2nd Bachelors : BA in Biology vs. BS in Biology

Having a BS in Computer Sciences with a lousy GPA, I have determined that I would need to return to school for a second bachelors degree. The local 4-year college has a BA in Biology that I am interested in. Does it matter to medical schools if the pre-reqs are met in a BA program rather than a BS program? Is there any more “weight” given to the BS? I’ve done a search but couldn’t really find an answer to this. Thanks for your help!

i am in your same boat. going back to make up for a lousy gpa. i want to do biology as well. everything i have read seems to tell me it does not matter. just kick butt on your prereq’s and take what ever classes that interest you the most and will keep your gpa up. med school’s are looking for more rounded individuals these days. at least, that’s what i keep hearing.

I thought of another question based on this. Does it matter to medical schools if you do your prereqs full-time or part-time?

  • Roger Said:
Does it matter to medical schools if the pre-reqs are met in a BA program rather than a BS program? Is there any more "weight" given to the BS? I've done a search but couldn't really find an answer to this. Thanks for your help!

I too have this question. What will help me more in the long run, a BA or a BS or does it even matter? thnx!

Basically for the courseload question, the more you can mimic and achieve in the typically heavy medical school academic schedules, the more apt medical school admission committees will believe in your ability in making it through medical school.

For the BA in biology versus a BS in biology question, the answer to the question really depends on the coursework. Depending on the school, the only difference between a BA and BS may be that the BS requires calculus-based physics while the BA only requires algebra-based physics. Some medical schools might be impressed if you took calculus-based physics alongside the engineering and physical science majors. Some might not. Another difference between a BA and a BS might be that the BA is more tailored for potential teachers and has a student teaching requirement while the BS might require a research project is more tailored for potential scientists.

All I can add is that for me, the BA worked just fine. The only difference at the university I attended was a requirement for 2 semesters of calculus if you wanted a BS. After the first semester of calculus, and finding out that many med schools do not require more, I said “Fine. I’ll do the BA.”

Many medical students have BA degrees. Check with schools where you might be applying in the future and ask them. That is always the best way to answer your question.

Good luck to all of you!!

I don’t think it really matters if you have B.S. or B.A.

When I was getting my second degree, I had exactly the same problem. In the end I decided to pick up B.S. b/c I had to take organic and physics - which were not required for B.A. and I figured out that since I was already taking all these science classes, I might as well go B.S. route. And another reason, although I wasn’t really thinking about it from the very beginning, was that by taking more science classes I had wider background in sciences - which is not required or even necessary for med school (many people have only prereqs and do great), but I found it helpful.

As to taking prereqs full-time vs part-time, Judy Colwell commented on it a couple of days ago. Just run a search and you’ll get your answer.


I am in the same boat. I think it depends greatly on the medical shools you apply for.

I had a similar question, but this is more related to adding on pre-reqs to a BA degree. I am pursuing medical school as well, and have a BA in Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology, and am wondering if I need to get my pre-reqs by getting another four-year degree, or if I can just get my pre-reqs within a four-year degree program and then just leave when I get into medical school?

you do not need another 4 year degree. Just get the pre-reqs.