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Bachelor’s or bachelors degree and master’s or masters degree

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  • The spellings of the terms bachelor’s degree and master’s degree can be confusing. We will examine the definitions of these two terms and where they came from, the correct spellings and some examples of their use in sentences.

    A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree obtained from a college or university from a program that usually lasts four years. The term bachelor’s degree is derived from baccalaureate, which is derived from the Latin word baccalaureus which means a student who has obtained the lowest degree. The word bachelor was originally used in the 1300s to mean a young man or a knight who is young and unmarried. Eventually, bachelor was used to also mean junior members in a guild, and finally, junior academics. Note that undergraduate degrees are officially know as a Bachelor of something, as in a Bachelor of Architecture or a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. They may also be referred to as a bachelor’s degree in Architecture or a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. The plural form is bachelor’s degrees.

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    A master’s degree is a graduate degree obtained from a college or university from a program that usually lasts two years. The term master’s degree refers to the second rank in academics. In the 1200s, a master’s degree meant that the recipient could teach the subject matter. Note that these graduate degrees are officially known as Master of something, as in Master of Architecture or a Master of Science in Chemistry. They may also be referred to as a master’s degree in Architecture of a master’s degree in Chemistry. The plural form is master’s degrees.

    Examples

    Yet, the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree has become too far out of reach for many students from hard-working, middle-class families. (The Asbury Park Press)

    The Pittsburgh metro area is bucking a national trend where employers in major metropolitan areas are more willing to hire registered nurses who don’t have bachelor’s degrees, according to a report by the Federal Reserve of Cleveland. (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

    Now he’s caught the eye of Google DeepMind, which has agreed to sponsor him through his master’s degree. (The Business Insider)

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