B.A. vs B.S. Degree Programs

As a psychology major at UWF, you can choose to earn a Bachelor's of Science (BS) or a Bachelor's of Arts (BA) in psychology. Which is right for you?

Bachelor's of Arts

The BA degree focuses more broadly on the psychological discipline with more options for students to choose a subfield of emphasis. For example, Student A may be interested in clinical or counseling psychology. So he/she will choose to take electives in that area. Student B, on the other hand, may be more interested in industrial/organizational psychology. He/She will take electives in that area.

Bachelor's of Science

The BS degree has a much stronger focus on research, statistics, experimental psychology, and natural sciences. BS students take more statistics, more research methods, and more science courses at the general studies level. This degree is ideal for students who are very interested in doing research/statistics or are interested in going to medical or law school.

Required Courses

Required course work is similar for both the BA and the BS. More focus on research in the BS means more statistics, research methods, and experimental courses. Both degrees require 36 semester hours of General Studies courses. BS students who are pre-med or pre-law have specific coursework that is recommended in order to meet application requirements. For more information on General Studies requirements, view the UWF Course Catalog. Whichever degree you choose, both programs meet expectations for graduate school applications.

Common Prerequisites (12 hours)

Both the BA and the BS degree have the same state mandated common prerequisites. Common prerequisites must be finished prior to graduation, but are not required for admission into either program. There are 12 semester hours of common prerequisites for a psychology degree:

PSY 2012 General Psychology 3
STA 2023 Elements of Statistics 3
1000/2000 Any 1000/2000 level Psychology course 3
BSC 1005 General Biology 3

Lower Division Electives (12-24 semester hours)

Students in either degree program must take sufficient 1000/2000 level electives to complete at least 60 semester hours in the lower division. Current UWF students may use elective courses at any level (1000-4999) to meet this elective requirement.

Upper Division Electives (22-25 semester hours)

Students must take sufficient 3000/4000 level electives to meet UWF's requirement of 48 semester hours in the upper division or completion of all departmental requirements at the 3000/4000 level. This means BA students will need to take an additional 6 hours of upper level credit hours beyond the major requirements. Those can come from a minor, certificate, or additional courses in Psychology. The Psychology BS degree meets the 48 required upper division electives so no additional coursework is needed.


It is good to decide early on which degree you want to earn so you can be sure to take all the necessary prerequisites. Hopefully the information on this page has helped you understand the options so you can make an informed decision. If you are still feeling unsure it may be helpful to view required courses for the BA degree and the BS degree or make an appointment with an academic advisor.

To summarize everything, here is the breakdown of the BA versus the BS:

BA DegreeBS Degree
Broader psychology focus Research/statistics/experimental focus
Fewer research methods courses More research methods courses
Fewer statistics courses More statistics courses
More options to focus on subfield of choice Ideal for research focused, pre-med, or pre-law students
42 hours of required coursework for the major + 6 hours of upper division electives 51 hours of required coursework for the major

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