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Monday, January 28, 2013

BA degree and AB degree: which one is correct?

A Bachelor of Arts degree is usually abbreviated B.A. It can also alternatively be abbreviated A.B., as it originated from the Latin artium baccalaureus. A BA or an AB degree is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences or both.

Different countries use different nomenclatures for their undergraduate degrees; there is no right or wrong answer, and oftentimes, the terms are identical in meaning and simply denote a different way of addressing a degree.

A BA/AB degree is a Bachelor of Arts degree while a BS is a Bachelor of Science degree. The main difference between the two is that one deals with the human/social sciences while the other deals with scientific subjects. History, English, Politics and Economics are some common subjects that lead to a BA/AB degree while physics, chemistry and biology lead to a BS degree.

Both a BA and an AB degree require the same conditions to be fulfilled for the degree to be awarded. The main characteristic of a BA/AB degree is that it requires studying a core curriculum composed of courses in the arts/humanities area. It is normally the case that a student pursuing a BA has more freedom to pursue courses outside of his or her major field. BS degrees include both scientific disciplines, plus nursing, engineering and business management. A BS degree usually implies taking on more courses that are required to attain the major. This means that a BS degree has fewer changes of pursuing courses outside their chosen field.
An AB degree pursuer may include in the first year of the AB degree a survey of literature and humanities, and perhaps study of a foreign language. Courses in the second year of an AB degree may include creative writing or history courses as well as starting to pursue the foundation courses required for graduation. In the third year, there might be courses that include advanced study of a foreign language plus courses in literary or psychological theory. The fourth year may include intensive seminars in the field of the major.

It has been the trend that people pursuing AB degrees in the field of arts/humanities go on to pursue professional degrees such as law, for instance. For students who pursue AB degrees in arts, such as English and History, pursuing a professional degree in law is a good choice and a popular option. This is because students who have an AB degree in English or history learn early on the art of writing, analysing and interpretation, which proves extremely helpful when they study law, as law requires an excellent grasp of the English language as well as the art of interpreting complicated statutes.

A professional degree is preceded generally by an AB degree and while pursuing these degrees, the degree navigator comes in very helpful to the student to chart the progress of their programme. The degree navigator lets the student know their current GPA and the program requirements they have completed so far. The degree navigator also informs the student how many courses are remaining to be completed. The degree navigator also gives you information on the number of completed credits and the number of credits remaining that need to be obtained by the student.


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