Bachelor of Applied Arts

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The Bachelor of Applied Arts, often abbreviated as BAA or B.A.A. is an undergraduate degree, with different meaning in different countries. The term 'Applied' means that the degree is vocational in nature, and not research-oriented, (depending on the country of origin).

The term "applied arts" have been used since the late 19th century to differentiate it from the pure arts, fine arts or a regular humanities subjects, since it consisted of technical applications or a physical product or outcome. The term Bachelor of Applied Arts was used in a similar manner as Bachelor of Applied Science.


The BAA is most often awarded in the Commonwealth of Nations, especially in Canada and New Zealand. For example, the BAA is awarded by Mount Saint Vincent University for child and youth study, also there are BAA awarded in architectural technology, interior design, applied linguistics, information technology, arts education, family studies, and gerontology.[1] Northland Polytechnic in New Zealand offers the BAA for the visual arts.[2]


In the past in Canada a (BAA) Bachelor of Applied Arts was slotted into fields that were both technical and creative in nature, or did not fit any of the traditional curricula of a classic structure of a "humanities" style degree. Program areas included Paralegal, Radio and Television, Media, Journalism, Film and Photography, Theatre, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Interior Design, Architectural Technology, Graphic Design and many other programs combining Liberal Arts and Technology. Prior to 2002, most Applied Arts degrees were interchangeable with regular degrees, or their 4-year counterpart B.A. in similar fields. if it was a 4-year degree that was completed.


On 20 February 2009 the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ronald Plasterk, proposed to replace all the existing degrees offered by Dutch vocational universities, such as the BBA, BEd and BEng, with the BAA and the BASc.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mount Saint Vincent University". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  2. ^ "New Zealand Educated". Archived from the original on 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  3. ^ Website of the Dutch government