Academic Degrees

A.B. (no space after first period)—abbreviation for Artium baccalaureus, bachelor of arts, the degree Colby grants
B.A.—bachelor of arts
M.B.A.—master of business administration
Ed.D.—doctor of education.

Right: James T. Kirk has a Ph.D. in astronomy.
James T. Kirk has a doctorate in astronomy.

The word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation, and the degree initials (A.B.) should not be used with a Colby class year.

Wrong: He has a B.A. degree in history.
Right: He has a B.A. in history.
Right: She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard.
Wrong: Dan Harris ’93, B.A., is an author and a newsman.

When referring to degrees in general, lowercase the first letter of the degree and use the apostrophe + s (’s).

Right: They all had doctoral degrees in engineering.
Right: He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
Right: She earned two master’s degrees.

Lowercase formal names of academic degrees: bachelor of science, bachelor of arts, master of arts, doctor of philosophy.
Colby degree: bachelor of arts (written out) and A.B.
(abbreviation for the Latin Artium baccalaureus)

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