Master’s Degree or Masters Degree: Which is Correct?

Master’s Degree or Masters Degree: Which is Correct?
A master’s degree is a good option if you want to further your knowledge in a particular field of interest after completing an undergraduate degree. But how do we write it? Is it a master’s degree or masters degree? In this blog, you will learn how to punctuate a master’s degree, whether to capitalize M in a master’s degree, and examples of writing a master’s degree in a sentence.  
What is a Master’s degree?
To understand the difference between a master’s and a master’s, you first need to understand the meaning of the degree. A Master’s degree is an academic qualification awarded at the postgraduate level indicating a high level of expertise in a particular field of study. The graduate has been enrolled in a program and mastered a specific subject.
Awarding a master’s degree indicates that you are recognized as a master of your subject. Therefore, a master’s degree means the degree of a master, which needs a possessive apostrophe.
A Master’s degree is a good option if you are looking forward to further studies in a specific subject, improving your career, or exploring other fields of interest. Students can only study master’s degree after completing their bachelor’s degree. It takes a minimum of 2 years to gain a master’s degree, depending on the field of study.                            
How to write a master’s degree vs. a master’s degree?
Many people may wonder whether to add an apostrophe to a master’s degree or not. A master’s degree is given to a person who has shown mastery of the subject and is known as a master’s. Master’s is a possessive noun and should therefore have an apostrophe.
A possessive apostrophe is an apostrophe (‘) placed in a word to show that something belongs to somebody. Writing masters without an apostrophe does not show ownership but functions as an adjective. Masters is also a plural of the word master. If you are talking of two people regarded as ‘masters,’ you could refer to them as ‘masters.’
Examples of writing master’s degree in a sentence
When writing a resume, article, essay, etc., you should ensure that you write everything correctly without making mistakes. But when it comes to punctuation, you may get confused. To illustrate the correct punctuation of masters vs. master’s, have a look at the following examples;

He received a master’s in computer science in 2022
John was awarded a master’s degree in physics after hard work
How long does it take to earn a Master of Computer Science degree?
The university provides master’s degree program in both arts and science
I had to finish a master’s thesis for my M.A degree
After receiving my Master of Political Science degree, I will pursue a doctorate in the same field
Andrew has been working towards his master’s degree for one year now.
To be employed in this company, you will need a master’s in business, preferably business management.
She is an intelligent woman with a master’s degree in psychology
My colleague is taking a leave to pursue a master’s degree.
They are masters at what they do
Submitting a nursing thesis is the last step before receiving a Master of Marine Technology

Always remember that when discussing a master’s degree, you should use it with a possessive apostrophe to show that somebody owns the knowledge required to be awarded the degree.
Bachelor’s vs. Bachelor
To understand the correct way to punctuate a bachelor’s degree, let’s first understand what a bachelor’s means. Bachelor is the lowest level of education in the university. Once a student has earned a bachelor’s degree, they can further their studies to attain a master’s or doctorate.
If you are confused about writing a master’s degree or master’s degree, it’s more possible that you also have an issue regarding a bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s degree. The first thing you need to know when deciding whether it’s written as bachelor’s or bachelor’s is what you are saying, who you are referring to, and how you are using it.
The same guidelines for a master’s degree apply to a bachelor’s degree. It would be best to write bachelor’s with an apostrophe when indicating possession. For example,

You should study for four years to receive a bachelor’s degree
If you don’t work hard in your study, you won’t get a bachelor’s degree

If you are talking about multiple graduates, they will still be possessive but not singular. For example,

The whole class of bachelor’s degree graduates is prepared for graduation.

When writing a particular area of study, you should drop the apostrophe and capitalize bachelor and the area of expertise. For example,

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from an international University.
His Bachelor of Science in statistics from Illinois University has helped him while searching for a job

You can abbreviate bachelor’s degrees in different forms. For example, a Bachelor of Education can be abbreviated as BEd, B.E, or B.Ed.
What is the correct way to write a master’s degree?
You should be able to spell the degree that you have correctly. A Master’s degree is an award to someone who has mastered a particular area of study, making them possess the degree. Therefore, it should always have an apostrophe because it is possessive.
A Master’s degree without an apostrophe would show a type of academic achievement instead of ownership of the degree, for example, a master of science.
Do you capitalize the M in your Master’s degree?
Master’s is a common noun; therefore, you don’t need to capitalize it. For example;

He received his master’s degree in 2019
I hope to earn a master’s degree in medicine one day
I have a master’s degree in computer science

However, naming a particular degree or course becomes a proper noun; hence, you should use the title case. That is, capitalize the word master and the field. We do not use an apostrophe in master because it does not show possession, but it’s just a category. For example;

He received a Master of Planning in 2019
I hope to earn a Master of Physics one day
He earned a Master of Leadership from MIT

In addition, you should use the same rule when referring to somebody as a master who has gained a master’s degree

She is a Master of Agriculture
You need to be a Master of Medicine to work there
He received a Master’s of Accounting in 2020

Note that when referring to the degree title, you should capitalize masters. For example, I hold a Master of Physics degree. When speaking about it, for example, I earned a master’s in statistics should not be capitalized because it’s a common noun.
It would be best if you also capitalized specific master’s degrees when abbreviating them, for example, Master of Science M.S.
How do you write a master’s degree on your resume?
A master’s degree is an academic degree awarded after two years of study in a master’s program. When writing a master’s degree on a resume, you should list your degrees in reverse chronological order, i.e., start with the most recent degree followed by the previously earned one. You can also use abbreviations in a resume.
Below are some examples of abbreviations;

Masters of Engineering (M.Eng., M.E, MEng, ME)
Master of Science (M.S, MSc, M.Sc. MS)
Master of Arts (MA, M.A)
Master of Education (MEd, M.Ed.)
Master of Business Administration (MBA, M.B.A)

The following tips will help you list degrees on your resume;

Generate the education section in your resume
You can either put it before or after the experience section
List all your degrees in the education section starting with the most recent
You should add more information about your degree, e.g., coursework, GPA, etc.
You should format the information on your degrees consistently
You can also list a degree in progress but never lie about your degree in a resume

For recent graduates, indicate the degree, university, dates, and main achievements like extracurricular activities. If you are an experienced candidate, list the most recent degrees, going backward. You should not add extra details. List only the name of the degree, school, and date.
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Bottom line
Are you writing about a degree you hold and wondering if it’s a master’s degree or a master’s degree? This blog has explained in detail how to punctuate a master’s degree. Go through this guide to learn about possessive apostrophes, which will help while writing a resume.


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