Baccalaureate "Bachelor's" Degrees

The Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin defines types of baccalaureate degrees offered at Penn State. The Registrar's office provides a listing by college of the type of degree(s) offered by each major.

MajorQuest is an interactive tool for identifying baccalaureate degree programs by interest areas and campus. In addition, MajorQuest provides a Quick Search for majors and for each major offers links to the Undergraduate Bulletin, the major's website, information about entrance to the major, and more.

The College Information Chart provides information about baccalaureate programs by offering links to college and campus home pages and their respective lists of majors, advising information, General Education courses required as part of the major, advising contacts, academic plans, entrance requirements, the Undergraduate Bulletin, and information used by the Undergraduate Admissions Office to describe programs.

Most baccalaureate degrees are either a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.). The bachelor of philosophy degree allows students to plan an individualized program of study.

B. A. Degrees

B.A. degree programs require students to develop proficiency (to the 12-credit level) in a single world language. The B.A. degree provides the opportunity to develop depth or breadth in the knowledge domains of arts, humanities, natural sciences, quantification, and social and behavioral sciences. In addition, the B.A. degree requires a course about non-western cultures.

Bachelor of arts degrees are awarded by University Park colleges—Arts and Architecture, Communications, Earth and Mineral Sciences, the Liberal Arts, and the Eberly College of Science—and by colleges at other Penn State campuses (contact the appropriate advising center for information).


B.A. requirements, outlined in the Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin, are uniform for all students enrolled in Penn State B.A. programs. The Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements Subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs has oversight over B.A. basic requirements and approves courses that may be used to satisfy these requirements. (Current B.A. requirements were established in 2004.)

All students pursuing B.A. degrees must earn the following:

  • 12th-credit level of proficiency in one world (foreign) language.
  • 9 credits in one of the following areas or any combination of them: arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, quantification, and world languages (moving beyond the 12th-credit level or taking one or more different languages). Courses other than foreign languages must be selected from the list of approved B.A. courses and cannot double count to meet General Education requirements. This 9-credit requirement cannot be fulfilled by courses offered by a student's primary major.
  • 3 credits in Other Cultures, which can double count to fulfill a major, minor, General Education requirement, or elective (but cannot double count to meet the United States Cultures and International Cultures requirement). In the Schedule of Courses, Other Cultures courses offered in a semester or session can be identified by using Additional Search Criteria.

Courses that meet B.A. requirements: This list of courses is maintained by the University Faculty Senate. Authorized advisers can find more complete information on ISIS screen ARICU. After entering a course abbreviation and number on the initial screen, press "F8." If the course is on the B.A. list, a B.A. code will appear. To learn which B.A. area is satisfied by the course, tab over to the code next to "BA CRSE," and press "F1."

Contact Kadi Corter in the University Faculty Senate office if you have questions about course approvals.

B.S. Degrees

B.S. degree programs may require a more in-depth study within the major field and/or may involve additional quantification and/or natural science courses. Some B.S. degrees require students to select an option that gives a specific focus to the degree. Bachelor of science degrees are awarded by University Park colleges—Agricultural Sciences, the Smeal College of Business, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Education, Engineering, Health and Human Development, Information Sciences and Technology, the Liberal Arts, and the Eberly College of Science—and other Penn State campuses (contact the appropriate advising center for information).


Requirements for a B.S. degree are unique to each major.

The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. Please consult a Penn State academic adviser for more detailed information.

Reviewed: June 2015
Last Update: October 2007