Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science
AcronymBSc
BS
SB
ScB
TypeBachelor's degree
Duration3 or 5 years

A Bachelor of Science (BS, BSc, SB, or ScB; from the Latin scientiae baccalaureus)[1] is a bachelor's degree awarded for programs that generally last three to five years.[2]

The first university to admit a student to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the University of London in 1860.[3] In the United States, the Lawrence Scientific School first conferred the degree in 1851, followed by the University of Michigan in 1855. Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, who was Harvard's Dean of Sciences, wrote in a private letter that "the degree of Bachelor of Science came to be introduced into our system through the influence of Louis Agassiz, who had much to do in shaping the plans of this School."[4]: 48 

Whether Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degrees are awarded in particular subjects varies between universities. For example, an economics student may graduate as a Bachelor of Arts in one university but as a Bachelor of Science in another, and occasionally, both options are offered.[a] Some universities follow the Oxford and Cambridge tradition that even graduates in mathematics and the sciences become Bachelors of Arts,[b] while other institutions offer only the Bachelor of Science degree, even in non-science fields.[c]

At universities that offer both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in the same discipline, the Bachelor of Science degree is usually more focused on that particular discipline and is targeted toward students intending to pursue graduate school or a profession in that discipline.[9][10]

  1. ^ "Degree Abbreviations". Harvard University. Archived from the original on 2020-03-21. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  2. ^ "bachelor | Definition of bachelor in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Francis Michael Glenn Willson (2004). The University of London, 1858–1900: The Politics of Senate and Convocation. Boydell Press. p. 5. ISBN 9781843830658.
  4. ^ Hinsdale, Burke Aaron (1906). History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. OCLC 926150.
  5. ^ "Economics Overview". West Virginia University. Archived from the original on 2016-10-24.
  6. ^ "Economics (BA)". West Virginia University. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  7. ^ "Academic Regulations - Degree Requirements". Wesleyan University. Archived from the original on 2015-07-04.
  8. ^ "Bachelor's Degrees and Minors". Georgia Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Majors & Minor". The University of Iowa. Archived from the original on 2013-11-30. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Degrees Offered". University of Florida. Archived from the original on 2018-12-06. Retrieved 25 August 2021.


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