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The difference between a B.S. in physics and B.A. in physics

  • Thread starter kaos86
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What is the difference of having a B.S. degree in physics and a B.A. degree in physics?
I need to decide soon when I transfer to a university up north in the spring term 2011.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
jtbell
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If you're transferring to a university that offers both a B.A. and B.S. in physics, look up the requirements for the two degrees on their Web site.

If you're trying to decide between two universities and one of them offers only a B.A. and the other offers only a B.S., don't worry about it (the name of the degree, that is). Compare the courses required for a physics major at both schools.

At some schools that offer both degrees, the B.S. may require more physics courses. At others, the difference may be only in the general-education requirements. It varies. There's no standard for this.
 
  • #3
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At my school, the BS degree required more physics classes. With the BA, you could choose to skip classes like quantum or stat mech (but not both) and other advanced physics classes, but you had to take more liberal arts, including a foreign language. You could also choose to skip the experimental physics project, and do your own independent research. So while the name of the degree isn't so important, the BS was definitely better for people going to grad school.

On a random sidenote, when I was applying for jobs (before I decided on grad school), I saw a couple of employers who said they specifically wanted a BS and not a BA. Maybe the name on the degree does matter after all..
 

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