(You can’t own) bachelors vs. bachelor’s degree

You’d think someone with a college education would know whether or not to use an apostrophe, but apparently they don’t teach this anymore.

The professor says use an apostrophe. Why you ask, o seeker of knowledge? Because bachelor has two meanings: An unmarried man and someone (male or female) who has earned a college degree. Since the degree is owned by this graduate, an apostrophe is needed to show possession.

One more thing: Lowercase bachelor unless giving the name of a specific degree. So you can have a bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Bonus for advanced students seeking additional coursework: The same rules apply for masters degree vs. master’s degree.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.