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BSA vs. BS — What's the difference?


BSA degrees are designed for you to have a solid core science, as well as a cross-disciplinary minor in another field. They allow you to explore your interests and the connections of science and technology to other disciplines like public policy, medicine, anthropology, the arts, psychology, business, and communications.

BSA degrees require completion of a Minor, Certificate, or a Field of Study (15 hours in a single field outside of CNS, Engineering, Geosciences, Pharmacy, or Nursing).

BSA degrees also require 12 hours of humanities courses from at least 2 of 4 different areas of approved humanities departments across campus, including:

  1. Fine Arts: ART, DES, ENS, FA, MUS, TD, VAS, & Performance (instrument courses)
  2. Humanities: AHC, AMS, ARH, CC, CL, E, HMN, PHL, RS, & RHE
  3. Social & Behavioral Sciences: ANT, ECO, GRG, GOV, HIS, LIN, PSY, and SOC
  4. Foreign Language and Culture: Foreign Language/Foreign Culture lists.

Should I choose this option?

Many Bioscience students also complete prerequisites for pre-health professional schools while completing their degree requirements and choose the BSA degree option in order to become a well-rounded applicant for professional school. While it is not untrue that professional schools value well-rounded students, BS degrees encourage more exposure to math and science courses that will help prepare you for the kind of material you will encounter in professional or graduate school. Talk with your advisor about the option that is best for your goals.



BS degrees are designed for the specialist, the person who wants to focus 80-90 credits of his/her degree on science and mathematics.

Should I choose this option?

BS degrees are great for students who want to pursue graduate school or a research career as well as those preparing to apply to a health professional school. UT offers BS degrees in each Bioscience major, including several different BS options in Biology in a variety of concentrations. Read the degree descriptions below to see if there's an option that fits your specific academic and professional goals. Talk with your advisor about the option that is best for you.



BA degrees share the same structure with the BA in Liberal Arts.

Should I choose this option?

BA degrees were phased out with the introduction of the 16-18 degree catalog. For students in the 16-18, 18-20, and 20-22 catalogs, you can choose from the BS or BSA options available for your major.


Degree Checklists

Students are eligible to graduate under any active catalog from their years of enrollment at the University. Degree checklists are not official. They are intended as supplements to Interactive Degree Audits.

The University core curriculum lists are maintained by the School of Undergraduate Studies.



Degree descriptions

With so many Bioscience degree options, how do you know which degree is right for you? We've put together degree descriptions below with course options and possible career opportunities to help you decide! Talk with your advisor for more information.