What Is a BS Degree?

B.S. stands for Bachelor of Science, and it is one of several kinds of four-year, undergraduate degrees awarded. Read below to find out more about B.S. degree programs.

Degree Overview

A B.S. degree, or Bachelor of Science degree, is an undergraduate academic degree program that generally takes four years to complete. A B.S. program is a liberal arts-based program, meaning that a portion of the curriculum is dedicated to general education coursework. This is designed to give students a well-rounded educational experience. Students in a B.S. degree program are usually required to complete a specific amount of major-area coursework as well.

Important Facts About a Bachelor of Science Degree

Prerequisites High school diploma, or equivalent
Popular Majors Computer science; communication; government and political science; business administration; economics
Online Availability Hybrid and fully online programs are available from most 4-year schools
Dual-Degree Options Many students choose to double-major and earn two bachelor's degrees; in addition, several schools offer 4+1 programs which result in a bachelor's and master's degree in only five years

General Education Classes

Students in a B.S. degree program usually must enroll in certain general education courses in order to satisfy the requirements for graduation. These typically liberal arts-based classes, including psychology, English composition, and economics, are usually taken in the first two years of the degree program. Compared to Bachelor of Arts programs, Bachelor of Science degree programs often place less emphasis on the liberal arts education and more emphasis on science, mathematics, and the major field of study. Because of this, many liberal arts colleges award B.A. degrees instead of B.S. degrees.

Core Coursework

Colleges and universities require that students in a B.S. degree program complete a certain number of core classes. These classes differ depending upon the field being studied. For example, all students who major in engineering are required to complete certain relevant engineering courses. They may also be required to enroll in related science courses, such as physics and chemistry.

Elective Courses

Students may choose certain courses that are not a part of their core coursework or general education requirements. These elective courses allow students to explore other areas of academic interest.

Major Possibilities

Most majors in the sciences, health care, mathematics, and engineering are offered to undergraduates as B.S. degrees. The B.S. may also be available in other majors. Some schools offer the same major as a B.S. or a B.A. degree. The core major courses will probably be the same; the programs will differ in the type of general education classes required. The following are some examples of B.S. degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Management

Popular Schools

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