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The Period (#5), by Dennis Oliver

The Period (#5):
Academic Degrees

One very common and important punctuation mark
( . ) looks like a small, dark circle. When this mark is
used with numbers, it's called a point. When it's used
in e-mail and WWW addresses, it's called a dot. In
other situations, it's called a period.

In American English, there are many common uses
for the period. One use is for abbreviations.

Here are some commonly used abbreviations for
academic degrees:

 

Associate's Degrees

 

A.A.
(Associate of Arts)

 

 

A.S.
(Associate of Science)

These degrees are normally granted by community
colleges. They show that a two-year program of study
has been completed. People with these degrees usually
continue their studies at a four-year college or university.

 

Bachelor's Degrees

 

B.A.
(Bachelor of Arts)

 

 

B.S.
(Bachelor of Science)

These degrees are normally granted by four-year
colleges or universities. They show that a four-year
program of study has been completed. A Bachelor's
degree is usually considered to be the minimum
qualification for a professional field.

There are actually many variations on the basic B.A.
and B.S. degrees--for example, B.F.A. (Bachelor of
Fine Arts), B.M. (Bachelor of Music), LL.B. (Bachelor
of Laws), B.S.W. (Bachelor of Social Work), B.S. in
Ed. (Bachelor of Science in Education), and so on.

 

Master's Degrees

 

M.A.
(Master of Arts)

 

 

M.S.
(Master of Science)

These degrees are normally granted by universities.
They show that one or more years of advanced study
beyond a Bachelor's degree has been completed. For
many specialist-level positions, a Master's degree is the
minimum requirement.

As with Bachelor's degrees, there are actually many
variations on the basic M.A. and M.S. degrees--for
example, M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration),
M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration), M.M. (Master
of Music), M.S. in Ed. (Master of Science in Education),
and so on.

 

Doctor's Degrees

 

Ph.D.
(Doctor of Philosophy)

M.D.
(Doctor of Medicine)

 

 

Ed.D.
(Doctor of Education)

These degrees are normally granted by universities.
They show that additional advanced study beyond
a Master's degree has been completed. For most
university-level teaching and research and for positions
requiring highly advanced training, a Doctor's degree
is required.

The basic academic doctoral degrees are the Ph.D.
and the Ed.D., but (as with Bachelor's and Master's
degrees), there are many variations. There are also
numerous professional doctoral degrees--such as M.D.
(Doctor of Medicine), D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary
Medicine), D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery), LL.D.
(Doctor of Laws), and so on.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

 

1.

 

 

Academic degrees may be used either with
or without periods:

B.S. in Ed. / BS in Ed

M.F.A. / MFA

Ph.D. / PhD

     
2.  

Academic degrees are written after names
and are preceded by commas:

Karl Heineman, Ed.D.

Julia A. Rodríguez, Ph.D.

Ahmed A. Al-Badr, M.D.

     
3.   In general, only abbreviations for doctoral
degrees are written after names.

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