Types of Degree

Bachelor of Arts (BA) – Subjects, Requirements and Jobs

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts (BA) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded to students who have completed a course of study in the liberal arts, social sciences, or humanities. This degree typically requires three to four years of full-time study, and its curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad-based education in a range of disciplines.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is usually awarded in fields such as literature, history, philosophy, languages, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and fine arts. Students who pursue a BA degree will typically take courses in these fields, as well as in other areas such as mathematics, natural sciences, and computer science.

History of BA

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, when universities began to emerge in Europe. At that time, the BA degree was a prerequisite for admission to advanced studies in theology, law, and medicine.

The earliest BA degrees were awarded in the liberal arts, which included the study of subjects such as grammar, logic, rhetoric, and arithmetic. Over time, the curriculum expanded to include other subjects such as natural sciences, philosophy, history, and literature.

In the 19th century, universities in Europe and North America began to offer specialized programs in fields such as engineering, agriculture, and commerce. However, the BA degree remained the most popular and widely recognized undergraduate degree.

During the 20th century, the BA degree continued to evolve and adapt to changing societal needs and demands. The curriculum expanded to include new fields such as psychology, sociology, and communication, reflecting the growing importance of social sciences and humanities in modern society.

Today, the BA degree remains a highly valued credential in many fields, and is recognized around the world as a symbol of academic achievement and intellectual breadth. While the curriculum and requirements for the BA degree may vary from one institution to another, the fundamental goal of providing students with a broad-based education in the liberal arts, social sciences, and humanities remains unchanged.

Bachelor of Arts Subjects

The subjects offered in a Bachelor of Arts degree program can vary depending on the institution and its specific curriculum. However, the following are some of the common subjects offered in a BA program:

  • English Literature
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Languages (e.g. Spanish, French, German)
  • Fine Arts
  • Music
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • International Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Religious Studies

Students pursuing a BA degree are often required to take courses in multiple subjects, as the program is designed to provide a broad-based education in the humanities, social sciences, and other disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to develop critical thinking and communication skills that are essential for a wide range of careers.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements

The requirements for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree may vary depending on the institution and the specific program. However, there are some general requirements that are typically common to most BA degree programs:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent: Most BA programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED certificate.
  • GPA: Applicants may be required to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) from high school or any previous college coursework.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Some BA programs require applicants to submit scores from standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.
  • Application Materials: Applicants must typically submit an application form, transcripts from all previous institutions attended, and any other required materials such as letters of recommendation, personal statements, or essays.
  • Completion of Core Curriculum: BA programs typically require students to complete a core curriculum of general education courses, which can include subjects such as math, science, literature, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Major Requirements: Students must fulfill the requirements of a chosen major, which typically involves taking a certain number of courses in that subject area and maintaining a minimum GPA.
  • Elective Courses: Students may be required to complete a certain number of elective courses in addition to their major and core curriculum requirements.

Bachelor of Arts Majors

Some common majors within a BA program include:

  • English: This major typically focuses on literature and writing, including courses on poetry, fiction, drama, and creative non-fiction.
  • History: This major studies past events, movements, and societies, and may include courses on world history, American history, and cultural history.
  • Philosophy: This major examines the nature of reality, knowledge, and values through critical thinking and logical analysis.
  • Psychology: This major studies human behavior and mental processes, including courses on social psychology, abnormal psychology, and cognitive psychology.
  • Sociology: This major studies the structure, development, and functioning of human societies, including courses on race, gender, and social inequality.
  • Political Science: This major studies the organization and function of government and political systems, including courses on international relations, public policy, and political theory.
  • Anthropology: This major studies human cultures and societies, including courses on archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology.
  • Economics: This major studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, including courses on microeconomics, macroeconomics, and economic theory.
  • Art: This major focuses on the creation and appreciation of visual art, including courses on drawing, painting, sculpture, and art history.
  • Music: This major focuses on the creation and appreciation of music, including courses on music theory, composition, and performance.
  • Theater: This major focuses on the study of drama and theater, including courses on acting, directing, playwriting, and theater history.
  • Communications: This major studies the ways in which people exchange information, including courses on journalism, media studies, and public relations.
  • Linguistics: This major studies the structure and use of language, including courses on phonetics, syntax, and semantics.
  • Cultural Studies: This major examines the relationships between culture, society, and power, including courses on popular culture, media, and identity.
  • Gender Studies: This major explores the ways in which gender shapes our lives and society, including courses on feminist theory, masculinity studies, and sexuality.
  • Environmental Studies: This major studies the relationship between humans and the environment, including courses on ecology, sustainability, and environmental policy.
  • International Studies: This major studies the political, economic, and cultural interactions between countries, including courses on globalization, international relations, and comparative politics.
  • Religious Studies: This major studies the beliefs, practices, and cultural significance of religions, including courses on world religions, religious history, and theology.
  • Linguistics: This major studies the structure and use of language, including courses on phonetics, syntax, and semantics.
  • Journalism: This major focuses on the creation and dissemination of news and information, including courses on news writing, media ethics, and multimedia storytelling.

Bachelor of Arts Jobs

Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree provides students with a broad education in the liberal arts and humanities, and it can prepare graduates for a variety of jobs across many industries. Some potential job options for BA graduates include:

  • Writer/journalist
  • Public relations specialist
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Human resources assistant
  • Social media manager
  • Nonprofit fundraiser
  • Museum curator
  • Event planner
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Teacher/educator
  • Fundraising manager
  • Graphic designer
  • Art director
  • Copy editor/proofreader
  • Sales representative
  • Customer service representative
  • Administrative assistant
  • Research analyst
  • Public policy analyst
  • Government employee

How to Get Bachelor of Arts Degree

To obtain a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, typically you will need to complete a four-year undergraduate program at a college or university. Here are the general steps you should follow:

  • Research universities and colleges that offer the BA degree in your field of interest.
  • Apply for admission to the university or college of your choice. Make sure to meet the admission requirements, which usually include a high school diploma or equivalent and a certain minimum GPA.
  • Complete general education requirements, which typically include courses in math, English, science, and social studies.
  • Declare a major in the field of study that you wish to pursue.
  • Complete the required coursework for your major, which usually includes a combination of required and elective courses.
  • Maintain a satisfactory GPA, as many universities require a minimum GPA in order to graduate.
  • Complete any necessary internships, fieldwork, or other hands-on experiences that are required by your program.
  • Apply to graduate when you have completed all of your degree requirements.
  • Attend graduation and receive your Bachelor of Arts degree.

Importance of Bachelor of Arts Degree

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is a highly regarded degree that provides students with a well-rounded education in humanities, social sciences, and other liberal arts subjects. Here are some reasons why a BA degree is important:

  • Enhances critical thinking skills: The liberal arts courses in a BA program help students develop critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills, which are highly valued by employers.
  • Improves communication skills: BA programs require students to take courses in writing, speaking, and other forms of communication, which are essential skills in almost any profession.
  • Builds cultural competence: The study of humanities and social sciences in a BA program helps students develop an understanding of diverse cultures, perspectives, and ideas, which is crucial in our increasingly globalized world.
  • Prepares for a wide range of careers: A BA degree can lead to a variety of careers in fields such as education, business, law, government, nonprofit organizations, and more.
  • Enhances personal growth: BA programs often offer students opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery through internships, study abroad programs, and other experiential learning opportunities.

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer