Author Topic: BA vs BS  (Read 7977 times)

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AdamJ

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BA vs BS
« on: Aug 16, 2010, 06:02 pm »
So there is a lot of discussion on the boards about BFA vs BA/BS... But the question I have is do prospective employers have a preference to someone holding a BA degree over a BS degree?

Currently I am pursuing a BS, Languages and writing have never really been my thing, math, science and business always have. Am I less likely to get hired because of that? A lot of hiring posts i have seen say things like "BA degree or equivalent professional experience required" but is there truly that large of a difference between a BA and a BS?

Sorry if this is a repeat topic, but I did a search and came up with nothing.

MatthewShiner

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #1 on: Aug 16, 2010, 07:12 pm »
I am not sure there is much difference from a BA to a BS . ..  it's more about the non-terminal to terminal degree.  (A BFA being a terminal degree)
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

missliz

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16, 2010, 07:23 pm »
The difference between a BA and a BS is what they call "lab time." IE working in a lab vs. class hours. (I worked in college admissions, and this is how it was explained to me.) I actually got a BS in theater because I earned about half my hours working in theater, which they considered "lab time."

I don't think this makes it any better or worse than a BA or a BFA in theater, just different.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

babens

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #3 on: Aug 17, 2010, 01:36 am »
I tend to get the feeling that BA is often just used to mean "college degree."  I can't imagine a company passing over a resume from somebody with a BFA or BS during such a search.

MatthewShiner

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #4 on: Aug 17, 2010, 01:40 am »
I think we need to be careful, because there are some people who - depending on the job might put more weight in BFA versus a BA/BS or the other way around - depending on the job.

Remember, one is considered a terminal degree, maybe more specialized and have less unrelated academic work.

For example, my personal experience is all things being equal, I will lean towards a BA/BA degree over a BFA, since it maybe a more well rounded education as a whole.  (But to be honest, those coming out with BFA's sometimes have much stronger resumes . . . so it's often the cast not all things are equal.)

 
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JMagill

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #5 on: Aug 17, 2010, 09:43 pm »
My degree is a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Theatre with a concentration in Design and Technology
the under standing that I have with the BS, BA, BFA debate is this

A BS  is a Bachelor of Sciences Degree which is any of your sciences: Bio., Chem., Physical, and  things like Teaching and Business

A BA is a Bachelor of Arts  which covers Art, Dance, Languages,  History, and Theatre.  IF you get a BA in Theater for example you are going to take your Gen Ed Classes and your theatre classes but they would be a bunch of different ones like; Basic acting , directing , stage management, scenic design, costume design, etc. 

A BFA is a Bachelor of Fine Arts so it is usually the same as a BA only with a more specialized tract.  For instance a BFA in Stage Management would require you to take more SM classes instead of other classes in a BA that make the degree more rounded. so you'd have you basic acting, directing, and design classes as well as SM I, SM II, SM II, etc.
 My degree required a 3 year proficiency in a foreign language where as the BFA didn't require that so that you could take more classes in your discipline.

However the BFA is not a terminal degree, currently the MFA is because it is the Master of Fine Arts which is believed that you have studied with a master in that field.  You need and MFA to teach at most colleges.  Some universities are starting to have a DFA which is the Doctorate of Fine Arts, Which would be terminal.  I highly doubt that there will ever be a DFA in Stage Management but I could be wrong.


I totally get missliz's explanation of the "lab time " for the BS degree.  What I don't understand is that how the theatre degree is a BS (Where did you go missliz?). I mean we totally put in more "Lab Time" than a lot of people and we definitely can bs  ;) . But Theatre is an Art not a Science.  But that is just my feeling.
hope this helps

missliz

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #6 on: Aug 17, 2010, 09:59 pm »
I totally get missliz's explanation of the "lab time " for the BS degree.  What I don't understand is that how the theatre degree is a BS (Where did you go missliz?). I mean we totally put in more "Lab Time" than a lot of people and we definitely can bs  ;) . But Theatre is an Art not a Science.  But that is just my feeling.
hope this helps

In your credit hours, you technically took productions as labs. IE A mainstage show was 4 credits towards your 18-credit semester or what have you. Because it was working "in field" and not an actual class, they were lab hours. A certain number of lab hours makes the degree a BS and not a BA. Not sure if I'm explaining this well. In terms of specialization, it'd fall between a BA and a BFA.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

MatthewShiner

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #7 on: Aug 17, 2010, 10:26 pm »
Quote
However the BFA is not a terminal degree, currently the MFA is because it is the Master of Fine Arts which is believed that you have studied with a master in that field.

Both the BFA and MFA are considered terminal degrees . . . it would be hard to go on to to get a MA or PHD with a BFA as your undergraduate degree.  Like getting a MFA does not prepared me for a PHD program like a MA.

Some schools are VERY picking about this.
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Joshua S.

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #8 on: Aug 18, 2010, 12:33 pm »
Where I went to undergrad, the only difference between a BA and BS was in the general education requirements.  The requirements for the two degrees were exactly the same except for a BA you had to have 1 3rd level foreign language course and for a BS you had to have one additional science, math or technology course.  Since taking a 3rd lever foreign language course would have meant taking a 1st and 2nd level foreign language, I opted for the BS and spent part of my last semester of college learning all about human biology.

JMagill

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #9 on: Aug 18, 2010, 01:58 pm »
In your credit hours, you technically took productions as labs. IE A mainstage show was 4 credits towards your 18-credit semester or what have you. Because it was working "in field" and not an actual class, they were lab hours. A certain number of lab hours makes the degree a BS and not a BA. Not sure if I'm explaining this well. In terms of specialization, it'd fall between a BA and a BFA.

This is very interesting. Had I gone to this school I would have had enough credits for any degree I wanted. We were required 4 production credits for the and degree each production we worked was one credit, but you couldn't have more than 4 production credits. Not that I worked on just four shows because of this I worked many shows with out any credit at all.

Both the BFA and MFA are considered terminal degrees . . .

I looked it up and true both are considered terminal.

So here is my question then
What is the difference between a BFA in Stage Management and a MFA in Stage Management? 

MatthewShiner

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Re: BA vs BS
« Reply #10 on: Aug 18, 2010, 02:06 pm »
Quote
What is the difference between a BFA in Stage Management and a MFA in Stage Management? 

Well, it sort of depends on the quality of the program - both are degrees that work towards a terminal degree in stage management.  A MFA is an advanced/master level work that requires a undergraduate degree - so there is the implicit argument that it is more advance work and training, and, depending on the program, has a higher requirement level to enter.  There is also sort of the universities' level of internal hoops to jump through to get your MFA versus MA (research, publish, defend, etc . . .).  Also, usually a BFA will have SOME general education requirements, where as a MFA is almost always exclusive degree related coursework.

The big difference is the degree that you have in hand at the end - most universities or jobs that are affiliated with universities will most likely require a MFA (or Master's) level degree - or having to go through the process of proving you have equivalent professional experience - which is often a big pain.

 
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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