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Monday, January 28, 2013

What is AB 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.

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.

Some schools in the US such as St. John’s College and Pomona College only award BA degrees, while other schools such as MIT, California Institute of Technology and Georgia Tech only offer a BS degree. However, larger schools offer both types of degrees.

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. Meanwhile, studying biology or biochemistry and getting an AB degree in those subjects becomes useful if one opts for a professional degree in medicine, as they will already be acclimatised with the various technical concepts used in the field.

While pursuing an AB degree, using the degree navigator is a good way to track the courses you have been taking and keep account of what courses you need to take in the future. The degree navigator is a helpful tool to chart your progress and keep you informed about the progress of your course. The degree navigator lets you know you are current GPA, the courses you have taken, the courses that are left for the completion of your degree and other requirements you need to fulfil.


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