When it comes to pursuing a degree in psychology, one of the most common questions that come up is whether it is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). The answer, however, is not as straightforward as you might think.

What is the Difference Between a BA and a BS Degree?

Before we dive into the specifics of psychology degrees, let’s first understand the fundamental differences between a BA and a BS degree.

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree typically focuses on liberal arts subjects such as humanities, social sciences, and languages. It emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills.

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree usually includes more coursework in scientific fields such as mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering. It emphasizes technical knowledge and practical skills.

Is Psychology Considered a BA or BS Degree?

Psychology can be either a BA or BS degree depending on the university or college you attend. In most cases, however, it is usually offered as both.

A psychology BA degree will typically focus on topics such as social psychology, abnormal psychology, cognition and perception. It will emphasize writing skills through research papers and essays.

In contrast, a psychology BS degree will include additional coursework in natural sciences like biology and chemistry. Students will take courses in statistics and research methods to prepare them for conducting scientific research in areas like neuroscience or biopsychology.

What Are the Differences Between A Psychology BA And A Psychology BS Degree?

Here are some key differences between these two degrees:

Coursework: As mentioned earlier, the coursework for each degree varies significantly. A BA degree may include more courses related to social sciences like anthropology or sociology while a BS degree may include more science-related courses like biology or physics.

Career Paths: A psychology BA degree may lead to careers in fields such as counseling, social work, or human resources. Meanwhile, a psychology BS degree can lead to careers in research, academia or healthcare.

Graduate Studies: If you plan to pursue graduate studies in psychology, it’s essential to understand the differences between the two degrees. A psychology BS degree is often preferred for students who want to pursue research-based graduate programs like neuroscience or clinical psychology. On the other hand, a BA degree is an excellent choice for those opting for professions that do not require scientific research skills.


In conclusion, whether you choose a BA or a BS degree in psychology depends on your interests and career goals. While both degrees offer similar coursework at the undergraduate level, they differ significantly when it comes to career paths and graduate studies. Ultimately, choosing the right degree depends on your personal aspirations and goals.