BA vs BS in Psychology: What is the Difference?

There are many different colleges and degrees related to psychology, but you might be wondering what the major differences are between BA and BS degrees in this field. The truth is that there are many similarities, but there are a few noteworthy differences.

Length of Time

Both BA and BS degrees in psychology take about the same amount of time. While some specific programs might differ, this is largely the same between both degrees. Check with the college you plan on attending for more information, but usually, you need the same number of credits for both of these degrees.

Similar Topics

When choosing between a BA or BS in psychology, you might be wondering if the topics are different. Both degrees immerse you in psychology and you’ll learn many of the same overarching topics.

Both BA and BS programs from places like Best Psychology Degrees will teach you about general information, theory, practices, and principles of psychology. While the overarching themes are similar, the next section will touch on the differences.

Different Focuses

While each degree teaches you about psychology, the focus of BA and BS programs differs dramatically. The courses also tend to be very different between both programs. BA programs tend to teach students more about social psychology, cognitive and behavioral topics and they are interlaced with other relevant topics such as history and sociology.

BS programs tend to focus more on neurology, clinical work, and psychological statistics. Another difference is that it’s often assumed that BS students will move on to graduate work, so much of the program is geared towards preparing you for a graduate degree.

Different Jobs

While some employers don’t understand the difference between BA and BS psychology programs, it has been shown that these students tend to gravitate to different fields. BA psychology students tend to work in forensics, social work, and human resources. BS Psychology students tend to gravitate towards addictions psychology, developmental careers, and researchers.

That being said, both degrees prepare you for work both in the psychology field along in many other business practices.

Best for You

Which degree is best for you? You should consider how you prefer to learn, what topics you’re interested in, and the overall job that you want.

If you prefer reading about theory, learning about the field in an overall way, and being immersed in the topic of psychology along with related subjects, then a BA psychology degree might be better for you.

If you prefer taking a more scientific approach, being hands-on with your learning, looking over statistical data, and being in the field, then a BS psychology degree might be better for you. This also tends to prepare you better for a graduate degree, but a BA in psychology can also prepare you for the next step.


Choosing between a BA or BS in psychology can be difficult because there are many similarities, but consider how you prefer to learn and what your goal is. You should then be able to decide which degree is right for you.

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