Bachelors of Science

Bachelors of Science

In the USA, a Bachelors of Science (B.S.) degree is an undergraduate program that typically takes four years to complete, though some degrees are six year programs. Many of these longer programs incorporate a Masters or Doctorate level degree into the Bachelor’s curriculum.

Undergraduate degrees are available in a range of disciplines and there are specific programs which focus on very narrow fields in order to prepare students for a career in a particular area of the workforce. However, the most common undergraduate degrees conferred in The United States continue to be the broader Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

Arts and Sciences Degree Distinctions

The primary difference between arts and sciences degrees is that arts degrees require foreign language courses and more credit hours in English, and the fine, visual and performing arts. Bachelors of Science degrees usually don’t require a foreign language. They do call for more credit hours in the mathematics and the sciences, and often include many courses with laboratory requirements in addition to classroom hours.

Bachelors of Science Prerequisites

The admissions requirements for a Bachelors of Science degree program and a Bachelors of Arts are not terribly different from one another. Every college and university sets its own admissions standards for entrance into an undergraduate degree program.
 
A high school diploma or a GED is required. Students must also have an acceptable grade point average, typically 2.5 or higher, dependent upon the school. Many schools also look for strong performance in science and math courses in high school

Bachelors of Science

Curriculum of the Bachelors of Science

Every B.S. degree program includes core requirements and specific courses appropriate to the disciplinary focus of the degree. A general studies major will cover multiple disciplines, but most Bachelors of Science degrees require a much more narrow academic focus.
 
The typical core requirements in a Bachelors of Science degree program include the standard undergraduate courses, including English, literature, composition, and public speaking, as well as social science, history, and natural science courses. Bachelors of Science degrees call for high credit hours in the social, natural and medical sciences and fewer classes in the liberal and traditional arts, though there are still art courses included in the core curriculum for any undergraduate degree.

Common Bachelors of Science Degrees and Career Choices

The general studies Bachelors in Science Degree is one of the most common Bachelor’s degrees available. There are several other common Bachelors of Science degrees offered by U.S. colleges and universities, some of which are geared toward a career in academia. Others are designed for students interested in specialized fields, such as law, business and engineering. Following are brief reviews of the ten most common Bachelors of Science, discipline-focused degrees. Note: some degrees in the following fields are also available as a Bachelor of Arts degree.

  • Business – B.S. degrees in business can include business management or business philosophy degrees. Many students who complete a bachelor’s in business will go on to complete a Master’s Degree program in order to further their career opportunities.
  • History – Students who complete a B.S. degree in history may do so in order to teach at the elementary, high school or college level or they may work as field historians. Those who plan to teach often combine their history degree with the B.S. in education or major in education with a concentration in history.
  • Education – Bachelors of Science degrees in education focus on elementary or secondary education. There are also degree programs designed to prepare students for entering a masters in education program in order to become college professors.
  • Health Science – Majoring in health science is often the precursor to medical school. Health science B.S. degrees are sometimes referred to as pre-med for this reason, though some who complete a Bachelor of Science in health science do so in order to go into research or academics.
  • Psychology – Bachelors of Science degrees in psychology can lead to a career as a counselor or in the academic research field.
  • Biology – Many who major in biology are pre-med students; however, this Bachelor of Science Degree is also useful in veterinary medicine, conservation, dentistry, genetics, and industrial microbiology, to name just a few of the potential career choices.
  • Chemistry – Chemists can work in manufacturing, laboratory or research positions, as well as the medical field. A Bachelors of Science in chemistry can also be a pre-med program.
  • Communications – B.S. degrees in communications may focus on broadcasting, interpersonal, cross-cultural or business/organizational communications.
  • Journalism – People who want to work in any aspect of the media industry may major in journalism. From internet media to newspapers to magazines, Bachelors of Science degrees in journalism have many applications within the employment market.
  • Engineering – Engineering is a field that requires a graduate level degree, but Bachelors of Science in engineering are the first step. Undergraduate programs focus on engineering basics and a specialty within the field is typically selected at the graduate level.

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