What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

BA vs BFA: what's the main difference?

I'm interested in studying arts in college, and I've seen some programs offer BA (Bachelor of Arts) degrees and others offer BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degrees. What's the key difference between these two, and how should it affect my decision?

7 months ago

The main differences between a BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in the context of studying arts in college can be found in the program structure, focus, and flexibility.

1. Program structure: A BA degree generally offers a broader range of studies, incorporating liberal arts requirements alongside the arts-specific coursework. This means you'll be required to take classes in various subjects (e.g., history, literature, and sciences) in addition to your arts courses. In contrast, a BFA degree has a more intensive focus on arts-specific coursework, with fewer general education requirements. This allows you to dive deeper into your artistic discipline and often leads to more studio time.

2. Focus: As mentioned earlier, a BA degree provides a more well-rounded education that incorporates both the arts discipline and liberal arts courses. This cultivates a broader perspective in students and provides versatility in skill sets. A BFA, on the other hand, is a professional degree that focuses primarily on developing specialized skills in your chosen art form. This sets you up with a solid foundation for a career in the arts, as the curriculum emphasizes artistic growth, technique, and mastery.

3. Flexibility: Due to its more comprehensive structure, a BA degree allows for more flexibility in terms of electives and exploring other fields alongside your arts-specific courses. This can be an advantage if you have other interests you'd like to explore or if you're considering a minor or double-major. In contrast, a BFA has less flexibility, as the majority of your courses are specific to your artistic discipline.

When making a decision, consider your career goals and learning preferences. If you're sure about pursuing a career in the arts and want in-depth training with a more focused approach, a BFA might be suitable for you. However, if you prefer a more well-rounded education, want the flexibility to explore other subjects or potential double majors, or aren't completely certain about a career in the arts, a BA might be the better choice.

It's also important to research the specific programs and colleges you're interested in, since the specifics of a particular BA or BFA program can differ between institutions. Reach out to current students or alumni, as well as faculty or counselors, to get a sense of a given program's offerings and determine which degree type truly aligns best with your goals and interests.

Good luck with your artistic studies!

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.