Capitalize Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, etc., but do not capitalize the major unless it’s a language or nationality. A bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s can be used, but not capitalized.

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, but there’s no apostrophe when referring to an associate degree.

Proper use:

  • He’s expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English in December.
  • Kathy Dunn Hamrick received her Master of Fine Arts in performance and choreography.

Improper use:

  • Matthew McConaughey has a Bachelor’s degree in radio-television-film.
  • She earned her associate’s degree in the fall.

If you must mention a person’s degree to establish credentials, avoid abbreviations by using phrasing such as: “Jane Doe, who has a master’s in literary theory.”

Abbreviations such as B.A., M.A and Ph.D. should only be used when the preferred phrasing would make your writing cumbersome, but should only be used after a full name on first reference: “Jane Doe, Ph.D., spoke.”

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