Thread: I know this has been brought up before... B.S. versus B.A. in c.s.

  1. #1

    Question I know this has been brought up before... B.S. versus B.A. in c.s.

    Alright, I have to make a decision of B.S. versus B.A. in c.s.

    Right now, I'd prefer to get my B.A., because I've already taken a lot of programming courses, and when I go back to college, I want to get a broader education(so to speak- with a B.A.).

    Anyways, will getting a B.A. hurt me down the road? I'm interested in taking some sociology and humanties courses while in college, and maybe even minor in communications.

    But long term, I plan on sticking with computers. But the B.A. will give me the opportunity to get a more diverse education... right?

    Could anyone here comment on the differences of B.A. vs. B.S. Also, since I want to get a masters(if not a phd) in c.s., will a B.A. hurt me in those regards?


  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    well, I would recommend and I would do, but it's ultimately up to you, get the B.S. and take the courses you want on the side. I'm not quite sure if it's harder to get an MS from a BA than it is from a BS.

  3. #3
    CIS and business major
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Cool, thanks.

    But I've been looking at a lot of course requirements for c.s. programs. I noticed that a lot of c.s. departments (for b.s. degrees) require you to take classes like quality assurance, and o.s. admin fundamentals- and not to say that they're dumb classes(), but those are classes that I'd probably end up skipping anyways (just kidding...)

    B.A.'s for most colleges just eliminate the requirements for a few unnecessary courses... ? I'm not sure, but it doesn't seem to get rid of much.

    Does anyone know if I'd really be hurting myself by getting a b.a.?

    Just curious

  4. #4
    At my school the difference between a BS and BA in computer science is that the BS is offered through the school of engineering and requires several "computer engineering" courses. these are courses offered through our electrical engineering department and pretty much involve microprocessor design at the logical level. The BA is offered through the college of letters, arts, and sciences. it does not require any EE courses (like i mentioned), but requires a more diverse range of courses like foreign language, arts and humanities, etc...

    personally, i don't think it matters whether you go for the BA or BS if you want to eventually get accepted in a CS PhD program. The real important thing is to maintain a high gpa, get to know your professors while in school to get letters of recommendation, and do some internships over the summer to have a well-rounded and balanced application when applying for a good graduate school.

    the only reason why i would say to go for the BS is to get that little bit of background in computer engineering. it might balance out your knowledge of computers in general; vs. the BA where all you will know about is software while having no idea about design concepts behind a pipelined or superscalar processor for example.

    but either way, the only thing i stress is to maintain a high gpa. i stress that more than the actual major because i know several people who studied subjects like math, chemistry, biology, etc..., and got into CS PhD programs because they had that high gpa!

    good luck.

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