3 Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science

A Bachelor of Science (B.S., B.Sc. or BSc in the UK; less commonly, S.B. or Sc.B. from the Latin Scientiæ Baccalaureus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years (see below).

International Differences

Commonwealth and Ireland

Commonly in the Commonwealth and Ireland are admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Science after having completed a programme in one or more of the sciences. These programmes may take different lengths of time to complete.

A Bachelor of Science receives the designation B.Sc. or B.S. for a major/pass degree and B.Sc. (Hons) or B.S. (Hons) for an honours degree. In Ireland the former B.Sc. was changed to B.Sc. (Hons.) which is awarded after 4 years. The B.Sc. (Ord.) is awarded after 3 years.

Whether a subject is considered a science or an art can vary between universities for example economics degrees may be B.A. in one university but B.Sc with in another however biology, biochemistry, math, physics, general science, earth science, and computer science are almost universally considered to be sciences.

There are exceptions the London School of Economics, offer the B.Sc. in practically all subject areas even those normally associated with arts degrees, while the Oxbridge universities award arts qualifications almost exclusively. In both instances, this is generally for historical and traditional reasons. The first university to admit a student to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the University of London in 1860 prior to this science subjects were considered to be arts in the case of Physics and Mathematics and medicine in the case of physiology and botany. [page xiii of The University of London and the World of Learning, 1836-1986By Francis Michael Longstreth ThompsonPublished by Continuum International Publishing Group, 1990ISBN 9781852850326] Formerly at the University of Oxford, the degree of B.Sc. was a postgraduate degree;this former degree, still actively granted, has since been renamed M.Sc.

United States

In the United States, a Bachelor of Science degree may be a more specialized version of B.A., with more focus on the subject and less on a broad liberal arts background; for example, a B.S. in economics may require several more advanced economics courses than a B.A. in economics, and possibly more support courses (such as statistics). The B.S. is also frequently used for professional areas of study such as engineering, journalism, accounting, and advertising. At least four American schools (Caltech, Babson, Georgia Tech, and MIT) and four of the five service academies (United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, and United States Coast Guard Academy) award the BS for all subjects. On the other hand, many schools (especially Liberal Arts colleges) do not offer a BS at all.

Continental Europe

The B.Sc. from Germany was equivalent to a B.Sc. (Hons.). Note that many universities in German speaking countries are changing their systems into the Ba/Ma system, thus of course also offering the full equivalent of a B.Sc.In the Czech Republic a Bachelor of Science places the pre-nominal letters Bc. before his name.

Rest of the World

In Brazil, a Bachelor of Science degree is a graduation degree and is also more specific, usually containing a one-year mandatory probation time by the end of the course followed by relatively elaborate written and oral evaluations (Monografia).

Typical completion period

legend|#4d6df3|Three yearslegend|#22b14c|Four yearslegend|#ff7e00|Five years

Three years

Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Denmark, England (three or four years with a one-year placement in industry), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (mostly three years, but can be up to four years), Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland (Ordinary), Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Quebec, Romania, Scotland (Ordinary),Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United States (three or four years), Wales and Zimbabwe.

Four years

Afghanistan, Australia (honours degree),Bangladesh (three or four years), Bahrain, Belarus, Brunei, Bosnia (four or five years), Bulgaria, Canada (except Quebec), Croatia (four or five years), Guatemala, Greece, Indonesia, Iran (four or five years), Iraq, Ireland (Honour Degree), Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lithuania, Malta, the Republic of Macedonia (three,four or five years), Montenegro (three,four or five years), Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand (honours degree), Pakistan, People's Republic of China, the Philippines (four or five years), Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland (Honour Degree), Serbia (four or five years), Slovenia, Taiwan, Thailand,Turkey, Sri Lanka (three or four years), Haiti (three or four years), United States (three or four years), Zambia (four or five years).

Five years

Peru, Argentina, Brazil (four or five years), Colombia, Mexico (4.5 years), Chile (usually four years dedicated to coursework plus one year of research thesis), Egypt, Haiti (four or five years), Spain, Syria and Macedonia.Sierra Leone (four years dedicated to coursework)

ee also

* Bachelor of Arts
* Bachelor's degree
* Master of Science
* Bologna process
* British undergraduate degree classification
* British degree abbreviations
* List of tagged degrees


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  • Bachelor of Science — 1. a bachelor s degree, usually awarded for studies in natural science, pure science, or technology. 2. a person having this degree. Abbr.: B.S., B.Sc., S.B., Sc.B. [1850 55, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Bachelor of Science — Bach′elor of Sci′ence n. 1) edu a bachelor s degree, usu. awarded for studies in science or technology 2) edu a person having this degree Abbr.: B.S. 1), B.Sc., S.B. • Etymology: 1850–55, amer …   From formal English to slang

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