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"Bachelor's Degree" or "Bachelors Degree"?

You just got your degree, but how should you write it? Grammar Girl clears up the misunderstanding

By
Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
bachelors degree

Dawn wants to know how to write that someone was awarded a degree. Is it "bachelor's degree," "bachelors degree," or "bachelor degree"?

A bachelor is not just a guy who eats out a lot, but also a person of either sex who has earned a type of degree from a university or college. Think of the degree as the property of the bachelor, with the apostrophe-s indicating possession: It is a bachelor's degree.

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The same is true for a master: He or she earns a master's degree.

You don't use capital letters, unless you're writing the formal name of a particular degree:

  • Aardvark earned a bachelor's degree in ant behavior.

  • Aardvark has a Bachelor of Science Degree in the Behavioral Dynamics of Edible Ants.

The Associated Press recommends "associate degree," but notes that others may spell it as "associate's degree."

College graduates from Shutterstock

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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