A Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB, from the Latin baccalaureus artium or artium baccalaureus) is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus (from the Latin bacca, a berry, and laureus, "of the bay laurel") should not be confused with baccalaureatus (translatable as "gold-plated scepter" by using the Latina bacum and aureatus), which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree (Baccalaureatus in Artibus Cum Honore) in some countries. Diplomas generally give the name of the institution, signatures of officials of the institution (generally the president or rector of the university as well as the secretary or dean of the component college), type of degree conferred, conferring authority, and location at which the degree is conferred. Diplomas generally are printed on high-quality paper or parchment; individual institutions set the preferred abbreviation for their degrees. The Bachelor of Arts is usually attained in four years in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Armenia, Kenya, Canada, Greece, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Serbia, Spain, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Ireland, South Korea, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Hong Kong, the United States, and most of the Americas. Degree attainment generally takes three years in nearly all of the European Union and Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Israel, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Singapore, the Caribbean, South Africa, Switzerland and the Province of Quebec in Canada. In Pakistan, the Bachelor of Arts can also be attained within two years as an external degree.
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