Distinguishing Between BA & MA Degrees

BA vs MA

Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Arts (MA) are two courses offered in colleges and universities that display differences between them in terms of their course content and syllabi. BA is an undergraduate degree course, whereas MA is a postgraduate degree course. Although both are degrees offered in the arts stream, they are quite different from one another. BA is the first degree in the arts stream and is more of a general study of various subjects, while MA involves a more in-depth study of a single subject.

What is BA?

BA is a three-year degree course, with the study period sometimes extending to four years. It is an undergraduate course, and upon completion, the individual receives a degree or certificate of graduation. Until the course is completed, the person is considered an undergraduate. Students pursuing a BA degree must study an ancillary or allied subject during the first two years of their course, depending on the university they attend. BA is the first degree and requires a good grade in the final examination at school, which means many students study for a BA. The degree is awarded in various disciplines, such as history, geography, English, other languages, economics, philosophy, and sociology.

What is MA?

MA is a postgraduate degree or graduate course. All graduates are eligible to study for an MA degree course, which is offered in various subjects of arts. The course usually lasts for two years, or three years in some cases. MA students study only their major subject, and since it requires a more in-depth analysis of a single subject and a BA degree as a prerequisite, fewer students pursue an MA.

Key Takeaways

  • BA is an undergraduate degree, while MA is a postgraduate degree.
  • BA focuses on general study in various subjects, while MA focuses on in-depth study of a single subject.
  • BA typically lasts for three to four years, while MA usually lasts for two to three years.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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