Bachelor of Arts (BA) vs. Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) – Difference Between

What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)? Although…

What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)?

Although they sound very similar, there are a lot of differences between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). It is very important to understand the difference between them if you plan to pursue one of these degrees at a university.

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The courses you take at university leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) are designed to give you a well-rounded education in the courses that make up the Arts discipline of the educational institution. The idea is to give you a broad base so that you can make an informed choice as to what career path you want to follow. There is usually a wide selection of liberal arts courses that you can choose as electives and others are required and they expose you to different areas of creativity. In this way you have a greater knowledge base of the humanities.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The courses that are part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program are in the area of aesthetics – painting, sculpture, dance, music, architecture to name just a few. Fine arts are often called the visual arts for this reason. In studying for this degree, you specialize in one of these areas. If you are pursuing a BFA in painting, for example, then your courses will be centered around this so that you won’t have to spend time studying the theory behind an area in which you don’t have any interest. In this way you have more time to spend on what you really want to do and can have the time needed to perfect your skills.

Difference between BA and BFA

In a BFA about two-thirds of the program focuses on the creation and the study on one area of the fine arts. In the program of studies leading to a BA, the opposite is true. You study a broad spectrum of the liberal arts. If it is your dream to become a professional artist, then you need to take the courses for a BFA. Thus BFA is a professional degree whereas a BA is a general degree.


  1. Both BA and BFA are Arts degrees.
  2. A BFA degree is more focused as the student concentrates on one field of fine arts. A BA requires the student to take many courses in the liberal arts.
  3. A BA is a general degree, but a BFA is considered to be a professional degree.
  4. A BFA is concerned with performing arts and a BA is concerned with theoretical subjects.


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