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BA vs BA Honors: Key differences 

Blog Date
December 30,

Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Arts Honors (BA Hons) may seem like two peas in a pod, claiming to be the best undergraduate courses for students after 10+2. Although both sound similar in name, they have their unique flavors. 

Talking about the fundamental differences between BA and BA Honors the first and foremost is specialization. While an online BA course from Sikkim Manipal University means studying at least 5 subjects, on the other hand, a BA Hons means specializing in one subject for 3 years. It is as if a BA course is like serving a dish with other 4 dishes, while a BA Honors is like serving a Biryani as the main dish. 

Choosing between BA and BA Honors programs can be challenging for many, so we thought of simplifying the choice by discussing both courses in detail in this post. So, join us to understand the key distinctions in BA and BA Honors degrees in terms of objective, eligibility, curriculum, and career prospects. 

What is BA? 

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program is the most popular UG course offered by almost all universities and colleges. It is a course that aims to allow students to explore various subjects before they proceed to a particular specialization. The main skills imparted to an online BA student from universities like Sikkim Manipal University through the Online Manipal platform are communication, critical thinking, research, and analysis skills. A BA course can be like a stepping stone that prepares students to dig deeper for diverse career paths at the postgraduate level. 

What is BA Honors?

Before throwing light on the advantages of pursuing BA Honors over a simple BA program, it is crucial to know what is BA Honors. A Bachelor of Arts Honors or a BA Hons is a 3-year undergraduate specialized degree course offered in various subjects to help individuals grab skills specific to a particular field. A BA Hons course is like an academic red carpet that invites students to step beyond the spectrum of general knowledge and attain specialized expertise in subjects like English, Political Science, and Sociology. 

Eligibility criteria: BA vs BA Honors 

No matter, whether you choose to pursue an online BA course or a BA Honors degree program, the eligibility criteria may vary from institution to institution. So, it is better to check and verify the exact eligibility requirements of the university or college you want to apply for your preferred BA or BA Hons UG course. 

The standard eligibility criteria for BA and BA Honors degree programs are as follows:

BA Course Eligibility BA Honors Course Eligibility
Completion of 10+2 from a recognized board in either Science, Arts, or Commerce streamCompletion of 10+2 from a recognized board with a minimum of 50% marks
Pass the CUET entrance examMinimum age to apply: 17 years
Maximum age to apply: 25 years

BA course curriculum

Whether one chooses to pursue an online BA in English, Sociology, Political Science, or any other subject, the course curriculum is designed to equip an individual with a versatile set of skills that can be applied in various professional fields. The entire BA course is split into 6 semesters that are covered in 3 years. Giving students the best choice to grasp skills in three popular subjects, English, Sociology, and Political Science, Sikkim Manipal University has launched a combination online BA course that covers all three in one program.

BA Honors course curriculum 

Bachelor of Arts Honors (BA Hons) is a well-planned course that aims to inculcate an individual’s critical thinking, creativity, and clear communication skills. Those interested in pursuing a BA Honors through the Online Manipal platform can enroll at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in a variety of subjects like English, Sociology, Philosophy, History, German, French, and Spanish. 

The course curriculum of a Bachelor of Arts Honors (BA) Honors course at MAHE focuses on offering fundamental concepts. However, at the end of the first semester, students can decide between three learning paths to continue studying. These are what they call Majors, Minors, and Double Majors. For this, they can opt for any of the following three options:

Explorer1 Major + 1 Minor
Innovator1 Major + 2 Minors
Consolidator2 Majors

The table below shows the year-wise program structure of a BA Honors from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE):

YearSemester and Program Structure
Year 1Semester 1 & 2: Foundation courses, Extra Disciplinary Competencies
Year 2Semester 3 & 4:Major & Minor Courses, Extra Disciplinary Competencies
Year 3Semester 5 & 6:Major & Minor Courses, Extra Disciplinary Competencies
Year 4Semester 7 & 8:Literature Review, Research Proposal, Thesis

Source: https://manipal.edu/mcph/program-list/ba-humanities2.html 

Career opportunities after BA 

A host of bright career opportunities can come your way once you get a UGC-entitled online BA degree from a top-class university like Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) through the Online Manipal platform. The knowledge and skills one grasps during this popular humanities UG course enable course graduates to fit into several exciting job roles ranging from a digital marketing manager to a human resource manager, from an academician to a content writer, and a public relations manager.

The table below highlights the top 5 job opportunities for online BA graduates:

Job RoleJob DescriptionApproximate Salary
Content WriterCreating engaging content for various online and offline platformsINR 6,70,995 per annum
Public Relations ManagerMonitoring media releases and other communications to shape a positive image of a companyINR 9.83 lakh per annum
Digital Marketing ManagerPlanning content strategies to boost the digital presence of a companyINR 7,50,000 per annum
AcademicianImparting knowledge and skills to interested students in a specific fieldINR 14.5 lakh per annum
Human Resource ManagerEnsuring good relations between employees and employers and hiring the best talent for the companyINR 10 lakh – INR 12 lakh per annum

Career opportunities after BA Honors 

A Bachelor of Arts Honors course, when pursued from a reputed university, can kickstart a bright career. Elaborately speaking, career options for a BA Honors graduate are not limited to jobs in the fields of content writing, human resource management, event management, or teaching; one can also get success in starting and handling a business.

The table below highlights the top 5 career prospects open for BA Honors graduates:

Job RoleJob DescriptionApproximate Salary
Teacher/ ProfessorMotivating, inspiring, and educating learners with the right skills and knowledgeINR 5,60,000 per annum
Content WriterWriting grammatically correct and interesting content for magazines, books, blogs, or websitesINR 6,70,995 per annum
CounsellorEnsuring the emotional well-being of individuals who are facing psychological and emotional issuesINR 5.1 lakh per annum
Event ManagerPlanning and managing an event for an individual or organization INR 700,000 per annum
Digital Marketing SpecialistUpscaling the digital presence and marketing of a company through social media and other online and digital platformsINR 7,50,000 per annum

Choosing between BA and BA Honors 

So far, you have learned about the course curriculum, eligibility, and career prospects of a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts Honors course. Now, join us to learn about the factors to consider when deciding between BA and BA Honors. You must note that no one choice can be accepted as universal for all. What we mean to say here is that the decision to pursue either of these two undergraduate courses might not stay the same for everyone and is bound to vary depending on a person’s interests, career, and academic goals.

The table below will reveal the key differences between BA and BA Honors to help you make the right choice for your graduation:

ParameterBA Degree CourseBA Honors Degree Course
Main area of studyGeneral education in more than one humanities subjectIn-depth study of the chosen humanity subject
Course duration3 years3 years
Eligibility criteriaCompletion of 10+ 2 from a reputed board and clearing the CUET entrance examCompletion of 10+2 from a reputed board with a minimum of 50% marks and should be between the age limit of 17 – 25 years
Specialization General education in subjects like English, Political Science, Sociology, History, Economics, Music, Drama, and Philosophy Wide range of specializations in subjects like English, Political Science, Sociology, History, Psychology, Economics, and Fine Arts
ScopeBA graduates can contribute to several industries with their communication and research skillsBA Honors graduates can contribute to specific fields related to the subject of their specialization
Skills taughtCritical thinking, communication skills, research, and analysis skillsSpecialized knowledge of a particular subject and advanced research and analytical skills
Career opportunitiesTeaching, counseling, writing, PR management, HR management, and customer care managementJournalism, writing, editing, research analysis, event management, digital marketing management, and teaching


We assume this article helped you learn the difference between a BA and a BA Honors degree course. Both are almost similar, but the latter enables you to dig deeper into specialization in a particular humanities subject. If you are keen to learn at your own pace, then enroll for an online BA course at Sikkim Manipal University and make way for empowered education through an enhanced digital learning platform. The whole team of experienced faculty and real-world mentors are awaiting your presence in this seamless learning journey. You don’t have to worry about excessive financial burden, as it is an affordable course offered by the university. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • online BA
  • Online Bachelor of Arts
  • online degree

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