instead, I noticed that more upper divs in psych were science based in the BS track. So I switched my major, took all those upper divs, then switched back to a BA and still received all my credits.

Kayla recommends the following next steps:

Decide what type of graduate school you want to go to (PhD, PsyD, or MD)
If it’s MD - a BS is 100% advised. If it’s a PhD or PsyD, either a BA or BS will be sufficient.
If you are getting a phd or psyd, create an outline for both a BS and a BA track and decide which classes are more appealing.
If you’re more interested in neuroscience; keep in mind you can take these science based courses are typically available for upper divs for a BA. If you don’t need chem, ochem, physics, math, etc., for graduate school, keep in mind these courses may lower your gpa and they are not even required for certain doctorate programs.

0
Updated Translate

Vince’s Answer

At my university, B.S. was kind of a pre-med focus (so including some biology, chemistry, and more natural sciences as well as psychology). I think this will vary by university but mostly a psych B.S. will have more of a natural sciences focus, maybe ideal if you want to go into psychiatry, clinical research, or neuroscience.


I transferred from a B.S. to a B.A. in my first year because it allowed me to focus more on psychology courses, which I really liked, and allowed for more elective classes. If you'd really like to be a psychiatrist, I think the B.S. is probably the way to go, because it will give you the pre-med background to prepare for eventual medical school. But you can definitely try either and switch like I did, especially since the requirements are somewhat similar.

Vince recommends the following next steps:

Look into the different course requirements for your college if they are posted online
If you have one, talk to a college counselor about the classes you would take for each

0
Updated Translate

Angela’s Answer

Hi Franziska,


A BA is a Bachelors of Arts degree while a BS is a Bachelors of Science. I completed a BS degree in Psychology; for this major I took the core curriculum of courses and then added on electives. To complete the BS I had to take two full science tracks and one math track. I decided to take 3 physics courses, 2 chemistry courses and 2 calculus classes to fulfill this requirement. Students that completed the BA did not have to fulfill this science and math requirement, but instead, took classes in sociology, philosophy or history. If you enjoy science I would recommend going with the BS degree, but I think it would be great to talk to a counselor in the Psychology department to see what courses are needed.


Good luck!


0
Updated Translate

Daniel’s Answer

There really is not much of a difference between them anymore. It used to be that BS was more of a preliminary step for students who thought they might want to go to grad school and BA was more for students who thought it more likely they wanted to go directly into the workforce after college. But that distinction really does not apply much anymore.

0
Updated Translate

Leetal’s Answer

Depends on the school and what you want to do in the future.


0
Updated Translate

Zain’s Answer

Bachelors of arts is BA & Bachelors of sciences BS.

BA where you study with the art approach

BS where you study with different scientific approaches , BS is more comprehensive study than BA. In BS you can study almost all the scientific area & can able to conduct research even you study research methodology in BS as mandatory subject for research.


0