BA or BS Degree in Criminal Justice?

If you are planning on completing a bachelor degree in criminal justice then you might be asking yourself what is the difference between a BA or a BS degree. These two acronyms have commonalities and differences that you should know about.

BA stands for Bachelor of Arts, while BS stands for Bachelor of Science. For the most part, both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees should provide you with an in-depth preparation in an academic or professional field. That also means you will be seeing courses like mathematics, social sciences, arts and humanities, and human communication classes. Additionally, you will be required to take electives which can be molded to your own preferences and needs.

Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA):

  • is usually less specialized than a Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • for the most part it is awarded in majors like languages, literature, history, and humanities
  • is similar in quarter hour or semester hour requirements to a BS degree

Bachelor of Science Degree (BS):

  • usually involves technical or scientific fields
  • is typically awarded in majors like biological sciences, physical sciences, and engineering
  • requires more 300 level classes, or above, in comparison to a B.A. degree

So which criminal justice degree option should you choose?

In my opinion, it all depends on your aspirations. If you would like to study what criminal justice is, a BA or BS option is great. If you are looking to study criminal justice in depth, and would like to enter into criminology or criminal psychology fields, you should consider the bachelor of science option. In the end, don’t fret too long over which degree type you should pursue. Both the BA and the BS options in criminal justice are sought after by employers and graduate level academia. Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine.

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

3 comments… add one
  • Cookie Moneda

    i think the best criminal justice degree is Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) i think it’s the best one yet.

  • T.J. Rounds

    I think this nonsense is counterproductive and leads one to false sense of security. I wouldn’t trade my B.A.s—I have two of them— for anything. I earned them. I put in the work, and came out with 2 degrees and an education that I put to use in all aspects of my life. That is all that counts, not the heading atop the field of study…

    • Radek Gadek

      I agree with you T.J.

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