When you have narrowed down your college major to mathematics, you may have to make a second important decision: which school to attend. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is the better option for you. Some colleges and universities only offer a BA or a BS in mathematics, while others let students choose between the two distinct math degrees.

Both BA and BS degrees in mathematics have distinct advantages and disadvantages, but there are also many similarities.

## There are major differences between a Bachelor of Science in Math and a Bachelor of Arts in Math.

Bachelor of Science in Math or Bachelor of Arts in Math degrees can help you if you want to work in a math-related field or if you want to develop strong math skills. For those who have more specific career goals, one type of math degree may be better than another.

The difference between a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in mathematics is more than just a matter of spelling. It tells you whether you’ll be studying liberal arts or technical sciences in college. These two programs of study have a major difference in their curriculums because taking different courses means that you will have a different academic experience during your college years.

The difference between a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in mathematics may not matter as much in terms of your professional future, including your career and graduate school. It’s true that a BS in math and a BA in math can lead you down different paths, but graduates of these programs aren’t necessarily constrained in the ways they might fear. Students with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (BA) are just as likely to land a job as those with a bachelor’s degree (BS).

Many math majors have found that having the “wrong” undergraduate math degree hasn’t held them back from getting a job or going to graduate school. Non-degree courses at the local community college may also be an option if you find that you’re missing out on some valuable coursework that you would have taken had you pursued an alternative bachelor’s degree, such as a foreign language or a few additional laboratory science classes.

While prospective students should be aware of the differences between a BA and a BS in math programs, they should also be aware that these differences may be less significant than they think. Most of your math classes will be the same whether you’re a BA or a BS student in an undergraduate math program.

## Differentiating between BS and BA Maths Programs based on their liberal arts versus technical science approach

There is a big difference between an undergraduate degree in mathematics (BA) and a bachelor of science in mathematics (BS). An undergraduate degree in mathematics from a liberal arts college is known as a BA, while a bachelor’s in science or engineering degree is more commonly known as a BS.

A degree in the fine, visual, or performing arts is not included in a liberal arts degree. The liberal arts, which include the humanities and social sciences, are central to this type of degree. In a liberal arts degree program, students learn more than just the facts and skills of a specific field, such as mathematics. They take a wide range of classes in a variety of fields, which gives them a well-rounded education in critical thinking and oral and written communication.

It’s a common goal of liberal arts education to help students learn new information more efficiently. Additionally, students who earn their BA in math are more well-rounded than those who don’t complete a liberal arts degree. Both in their professional and personal lives, they will be better equipped to continue learning for the rest of their lives.

The natural and physical science course requirements for a BS in mathematics are likely to be more rigorous. However, most universities’ general education requirements necessitate that students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics take some classes in the social sciences and humanities. Taking classes in physics, chemistry, biology, or geology will require you to meet more stringent prerequisites.

The courses you take as a student will differ depending on the institution you select, regardless of whether you opt for a BA or BS degree program in math. A bachelor’s degree program in mathematics may require you to take additional math courses, but they may also be more advanced or complex in nature.

At the University of Kentucky, for example, undergraduates studying mathematics have the option of choosing between BA and BS degrees and between a mathematics program and a mathematical sciences concentration. When comparing the BA and BS degrees in mathematics, you’ll notice that there are more similarities than differences in the two programs’ curricula. Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, either Calculus IV or Introduction to Number Theory, Matrix Algebra and its Applications, and Introduction to Computer Programming will be required for all students in both programs by 2021.

As a part of their major coursework, students complete 18 hours of math courses at the 400 level or above and 14 hours of 300-level courses in subjects such as statistics and engineering. Non-major college requirements are the difference. In order to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, students must complete additional coursework in social science, natural science, and humanities.

The differences between the BS and BA math programs may be different at other institutions. If you’re going to Drexel University, for example, you have a lot more opportunities to learn about computer programming, like SAS and MATLAB, as well as how to use them. A single class in either abstract algebra or the elements of modern analysis is required for math majors at Drexel’s BA level, but the BS level requires students to take two classes in these topics. Since the BS program at this school is more math-focused than the BA program, the major curriculum is more math-focused.

Because each school’s BA vs. BS curriculum differs, it’s critical to check the degree requirements and learning outcomes for the school you’re considering. Consider talking to an advisor or an admissions officer about your career and academic options to help you decide on the program that is right for you.

## BA vs BS Programs in Mathematics emphasize Applied Practice over Preparation for Graduate School.

There is a significant difference between the BA and BS degrees in math in terms a student’s ability to enter the workforce. Both bachelor’s degrees in mathematics are likely to be acceptable if you’re looking to get started in an entry-level math role or use your college education in a non-mathematical context. If a company is looking for a specific skill set, such as software skills or foreign language proficiency, a BS or BA degree may be preferable, but other companies may be more open to training recent graduates in the software programs they use.

If you’re planning on going to graduate school, the BS vs. BA in mathematics distinction becomes more important. Students with a BS rather than a BA are more likely to enroll in master’s degree programs in mathematics. Due to the emphasis on mathematical proofs in BS programs, students are better prepared for graduate study in mathematics. Less emphasis is placed on mathematical proofs in BA programs, and more is placed on practical applications, calculations, and data analysis methods.

If you have a Bachelor of Arts, going back to school doesn’t mean you can’t go on to graduate school. Students who want to pursue a career in education, business, or engineering can still pursue a graduate degree in mathematics with a BA, however. Prospective lawyers may choose to earn a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics as part of their undergraduate education in order to hone their logic and reasoning abilities while also gaining a well-rounded liberal arts education.

In the end, your career path will be influenced by your decision to attend graduate school and the subjects you choose to study there. An undergraduate degree in mathematics, such as a BA, may be an excellent choice for those who want to become math teachers or work in fields such as finance or economics. These positions do not require you to engage in abstract mathematical research, but rather prepare you for a career in the workplace. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics may be more useful for mathematicians working in scientific research and development or in other mathematic industry roles.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a master’s degree is required for the majority of mathematic jobs. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be eligible for government mathematician and statistician positions.

## Which Bachelor’s Degree in Math Is Best?

The advantage of a Bachelor of Science degree’s focus on science and technology is the opportunity to acquire more advanced technical skills and research experience. It’s a common misconception that science classes don’t help students develop their soft skills as much as liberal arts courses do. You’ll still have to compromise, no matter which set of abilities you choose to put the highest value on.

Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics may have fewer options for electives than other students. Sadly, this limits their ability to take courses that aren’t directly related to their major just because they’re interesting. Fewer electives also mean fewer opportunities for students to specialize in a field in which they hope to work in the future.

There are more foreign language requirements for BA programs in mathematics compared to BS programs. Some math majors may find the studies in the humanities and social sciences in a BA degree program to be easy, but for others, the subjectivity and reliance on written work make them difficult. This means that it is difficult to answer the question, “Which undergraduate math degree is better?” or “Which one is easier?”

Students learn critical thinking and communication skills in a liberal arts program that can be useful in their future careers as well as in developing an informed and well-rounded view of the world and current events.

## Degrees in Mathematics with a Bachelor’s and a Bachelor’s Degree

There are more similarities than differences between the BA and BS degrees in mathematics. According to the BLS, all bachelor’s degrees require algebra, calculus, and differential equations as a minimum. Statistics, physics, and computer science are all common electives for students.

While a technical, science-based degree like a BS might be preferable to a BA in some fields of study, math is not one of those subjects. Mathematicians who hold a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in mathematics are typically not given preferential treatment by employers in most industries. Students with any type of undergraduate math degree can typically apply for many of the same jobs.

A BS or BA in math may be available at your university, in which case you should look into both programs’ curriculums to determine which one best suits your academic and career objectives. Some students are drawn to the humanities, while others are drawn to more advanced math.