A Bachelor's Degree is awarded by an accredited educational institution to those students who complete the undergraduate curriculum. According to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, a Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate degree normally representing four years or a total of approximately 120 semester or 180 quarter units of college study, or its equivalent in depth and quality of learning experience. Although the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Applied Science may have similar technical requirements in the focus on Math and Science studies, there are noticeable differences between the two degree programs.
The Bachelor of Science Coursework
The Bachelor of Science degree places great emphasis on applied knowledge and critical thinking. This type of degree program is often heavily based in the sciences and typically focuses on areas of technical studies such as nursing, aviation, chemistry, engineering, electronics, social sciences and forensics or criminal investigation. As opposed to a Bachelor of Arts program which allows a more liberal course of study, the Bachelor of Science Degree requires participants to fulfill heavy math and science coursework related to their educational discipline in addition to the general education requirements of other standard degree programs.
The Bachelor of Applied Science Coursework
The Bachelor of Applied Science Degree is generally more career-oriented and focuses less on the general education course requirements of other four-year degrees including the Bachelor of Science Degree. The Bachelor of Applied Science, or B.AS is offered as a focused approach to give the student real-world skills and applicable concepts geared toward their specific chosen career path. It is often offered to those who already have a two-year Associate Degree and require the technical knowledge and practical skills for advancement in a particular discipline within a chosen field.
Bachelor of Science Careers
Although a variety of science-related careers such as laboratory researchers, medical doctors and engineers require extensive post-graduate training in addition to undergraduate coursework, the Bachelor of Science is unique in that it enables graduates to work as science technicians in a variety of fields without the expense and time commitment of post-graduate education. Graduates of a Bachelor of Science program can work as a nurse, an engineer, a forensic scientist, a science technician or a medical technician.
Careers for a Bachelor of Applied Science
Unlike the highly technical and science-related careers associated with the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Applied Science teaches students a combination of business skills along with a focus on math and science in preparation for careers as Office Manager, Human Resource Manager, Hospitality Manager, Allied Health, Construction Manager and Safety. The student focuses on coursework in mathematics and accounting, computer science, business law and employee relations to prepare them for all aspects of the business world along with the technical aspects of their particular field of study.
Flexibility and Focus
Like most four-year degrees, the Bachelor of Science degree requires students to enroll in an accredited college or university and complete a program focusing on a wide array of general education requirements in addition to degree-specific coursework. By contrast, the Bachelor of Applied Science degree allows more flexibility and focus. Enrollment can begin following completion of an Associate degree or time in the workforce and with its technical focus, the student is able to concentrate on the most relative aspects of their field without feeling time is wasted in unnecessary classes. Following completion, the student can reenter or advance in the workforce with practical, useful skills.
Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.