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What’s the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. in Psychology?

Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is the first step toward becoming a psychologist. But what’s the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. in this field?

Are you considering a career in the field of psychology? Maybe you’re hoping to one day apply for graduate school? For most positions and graduate programs, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is an important first step, and often a requirement. But before selecting a program, you must determine whether a B.A. or B.S. in psychology is right for you. So, what exactly is the difference between these two degrees?


What is a B.A. in Psychology?

The B.A. in Psychology is meant to prepare students for professional careers related to psychology. The B.A. involves more elective requirements than the B.S., often allowing students to focus on areas of study beyond general psychology.

At The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, for example, students seeking a B.A. in Psychology can take elective classes involving the psychology of children and adolescents, business, and social work. The B.A. in Psychology allows for a greater breadth of knowledge and exposure to more topics in the field.

That said, the rigor of psychology curriculum is largely the same between B.A. and B.S. programs. Since the B.A. allows students to take more electives, however, it is often the preferred option for students who wish to explore a wider array of career options after graduating.


What is a B.S. in Psychology?

The B.S. in Psychology has a lot in common with the B.A in Psychology. What sets it apart, however, is the B.S. usually includes additional math and science courses rather than electives or topic specializations. This emphasis can often make the B.S. in Psychology better suited for individuals seeking to eventually enter academia.

However, to be clear, both the B.A. and the B.S. in Psychology are suitable for entrance to graduate psychology programs.  


What does this all mean?

Many schools offer only one bachelor’s program in psychology—either a B.A. or B.S.— depending on the focus of the school.

Some schools, like The Chicago School, combine the best of each degree by offering required and elective courses that will expose students to a variety of topics while also building research skills. At The Chicago School, the B.A. in Psychology program is specifically designed to prepare students for future careers and to help build a bridge for undergraduate students to graduate programs in psychology.


Are you interested in learning more about the B.A. in Psychology program offered at The Chicago School? Fill out the form below to request more information, or you can apply today through our application portal.


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