BA vs. BS in Psychology?

Question by : BA vs. BS in Psychology?
So I’m kind of between a rock and a hard place here. (I’m a Canadian student, Grade 11 or a junior in HS)

Note that either way, I am planning on being a psychologist when I’m older (mainly therapy, so I guess clinical psychology) so I am planning on going for my Ph.D. However, does a BA really weigh that much against my favour? I guess what I really want to know is if there really is a major difference between the two. Will a bachelor in science prove more useful for what I want to do? Will I have a harder time going for my master’s/Ph.D if I do decide to go for a bachelor of arts?

Sorry if my question might seem a little vague. I’m most likely going to talk to my guidance counselor after the break ends about this anyway, but I kind of want some input in advance. I’m gonna be quite honest, I’m leaning more towards a bachelor of arts since for a bachelor of science, I most likely will have to stay an extra semester to catch up on various science credits (since I have only taken biology in Grade 11). However, I want to get my Ph.D and make some money as well without any detrimental implications that may occur.
Okay, thanks. Can you provide more insight as to why? That’s kind of the whole purpose I’m asking this question. Why is a BS better?
I’m more or less interested in doing therapy and counseling (dealing with people’s problems), and not so much scientific research. What I wanna know is, will a Ph.D land me a good job in that field? And is a BS the recommended route to get into that profession?

Best answer:

Answer by John
Focus on your bs first…

Answer by CoachT
The main difference between the BA and BS in Psychology is quantitative versus qualitative study. That is, the BA will make you take some language and cultures courses that the BS won’t. The BS will make you take some stats and research courses that a BA won’t. The reason there’s a difference is that there are advantages and disadvantages to each but there’s not enough time in a bachelor’s degree to do both.

People planning a career teaching, writing, counseling (not psychologist), social services, etc. benefit from the BA type degree. Those planning a career in research and the research needed for a PhD will benefit from the BS type degree.

Understand that BS doesn’t mean “took more sciences” any more than BA means “took more art classes.” The difference is in what those two actually mean at a deeper level. “Arts” in BA means the art of learning. “Science” in BS means the science of doing. That’s all. Science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and math, contrary to popular misconception, are also Liberal Arts subjects.

Degrees that included a lot of math almost always result in more favorable prospects than those that don’t. Do the BS if you can handle the math requirement. Best deal, do both but don’t spend extra time and money accomplishing that. That is, do the BS but also include a lot of writing intensive and language/culture courses when given the chance.

Add: A PhD is just about required for clinical psychology. The PhD is a research degree whether you want to become a researcher or not. That’s just what it is. So, to get a PhD you’ll need research skills and stats.

But, you might want to read some about the difference between a counselor and a psychologist. You may be describing a counselor as your desired occupation and that requires a different degree. Depending on who you’d like to counsel it usually only requires a master’s and is a practical (hands-on) degree as opposed to the research based PhD.

School/Career Counselor –
Rehab Counselor –
Counselor –
Mental Health and Marriage-Family Therapist –
Psychologist –

They’re all related but the path and functions differ a lot for some. The “can do it all” person is the PhD Psychologist.

Jobs: most don’t have “a job” – they’re self employed or practice with a group as an associate or partner. There are jobs in the field but it’s not required. That’s the cool thing about the professions. Those links offer earnings info and employability outlooks.

What do you think? Answer below!


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