What Is a BS Degree?

A BS degree is a Bachelor of Science, which is an undergraduate degree that is typically available in a scientific or technical field. Here we discuss a BS degree definition and explore different aspects of the degree.

BS Degree Meaning

Some may wonder what BS stands for in college. At the college level, a BS degree is a Bachelor of Science degree. Here we explore more about this degree to more fully answer the question 'what is a BS degree?'.

BS Degree Definition

A BS degree is an award for the completion of an undergraduate degree program. Traditionally, BS and other bachelor's degree programs take 4 years to complete, but accelerated programs are available and some students may take longer to finish the program. Many BS degree programs, like other bachelor's degree programs, require around 120 credits, but some programs may require more or less.

BS degree programs are more commonly available in technical and scientific fields, such as the life sciences, mathematics, and computer science. Coursework is also usually more technical in nature and may include lab-based courses and other hands-on learning opportunities.

BS Program Examples

BS degree programs are available in a wide range of subject areas, including from business to biology. There are even schools with BS subjects available that may not come to mind with traditional science programs, such as colleges that offer a major in sports science or colleges with behavioral science degree programs. Some examples of available BS degree programs include subjects in:

  • Animal behavior
  • Neuroscience
  • Statistics
  • Interior design
  • Geography
  • Game design

Some BS degree programs are available in online formats, but this greatly depends on the subject. For example, online life science degree programs are much rarer than online computer science degree programs. Some online BS degree program examples include subjects in:

  • Public health
  • Sports management
  • Mathematics
  • Information technology
  • Environmental science
  • Electrical engineering

BS Salary

As of September 2019, the website, PayScale.com, reported a median annual salary of $69,000 for those with a Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc) degree. This salary varies greatly depending on the industry and job title. Other factors that could affect salary include employer, location, work experience, skill sets, and more.

BS vs. BA

Where BS degree programs are more scientific and technical in nature, Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programs provide a larger educational overview of the liberal arts. This typically allows for more free electives in a BA program than a BS program. This also means that, in general, BS degrees are more major-focused than a well-rounded BA degree.

With the technical nature of a BS degree, many courses are hands-on and require specific skill sets that are developed in laboratory courses. Although this greatly varies with the specific major, the hands-on requirements of BS degrees make them less likely to be available in online formats than BA degree programs. However, some online BS degree programs are available, as well as some online courses for these degrees.

In the end, most employers are unlikely to quibble over a BS or BA, but the style of learning might nudge a student to one career track over another. For instance, someone with a BA in Psychology might be more likely to go on to counseling, while someone with a BS may choose a more research-focused career in the field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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