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What Is a B.A.A. Degree?

by Andrew Aarons

The Bachelor of Applied Arts degree is sought by students who know what area they want to specialize in and don’t want to dedicate time to generalized study that could be spent building a career in a particular field. If you’re one of those students, you may want to consider studying for a B.A.A.

B.A. versus B.A.A.

The Bachelor of Arts is a more easily recognizable degree than a B.A.A. -- B.A.s are offered by more schools than B.A.A.s and are taken by more students, as evidenced by the standard course catalog of any university. A Bachelor of Arts is a general education in the arts with a specific major, while a B.A.A. is a Bachelor of Applied Arts, which offers greater specificity in a particular field of arts and experiential learning. While a Bachelor of Arts is a research-based academic degree, a Bachelor of Applied Arts is vocational.

Purpose of B.A.A.

The purpose of a Bachelor of Applied Arts is to prepare students directly for the workforce. More specifically, the purpose is to prepare students for a work in a particular field. Every Bachelor of Arts, regardless of its specialization, is intended to equip students with a very narrow but deep range of skills in a core area. Bachelor of Applied Arts degrees are offered in a fairly wide array of fields, so if you’re sure you know what career path you want to take, a B.A.A. may be the perfect starting point.

What to Get a B.A.A. In

Bachelor of Applied Arts degrees certainly aren’t offered in every field, but they’re offered in a lot of them. Lethbridge College offers a B.A.A. in Justice Studies, which allows you to build a career in corrections. The University of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design offer a B.A.A. in liberal arts and studio arts. Texas State University offers B.A.A. programs across several disciplines. You can also find B.A.A.s in family psychology, early childhood leadership, interior design and many other areas.

Where to get a B.A.A.

If you’re interested in getting a Bachelor of Applied Arts outside of the United States, you can study in most of the commonwealth countries. B.A.A. degrees are frequently offered by schools in New Zealand and Canada -- in the case of Canada, schools that feature B.A.A. programs are most notably located in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. However, Bachelor of Applied Arts degrees can be offered in other countries as well. Check with your local college or university to see if they offer B.A.A. programs in areas of interest to you, or look abroad for applied education.

About the Author

Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.

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