Signals processed through the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) control both the proliferation and differentiation of B lymphocytes. How these different signaling modes are established at the BCR is poorly understood. We show that a conserved arginine in the tail sequence of the Igα subunit of the BCR is methylated by the protein arginine methyltransferase 1. This modification negatively regulates the calcium and PI-3 kinase pathways of the BCR while promoting signals leading to B cell differentiation. Thus, Igα arginine methylation can play an important role in specifying the outcome of BCR signaling.