There’s nothing like the pride of earning that diploma after years of hard work, but there can be little more embarrassing than making a mistake when talking about your well earned degree.
Is it a “bachelors degree” or a “bachelor’s degree”?
Is it a “masters degree” or a “master’s degree”?
Since the youngest of your school days, punctuation has been out to get you hasn’t it? Just kidding. That punctuation can do you no more harm than an angry emoticon (different from an emoji … more on that soon), but not knowing your punctuation marks can be a roadblock when it appears on your resume.
- A bachelor of the arts, a bachelor of science, a bachelor of business administration, and others can be written as simply a “bachelor’s degree.” Whether you’re a bachelor, a bachelorette, single, married, or anywhere in between doesn’t matter, of course. It’s a matter of that apostrophe. That apostrophe matters.
- A master of fine arts, a master of public administration, a master of research, and beyond can be shortened to a “master’s degree,” a degree of masters. Well, maybe not a master of disguise or a master of the universe, but otherwise, own it. Love it. Feel the glory. Job well done.
- “Associate’s degrees” work the same way. Apostrophe all the way.
- Doctoral degrees are tricky. This is true on so many levels, but even in their apostrophe usage. One can earn a “doctoral degree” or a “doctorate.” You could correctly name it a “doctor’s degree,” but stay away from “doctorate’s degree.”
Perhaps the next complicated question when it comes to a wrapped-up education is whether you’re an alumna, alumnus, alumnae, or alumni, but we can leave that for another discussion.
Kudos to you, hard-working graduate making this query! (A wild guess. Am I right?) And good luck with all of your words ahead! (If you need help with that, I have a resource for you!)
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