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Difference between a BS and a BA

  1. Mar 9, 2006 #1
    may you pliz tell me the difference between a BA and a BS in the USA (UT Austin) ?
    I was told that the BS was more "pre-professionnal" and that a BS was more for research, but is there a real difference.

    I'd like to become a phd in physics, so should i apply for a BS or a BA in Physics (if there is a difference lol) ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    If UT Austin offers both a BA and a BS in physics, surely they publish the requirements for both degrees on their Web site somewhere.

    I would say that if you have a choice between the two at the same university, then you should probably go for the BS because it will probably require more math and physics courses, which you would surely want to take anyway in order to prepare better for grad school. :smile:

    I myself have a BA in physics because the small college that I went to as an undergraduate offered only BA degrees in all fields. But I didn't limit myself to the minimum requirements for that degree! I went on to grad school and got my Ph.D. successfully. I think grad school admissions committees are more interested in what courses you actually took as an undergraduate, and the letters of recommendation that you get from your professors, than in the precise initials that accompany your bachelor's degree.
  4. Mar 25, 2006 #3
    on university catalog, it says that if you want to get graduate degree, you should go for BS
  5. Apr 15, 2006 #4
    I'm not sure about the distinction between BA and BS in my case either.

    For example, I am in the College of Letters and Science (school divides into clusters, such as a college for engineering, chemistry, etc.) and that is where the Mathematics major falls under.

    Regardless whether you do pure math (which is a more theoretically based curriculum opposed to applied math) or applied math, you will only get a BA. There is no option for BS (thats limited for the engineers and alike), so I'm not sure how they distribute it, or what the concept behind the distribution is.

    I say, if you can, go for the BS (just because it actually pertains to what you do). Can't hurt.
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