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.
There is agreement, however, 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.).
Pop Quiz Answers
Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009, at 6:16 pm166 Comments on Capitalization of Academic Degrees