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What is the Difference Between a BA in Psychology and a BS in Psychology?

Students can choose a bachelor in science or a bachelor of arts in psychology. There is a big difference between a BA in psychology and a BS in psychology. Keep reading to learn about the notable differences between these two useful degrees and how to choose the right one for you.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

By and large, a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology focuses more on liberal arts than science and psychology classes. Students will be able to study the humanities, social sciences and even a foreign language. A Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology is the perfect choice for a student who plans to enter the workforce directly after completing their undergraduate degree. These students may choose to earn a master’s degree in a non-psychology field such as law, business, social work or management. These students will use their limited psychology background to assist them in a non-psychology job.

A Typical Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Degree

A Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology will focus on general psychology classes. This will include classes on animal learning, human cognition, sociology and human relationships. For example, students may study the history of behaviorism and classical conditioning, while a Bachelor of Science student would actually design and conduct a simple lab-based experiment. Students will be exposed to the popular fields of social, clinical, cognitive and developmental psychology. In fact, students will learn the basics of all the major psychology branches, including forensic, education, personality, abnormal and cross-culture psychology.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

The biggest difference between a BA in psychology and a BS in psychology is that the latter focuses on research, science and statistics. This degree is suited for students who plan on entering medical school or earning a graduate degree in science-based psychology. Thus, a Bachelor of Science degree concentrates on advanced math and science courses. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in psychology will take more hands-on lab, research and statistics classes. Classes will connect applied psychology concepts to empirical research and reporting methods.

A Typical Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree

Students in this degree program won’t just study learning theories, but delve deep into how memory, perception and cognition work. Thus, they will learn about cutting edge research and experiments that use technology to analyze the brain’s underlying biological and neurological framework. For example, researchers may study brain activity during meditation or intense thinking.

Students will be able to study unique psychology specializations, such as health, consumer and physiological psychology. A Bachelor of Science in psychology degree lays the way to becoming applied- or clinical-based psychologist, such as a therapist, researcher or neuropsychologist.

Which Degree is Best for Me?

Both degrees will provide a general overview of the field of psychology. The Bachelor of Arts is an excellent choice for students who want a balance between psychology and another discipline, such as HR, marketing and health care. However, the Bachelor of Science degree offers more flexibility and diversity for students who wish to pursue psychology as their primary academic choice. In the end, it is important to select a degree that satisfies your needs, interests and career goals.

Before deciding which degree is best for you, carefully assess your academic and career interests. Don’t forget that the difference between a BA in Psychology and a BS in Psychology is a matter of personal preference.

See also: Top 30 Affordable Online Psychology Degree Programs