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How to write the term: bachelor's degree

Why would I want to know how to spell bachelor's degree?

Well, ironically enough, I have a degree in English and yet, when confronted with having to write about my degree itself, I discovered that I was not completely certain how. Turns out that, bombastic know-it-all that I am, I still wasn't totally confident about when and how the whole big "B" little "b" thing played out. I was even wondering about the apostrophe: When do I capitalize "bachelor" and when does it get the apostrophe and the "S?" I thought I knew, but I wanted to be sure. So, I decided to find out. What I discovered is that usage is almost entirely subject to style guides. Here's how it works:

Question: Is It “Bachelor” or “bachelor’s?”

Answer: Yes. Here are the "standard" rules:

  1. Based on what I found, the correct standard usage when referring to the actual/specific degree or the PERSON holding it, is to capitalize and use the singular noun with its relevant prepositional phrase, like Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy etc. (It should be noted that junior college degrees use the preposition "in" not "of" for their degrees, as in an Associate in Arts.)
  2. The correct standard form for general reference to these degrees is to use the possessive form of "bachelor" - meaning with the apostrophe and "s" - and to drop the caps, as in "She has her master's degree" or "He has a bachelor's in music."
  3. Correct standard form when abbreviating is to capitalize the main component words and use periods: B.A., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D., etc.
  4. When referencing your degree and major, do not capitalize your major unless your major is in some subject that is a proper noun (like English or French etc.). Correct standard use would be: "I have a bachelor's degree in business accounting." A capitalized example would be: "I have a bachelor's degree in English."
It's kind of small, but you can see: Caps and no "S"

It's kind of small, but you can see: Caps and no "S"

Names changed to protect the innocent, obviously.

Names changed to protect the innocent, obviously.

I use the term "standard form" because this form can be easily verified in widely acknowledged and expert resources like the Associated Press Stylebook, Encyclopedia Britannica Online and even my big ol' Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary--not to mention how it's written on actual degrees (I've included a couple so you can see). Note the capital letters and the lack of an apostrophe "S."

The problem with the term "standard," though, is that people interpret that to mean "etched in stone." The simple fact of grammar, and perhaps the great big sigh of relief that came with my English degree, is that "standard usage" is a squishy thing; there's lots of stuff that doesn't submit to some iron-fisted grammatical decree. Oddly enough, it's this lack of structure that explains why so many people hated English when they were in school. People like concrete facts. Definite boundaries and solid rules help us know that we are on track; they provide us with a feeling of control.

So, that said, if you're looking for the short answer to "What's the right way to write 'bachelor's degree?'" well, there you go. Do what I wrote up there and you will be technically correct. However, if you're interested in why and when those rules can change then read on, and you'll see where the style guides come in.

Heres a screenie of the Washington State University style page

Heres a screenie of the Washington State University style page

Notice this Drake style guide is specific in asking for lowercase.

Notice this Drake style guide is specific in asking for lowercase.

Style Guides: He Who Makes One Makes the Rules

I will repeat, what I wrote up there is totally correct. If it's good enough for the Associated Press, which guides lots of people, from reporters to professors in what to do, then, you're good to go. However, just because that is the correct way to write it does not mean that it is the only way to write it that is correct. Big difference. This is the squishy stuff I was talking about before, and this is where style guides come in.

Style guides are writing guides put out by schools, companies, non-profits, government agencies, you name it; if they're big, they probably put one out. Big ones besides the AP Stylebook mentioned up above are Chicago Manual of Style, APA and MLA Handbook, but corporations and colleges have them too. Totally at random, you can pull up style guides that completely destroy the rule we just neatly clarified.

Take Drake University or Washington State as arbitrary proof. Pull up their sites (WSU screenies above, both links below) and you will see that their style guides state that the specific terms for the degrees NOT be capitalized as I have done above. I realize this may seem like a petty distinction, but these two style guides are in conflict with "The Bible of the Newspaper Industry" as my AP Stylebook's cover accurately declares, and they explicitly state that the specific terms should not be capitalized, as in "bachelor of arts" and "master of science." They seem to contradict the AP people, the Encyclopedia Britannica people and even my Webster's unabridged. These sites suggest that capitalization should not be used at all.

So, who is right, the Associated Press or Drake University? Is there even a rule at all?

Well the answer is: Yes, there is a rule.

But the rule is: Know who is going to read your work.

It's the old "know your audience" thing, just focused on a slightly different detail. So, if it really, really matters; if you are submitting written work to a particular entity - be it academic, government or professional - and you don't want to come off as if you don't know how to write, find out what style guide they use and conform to what they expect. It might take a little time, maybe a phone call or two, but the effort will prevent your paper, article or manuscript from being viewed as "wrong."

In Conclusion

The bottom line is that, unless you have some really, really anal-retentive reader, you're probably not going to be hurt if you just stick with the method that I illustrated first up there. However, if you are a student at a university that has a posted style guide to use, you may discover how picky some professors can really be.

Whatever you do, once you pick a form for writing this stuff, make sure you stick to that method throughout the entire work. Don't change strategies in the middle of your paper, letter or résumé. Midstream shifts are guaranteed to draw notice to whichever method that you use, particularly if your reader is the picky type. More than likely, though, most readers aren't going to have any clue - remember, I have an English degree and I still had to look it up. It's just not the kind of thing people really take the time to know (unless you're the wacky English major type like me). So stick to your guns, whichever method that you choose. Besides, you have resources (below) to defend yourself no matter which way you decide to go.


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Works cited:


The Associated Press Stylebook - 2007

Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary - circa 2001


Encyclopedia Britannica Online- ( June 9, 2008)

Washington State: (June 9, 2008)

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Professor Essay from New York on April 25, 2015:

Thanks for sharing this article. How to write the term: bachelor's degree

By Shadesbreath..

Joe on December 30, 2013:

This thread is redonkey long. Donkey long. Donkey Kong.

Jaiper Feliciano on December 19, 2013:

I have come to my conclusion that your post head “ ” is one of the neatest, the only thing is the beginning of your post isn’t loading.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 24, 2013:

Glad to be of help, Diane S. Hope you get/got the job!

Diane S. on March 16, 2013:

Touche'! Shadesbreath! Thank you for clarifying! I am writing to a potential employer & wanted to know how to refer to my bachelor's degree. :)

valentine flowers pakistan on January 12, 2013:

That's a great attitude, I hope the incoming comments and suggestions are equally positive. I know I've said it in person, but for anyone reading the comments, its awesome!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 23, 2012:

Hi Kerry43. Thanks, glad you found it. And yeah, this one has done well all along. It's one of the first ones I ever wrote, and still manages to be one of my top three or four most of the time. Figures the stuff I wrote before I "knew what I was doing" has done so much better than the stuff I wrote after. What's that say? lol

Kerry43 on November 18, 2012:

How cool is this? I just Googled because I wasn't sure about something I was about to publish right here at HP...thought you'd like to know you're way up there with the big G search engine. Good job :)



Shadesbreath (author) from California on October 16, 2012:

Glad it helped, amie. :)

amie Paszel on October 15, 2012:

thank you.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 02, 2012:

You're quite welcome, Steph. It's nice to know we're not alone out here in the wacky language universe sometimes, eh? :D

Steph on August 02, 2012:

Thank you for the clarification, from one "wacky English major type" to another! ;)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 05, 2012:

Glad to be of service. :)

bonskie on July 05, 2012:

thanks a lot it's a great help

Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 04, 2012:

Hi Bonskie. Unless your "21st day of July" is part of a title or proper name of some kind, there is no need to capitalize "day."

bonskie on July 03, 2012:

very informative....but I'm in quandary -if the word day in 21st day of July be capitalized or not.....need an answer ASAP Thanks.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 10, 2012:

Hah, Fokcheung, great question. To be honest, I've never seen B.Sc. used here in the U.S. I believe it's a European convention, to which I cannot speak with any expertise. As for the long abbreviations, I think that for the sake of a résumé, I would spell out Information and Technology. There are simply too many words to communicate clearly to my mind if you abbreviate all of that. So, I'd recommend B.S. in Information Technology. The "in" works for you in that instance.

If you're really worried about it, go to your college website and find their Style Guide, and see how they list it. If you can't find it, go to the job placement office on campus, or wherever students at your school go to get help building a resume and/or finding employment. Those folks will have that information for you.

Fokcheung on June 10, 2012:

I just got my Bachelor of Science in Information and Technology. Now, how should I abbreviate it correctly? If it is with periods, then it should be B.Sc.IT. or B.Sc.I.T., since IT is normally without periods? Then what is the difference between B.Sc. and B.S., which both are Bachelor of Science? Then what is the correct one? B.S.I.T. or B.S.IT.? So confusing! LOL... Thank you so much for the answer! :D

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 12, 2012:

Mine was an AA, and says Associates in Arts. My understanding is the "in" is in at all community colleges. Perhaps your school was somehow different than most. Or, just possibly, have you looked recently at the degree to see? I think most people assume it's "Associates OF..." until they look. I know I assumed that until I started researching this article. Actually had to get up and go look to verify. Turns out I was wrong, it was "in" not "of."

Captain Kirk on January 12, 2012:

Actually, my first degree was an "Associate of Science" degree from a junior college.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 02, 2011:

Hi smdavis. Congrats on your achievement, or near achievement. That's fantastic! And I think your sentence works perfectly fine as written, although it is a bit of a mouthful. Perhaps we can shorten it a bit and play with either punctuation or breaking it up into two sentences, and even considering abbreviations. Keep in mind, none of these are any more "correct" than what you've got there, just a few attempts to help you figure out how to manage that mouthful you have to crow about:

1. I have a bachelor's of science in business administration with a concentration in business studies (focused on human resource management) and a minor in information systems.

2. I have a bachelor's of science in business administration with a concentration in business studies focused on human resource management. I minored in information systems.

3. I have a B.S. in business administration (concentration in business studies and focused on human resource management) with a minor in information systems.

4. I have a B.S. in business administration—concentration business studies/focus human resource management—and a minor in information systems.

Personally, I think 3 is best. Hopefully this is useful in some way. And again, congrats in advance.

smdavis1117 on November 02, 2011:

I will be graduating in May with a bachelor's in business administration. However, my concentration is business studies and my focus is human resource management. I also minored in information systems. How can I say all of this in one flowing sentence!? "I have a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration of business studies with a focus in human resource management and a minor in information systems??" Help pleaseeee!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 30, 2011:

Yes, there's some slanginess to my natural/internal voice dating back to my ranch youth that just never shakes out. I do "there's many ways to do this or that" kind of sentences/statements almost constantly. You'd think I'd start spotting it at some point, wouldn't you? Thanks for the heads up, Peg.

peg on September 30, 2011:

Very informative, but a little funny that the English major wrote:

Answer: Yes. Here's some "standard" rules

Here is some rules?!


Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 27, 2011:

Sue, that's a great question (and congrats on such great marks!). Yank that I am, I'm not up on the Australian rules (which is my assumption on where you are from based on that), so I'd have to do some research on it. My recommendation to you on that is to follow the "style guide" rule I mentioned. Check your school's style guide on its website, see how they tell you to write it (and if you can't find one for your school, find a prominent university nearby that does), and run with it. The thing to remember is, if you aren't exactly sure, odds are prospective employers aren't either, and that means there may not be ONE right way. So, if you can find a reputable university with a styleguide that explains it, just run with that version. The purpose of writing anything is to communicate meaning, so, as long as it's clear what your point is, and you are consistent with the form you use, I doubt you'll do any damage to your career. The only people who might judge you that harshly for being "wrong" on that kind of a thing are people you wouldn't have wanted to work for anyway.

Sue on August 27, 2011:

How do I write that I attained a first class A in my honours - Bachelor of Science (Hons 1A)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 08, 2011:

Hi Sharon. I'm glad this hub was useful to you, although I am sorry you had to find it under sad circumstances. I appreciate the kind comments, thank you.

Napa Valley Sharon on August 07, 2011:

I agree - great writing style! Can't believe I read the whole thing, including all the comments, since I got my answer in the very beginning. I'm writing an obituary and I wanted to get it right. The best tip was "know your audience." Thanks for a great read!

smithhogg on July 29, 2011:

Post is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post. Now it become easy for me to understand and implement the concept.I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.[url=]Essay writing[/url]

Essay writing on July 29, 2011:

bachelor's of Computer science because i am BS answer of your is bechelor's not bechelor.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 21, 2011:

Thanks, JTR. This was the first or second hub I wrote. It's been one that worked out pretty well over the last couple of years. I'm glad you found some use for it. :)

JiveTalkinRobot from California on July 21, 2011:

Great writing style, I'm going to learn a lot (about subject matter and writing flow) reading your Hubs.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 01, 2011:

Hi SamboRambo. That's a good question, and one, sadly, I don't have any authority over, really. I would say you have clearly learned a TON, and probably have a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knocks if nothing else. The upside of wehre you are now is that, I seriously doubt that, were you to apply for a job in your field, that anyone would give a crap what degree you did or didn't have. Some 24 year old kid with a BA in design or graphic arts applies for the same job you do, Junior has no chance of getting hired (unless they are looking for someone they can pay nothing to and don't expect much more than nothing but "potential" in return lol).

Samuel E. Richardson from Salt Lake City, Utah on June 30, 2011:

What about "bachelor's degree equivalent?" Because of details that are best explained elsewhere, I had three years at a university, two years at a two-year college (after the U), and two more years in the same subjects (Graphics and Design) at another two-year college just recently, to update my technical prowess on things that have gone obsolete. Plus I've had 30+ years experience in printing and design. Am I authorized to say I have a B.A. equivalent?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 30, 2011:

Thanks, Cags. And you're right, having a degree means almost nothing in a way. I know plenty of people who sit through classes playing on Facebook and do the minimum required to get the minimum passing grades so they can have what is known as a "vanity" degree. It means nothing, and their future employers will find it out when they hire them and find out they don't know crap. So, anyone who really wants to learn something can just start reading. I think probably the main advantage I see about college is that, if you get really good professors (which is not a guarantee lol), they can speed up the rate and depth of learning in fantastic ways. They point you to the right stuff, in the right order to really get particular ideas laid out, fleshed out and refuted from various sides. They bring the advantage of having done a lot of reading to you, so you can skip some dead ends (which is not to say dead ends don't have value too). Plus, they can really teach you how to learn, which is an art in itself. But, in the end, you get out of it what you put in, self taught or college. It's mostly about desire and discipline either way. Nice to see you on this one, thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on June 30, 2011:

Hey Shades, I saw this one on the feed and realized I've never commented on it. It's nice to see you give back to others, what you've learned, but then again, I always see you do that. :P As for how to spell it? I don't really care, because I don't have a degree either way. My high school education has seem to be enough really, but as you already know from my writing, my learning has not stopped. I prefer to learn in many ways, and I really didn't see a need to go for a higher education. I'm not saying it's not a bad thing for those who do go on, but to do what I wanted, it wasn't required. And, yes, I will agree with you...the English language can be really confusing. I wasn't ever good at English, but was good enough to graduate. :P LOL! Thumbs Up! :)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 30, 2011:

You're not alone, Hope Vinson. This article gets a steady trickle of people just like us. Just proves the "rules" of English are confusing to everyone. :)

Hope Vinson on June 29, 2011:

It's funny that I found myself wondering about that as well. Whenever I got confused, I would use initials rather than write the words out.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 21, 2011:

Thank you, htodd. :)

htodd from United States on May 21, 2011:

Great post!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 25, 2011:

Hi Petra. I am very happy to hear you could find some use for anything I have written. And there are so many fun and clever people at HP, I enjoy the folks here a great deal, just as you have experienced. Sorry to hear you didn't get that one question right, but hey, as they say, "Now you know," right? :) Thanks for reading.

Petra on April 24, 2011:

Hello Shades, I've been studying English as a foreign language and I've found your writing very educational and fun to read. Thanks so much for the tips and clarification. Last weekend, I took an exam and Bachelor's or bachelor's degree in English were multiple choices. Needless to say that I should have read your article first! Many thanks to all of your fans too. I've learned so much from everyone. Keep it going. Kudos!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 20, 2011:

Yeah, I see the posts. I delete spammy links and respond to real (and semi-real) comments. :D

Academic Writing on April 19, 2011:

I am surfing via google and i found your blog full of interesting material really enjoyed here and i am wondering that you will keep updated on every post.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 16, 2011:

It is sort of confusing, Aslanlight, but you actually have it right. I'll clarify to show you how. I have a degree in English, so I'll be the example:

1. I have a bachelor's degree in English.

2. Because I have it, I am a Bachelor of Arts with a degree in English.

Hope that helps.

aslanlight from England on January 16, 2011:

Very informative! I find the term a little confusing in that I'm not sure if a person is a bachelor of so and so, or has a bachelors?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 17, 2010:

Ha! What a fantastic title you have there. Now all you have to do is get your Ph.D. pass the bar and get knighted and you could be Sir Dr. Thomas Surname (BSc GDipPD MEnv Ph.DXyz), Esq. How fun would that be? Get cracking, you still have a lot of work to do!

Thomas S on November 16, 2010:

Just to explore the confusion some more, I was looking hard at how to describe my qualifications here in Australia, and thought that my university would be the place to go to find the proper nomenclauture.

It turned out that, having been unsuccessful in finding it twice, and discovering this well researched hub page in the process, the third time was the lucky one.

Summary : University of Melbourne specifies the shortened term, is written without periods, and is described in an appendix to the regulations relating to the awarding of qualifications.

refer 1)

refer 2)

I have a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Graduate Diploma in Planning and Design (GDipPD) and will shortly have a Masters of Environment (MEnv)

So, I am shortly to be Thomas Surname (BSc GDipPD MEnv)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 30, 2010:

I'm glad this helped, Sovay. And regarding adding words to the lexicon is always going to happen; I agree that I prefer they be added for creative or functional purposes, but the reality is, they do get added out of what I call "popular illiteracy." It's sort of an anti-establishment thing, but some, and perhaps many, glom onto it as an excuse for being too lazy to learn. It's always been that way, it's just we have the Internet to spread that sort of thing more rapidly these days.

Sovay on September 30, 2010:

Thank you so much. You had just the answer I needed - including reasonable caveats. SO helpful!

By the way don't you think language change for creative purposes (such as frolickiness) or new activities (like phishing), is positive, while change due to ignorance (e.g. current common misuse of embattled or disinterested) is negative? Also, I think frolicksomeness might be nice as well.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 25, 2010:

Hi Petrakin. Glad you found this, and I'm with in thinking its one of those little details that did need to get clarified. Thanks for commenting.

Petrakin on August 25, 2010:

Thanks, I was kind of unsure if this would be on the web but its good to know that someone took the time to explain this thing.

ASFA123 on June 08, 2010:

nice hub

Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 22, 2010:

Cheers! And, well, I'm not sure what else to say but that I'm glad you are able to not look like a retard on facebook at least. That has to be a plus, although I there can be significant traffic benefits to looking like a retard on facebook, so, either way, your probably in good shape.

drunk on April 22, 2010:

so imm pretty drunk right now but cant sleep so i thought id use this opportunity to give you some feedback. but yea im drunk(and not an English major)so sorry if someone pointed this out already but im pretty sure the first paragraph of this doesn't even answer the question "why would i want to write bachelor's degree" thats written above it... plus it's littered in obvious errors in grammer and all that technical shit, which is cool cause i do that sh*t too, but like 92ish% of it is total bullshit. That being said, thanks for telling me how to write B.A. in Science so i dont look like a complete retard on facebook (which is why i googled this in the first place). i appreciate all the time you put into answering it... even though it could have easily been given in like 8 sentences. (i realize the irony of me spending an entire minute to point all that out, and i could easily be wrong because im not a "B.A. in English" (;)).. (

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 20, 2010:

That's a great point, Askjanbrass! It would be bad to address someone from whom you might want consideration or a favor and slight them, even a little, by mussing up their hard-won title/credential. An excellent observation, thanks for that.

askjanbrass from St. Louis, MO on January 20, 2010:

It's quite important to have a grasp on these degree spellings and abbreviations. From a professional standpoint, it's essential to address other professionals with proper grammar--meaning you must address them using the correct title and spell it right!

Great Hub, thanks for sharing!

Henry1235 on January 11, 2010:


This is really a wonderful article and also obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided to us. Keep up the good work.

UK Dissertation

Accounting firm on January 01, 2010:

More good informations thanks for helping me out. Always a pleasure to see information that is useful, thanks again

Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 20, 2009:

Thanks, DW. I only found out how myself after realizing I wasn't sure either. Can't feel bad about what we don't know, can only feel bad about what we know we don't know and yet don't bother to find out.

dissertation writing on November 15, 2009:

Nicely explained. This is something that gets students confused a lot. Long time ago, I also wondered whether to write bachelors degree or bachelor's degree. You have explained it very nicely.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 21, 2009:

Hi RoTimi. Thanks for the nice comments. To abbreviate it your credential, you would write: I have a B.S. in mass communication and business.

Generally, a bachelor's degree is not a degree you would place behind your name (nor is a master's really, although some do). You'll see RoTimi Waddy, PH.D. or Shadesbreath Jones, M.D. but not often the bachelor's or master's degrees.

However, you can do it (it's not "wrong" to do so), but generally you don't specify the field of study when you do. So you would just write RoTimi Waddy, B.S. Make sure you use your full name, though. Not Mr. Waddy, B.S. nor even just R. Waddy, B.S. If you include the degree like that, use full, first and last name. Hope this helps.

RoTimi Waddy on August 21, 2009:

I really enjoyed reading this post and the comments. I found this post to be quite helpful in properly writing the abbreviation of my bachelor's credential.

I have a bachelor's degree in mass communication and business. How exactly do you write that with the abbreviations? How would I add it to the end of my name is a better way of asking this question.

I appreciate any suggestions from any one, especially the English grads who have posted on here :)


RoTimi Waddy

Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 11, 2009:

Twin XL, sometimes humans develop these odd things called "interpersonal relationships," which on the Internet might seem ironic in a way, but try to stay with me here for a second... in which said humans sometimes exchange information that isn't really so much information as social interaction.  By saying things that, perhaps, don't seem to say anything at all, those humans are actually saying what is not being said, which includes concepts like, "I like you," or, "You are my friend, I enjoy you, and want you to know it" sort of things. 

This can be a difficult concept for some humans to recognize as they are often stodgy, socially inept or possessed of such collosal sour-pussedness that they are incapable of articulating these types of things and, therefore, find themselves with no need to.

Twin XL on May 11, 2009:

Wow, there are a lot of comments about basically nothing. Way to go!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on February 24, 2009:

Yeah, I like that AML, "clarified as best as can be expected" is pretty much right on target.

AMLivingston on February 24, 2009:

Thank you. This bothers me every time I work on my resume. I suspected it was correct to indicate I have a Bachelor of Arts in history, but because of my line of work, I need to indicate I also have an English minor. This all resulted in a stylistic decision based on "know your audience" to write it as Bachelor of Arts in History with an English minor. My audience is prone to over capitalization, but I just can't bring myself to capitalize "minor." I do *only* have a minor in English, so it is nice to see this topic clarified as best as can be expected.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on February 05, 2009:

You mean, you have a master's degree in English? ROFL.

See, we're using differenet style guides even as we speak.

Corina Cook on February 05, 2009:

Oh my goodness - this is so funny! Heck, I have a Master's Degree in English, and I'm never sure how to write it.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 23, 2009:

Hah, see, that's pretty much the problem I was having when I was driven to write this article.  And, while I don't have time to look it up, I'm fairly comfortable saying that it works the same way when modifying "program" too.  The noun "program" will become plural or not depending on what is being said, so the "master's" (serving as an adjective) remains the same either way.


annemoss on January 23, 2009:

I did atually know about 'bachelor's degree' but got tripped up today with 'master's programs' or 'masters' programs'. So I had to take a break and look it up so I could get my grammar head in gear. Some days the synapses just don't fly the right way in my brain.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 10, 2009:

Yeah, I couldn't get into the DK, mines at 59 and probably will be for a long time. lol. Mage and Rogue are 80, preist is 72. New job is good, but I have to wake up hella early, which is going to take some getting used to. LOL @ dueling. Would be fun.

spryte from Arizona, USA on January 08, 2009: DK is stuck at level 60. You know how it goes. My lock is now 80...and in constant demand to come and suck the life out of the bad guys (don't you even dare make a comparison). My rogue is closing in on 76 and it's starting to get expensive between the three of them...but I'm trying.

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist checking out the new expansion. How's the new job going?

:P Christoph. Hehehe! Although I wouldn't mind dueling Shade in might even be kind of fun. I could check out his frolickiness....

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 07, 2009:

Hah, no. Just figured that's where she vanished to. (Me too a little, but mostly new job now.) And /cheers, Christoph!

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on January 07, 2009:

Have you two been meeting in WoW secretly?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 07, 2009:

I reserve the right to create whatever word I need for any given situation as required. Why are you criticizing my languagification of the, uh, language when you have Death Knight to level up?!

spryte from Arizona, USA on January 07, 2009:


Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 07, 2009:

You're welcome and thanks, and, mostly, while I have no idea what that little critter is you made at the bottom of your comment, I derived at least 15 seconds of pure amusment contemplating just what it might be. I concluded nothing beyond it has cuteness potential in spades and screams frolickiness in a completely feminine voice.

CJ Anderson on January 07, 2009:

Sue Wheat! Thanx! Who knew (?) we scholars should/could/would end up "less clues" toward style form mysteries as the vitae accrue Bless YOUR literate I.Q.

CJ Anderson B.A. [girl workin' on M.S.]


Shadesbreath (author) from California on October 03, 2008:

Good. And if you really want to capitalize the "D" in dentistry, you won't get picked on too bad in the first case (Bachelor of Science in Dentistry) as you would in the second. The first example can be construed as a title, in which case an argument can be made for correctness, where the second instance (bachelor's degree in dentistry), to capitalize "dentistry" makes of it a proper noun that it is not.

Thanks for playing our game, as they say. :)

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on October 03, 2008:

I keep on forgetting the no "s"...ok I will remember that! Yes this helps! :)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on October 03, 2008:

No "s" on Bachelor of Science for the first one.  And the capital "D" on dentistry is not needed in either case.

Hope that helps and glad you stopped by. :)

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on October 03, 2008:

Hi Shadesbreath, I found this to be an interesting piece. :) Since I have 'abandoned' my dental life years ago and along with it even my 'title.' So when somebody would ask me, what were you a graduate of? I discovered I had forgotten what to say? LOL anyhow, I guess mine would be Bachelors of Science in Dentistry or 'I have a bachelor's degree in Dentistry." Did I get that right? :) I enjoyed this one. Thanks.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 27, 2008:

I even tossed that one up on the list too. Thanks for contributing that great question.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 27, 2008:

The area of study should not be capitalized unless it is a proper name. So, if the degree is in business or business accounting, it's simply written as: I have a bachelor's degree in business accounting. However, in my own particular case, my degree is in English, which is a proper noun, so I must say, "I have a bachelor's degree in English."

So there you go. Hope that helps.

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on September 27, 2008:

'xactly. Only they would capitalize any and all words possible. Example: John Cranedriver is a Project Superintendent at Acme Development, Inc. He graduated from City University with a B.S. (NEVER bachelor's -- but if they did write it out, it would be Bachelor's Degree) in Construction Management and a minor in Business Accounting. Is it me (excuse me, is it "I") or does interrupting sentences with so many capitals make the sentence feel like you're riding a rollercoaster?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 27, 2008:

You mean like when they write:  "I have a bachelor's degree in Business" or some such?  Capitalizing the "B" in business?

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on September 27, 2008:

Hooray (or hurray or hoorah) for this definitive piece! Would love to see a follow-up on what comes AFTER the degree. As one who fights regularly to de-capitalize majors from accounting to business to math (I write a lot of bios for working professionals) I would love to get your take on the to initial cap or not to initial cap question..

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 27, 2008:

Use the periods.  It's grammatically correct to use them for abbreviations, and I just checked two style guides and my AP handbook to be sure there isn't some little sneaky secret that lets you off the hook for periods.  There isn't.  So, go with option number 2.

And, since that's such a good question, I just added it to the hub. Thanks.


Benson Yeung from Hong Kong on September 26, 2008:

Dea Shadesbreath,

you have just managed to make it pay. I've clicked both the google ads on this one to check how these 2 universities write the term. You can expect your 5 cents coming through the mail.

thanks for the effort. I am still undecided what to put down for my MBBS / M.B.B,S.

Any suggestions?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 04, 2008:

Like book ends. Good thought.

Oh, wait... whose hands do they have to hold?

B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on September 04, 2008:

Seems to me, that degrees or bachelorhood, and degrees of separation could go hand in hand.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 04, 2008:

Well, it's a fair question. Another follow up to it might be, how many degrees of bachelorhood are there? Do you quantify by conquests as it were?

Actually, the most fun I have with the degree thing is that, you know how when you get a PhD people call you "Doctor" right? Well, I've been telling my wife that when I finally finish my master's degree, it stands to reason that she will have to call me "Master." She seems to be wanting to resist this, so I'm going to have to keep working on her until she sees the perfect logic in my reasoning.

(And yeah, I'd have got it. I have an eye for sarcasm anyway lol.)

rmr from Livonia, MI on September 04, 2008:

People define us, in part, by how we choose our words. Yours are always chosen wisely. I never went to college, so I've always wondered; Why do you need a degree to be a bachelor? I married young, so I would obviously have failed that course!

I just re-read this comment, and it didn't sound as much like a joke as I had intended. Since it's too late to delete it, I'll just wave my sarcasm sign, and hope you notice it.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 04, 2008:

Thanks, Amanda. This is one of my first hubs and it's by far my most Google searched one and I'm pretty pleased with it. And you are right about the English language being a work in progress. I suppose all language is. We're just doing our part to screw it up for generations to come. No sense making it simple for them. LOL. If you like this kind of hub, I just did one on "Bad Rap or Bad Wrap" that goes into the evolution of the term. Check it out if word stuff is interesting to you. And thanks so much for the kind words.

Amanda Severn from UK on September 04, 2008:

Hi Shades. Interesting hub, and just goes to show that the English language has more tributaries than the Amazon, and is still a work in progress. I wonder sometimes whether we haven't tried to fit the venerable old lady into a straightjacket, but it doesn't matter too much, because she soon wriggles right out of it. Your comment about knowing your audience is very good advice.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 04, 2008:

Wow, man, that's very cool to hear. I'm glad I could contribute in some small way to an improved day, that's points towards my karma tab. Pretty cool of you to say. AS for the rest, style guides are just that, guides, don't let them rule you. But, definitely think about who you are writing to. That tidbit, for tone, voice, diction, length... everything will help a ton. I first encountered it in my freshman college English class. Been struggling to remember it ever since. Thanks for the kind words and I'll write a hub on it if I ever figure out how to make money in volumes that count. lol.

Brainstormer from Australia on September 04, 2008:

I guess we each take away something different when we read someone’s work. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a style guide and as a junior hubber of advancing years I probably should go and have a look. Thank you for that. “Know thy reader”. That jumped out from the screen and buried itself into my cortex. Thank you for that. But the biggest thank you comes because of a comment you left for me this morning. It is surprising the effect a simple comment can have on its recipient. I laughed this morning when I read it and had a chuckle later in the day when I recalled it. Today was a long and grueling day made easier, thanks to you.


P.S. If you do figure out how to make it pay, drop us a line would you.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 09, 2008:

Ok.. THAT is an awesome idea. I could charge insane prices for them and make them ridiculously easy to get.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on July 09, 2008:

Maybe you could offer degrees and diplomas in your incorporated enterprise.

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