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 (CMS) recommends writing academic degrees in lower case, except when using the degree as a title.
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.
However, CMS advises that academic degrees be capitalized when used in lists.
We are proud to announce our project team:
Jennifer Miller, Master of Fine Arts
Orlando Cruz, Bachelor of Science
Pierre Bettencourt, Bachelor of Arts
The Associated Press Stylebook recommends using lower case when referring to degrees in general but capitalizing when they follow a name.
Orlando is thinking about getting a bachelor of science 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. CMS recommends omitting periods unless required for tradition or consistency.
Examples: BA, BS, MA, MS, PhD
- The keynote speaker tonight will be Juris Doctor/juris doctor Michael Abercrombie.
- The keynote speaker tonight will be Michael Abercrombie, Juris Doctor/juris doctor.
- 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/ms.
- Juris Doctor
- Juris Doctor OR juris doctor (Either choice is correct.)
- Master of Science OR master of science
If you picked Juris Doctor in No. 2, then Master of Science is correct for No. 3.
Similarly, if you picked juris doctor in No. 2, then master of science is correct for this one.
- doctorate in history
Posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2009, at 6:16 pm