Exploring the Difference Between BA and BS in Psychology

Unraveling the mysteries of the mind is a fascinating career to pursue. After all, curiosity between fellow humans is innate in all of us. So, if you’re interested in beginning your career in the exploration of human behavior, the best pathway is to pursue a degree in BS or BA Psychology.

In this article, we discuss more than how to become a psychologist. We dive into the unique differences between BA and BS Psychology and how they can influence your future career. By doing so, you embark on the first stepping stone to becoming a successful professional in the field of psychology.


So, What’s the Difference Between BA Psychology and BS Psychology?

The most noticeable distinction between BA and BS Psychology lies within their basic definition. BA stands for Bachelor of Arts and BS stands for Bachelor of Science. Both are two different forms of degrees and can open a range of opportunities respectively.

A Bachelor of Arts Major in Psychology dives into the study of human behavior with a well-rounded education in liberal arts and humanities courses. The degree fosters a holistic understanding of psychology within the broader context of society, culture, and human interactions.

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology immerses you in the empirical study of human behavior, mental processes, and the scientific methodologies needed to uncover the mysteries of the mind. Unlike its counterpart, the BS program emphasizes scientific inquiry, research methods, and statistical analysis.

To expound on the definition of both courses, here’s a list of BA and BS Psychology differences that may affect your learning experience and your career path:

Curriculum and Research Focus

Based on their respective definitions, the fundamental contrasts between the BA and BS Psychology courses lie within their curricula.

The BA Psych course strikes a balance between core psychology classes and a range of liberal arts subjects. What sets the BA program apart is its integration of courses such as philosophy, literature, sociology, anthropology, and ethics. With these classes, your educational experience can give you a new perspective on psychology, fostering critical thinking and promoting a broader view of human nature.

In terms of research, the BA program typically places greater emphasis on theoretical knowledge, offering you an understanding of psychological theories, historical perspectives, and cultural influences.

Conversely, the BS program has a more science-oriented curriculum. The main takeaway from the course is to equip you with the analytical tools needed for rigorous scientific inquiry. The program frequently requires students to engage in hands-on research projects, focusing on honing research and technical skills. You typically work closely with faculty members, contributing to ongoing studies or conducting independent research, gaining insights into the scientific process.

The Bachelor of Science program generally dives into neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, and experimental psychology, fostering a solid scientific foundation.

Skill Set and Competencies

While there are many similarities between the skill set you learn in both BA and BS Psychology, there are distinctions that set both degrees apart.

As the BA program has a mix of liberal arts classes, it cultivates your:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication Skills

These attributes are essential for roles that involve working directly with individuals, families, or communities.

On the other hand, the BS program develops your:

  • Research Skills
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Data interpretation

Graduates with this degree are more adept at designing experiments, conducting statistical analyses, and interpreting research results. These skills are especially important in research-oriented careers, where precision and attention to detail are paramount.

Career Trajectories

Choosing between the BA and BS in psychology can significantly influence your career trajectory.

With the interdisciplinary approach of a Bachelor of Arts degree, it opens diverse career opportunities like:

  • Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Education

In contrast, achieving a Bachelor of Science degree paves the way for careers in research, academia, or clinical psychology. Rigorous scientific training equips graduates with skills that contribute to the advancements of psychology.

Many BS graduates typically pursue further education such as a master’s degree, a doctorate, or a medical degree. With these, students can specialize in either:

  • Health Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

How Do You Choose Which Program is the Right One for You?

Ultimately, choosing between a BA and BS in psychology hinges on your career goals and preferences. Both degrees teach the core principles of psychology and differ on the side of specialization it tackles.

A few questions to ask yourself to help you decide between both programs are:

  • Do you want to study a broader curriculum that integrates humanities or are you more inclined to learn about the technical side of psychology?
  • Are you taking psychology to prepare for a medical degree, a career in science, or a career in social work?
  • Are you interested in scientific research or would you rather focus on cultural frameworks?

By simply answering these questions and matching them with your interests and strengths, you can already gauge which degree works best for you.

If you seek a holistic understanding of psychology within a broader societal context, you might find a BA program more appealing. On the other hand, if you have a fervent passion for scientific exploration and empirical research, you can gravitate toward the BS program more.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer. The decision you make is wholly based on what you want for your future.

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Pursuing a Degree in Psychology with OEd

Deciding between taking a degree in the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science in Psychology is an important decision. It can influence the trajectory of your career and your path to future success. And since education holds a significant milestone in your life, partnering with schools that can provide your needs is crucial to your growth.

With that said, invest in OEd as you begin your journey into further education! In our academic institution, we provide guidance for students from the beginning of their educational journey until they’ve accomplished their studies. We believe that learning is a partnership between the institution and the students, therefore we strive to continuously develop the quality of our education.

We are the pioneers of online education in the Philippines, empowering students to attain a degree through digital learning. Our institution believes that to adapt to current industries and trends, modern learning is the key.

Get in touch with us today and let us help you throughout your academic journey!

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