The Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA or B.A.A.) is a vocational-oriented undegraduate bachelor’s degree. The B.A.A. is similar to the traditional (and much more common) Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees, but it is designated specifically as an ‘Applied’ degree meaning that it is not research-oriented or entirely academic in nature, rather it is designed to prepare students to perform duties associated with a particular career path or position.
The BAA is rarely awarded in the United States and is much more common in Commonwealth Nations, such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada. For example, Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, awards the Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) in various fields of study relating to youth studies, information technology, gerontology and family studies. It is also awarded by the Northland Polytechnic higher education institution in New Zealand for all fields of study relating to visual arts.
In 2002, several Canadian based colleges in Ontario and Toronto began awarding the B.A.A. degree to their students. In early 2009, Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch Minister of Education, submitted a resolution to replace many traditional degree (B.B.A, B.Eng and B.Ed.) offered through vocational colleges and universities with the BAA and BASc (Bachelor of Applied Science).