Excelsior's BA versus BS--in humanities subjects?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Orson, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. Orson

    Orson New Member

    Likes Received:
    Grad student: hist & env sci/ investor/ env consul
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    As far as I can tell, Excelsior College offers both BA and BS degrees with concentrations in more than a dozen fields.

    Now, what is the difference between a BA in political science or history and a BS in the same? Some more science and math courses?
    Otherwise they appear to be the same degree.

    But how are these differences perceived by the working and academic world?

    Lawie Miller, in post earlier this year, mentioned Peter from Germany who used his "BS" in political science to gain admission to a grad program in the same at Warwick University, England (if I recall correctly). A BS in econ is not uncommon nowadays. But a B.S. in the humanities, like English ar History, is clearly even more unusual than one in the social sciences--or, onecould say, "almost unheard of!"

    Anyone care to report on how their BS in the humanities was received in the world at-large? You could say this is the the non-traditional outcome for a non-trad degree by non-trad students!! Are there pros and cons worth considering (since Excelsior extracts an extra sum for degree changers)?

  2. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Likes Received:
    Jackson, Mississippi
    They basically are; I seem to remember the B.S. having looser concentration requirements (24 sh instead of 30 sh), but the general idea is the same.

    Good luck!


    Tom Head

    co-author, Bears' Guide to the Best Education Degrees by Distance Learning (Ten Speed Press)
    co-author, Get Your IT Degree and Get Ahead (Osborne/McGraw-Hill)
  3. JMcAulay

    JMcAulay New Member

    Likes Received:
    Littlerock, CA, USA
    Tom, our recollections differ. Mine is that the concentration requirements were the same, but the General Education requirements were not. Of science/math, humanities, and social science credits, the BA minimum requirement was nine credits in two of these fields, twelve in another. The BS required a minimum 6/6/9 mix. Also the BS allowed a maximum of sixty credits in "applied" fields as opposed to Arts and Sciences, while the BA permitted only thirty. At least that's the way I remember it from 'way back in my time.

    Regarding the BS vs BA in today's academic environment, so many diverse differences pertain to those degrees granted by various institutions, it is no longer simple to distinguish the two from a practical standpoint. Many Universities still require a Foreign Language component for the BA, but this seems not nearly so universal as it once was. And between some schools, the two degrees appear to be endowed with virtually opposite characteristics.

    At Excelsior, it still should be possible to get a BS with concentrations in English and History. Given my penchant for the bizarre, I once enjoyed the idea of getting a BA from Regents with one concentration in Business (and another in some art or science), but while possible under their ground rules, it just didn't appear to be worth the trouble.


Share This Page