Being a bachelor is not a requirement to receive a bachelor’s degree, but one does need to show mastery in order to obtain a master’s degree. In any case, you should be able to correctly spell the degree you have; spelling them as masters degree and bachelors degree is wrong. So when it comes to whether its masters degree or master’s degree:
- The proper way to spell master’s degree is by using an apostrophe.
- The s at the end of master’s indicates a possessive (a master holds the degree).
- When speaking about a specific degree, the M should be capitalized: Master of Music Performance.
- All the above rules also apply to a bachelor’s degree.
Master’s Degree or Masters Degree
When someone earns a master’s degree, it is recognized that the person holds sufficient knowledge in a particular field of study to be considered a master of it. Therefore the proper way to spell master’s degree is with an apostrophe, to indicate that it is a degree of a master:
Example: Robert was awarded a master’s degree last Fall.
When referring to a specific field, for example, the arts, drop the apostrophe and the s. Instead, capitalize both words:
Example: A final recital is required before being awarded a Master of Music Performance.
Degrees like Master of Arts and Master of Sciences are often abbreviated, and the style of abbreviations varies. Master of Arts can be abbreviated as M.A. or MA., and can even be seen in its Latin form AM or A.M. (Artium Magister).
Bachelors Degree or Bachelor’s Degree
Bachelor’s degree follows the same rules in terms of spelling as master’s degree. When referring to the degree in general (without specifying the field of study), it doesn’t need to be capitalized. It does, however, need an apostrophe to indicate it as a possessive (not a plural)
Example: More and more people are opting to go to a four-year college to receive their bachelor’s degrees.
When you add the specific field of study, like with a master’s degree, you drop the possessive and capitalize the word bachelor and the field of study.
Example: Her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University has served as a golden ticket in the job marketplace.
Bachelor’s degree can be abbreviated in several ways. For example, a Bachelor of Science title can be BS, B.S. or BSc, as well as SB, S.B., and Sc. B for the Latin Scientiae Baccalaureus.
Here is a full list of all degree abbreviations.