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BA vs BFA: Choosing Your AMDA Degree Program

April 14, 2022 - Educational Advice

For over half a century, AMDA has been providing the professional training aspiring performers need to transform their craft into a credible career. Ultimately, the degree program students elect to pursue plays a significant role in shaping their AMDA experience and coursework. While AMDA offers a wide range of degree programs for students, understanding the different options in front of you is a crucial step toward manifesting your professional aspirations within the performance industry.


In part, determining who you are as an artist and performer is influenced by what you choose to study. Naturally, one of the most common questions new students have upon entering AMDA is what degree program will best support their professional aspirations after graduation. More specifically, students often wonder whether they should pursue a bachelor of arts vs fine arts degree – and is one truly “better” than the other? As you’ll come to find, the answer is largely subjective. We explore some of the key differences between a BFA vs BA degree below.


Bachelor of Fine Arts vs Bachelor of Arts: What’s the Difference?


The first thing you should know is one degree program is not inherently better than the other – which path is “right” for you is perhaps best thought of in relation to your eventual career goals.


Whereas a Bachelor of Arts (BA) undergraduate degree is more focused on arts and science, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) undergraduate degree is more attuned to exploring themes within select fields of study including the visual and performing arts.


What is a BFA?


BFA refers to a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree program. In the context of AMDA’s various degree programs, a BFA refers to educational opportunities related to visual or performing arts. We designed our BFA programs to help transform your talents into becoming a more well-rounded artist through an intensive education that incorporates conservatory-level artistic training and a performance-driven curriculum.


AMDA’s BFA programs cover a wide range of specializations including:


  1. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
  2. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theatre
  3. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Theatre

*BFA programs can be completed in 4 years (8 semesters) or in as few as 2 years and 9 months on AMDA’s Accelerated Track. 


What is a BA?


BA refers to a Bachelor of Arts Degree program. These programs are designed for students who are looking to gain experience in a full range of academic study in addition to their intensive analysis of theatre arts.


AMDA currently offers two BA programs:


  1. Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, General
  2. Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, Performance

*BA programs can be completed within 4 years (8 semesters) or in as few as 2 years and 9 months with AMDA’s Accelerated Track. 


Bachelor of Fine Arts vs Bachelor of Arts: What’s Right For You?


Choosing between a BA vs BFA at AMDA might be a little easier when you consider you’ll still be receiving a world class education regardless of the route you choose. The “right” degree program for you will likely be very dependent upon your career goals, passions, and interests. If you’re still not sure on your path, consider some of the following questions: 


Do you prefer a general degree or specialization?


When comparing a Bachelor of Fine Arts vs Bachelor of Arts Degree program, it’s important to consider whether you’re seeking specialized training in a specific field. For example, if you’re interested in pursuing Musical Theatre or Dance, you’ll likely be most interested in AMDA’s BFA offerings.


What makes you most passionate about performance art?


If a specialization doesn’t jump out to you, consider what aspects of the performing arts make you most excited for the future. Do you primarily see yourself pursuing acting and want an education that exposes you to a full range of academic study? If so, AMDA’s BFA Degree program might be best suited for your career goals and interests. Of course, many of our students envision working behind the scenes – if you prefer having the ability to call the shots as a director or producer, the BA route may appeal most to you. Whatever path you choose, AMDA faculty and staff will support you in developing the professional toolkit you need to pursue the performance arts.


Where will you be attending college?


Degree program offerings differ between AMDA’s Los Angeles and New York campuses. For specific information regarding program availability, we encourage you to visit our programs page or request information.


Choosing Your Professional Path


Whatever path you choose at AMDA, you’ll receive an unsurpassed performing arts education which prepares you to work professionally in the industry through rigorous study. Our Degree Programs are designed to emphasize equity, diversity, and inclusion – no matter your background, your future starts here.


Apply now for admission to AMDA or request more information – classes are now enrolling!