You don’t have to be a bachelor to get a bachelor’s degree, but you do need to demonstrate mastery to get a master’s degree. Either way, you should know how to correctly spell the degree you have; avoid misspelling them as masters degree and bachelors degree.
- The correct way to spell master’s degree is with the apostrophe.
- The s in master’s indicates a possessive (the degree of a master), not a plural.
- If you’re speaking of a specific degree, you should capitalize master and avoid creating a possessive: Master of Science.
- The same rules apply to a bachelor’s degree.
Master’s degree vs. masters degree
When someone is awarded a master’s degree, they are recognized as having sufficient knowledge in a field of study to be called a master of it. That’s why the correct way to spell master’s degree is with an apostrophe—it’s the degree of a master:
If you’re referring to a degree in a specific field, like the arts or sciences, leave out the apostrophe and the s. Instead, capitalize both the word “master” and the field:
Often enough, terms like Master of Arts and Master of Sciences are abbreviated, and the rules on how to do it vary from one university and style guide to another. The academic title Master of Arts can be abbreviated as MA or M.A., and if the university in question is keen on Latin phrases, it may be abbreviated as AM or A.M., from the Latin Artium Magister.
Bachelor’s degree or bachelors degree
Bachelor’s degree follows the same spelling rules as master’s degree. When talking about the degree in general, it doesn’t need to be capitalized, the bachelor’s is written as a possessive, not a plural:
When speaking about a specific degree, you drop the possessive and capitalize both the word bachelor and the field of study:
Abbreviations for bachelor’s degree can be styled in several ways. A Bachelor of Science title can be abbreviated as BS, B.S., or BSc, but also as SB, S.B., and Sc.B. for the Latin Scientiae Baccalaureus.