Capitalization of Academic Degrees
Perhaps you’ve wondered if and when academic degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) should be capitalized.
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) recommends writing academic degrees in lower case except when directly preceding or following a name.
Orlando is pursuing a bachelor of science in civil engineering.
He introduced Jennifer Miller, Master of Fine Arts.
He introduced Master of Fine Arts Jennifer Miller.
The Associated Press Stylebook (AP) recommends no capitals when referring to degrees in general terms (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, associate degree) but always capitalizing specific degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science), whether or not they directly precede or follow a name.
Orlando is thinking about getting a Bachelor of Science degree.
Orlando is thinking about getting a master’s degree.
He introduced Orlando Cruz, Bachelor of Science.
My recommendation is to pick your resource and then be consistent.
Where there is agreement, however, is that abbreviations of academic degrees are to be capitalized. CMOS recommends omitting periods unless required for tradition or consistency (BA, BS, MA, MS, PhD), but AP prefers retaining the periods (B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., Ph.D.).
- The keynote speaker tonight will be Juris Doctor/juris doctor Michael Abercrombie.
- The textbook was authored by Azizah Bakar, Master of Science/master of science.
- Eleanor is finally reaching the end of her studies for her Doctorate in History/doctorate in history.
- After studying hard for so many years, I definitely feel that I’ve earned my MS/M.S. in biology.
Pop Quiz Answers
- Juris Doctor
- Master of Science
- doctorate in history
- MS OR M.S.
Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009, at 6:16 pm