The Difference Between a B.A. and B.S. in Biology

The Difference Between a B.A. and B.S. in Biology

Students in a biology lab class

Attending college is a significant step in carving out a successful career path in the field of biology. The degree you pick, however, can have an impact on your future career opportunities, so it’s important to choose wisely. Though they sound similar, a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Biology are two completely separate degrees. Here, Faulkner University helps you make an informed decision by explaining the difference between the two.

What Is a Bachelor of Arts?

A bachelor of arts is designed to provide an expansive education. It requires students to earn credits in liberal arts subjects as well as scientific ones. A B.A. also comes with a broad selection of courses. As a result, it’s a very flexible option that allows students to customize their education. Meanwhile, they’ll develop a versatile skill set. This opens students to a range of opportunities that require skills beyond pure science and mathematics, including:

  • Teaching or scientific education
  • Communication specialists
  • Healthcare management
  • Environment and conservation
  • Agricultural management
  • Government agency roles

A B.A. may even help students operate in careers outside of traditional scientific fields. For instance, the broad foundation provided by a B.A. curriculum may help during law school for aspiring environmental attorneys. Of course, a B.A. does not exclude students from other opportunities. If you decide to pursue graduate school or a more research-oriented career, there will be other opportunities to pick up technical skills.

What Is a Bachelor of Science?

In contrast, a bachelor of science is more specialized. This degree is closely focused on developing and perfecting your skills within a specific field. While a B.S. is not as versatile as a B.A., it is incredibly in-depth. This makes it ideal for students who are sure of the career they want to pursue. It’s also a good option for anyone who prefers a more research-intensive profession. Career fields for a student who earns a Bachelor of Science in Biology include, but are not limited to:

  • Biological technicians
  • Pharmaceutical developers
  • Disease research and microbiology
  • Marine biology
  • Genetics

If you are considering a graduate degree in a scientific field, a B.S. may be a good place to start. The technical focus of a B.S., along with strong academic performance, will help you get accepted to top programs. Because a B.S. is so narrow, it’s also more easily accelerated than a B.A. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking to graduate early for a head start on your career.

Talking to Your Advisor

Though a B.A. and B.S. cater to different strengths and interests, they are still very similar. If you’re not sure which to choose, don’t worry. There is not a wrong option, and choosing one will not exclude you from the opportunities offered by the other.

If in doubt, remember you don’t need to decide on your own. Academic advisors exist to help you explore your options and choose which path is best for achieving your goals. Your advisor will discuss your goals and interests with you, offering professional advice that can guide your decision and help you land on the path to success – whatever that looks like for you.

Studying Biology at Faulkner University

If you’re interested in biology, Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, has a thriving Department of Natural and Physical Sciences that offers both B.A. and B.S degrees in the subject. Get in touch with our Admissions Department today to schedule a meeting with an advisor, discuss the difference between a B.S. and B.A. in biology, or begin your application process.