Is it a bachelor degree or a bachelor’s degree? When pursuing higher education, the terminology surrounding academic degrees can sometimes be confusing. Among the most commonly encountered terms is “bachelor” or “bachelor’s degree.”
These terms are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. In this article, we will delve into the difference between “bachelor” and “bachelor’s degree” to provide clarity and understanding for students and individuals interested in pursuing undergraduate studies.
Understanding the Vocabulary
To comprehend the distinction between “bachelor” and “bachelor’s degree,” it is essential to have a grasp of the important concepts involved.
A bachelor’s degree is an academic degree conferred upon completion of a program of study typically lasting three to four years, depending on the country and the specific field of study.
However, it is the standard undergraduate degree awarded by universities and colleges.
The term “bachelor” is derived from the Latin word “baccalaureus,” which originally referred to a young man pursuing his first degree at a university. Over time, the term has evolved and now encompasses both genders. In contemporary usage, “bachelor” is often used informally to refer to an individual who has completed a bachelor’s degree program.
Bachelor’s Degree Explained
On the other hand, a “bachelor’s degree” is the official recognition and certification of the completion of an undergraduate program of study. It signifies that a student has fulfilled the requirements of a particular field, acquired a specified level of knowledge, and demonstrated competency in the subject area. Bachelor’s degrees are typically offered in various disciplines such as arts, sciences, engineering, business, and more.
Do You Use an Apostrophe When Spelling Bachelor’s Degree?
The simple answer is that “bachelor’s degree” is the correct term to use. This is because, in the past, a bachelor’s degree was given to a bachelor, which referred to a young man or a knight who finished the lowest level of university education.
So, a bachelor’s degree became the official title given to recognize their educational achievement.
Not Using the Correct Style When Listing Your Academic Degree
When talking about a bachelor’s or master’s degree, there are two correct ways to write it. If you’re talking about a general degree, use a lowercase letter and include an apostrophe.
When mentioning the specific field of your degree, capitalize the name of the degree and don’t use an apostrophe. However, it’s important to note that an associate degree should never have an apostrophe.
- Correct: I have a bachelor’s degree. I have a master’s degree.
- Incorrect: I have a Bachelor’s degree. I have a master’s degree.
- Correct: I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I have a Master of Arts in Education.
- Incorrect: I have a bachelors of science in business administration. I have a Master of Arts in Education.
- Correct: I have an associate degree.
- Incorrect: I have an associate’s degree. I have an associate’s degree.
Types of Bachelor’s Degrees
Bachelor’s degrees can be further categorized based on the area of study and specialization. Some common types include:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)
- And Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), among others.
However, the specific title used depends on the institution and the program of study.
Usage and Context
While both “bachelor” and “bachelor’s degree” are valid terms, their usage varies depending on the context. In informal conversations, individuals may refer to someone who has completed a bachelor’s degree simply as a “bachelor.” On the other hand, in formal settings and official documentation, the preferred and more accurate term is “bachelor’s degree.”
In conclusion, the terms “bachelor” and “bachelor’s degree” are related but distinct. A bachelor’s degree is the official recognition granted to a student upon successful completion of an undergraduate program of study, while the term “bachelor” is more commonly used informally to refer to an individual who holds a bachelor’s degree. Understanding the difference between these terms will help ensure accurate communication and interpretation within the academic realm.