DEGREE REQUIREMENTS - BACHELOR OF ARTS VS. BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
You may pursue one of two degree options with a major in Psychology: the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor of Science (BS). As you might expect, the BS requires more intensive science courses. It also has a higher math requirement. The BA requires a higher level of language proficiency. There is no difference in the Psychology major requirements. A common misconception is that the BS degree is always better than the BA degree in Psychology. This is not true. Each degree is appropriate for different graduate programs and/or career options. You should choose your degree program based on your academic strengths and career goals/interests.
The Bachelor of Arts is appropriate for careers in law, social work, counseling, business, education, etc. Further education beyond the Bachelor’s degree is usually required to pursue a career in these fields.
The Bachelor of Science is appropriate for careers in health, medicine or science intensive fields. Again, further education beyond the Bachelor’s degree is usually required to pursue a career in these fields.
Clinical Psychology is the most competitive field within Psychology. Both the BS and the BA will qualify you to apply to a Clinical Psychology graduate program. If you can do very well in the higher level math and science courses, the BS may make you a slightly more competitive candidate. However, if taking the higher level math and science courses will bring down your GPA, it is not to your benefit to do so. In this case, it would be more beneficial to choose the BA option and be sure to gain extra research experience in Psychology.
Below is another summary of the differences between the two degree types.
Bachelor of Arts
Second Language: 4th semester proficiency
Math: 112 or higher*
Science: Two Tier 1 NATS courses and one Tier 2 NATS course
Bachelor of Science
Second Language: 2nd semster profiency
Math: 113 or higher
Science: 8 units of either Chemistry OR Physics, AND 8 units of Biological Sciences.
* Other courses may also be able to count for this requirement. Please see an advisor for details.