Psychology is the study of the human mind and how it impacts a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and decision-making. Students have a variety of reasons for pursuing a career in this field. A bachelor’s in psychology is an essential requirement for every student hoping for a career in this field. However, when selecting undergraduate psychology programs, you may face two choices; a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology. Both degrees provide a comprehensive understanding of the field of psychology. Still, students should consider some key differences when making this decision. But, before discussing the differences between both degrees, we should know what factors to consider when deciding which degree to choose.
What to Consider:
The decision of whether you want to choose a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology will be based on your skills, goals, and interests. Some other factors should be kept in mind, too, such as:
- First, you should know whether your future goals align with the career opportunities provided by this degree.
- Secondly, if you’re planning on continuing your education, you should research whether your prospective schools provide graduate programs in your preferred degree.
- Finally, there are some significant differences in the curriculum of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology. So, knowing whether you want to take the route of liberal arts or scientific studies will help you make the decision more quickly.
If students keep these things in mind when choosing between BA vs BS psychology, it will save them a lot of regret and trouble later on. Now, let’s take a deeper look at both degrees to understand whether or not they are the right option for you.
- BA in Psychology:
A BA or Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is an undergraduate degree that will provide a foundation for furthering your education. It will also help you qualify for entry-level positions in the field of psychology. As the article will discuss below, a BA in Psychology will give you a chance to gain knowledge in psychology as well as other areas related to psychology. This can give freedom to students if they want to work in different fields post-graduation. Thus, BA in Psychology will be ideal for students who wish to enter the workforce immediately after graduation or those who want some flexibility in terms of career options.
- BS in Psychology:
A BS or Bachelor of Science in Psychology is an undergraduate program that will provide a foundation level of understanding in psychology. But this degree also focuses on advanced science and mathematics, thus opening the doors of research and lab work for students. Students are taught additional courses like research methodology, statistics, and data analysis. BS in Psychology is better for students who are planning to further their studies and want to understand the human mind with the help of scientific research and processes.
The Difference In Curriculum:
Although there are some similar foundational courses for both BA and BS in Psychology, various different specific courses are taught as a part of the curriculum in both degrees.
The Curriculum Of BA In Psychology:
Students of BA in Psychology will learn about psychology, cognitive behavior, human development, and social psychology. Some BA programs will also focus on specialization in social work or sociology, further training the students for those programs. Courses will focus on the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences. The courses that are offered as a part of the curriculum may include the following.
- Developmental psychology
- History of Psychology
- Psychological tests and measurements
- Forensic psychology
The Curriculum Of BS In Psychology:
In BS Psychology, students will more likely focus on taking courses in maths and science-related aspects of psychology. More emphasis is put on courses like research methods, statistics, and applied psychology. Students learn about clinical psychology, neuroscience, and quantitative research in depth. Along with that, many students are allowed to concentrate on a specific area, such as child psychology, addiction, school psychology, etc. Other courses that are offered as a part of the curriculum may include the following:
- Clinical Psychology
- Quantitative research methods
- Statistical Data Analysis
Both degrees offer a different set of opportunities in the field of psychology. Students can take different career paths according to what interests them the most:
Career Options With a BA in Psychology:
Following are some professions that students with a degree of BA in Psychology can opt for:
- Social Service Provider:
Social service providers assist the people of a society in any challenging situation. These people are also called case managers as they create and monitor a person’s treatment plan according to their circumstances. They work with other health and social service providers to track the progress of that client and help them get out of a disturbing situation.
- Career Counsellor:
Career counselors work closely with students and clients to evaluate their interests and skills to help them decide on their careers. They form career-focused goals for their clients and show them how to achieve them.
- Human Resources Manager:
The HR department in any company helps in hiring, interviewing, and training employees. They also manage employee concerns and promote employee advancement, and a psychology degree helps them understand the employees and their concerns better.
Career Options With a BS in Psychology:
Some of the fields suitable for students who graduated with a BS in Psychology include:
- Psychiatric Technician:
These people work with licensed psychiatrists and help provide patients with their treatment and daily tasks.
- Research Assistant:
Research assistants typically work in labs. They help carry out research by performing the research and collecting data.
- Rehabilitation Specialist:
These professionals help patients suffering from physical injury, disability, or mental health disorders. They assist these patients with daily activities and with carrying out their treatment plans.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology have similarities and differences. Your degree choice will depend on factors like your skill set, interests, and goals. So, take your time and evaluate all the factors before making your decision.