20 Best Bachelor of Arts Degrees [2022 Guide]

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If you are strong in the social sciences and humanities, a Bachelor of Arts degree may be the right choice for you.

Best Bachelor of Arts Degrees

Not only are BA programs available in a wide range of topics, they also provide the chance to expand your knowledge in a variety of liberal arts subjects.

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Additionally, the amount of credits related to your selected BA major will likely be less than those required to complete a BS degree.

Online Bachelor of Arts Degrees

Bachelor of Arts degrees are undergraduate degrees that are designed to provide students with a broad education and opportunities to specialize in specific areas of study.  

These are just some of the possible BA majors you can consider:  

Both of these fields offer plenty of opportunity for growth, a lot of different job prospects, and plenty of job security.

Anthropology

BA in Anthropology

Anthropology majors study people through cultural and historical lenses. This field of study requires students to think critically about topics like globalization and race.

While earning your degree in this subject, you will likely take both a biological and a cultural anthropology course. In addition to these classes, many programs offer the option to delve deeper into an area of interest, such as the anthropology of a specific region.

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This major often involves an extensive amount of research into global populations and communities. Because of this, many people who earn degrees in anthropology go on to become lifelong problem-solvers, pursuing careers in public health, government, or policymaking.

Art History

BA in Art History

As the name suggests, art history is an investigative approach to the history of art. A large part of most art history programs is interpreting various pieces of art to understand the meaning and make connections to societal issues.

In your classes, you may explore the specific choices in materials and presentation that artists have made in their work. You’ll likely be expected to not only learn how to write about pieces of art using both primary and secondary sources but to also become an expert in presenting your findings orally.

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Graduates often use their art history degrees to work as museum curators, art writers, or educators. Some choose to further their education by pursuing an MA or PhD in the field.

Business

BA in Business

A BA in Business can help you build a foundation in areas like finance and economics. While many of your classes will likely be focused on math and statistics, you’ll probably take additional courses in subjects such as history and humanities as well.

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Pairing traditional business classes with liberal arts classes helps ensure that you will leave the program with a well-rounded set of skills. Many who earn their BA in Business choose to enter the workforce as marketing managers, financial analysts, or sales managers.

Communications

BA in Communications

Communications is the study of how messages are created, shared, and interpreted by individuals and organizations in society.

A degree program in this field typically explores the causes behind human behavior, different forms of communication, and the impact of mass media on individuals and groups. Because we live in a world where sharing and consuming information is part of everyday life, a communications degree can open up many possibilities.

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You may choose to pursue the fields of social and digital media, public relations, or marketing and advertising. If you prefer written communication, you might look at careers in the writing and publishing industry.

Criminal Justice

BA in Criminal Justice

Earning your BA in Criminal Justice can help you develop a foundational understanding of each section of the justice system, including crime and law enforcement in our society.

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Most criminal justice programs provide an introduction into criminal law, the American court system, and corrections. Some students use their degree in this field as a stepping stone towards earning their law degree. Others go on to work for various law enforcement agencies, such as the secret service, homeland security, or the FBI.

Education

BA in Education

A bachelor’s degree in education can give you the opportunity to learn the information needed to successfully work in a classroom. These programs typically cover how to deliver instruction that is accessible for all students, as well as the essential concepts and vocabulary of various disciplines.

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Many education programs can help you earn your teaching credentials by offering the required courses for your state. Many who choose this path go on to become impactful members of the educational community by taking on roles as teachers or school administrators.

English

BA in English

Earning an undergraduate degree in English can help you develop a strong background in the subject. The curriculum for this degree is typically composed of a range of topics, including composition, literature, and linguistics. These are all intended to strengthen your critical analysis and communication skills.

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Many students who earn their degree in this field are drawn to professions which require developed communication skills. These may include careers in teaching, writing, advertising, and publishing.

General Studies

BA in General Studies

Students who choose to major in general studies often come away with a solid foundation in both the humanities and the sciences.

A general studies program can give you the chance to focus on creative and critical thinking while helping you build your problem-solving skills and abilities. Because you can select multiple areas of interest, this is often a great degree for anyone who is daunted by the prospect of choosing a major. As this is one of the most versatile college majors, it typically makes it easy to fit into your individual interests.

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What you do with your BA in General Studies will depend on the areas of focus that you choose. For some, this leads to a career in education, politics, or marketing. For others, it turns into a job in nutrition, public health, or social work.

Geography

BA in Geography

Undergraduate studies in geography focus primarily on human and physical geography. Geography programs are typically designed to provide opportunities to explore the ways in which humans interact with and impact the environment around them.

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Additionally, you will likely learn to analyze and communicate geographic information, such as maps, graphics, and data. Many graduates in this field pursue careers in planning and development at the federal, state, or local levels. Others choose to work in public policy or imaging and mapping. The flexibility of this degree opens up many possibilities in both the public and private sectors.

Graphic Design

BA in Graphic Design

A graphic design degree program can help you learn how to communicate using creative visuals. Your lower-level courses will likely focus on applying foundational design principles to both print and web projects and teach concepts such as color and layout. Your courses can also help you develop a strong understanding of storytelling and visual literacy skills.

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Most graphic design graduates go on to pursue design-related careers in a variety of industries. Because so many companies and organizations rely on visuals to reach their target audiences, this degree can help open the door to a wide variety of career options. People with this degree often become animators, graphic designers, industrial designers, and art professors.

History

BA in History

Undergraduate history programs typically focus on the study of the past with the intent to inform decisions we make in the future. You’ll likely focus on developing research and writing skills while learning about the history of significant civilizations. You may also have the opportunity to focus on a specific culture or area of interest.

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Entering into a specific concentration within your history major can help you set yourself up for selective career options after graduation. Many people who earn their degree in history go on to become historians, educators, or archivists. 

Human Services

BA in Human Services

There are many concentrations that fall under the umbrella of human services, but generally, a degree in this area can help prepare you for work in community organizations. Your coursework in a human services degree program will likely be interdisciplinary, encompassing subjects such as psychology, public policy, and social sciences.

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If you are an empathetic individual who is interested in providing life-changing services for communities, this might be the right path for you. Students who pursue their degree in human services often find roles in counseling, healthcare, and youth or domestic violence services.

Information Technology

BA in Information Technology

The field of information technology refers to how we handle and store data. The curriculum for an undergraduate degree in this field may include technical courses, such as database management and information systems design, paired with more general courses.

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Almost every large business requires a network of computers to manage their day-to-day operations. This means that people with backgrounds in information technology are often integral parts of their companies. Many with this degree work in IT roles within education, government, healthcare, and private businesses. 

Liberal Arts

BA in Liberal Arts

Similar to a degree in general studies, a BA in Liberal Arts can help you develop a background in a wide range of subjects, including literature, creative writing, history, and psychology. Rather than focusing on a particular topic, this degree can give you the opportunity to build up your research and critical thinking skills in many areas.

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A liberal arts degree often leads to work in a profession that helps others, such as education or public service. Depending on the concentration you choose, you may go on to become a teacher, a policy advisor, or a community service manager.

Music Production

BA in Music Production

Music production undergraduate programs typically focus on the creation and production of music. First, you’ll probably take foundational courses that explore music theory.

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You’ll likely then move on to courses that cover specific aspects of the music production industry, such as advanced audio production and digital audio principles. As you might imagine, a degree in music production typically leads to jobs within the music industry. Graduates often find work as recording engineers, sound technicians, and music producers.

Philosophy

BA in Philosophy

Because there are many different topics within philosophy, this degree often easily fits into students’ personal interests and career goals.

At the heart of philosophical studies is the ability to think critically and develop strong arguments in a variety of scenarios. Additionally, you will likely learn to incorporate ethical reasoning into your discussions and writings. Your career possibilities after earning your degree in philosophy will vary depending on your chosen area of focus.

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The ability to analyze and solve problems, though, is applicable in almost any field, meaning graduates often find jobs in everything from healthcare to education to financial services.

Political Science

BA in Political Science

Political science is the study of the ways in which power functions within society. In a political science program, you will likely examine how public policy has been shaped by power and influence.

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Your studies can also help you develop a deeper understanding of political systems and movements that have resulted in social change. Earning a degree in political science can help you develop strong interpersonal skills, as well as a solid foundation in research and data analysis. These abilities may set you up for careers in public policy, government, or education.

Psychology

BA in Psychology

Psychology is the study of the human mind, behaviors, and emotions. A BA in this field typically consists of a combination of traditional psychology courses and classes that explore related topics, like arts and social sciences.

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Some students use their bachelor’s degree in psychology as a step towards graduate school, which can help open up further employment opportunities. Others decide to use their analytical skills to enter the workforce as social workers or journalists.

Religious Studies

BA in Religious Studies

As it sounds, “religious studies” refers to the study of different traditions across religions through the examination of texts, communities, and rituals.

Within this major, you may choose to narrow in on a specific religion or dive more deeply into the ethics behind various practices and traditions. You will likely also have the chance to study how religion has influenced many key historical decisions and events over time.

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At the root of religious studies is the ability to think critically and ask difficult questions about existing traditions. This can help prepare you for roles within education and community service. Some graduates choose to become professors or community advocates, while others go on to work as counselors or religion teachers.

Sociology

BA in Sociology

Sociology is the study of the composition of different groups in society and the interactions between people in these communities. Sociology majors explore the ways in which human behavior impacts social change.

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An understanding of human behavior and relationships is important in almost any industry. Many students who earn their BA in Sociology pursue career opportunities in social work or market research. They often become social workers, policy analysts, and human resources specialists.

What’s the Difference between a BA vs. BS Degree?

The primary difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is the way your credits are distributed between certain types of courses. 

  BA BS
Course Load
  • More classes focused on humanities
  • Classes cover a broader range of subjects
  • More classes focused on math and sciences
  • More courses pertaining to a specialized major
Career Options
  • Theoretical
  • Examples: teaching, social work, copywriter, and marketing manager
  • Technical
  •  Examples: web developer, data analyst, biomedical researcher, and software engineer

If you are more math- and science-oriented, you may benefit from earning a BS rather than a BA degree.

Which Is Better, Bachelor of Arts or Science Degree?

Bachelor of Arts or Science Degree

Deciding between a BA and a BS degree will depend on your own preferences and career goals. It can help to consider these items as you make your decision:

  • Career goals: A BS can help you develop the technical knowledge needed to enter a specialized field, whereas a BA can help prepare you to work directly with individuals and communities.
  • Preferred coursework: If you prefer math and science, a BS may be the right choice. If you are a critical thinker, a BA might be the path for you.
  • Program length: A BS program will typically take more time to complete than a BA program.

BA Degree Admissions Requirements

BA Degree Admissions

Every university will have its own set of admissions requirements, but many schools require the following:

  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Minimum GPA
  • Admissions essay
  • Official transcripts

Because every school is unique, it is important to research any specific requirements prior to applying. It is also likely that you will be asked to pay an application fee in addition to providing the materials listed above. If you are a transfer student, you will likely be asked to share transcripts from your previous institution to ensure you are in good standing.

B.A. Degrees Accreditation

B.A. Degrees Accreditation

Regional accreditation is a process intended to let the public know if an institution provides services that meet educational standards.

Attending an accredited institution informs potential employers that you received an education that will adequately prepare you for work in your particular field. Your credits are also more likely to be recognized by other schools if they are from a regionally accredited institution. This will make it easier to transfer schools or continue your education.  

It is just as important to check if your schools of interest are accredited if you are applying to online degree programs. You can do this by visiting a school’s website or checking the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website.

What Is a Bachelor of Arts Degree?

A Bachelor of Arts degree is an undergraduate degree that offers programs in a variety of topics and fields. In addition to general education credits, it includes coursework in a chosen area of study, such as psychology, literature, or history.

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Generally, BA degrees are designed to prepare you for a future career by teaching you communication and critical thinking skills. Many doors may be opened by earning this 4 year degree, including jobs with a range of possible salaries and graduate degree programs.

What Is an AB Degree?

An AB degree is a Bachelor of Arts degree that is designed to give you the opportunity to explore various academic subjects while completing courses within a chosen area of study.

Is there a difference between an AB and a BA? No, they are the same degree. The letters are flipped around based on the Latin and English abbreviations, respectively. The A.B. degree stands for “artium baccalaureus,” while BA is short for “Bachelor of Arts.”

What Can You Do with a Bachelor of Arts Degree?

Bachelor of Arts Degree careers

Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree can help open up a range of career opportunities, although earning your degree does not guarantee a certain job title or salary.

If you choose to complete a BA program in the areas of art or design, you may enter into a career field with a median annual salary of $49,600, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A Bachelor of Arts degree in a life, physical, or social sciences field can help you enter the workforce as an economist, historian, or psychologist. The BLS lists the median annual salary for jobs in these fields as $69,760.

How Long Does It Take to Get a BA Degree Online?

Assuming that you attend school full-time, follow the traditional 16 week semester, and pass all of your classes the first time, it will probably take you 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree.  

If you are interested in speeding up the process, you can stay enrolled year-round and follow an 8 week semester. This can give you the opportunity to finish your four-year college degree program in a shorter amount of time.

Getting Your Bachelor of Arts Degree Online

Bachelor of Arts Degree Online

It is usually easy to tailor a Bachelor of Arts degree to fit personal interests, which makes it a worthwhile choice for many students.

Many people who earn their B.A. degree in a specific area go on to become leaders in fields like education, social work, and the arts. Earning an online bachelor’s degree can give you the opportunity to receive a well-rounded education that can help you strengthen your critical-thinking skills while learning about your major.

You can get started by searching for online Bachelor of Arts degree programs today.

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Molly Doyle
WRITTEN BY
Molly Doyle
Molly holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco and a B.A in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A Seattle-based educator, she focuses on student-centered instruction and creating culturally responsive curriculum.