Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science? (Pursuing PhD)

In summary: What Eigenperson said. And what jtbell said too. I went to a small liberal arts college for undergrad and B.A.s.In summary, the individual is trying to apply to colleges online to transfer next year after finishing their AA. They are unsure whether they should apply for a Bachelor of Arts or Science, as they are a physics major planning to pursue a BA and then a PhD. There may be differences in requirements for a BA and BS at certain schools, and some schools may not even offer a BA in physics. It is recommended to check with the specific college for more information and ultimately, the courses taken are more important than the label of the degree. Some individuals have obtained a BA in physics from small liberal arts colleges
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I am trying to apply to colleges online to transfer to next year after I finish my AA. However, I am not sure if I am applying for a Bachelor of Arts or Science? I am a physics major looking to get my BA and then head on to grad school for my PhD. Not sure if that determines which I choose or not. If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it. I searched the web but found no clear-cut answer.
 
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Ascendant78 said:
I am trying to apply to colleges online to transfer to next year after I finish my AA. However, I am not sure if I am applying for a Bachelor of Arts or Science? I am a physics major looking to get my BA and then head on to grad school for my PhD. Not sure if that determines which I choose or not. If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it. I searched the web but found no clear-cut answer.

Have you tried looking at the colleges website? On the transfer application, there should be an option, if not I'm sure you can tell your advisor once you switch to your new school that you're pursing your BA.
 
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Astrometry said:
Have you tried looking at the colleges website? On the transfer application, there should be an option, if not I'm sure you can tell your advisor once you switch to your new school that you're pursing your BA.

Maybe you misunderstood my question. Both options are on the online application. I am simply not sure which one to choose on the application.

As far as their website, I can't find any information that tells me which one I should choose. From what I am gathering from what you posted here, I want to pursue my BA if I am going to pursue grad school and a PhD later on? Is it optional or is that simply the one you pursue for that path?
 
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At some schools, the requirements to get a BA and a BS are different. In these schools, usually the BA would require more humanities, social sciences, and arts courses, while the BS would be more focused on science. If you are applying to one of these, you probably want to get a BS if you are going on to grad school in a scientific field.

At some schools, you just get to choose whether you want a BA or a BS, and there is no practical difference between the two. At these schools, it wouldn't matter which one you choose.

Some schools don't even offer a BA in physics at all.
 
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eigenperson said:
At some schools, the requirements to get a BA and a BS are different. In these schools, usually the BA would require more humanities, social sciences, and arts courses, while the BS would be more focused on science. If you are applying to one of these, you probably want to get a BS if you are going on to grad school in a scientific field.

At some schools, you just get to choose whether you want a BA or a BS, and there is no practical difference between the two. At these schools, it wouldn't matter which one you choose.

Some schools don't even offer a BA in physics at all.

Well thanks for the information. I guess my best bet then would be to call the college and find out from them directly to be sure.
 
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eigenperson said:
At some schools, the requirements to get a BA and a BS are different. In these schools, usually the BA would require more humanities, social sciences, and arts courses, while the BS would be more focused on science. If you are applying to one of these, you probably want to get a BS if you are going on to grad school in a scientific field.

At some schools, you just get to choose whether you want a BA or a BS, and there is no practical difference between the two. At these schools, it wouldn't matter which one you choose.

Some schools don't even offer a BA in physics at all.

I'm not sure what a Bachelor in Arts in Physics would be. Using collages to illustrate Newton's Laws? Interpretive dance to intuit conservation of momentum? Writing epic poems about quantum theory?
 
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SteamKing said:
I'm not sure what a Bachelor in Arts in Physics would be. Using collages to illustrate Newton's Laws? Interpretive dance to intuit conservation of momentum? Writing epic poems about quantum theory?
That would be nice, but I think it usually means that you took an ordinary physics curriculum (sometimes with fewer technical electives) while also studying the traditional liberal arts.
 
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Ascendant78 said:
Well thanks for the information. I guess my best bet then would be to call the college and find out from them directly to be sure.

Surely the college's website has that information, listed under something like "requirements for the degree" or "general education requirements." General information about the degrees that they offer is probably listed separately from the physics major requirements because it's probably the same for all departments college-wide.

As far as graduate schools are concerned, what counts is is courses you take, not the label on the degree.

SteamKing said:
I'm not sure what a Bachelor in Arts in Physics would be. Using collages to illustrate Newton's Laws? Interpretive dance to intuit conservation of momentum? Writing epic poems about quantum theory?

I have a B.A. in physics from a small liberal-arts college that gave only B.A. degrees. It included the usual core courses: intro classical and modern physics, intermediate/advanced E&M, quantum, thermo, classical mechanics, electronics, etc., along with some research experience. It got me into grad school and a Ph.D. at Michigan. All the physics majors who graduated along with me (three) went to grad school, in fact.

I understand that Harvard also offers "only" a B.A. in physics. :wink:
 
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What Eigenperson said. And what jtbell said too. I went to a small liberal arts college for undergrad and B.A.s were the only thing you could get in physics. From what I've seen, our topic coverage was actually broader and deeper than a lot of B.S. programs. The downside was that it was done in fewer courses, since you also had to do all the liberal arts things (which is good in my opinion).

It also got me into an Ivy for a Ph.D. So depending on the quality of the program, don't knock a B.A. It really depends on the specifics of the program.
 

1. What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree?

A Bachelor of Arts degree typically focuses on a broader range of liberal arts and humanities courses, while a Bachelor of Science degree usually emphasizes more technical and scientific subjects. However, the specific curriculum may vary depending on the university and the program.

2. Which degree is better for pursuing a PhD?

Both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree can lead to a PhD program, but it ultimately depends on the field of study and the individual's interests and strengths. Some PhD programs may prefer applicants with a Bachelor of Science degree, while others may prioritize a Bachelor of Arts degree. It is important to research the specific requirements of the PhD program you are interested in.

3. Can I switch from a Bachelor of Arts to a Bachelor of Science degree or vice versa?

It is possible to switch between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree, but it may require additional coursework and time. It is best to consult with an academic advisor to determine the best plan of action.

4. Does a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree have any impact on career opportunities or salary?

The impact of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree on career opportunities and salary may vary based on the specific industry and job. Some fields may prefer candidates with a Bachelor of Science degree, while others may value a Bachelor of Arts degree. It is important to research the specific job market and industry you are interested in pursuing.

5. Is a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree more suitable for research and academia?

Both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree can prepare individuals for research and academia, but it ultimately depends on the field of study and the individual's interests and strengths. Some fields may require a more technical background, making a Bachelor of Science degree more suitable, while others may value a broader understanding of the liberal arts and humanities, making a Bachelor of Arts degree more suitable.

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