Bachelor of Arts [BA] - Course Overview




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BA Full Form, Course, Subjects, Admission, Colleges, Jobs 2020-2021

Bachelor of Arts (BA) is an undergraduate program of 3 years and considered one of the most pursued courses in India, accounting to more than 9 million students. You can choose from many Bachelor of Arts subjects like Philosophy, Economics, Political Science, Geography, Sociology, Literature and other Humanities, Social Science and Liberal Arts subjects. 

IGNOU BA Admission Registrations for January Session Extended till February 28. 

All you need is minimum passing marks in Class XII from a recognized board. BA Admission usually takes place on the basis of merit, but there are several entrance exams as well like NPAT, BHU UET, etc.

BA degree can be pursued both full time and part time. Distance program is also there for BA course in IGNOU, Sikkim Manipal, DU, etc.

Following list shows BA Top Colleges in India according to IndiaToday 2019:

India Today RankingCollegeLocationAdmission ProcessAverage Annual FeesAverage Salary
1St. Stephen's CollegeDelhiMeritINR 34,000- 35,000INR 7.5-8 LPA
2Hindu CollegeDelhiMeritINR 180INR 6-8 LPA
3Miranda CollegeDelhiMeritINR 12,000- 13,000INR 3-7 LPA
4Kirori Mal CollegeDelhiMeritINR 12,000- 13,000INR 4-5 LPA
5Madras Christian CollegeChennaiMeritINR 8000- 9000INR 3-4 LPA

Read More:  Top BA Colleges in India 2020

You need to study 5 compulsory subjects, along with a few electives. Bachelor of Arts subjects can be selected from a wide variety of options. Average fees is under INR 30,000 annually, but in Hindu College you can complete your Bachelor of Arts in just INR 180 annually.

Companies like Deloitte, ITC Hotels, ICICI Bank, KPMG, BCG, IDInsight, Accenture, Capgemini, TCS Ltd., Genpact, HDFC Bank, HCL Technologies Ltd. etc. hire BA graduates. The average salary is around INR 4.2 LPA,  but it may be higher or lower according to the electives selected and college. The highest package offered in 2019 was INR 29 LPA in St. Stephens, Delhi. 

After BA, you can go for higher education and study MA, B.Ed., LLB, MBA or professional diploma courses for best opportunities in job industry, in both government and private sectors. 

Table of Contents
BA (Bachelor of Arts) Admission Process
BA: What is it About?
Why pursue Bachelor of Arts?
BA Subjects
BA Top Colleges
BA Syllabus
BA Jobs
BA (Bachelor of Arts) Future Scope

BA Admission Process

Admission takes place through one of the following:

  • Merit: Colleges generate their cut off list, and if you have scored within that criteria then you are eligible to take admission in that program. Cut off List in elite colleges like Hindu College, Miranda House, Gargi College, etc. goes upto 98% for BA course.
  • Entrance: Admission also takes place through entrances like JNUEE, BHU UET, DUET, etc. Scores in these entrance exams and/or Class XII scores are considered during BA admission.

BA Eligibility

Basic eligibility is 40% in Class XII. But this is not enough to get admission in a good college. You need to score atleast 90% if you are aiming for Delhi University. 

BA Entrance Exams

In some BA colleges like BHU, Sharda University, etc. admission takes place through the following entrance exams. Following are few of them: 

  • NPAT 2020: This exam is for admission in BA Liberal Arts, apart from other undergraduate courses in NMIMS.
  • BHU UET 2020: This exam is for admission in Banaras Hindu University which offers BA (Hons.) and BA in Social Science course.
  • CUCET 2020: This exam is for admission in central universities across India, like Haryana, Rajasthan, Kerala, etc. in BA B.Ed. and BA LLB courses. 
  • TISS BAT 2020: This exam is conducted by Tata Institute of Social Science for admission into BA in Social Science.
  • SUAT 2020: This exam is conducted by Sharda University for admission into BA in English, Pol Science, Sociology, History, etc.
  • DUET 2020: This exam is for admission in BA course along with other programs in Delhi University. ​
Exam NameApplication PeriodExam DateExam Mode
DUETMarch 2-22, 2020June 2-9, 2020Online
NPATTill April 30, 2020May 9-10, 2020Computer-Based
BHU UETJanuary 30- February 29, 2020 April 26, May 18, 19, 20, 21, 23 and 28, 2020Online
CUCET3rd week of March- 2nd week of April, 2020May, 2020Offline
JNUEEMarch 2-22, 2020May 11 – 14, 2020 Online
TISS BATOctober 30, 2019- March 20,2020April 28, 2020Paper 1- Online, Paper 2- Offline

Read More:  Top BA Exams 2020-2021

Points to keep in mind for BA Entrance Exams:

  • Time Table: Make a time table so that you can cover all the syllabus before time, and have time for revision as well.
  • Syllabus and Exam Pattern: Before preparing for the entrance, check the syllabus thoroughly on the official website and start preparing accordingly. Focus more on the subjects in which you are weak.​
  • Time Management: Apart from studying for entrances, you need to score well in Class XII as well, therefore you should find a balance between them both and not compromise on any of them, as both are compulsory for BA admission.
  • Revision: Notes should be made while studying so that you can revise the important or difficult parts of the syllabus.
  • Health: You should pay attention to your health and sleep so that you can function properly the next day. Take time for leisure activities to pleasure your brain and rest.

How to get admission in a good BA college?

  • You should try to score higher marks in Class XII because admission is mostly done through merit, and the cut off for elite colleges like Miranda, Gargi, Hindu, Hansraj, etc. goes upto 98-99%.
  • Performance in entrance exams also matters, hence study well in advance for that by making notes and revision. 
  • Keep a track of colleges in which you want to apply, and fulfill the eligibility criteria.
  • Applications should be submitted well before time for a hassle-free process. ​

BA: What is it about?

  • BA is a 3 year academic undergraduate degree, often called BA General or BA Pass course. 
  • It is not subject-specific and major subjects of Humanities, Social Science and Liberal Arts are taught in this, like History, Political Science, Geography, etc. 
  • The combination of subjects depends upon the colleges and the selected electives like Sociology, Religious studies, etc.
  • It is a flexible course suitable to develop general, research, communication and analyzing skills.
  • This course is suitable for students who want to make a career in Humanities and Liberal Arts, providing employment opportunities in both the government sector and private sector.​

BA Course Highlights

Course LevelUndergraduate
Full FormBachelor of Arts
Duration3 years
Examination TypeSemester based
EligibilityClass XII with any stream (but mainly humanities) from a recognized board
Admission ProcessEntrance and Merit Based
Course FeeAround INR 30,000- 50,000 annually
Average SalaryINR 4.6 LPA
Top RecruitersDeloitte, ITC Hotels, NIIT, Byju’s, Toppr, BCG, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, KPMG, Accenture, etc. 
Major Job PositionsExecutive Assistant, Associate, Executive, Consultant, Counselor, Content Writer, Foreign Language Expert, Teacher, Subject Matter Expert, Historian, Political Consultant, etc.

Why pursue Bachelor of Arts (BA)?

  • There is so much competition in India right now that Class XII qualification is not enough. Therefore, students go for BA degree as it provides a base to students who want to make their career in Liberal Arts, Social Science and Humanities. 
  • BA can also be done in subjects like Psychology, Economics and other fields, which proves that it is not just limited to Humanities. 
  • Many students believe that there is no scope in non-science and non-technical courses, but that is not the case. You can become a Political Analyst, Intelligence Specialist, Archivist, Museologist, Lobbyist, Historian, Public Relations, Content Writer and Editor, Event Management, Financial Consultant, Risk Advisory Associate, Policy Maker, etc. after BA.
  • If you dream of entering the public service sector, then BA is a perfect course for you. Many students clear IAS, UPSC, SSC and other exams to fulfill their dream and work in state and central government sectors.
  • Other professional and academic courses like MA, LLB, B.Ed, MBA and many diploma courses can be pursued after BA for better employment opportunities.
  • There are many interesting and not much explored disciplines also like Gender studies, Habitat Policy and Practice, Museology, Cartography, Gerontology, Rural studies and development, Social Services etc. which can be pursued after BA course. 

​BA Course Comparison

  • BA vs BSc: Mostly Humanities students go for BA and science students prefer BSc. Both are academic degrees, but the following table shows major differences between them.
QualificationBachelor of ArtsBachelor of Science
DisciplineBA course specializes in Liberal Arts, Social Science and Humanities subjects like philosophy, history, geography, literature, etc. BSc course offers specializations in biology, botany, chemistry, physics, economics, mathematics, statistics, etc.
Average Annual FeesINR 30,000- 50,000 INR 50,000
Career OptionsMajor career options are Content Writer and Editor, Political Analyst, Political Consultant, Foreign Language Expert, Executive Assistant, Historian, Public Relations, Event Manager, Risk Advisor, Associate, Executive, Lobbyist, Consultant, Counselor, etc.Major career options are JRF, Research Assistant, Junior Scientist, QA/QC Analyst, Lecturers, Teachers, Clinical Research Associate, Drug Safety Associate, Statistician, Subject Matter Expert, etc.
Further studiesMA in a vast variety of specializations like Journalism, Gender studies, Social work, etc. MBA in any specialization. LLB to enter the law field. Professional Diploma courses like Photography, Graphic Designing, Publishing, etc.MSc in various specializations like Biotechnology, Physics, Applied Economics, etc. MBA in any specialization. Certificate and Diploma courses in Science fields like Genetic Engineering, Computer Language, Agriculture, etc.
  • BA vs BBA: Both these degrees are in entirely different disciplines. BA is for Liberal Arts and BBA is to enter the Business Administration field.
QualificationBachelor of ArtsBachelor of Business Administration
DisciplineLiberal Arts, Social Science and HumanitiesBusiness studies
Degree TypeAcademicProfessional
Average Annual FeesINR 30,000- 50,000 INR 1-2 Lakhs
Career OptionsMajor career options are Content Writer and Editor, Political Analyst, Political Consultant, Foreign Language Expert, Executive Assistant, Historian, Public Relations, Event Manager, Risk Advisor, Associate, Executive, Lobbyist, Consultant, Counselor, etc.Major career options are Business Development Executive, Marketing Executive, Marketing Trainee, Financial Analyst, HR Generalist, Business Analyst, etc.
  • BA vs BA Hons: Both these degrees lead to the same qualification, i.e Bachelor of Arts, but there is one major difference between them. In BA Hons, you specialize in one subject which could be History, English, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, etc. But in BA course, you study compulsory 5 subjects which include History, Political Science, Sociology, English, etc. apart from electives which have to be chosen by the students like Fine Arts, Environmental Science, Journalism, Philosophy etc. 

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Specializations

Top Bachelor of Arts courses are:

  • BA English: BA in English is one of the most pursued BA course in India. Students study subjects like British Literature, American Literature, Indian Literature, etc. If you want to become a professional English content writer and language expert, then this course is perfect for you.​
Average Annual FeesINR 20,000- 50,000
Average Starting SalaryINR 3-5 LPA
BA English Colleges
  • BA Psychology: Psychology is the study of human mind and behaviour. Students study subjects like General Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Abnormal Psychology etc.
Average Annual FeesINR 30,000- 80,000
Average Starting SalaryINR 3-5 LPA
BA Psychology Colleges
  • BA Economics: BA in Economics can be called a professional course as it is designed to train individuals in analyzing concepts and processes of the economy by educating them in areas such as definition, nature, scope, concepts, utility, production, market, etc.
Average Annual FeesINR 30,000- 60,000
Average Starting SalaryINR 3-6 LPA
BA Economics Colleges
  • BA History: BA in History is a very popular course and students study the subject of history and allied areas. Students study subjects like History of Medieval India, History of Modern India, History of Europe, American History, etc. 
Average Annual FeesINR 30,000- 40,000
Average Annual SalaryINR 4-6 LPA
BA History Colleges
  • BA Sociology: BA in Sociology is also another popular option by Arts students. They study subjects like Applied Sociology, Comparative Sociology, Cultural Sociology, Collective Behavior, etc. 
Average Annual FeesINR 20,000- 50,000
Average Annual SalaryINR 3-6 LPA
BA Sociology Colleges
  • BA Journalism: BA in Journalism is perfect for students who want to make a career in journalism and mass communication, both print and electronic. Editor, Screenwriter, Journalist, etc. are some of the major jobs after doing BA Journalism.
Average Annual FeesINR 50,000- 1 Lakhs
Average Annual SalaryINR 3-5 LPA
BA Journalism Colleges

More BA Specializations

BA Political ScienceBA EducationBA Mass CommunicationBA Philosophy
BA GeographyBA CriminologyBA HindiBA Public Administration

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Colleges

The following table shows the Top BA Colleges across India:

India Today RankingCollegeLocationAdmission ProcessAverage FeesAverage Salary
1St. Stephen's CollegeDelhiMeritINR 34,000- 35,000INR 7.5-8 LPA
2Hindu CollegeDelhiMeritINR 180INR 6-8 LPA
3Miranda CollegeDelhiMeritINR 12,000- 13,000INR 3-7 LPA
4Kirori Mal CollegeDelhiMeritINR 12,000- 13,000INR 4-5 LPA
5Madras Christian CollegeChennaiMeritINR 8000- 9000INR 3-4 LPA
6Hansraj CollegeDelhiMeritINR 18,000- 19,000INR 5.5 LPA
7Loyola CollegeChennaiMeritINR 13,000- 14,000INR 2-4 LPA
8Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, Christ (Deemed to be University)BangaloreEntranceINR 45,000- 65,000INR 2-5 LPA
9Indraprastha College for WomenDelhiMeritINR 20,000- 25,000INR 2-5 LPA
10Gargi CollegeDelhiMeritINR 12,000- 13,000INR 3-6 LPA

Many students do BA through distance education from IGNOU, Manipal and other colleges. Following image shows colleges offering BA course through distance education:

distance education for BA

College Comparison

ParametersSt. Stephen’s, New DelhiLoyola College, ChennaiSharda University, Greater Noida
OverviewIt is one of the top BA colleges in India which offers BA course, apart from BA (Hons) as well.Loyola College is a prestigious and one of the oldest colleges in India. It is considered one of the top colleges to pursue BA. It is a private university established in 2009, and offers various BA courses. 
Average FeesINR 34,000- 35,000INR 13,000- 14,000INR 80,000- 90,000
Average SalaryINR 7.5-8 LPAINR 2-4 LPAINR 2-5 LPA
Placement companiesMcKinsey, AT Kearney, Monitor Deloitte and Takshashila Consulting, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Swiss ReInsurance Group, Pernod-Ricard etc. E&Y, Zoho Corp, Wells Fargo, Deloitte, Amazon, Genmedic, etc.Cognizant, Mu Sigma, Videocon,, InterGlobe, ICICI Bank, Johnson Controls, Alstom ,etc.

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Syllabus

BA subjects depend upon the course taken, but following is the BA English syllabus, along with electives:

Semester ISemester II
Indian Classical LiteratureIndian Writing in English
European Classical LiteratureBritish Poetry and Drama: 14th to 17th centuries
Semester IIISemester IV
American LiteratureBritish Literature: 18th century
Popular LiteratureBritish Romantic Literature
British Poetry and Drama: 17th and 18th CenturiesBritish Literature: 19th century
Semester VSemester VI
Women’s WritingModern European Drama
British Literature: The Early 20th centuryPostcolonial Literatures

Elective Courses: 

Modern Indian Writing in English TranslationLiterature of the Indian DiasporaBritish Literature: Post World War II
Nineteenth-Century European RealismLiterary CriticismScientific Fiction and Detective Literature
Literature and CinemaTravel WritingAutobiography
Academic Writing and CompositionMedia and Communication SkillsLanguage and Linguistics
Contemporary India: Women and EmpowermentLanguage, Literature and CultureReadings on Indian Diversities and Literary Movements 

Recommended Books:

Name of bookAuthor
A Background to study of English LiteratureB. Prasad
A Short History of English LiteraturePramod K Nayar
The Short Oxford History of English LiteratureAndrew Sanders
The Wonder that was India, London 1954Basham, A
Public Administration Theory and PracticeM.P. Sharma

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Jobs and Career

There is a vast variety of jobs available after doing BA course. From Content Writer to a Historian, numerous options are there. You can get hired by private companies for relevant positions as Associate, Executive Assistant, Counsellor, Consultant, Political Analyst, Historian, Content Writer and Editor, Feature Writer, Copywriter, Psychologist, Social Worker, Social Activist, etc. basis the course specialization.

Many students clear various public sector government exams and bank exams and find appropriate employment. 

Below are the major job profiles after doing BA with job description:

Job ProfileDescriptionAverage Salary
Content CreatorContent creators can be employed in any field ranging from copywriting to travel writing, blogging, etc. They are also required in big MNCs to develop content for brands and advertising.INR 3.5 LPA
Academic Writing and EditingAcademic writers usually write content for research articles or papers and edit the already written articles for further modifications. INR 4 LPA
Air Hostess/ Flight AttendantThey are responsible for the safety of passengers inside the flight, taking care of them and serving them onboard.INR 6 LPA
Political ConsultantA political consultant studies the origin, development, and operation of political systems, which may include public opinion, ideology, political decision-making, INR 7.5 LPA
Author/ WriterAn Author writes fictional, academic, non fictional or any genre of books or short stories, apart from different sorts of literature mediums.INR 4.5 LPA
HistorianA historian usually writes or outlines the chronological account or record of past or current events in history, dealing with some phase of human activity, either in terms of individuals, or social, ethnic, political, or geographic groupings. INR 4.5 LPA
PsychologistA psychologist employs their education and practical knowledge to provide diagnostic interviews, psychological testing, and individual, group psychotherapy, etc. They can work individually or may work as part of a multidisciplinary team or professionals. INR 4.2 LPA
Executive AssistantAn Executive Assistant performs the role similar to a secretary or administrative assistant. They usually perform tasks from accepting and making phone calls, setting business meeting agendas to reviewing incoming reports, etc.INR 6 LPA
CounsellorA counselor guides students or professionals about their career and studies as per the client’s interest. They work either individually or under some counselling company.INR 3.5 LPA
Foreign Language ExpertForeign language experts are the professionals who help to translate conversations and written files to overcome language barriers in business and communication.INR 4 LPA
Social WorkerSocial work can be done in any field like child labour, women's rights, unemployment, anima services, etc. There are so many government institutions and organizations which require social workers. They are also employed by national and international NGOs. INR 2.9 LPA
ArchaeologistAn Archaeologist investigates historic and prehistoric sites and examines the physical remains to understand human links to the past and to preserve past cultures. INR 3.5 LPA

Salary Trend Graph of major BA Jobs:

BA Jobs and Salary

Bachelor of Arts Scope

After doing BA, you have a wide array of options of industry jobs, higher education and government sector jobs. 

  • Government sector jobs: If you are interested in getting employment in the public and service sector in central and state government, then pursuing BA is the right option for you. Many BA students give exams like UPSC, IAS, SSC, etc. to get a job with a higher pay scale in the government sector. You can also clear the bank exams and get employment as a manager or senior executive in a bank. 
  • Higher study options: You can pursue MA in various specializations like Development studies, Gender studies, History, Education Studies, Journalism, Sociology, International Relations, etc. You are also eligible to pursue MBA in any specialization. There are several professional diploma courses also like photography, language studies (French, Spanish, etc.), graphic designing, digital marketing, etc. which will help you get better jobs in the market. Students also pursue LLB and B.Ed to become a lawyer and teacher respectively.

career after BA (Bachelor of Arts)


Ques. What is BA Full form?

Ans. Full form of BA is Bachelor of Arts.

Ques. What are the common BA subjects?

Ans. It includes English, Hindi, History, Political Science, Philosophy, etc. apart from many elective courses like Fine Arts, Psychology, Economics, etc.

Ques. What are the common BA jobs?

Ans. BA graduates find employment in private, public and government sectors in profession like Political Consultant and Analyst, Intelligence Specialist, Archivist, Historian, Museologist, Lobbyist, Restaurant Operations, Public Relations, Content writing and editing, Counselor, Consultant, Policy Maker, Flight Attendant, Academic Writer, Executive Assistant, Associate, Social Worker, etc. 

Ques. What is BA in English?

Ans. Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English is a 3-year undergraduate academic course in the language English and English Literature. It is offered in various private and public universities and includes subjects like English Literature, Twentieth Century Indian Writing, British Poetry and Drama, American Literature, etc.

Ques. Is BA degree worth it?

Ans. Yes, it is totally worth it. First of all, the fees to pursue BA is less than any other degree out there. Secondly, there are so many career options after BA like higher education in MA, BA LLB, MBA, etc. and job offers as well in positions of Political Consultant and Analyst, Intelligence Specialist, Archivist, Historian, Museologist, Lobbyist, Restaurant Operations, Public Relations, Content writing and editing, Counselor, Consultant, Policy Maker, Flight Attendant, Academic Writer, Executive Assistant, Associate, Social Worker, etc. 

Ques. What course should I do after BA?

Ans. You can pursue MA, MBA, LLB, B.Ed and many other professional diploma courses after doing BA course. 

Ques. Is BA a professional degree?

Ans. No, BA is an academic degree that provides a base to students who want to study liberal arts, social science and humanities. 

Ques. How many subjects are there in BA course?

Ans. Five compulsory subjects are taught in BA and there is an option to choose a wide variety of electives like Philosophy, Psychology, Economics, etc., apart from the five subjects.

Ques. What are some top BA colleges in Delhi?

Ans. Top BA Colleges in Delhi are Miranda House, St. Stephen’s, Kirori Mal, Hansraj, Hindu College, Gargi College, etc. 

Ques. What is the duration and fees of BA course in IGNOU? 

Ans. BA course in IGNOU can be done between 1 year to 5 years, with the total fees of INR 6000. 

Ques. Why students do BA LLB?

Ans. BA LLB is a 5-year integrated law course which students can do right after Class XII. Its curriculum is made in such a way that both law and art subjects are included in the entire course. This course is for students who want to become professional lawyers.



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