Posted by: episystechpubs | June 9, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Academic Degrees

What do poppies and questions about graduation have in common? They both seem to pop up in late May or June!

Not much of a riddle, but I do get tons of questions this time of year about the proper grammar for discussing graduation and the appropriate way to punctuate different types of degrees.

Donna covered the graduation question a couple months ago here:

As far as degree types, here are some general rules:

· Use lowercase letters for the degree unless you are writing the formal name for a particular degree:

o I think she has a master’s degree of some kind.

o Jane has a Master of Educational Technology Degree from San Diego State University.

Note: Universities and other institutions often capitalize academic degrees, but when speaking of degrees in general prose, it is most appropriate to lowercase them.

· The Chicago Manual of Style recommends omitting the periods between abbreviations. For example:

o BA = bachelor of arts

o BFA = bachelor of fine arts

o DDS = doctor of dental surgery

o JD = juris doctor (doctor of law)

o MBA = master of business administration

o MD = medicinae doctor (doctor of medicine)

o Etc.

· Don’t let the apostrophe throw you off. Here are the correct versions of some of the most common degrees:

o associate degree

o bachelor’s degree

o doctoral degree

o master’s degree

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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