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College Degree Abbreviations

May 27, 2021

Image: Graduation cap and diploma -

Earning a degree from a trade school, community college, or university can be a life-changing event. Many career opportunities open up for students with college degrees, depending on your major or focus. Take a look at these abbreviations of common U.S. academic degrees from to determine what field you might want to study.

Common U.S. Degree Abbreviations

Degree abbreviations vary from college to college, but many are the same. For example, in the United States "B" always stands for bachelor and "M" always stands for master. Some universities use the Latin name for the degree, which may cause the abbreviation to be reversed. For example, "A.B." is an abbreviation for the Latin degree artium baccalaureus which can also be shown as "B.A" to reflect Bachelor of Arts. Most of the common fields of study use the same abbreviations with a few exceptions.

Associate Level

An associate degree is a two-year undergraduate degree. Associate degrees are typically available at trade schools and community colleges. Many students begin their educational careers with one of these associate degrees:

A.A. - Associate of Arts
A.A.-T. - Associate of Arts for Transfer
A.A.A. - Associate of Applied Arts
A.A.B. - Associate of Applied Business
A.A.S. - Associate of Applied Science
A.A.T. - Associate of Applied Technology (or Teaching)
A.B.A. - Associate of Business Administration
A.B.S. - Associate of Baccalaureate Studies
A.E.E.T. - Associate of Electrical Engineering Technology
A.E. - Associate of Electronics
A.E. or A.Eng. - Associate of Engineering
A.E.S. Associate of Engineering Science
A.E.T. or A.Eng.T. - Associate of Engineering Technology
A.F. - Associate of Forestry
A.F.A. - Associate of Fine Arts
A.G. - Associate of General Studies
A.I.T. - Associate of Industrial Technology
A.O.S. Associate of Occupational Studies
A.O.T. - Associate of Occupational Technology
A.P.E. - Associate of Pre-Engineering
A.P.S. - Associate of Political Science (or Public Service)
A.S. - Associate of Science
A.S.-T. - Associate of Science for Transfer
A.S.-C.A.D - Associate of Science in Computer Assisted Design
A.S.P.T. or A.P.T - Associate in Physical Therapy
A.T. - Associate of Technology

Bachelor Level

Most college and university degrees are known as bachelor’s degrees. Like associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees are undergraduate degrees. They usually take four years to complete and are required for many professional careers.

Bachelor degree abbreviations include:

A.B. or B.A. - Bachelor of Arts
B.A.A. - Bachelor of Applied Arts
B.A.B.A. - Bach of Arts of Business Administration
B.A.Com. - Bachelor of Arts in Communication
B.Acc.Sci. or B.Compt. - Bachelor of Comptrolling
B.Acy. or B.Acc. - Bachelor of Accountancy
B.A.E. - Bachelor of Arts in Education
B.A(Econ) - Bachelor of Arts in Economics
B.A.J. or B.J. - Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
B.A.M or B.A.Mus. - Bachelor of Arts in Music
B.A.O.M. - Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management
B.A.P.S.Y. - Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
B.A.S. - Bachelor of Administrative Studies (or Applied Studies)
B.A.Sc. - Bachelor of Applied Science
B.A.S.W. - Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
B.A.T. - Bachelor of Arts for Teaching
B.Ag - Bachelor of Agriculture
B.App.Sc(IT) - Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology
B.Arch. - Bachelor of Architecture
B.Avn. - Bachelor of Aviation
B.B.A. - Bachelor of Business Administration
B.B.I.S. - Bachelor of Business Information Systems
B.Bus. - Bachelor of Business
B.Bus.Sc. - Bachelor of Business Science
B.Ch.E. - Bachelor of Chemical Engineering
B.Com. or B.Comm. - Bachelor of Commerce
B.Comp. - Bachelor of Computing
B.Comp.Sc. - Bachelor of Computer Science
B.Crim. Bachelor of Criminology
B.C.A. - Bachelor of Computer Applications
B.C.E. - Bachelor of Civil Engineering
B.C.J. - Bachelor of Criminal Justice
B.Des. - Bachelor of Design
B.E. - Bachelor of Education (or Engineering)
B.Ec. or B.Econ. - Bachelor of Economics
B.E.E. - Bachelor of Electrical Engineering
B.Eng. - Bachelor of Engineering
B.E.Sc. - Bachelor of Engineering Science
B.F.A. - Bachelor of Fine Arts
B.F&TV. - Bachelor of Film and Television
B.G.S. or B.S.G.S. - Bachelor of General Studies
B.H.S. or B.H.Sc. - Bachelor of Health Science
B.I.B.E. - Bachelor of International Business Economics
B.In.Dsn. - Bachelor of Industrial Design
B.I.S. - Bachelor of Integrated Studies
B.Kin. - Bachelor of Kinesiology
B.Sc.Kin. - Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
B.L.A. or A.L.B. - Bachelor of Liberal Arts
B.L.Arch. - Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
B.L.S. - Bachelor of Liberal Studies
B.L.I.S. - Bachelor of Library and Information Science
B.Lib. or B.L.S. - Bachelor of Library Science
B.M. or B.Mus. - Bachelor of Music
B.M.E or B.M.Ed. - Bachelor of Music Education
B.M.O.S. - Bachelor of of Management and Organizational Studies
B.M.S. - Bachelor of Management Studies (or Mortuary Studies)
B.Math - Bachelor of Mathematics
B.Math.Sc. - Bachelor of Mathematical Science
B.P.A.P.M. - Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management
B.P.S. - Bachelor of Professional Studies
B.Phil. or Ph.B. - Bachelor of Philosophy
B.S. or S.B. - Bachelor of Science
B.S.A.E. or B.A.E. - Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
B.S.B.A. - Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
B.S.C.S. - Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
B.S.Chem. - Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
B.S.E. or B.S.Eng. - Bachelor of Science in Engineering
B.S.Ed. or B.S.E. - Bachelor of Science in Education
B.S.E.T. - Bachelor of Science of Engineering Technology
B.S.F. - Bachelor of Science in Forestry
B.S.M.E. - Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
B.S.Micr. - Bachelor of Science in Microbiology
B.S.P.H. - Bachelor of Science in Public Health
B.S.S.W. - Bachelor of Science in Social Work
B.Sc. - Intercalculated Bachelor of Science
B.Sc(Econ) - Bachelor of Science in Economics
B.Sc(IT) - Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
B.Sc(Psych) - Bachelor of Science in Psychology
B.Soc.Sc. - Bachelor of Social Science
B.T.S. - Bachelor of Tourist Studies
B.Tech. - Bachelor of Technology
B.U.R.P. or B.Plan. - Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning

Master Level

Once you’ve completed one or more bachelor’s degrees, you can pursue a graduate degree. Master’s degrees typically take two to four years to complete. They can address specific career paths and areas of study.

Master’s degree abbreviations include:
M.A. or A.M. - Master of Arts
M.Acc. or M.Acy. - Master of Accounting (or Accountancy)
M.Arch. - Master of Architecture
M.Aqua. - Master of Aquaculture
M.A.Ed. - Master of Arts in Education
M.A.L.S. or M.L.S. - Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
M.A.S. - Master of Advanced Study
M.A.Sc. or M.A.S. - Master of Applied Science
M.A.T. - Master of Arts in Teaching
M.Bus. - Master of Business
M.B.A. - Master of Business Administration
M.B.I. - Master of Business Informatics
M.Chem. - Master of Chemistry
M.Com. or M.Comm. - Master of Commerce
M.Crim. - Master of Criminology
M.C.A. - Master of Computer Applications
M.C.D. - Master of Communication Disorders
M.C.F. - Master of Computational Finance
M.C.J. - Master of Criminal Justice
M.C.P. - Master of City Planning
M.C.S. - Master of Computer Science
M.C.T. - Master of Creative Technologies
M.Des. or M.Design - Master of Design
M.E. - Master of Engineering
M.Econ. - Master of Economics
M.Ed. or Ed.M. - Master of Education
M.Ent. - Master of Enterprise
M.E.M. - Master of Engineering Management
M.Fin. - Master of Finance
M.Fstry. - Master of Forestry
M.F.A. - Master of Fine Arts
M.F.E. - Master of Financial Economics
M.H. - Master of Humanities
M.H.A. - Master of Health Administration
M.H.S. - Master of Health Science
M.I.Aff. - Master of International Affairs
M.I.B. - Master of International Business
M.I.L.R. - Master of Industrial and Labor Relations
M.I.S. - Master of International Studies
M.I.S.M. or M.S.I.M - Master of Information System Management
M.I.T. - Master of Information Technology
M.L.A. - Master of Liberal Arts
M.L.Arch. - Master of Landscape Architecture
M.L.I.S. - Master of Library and Information Studies
M.Litt. - Master of Letters (Magister Litterarum)
M.M. - Master of Management
M.Math. - Master of Mathematics
M.Mus. or M.M. - Master of Music
M.M.F. - Master of Mathematical Finance
M.O.T. - Master of Occupational Therapy
M.P.S. - Master of Political Science
M.Phil. - Master of Philosophy
M.Phys. - Master of Physics
M.P.A. - Master of Public Administration
M.P.Aff. - Master of Public Affairs
M.P.H. - Master of Public Health
M.P.M. - Master of Public Management
M.P.P. - Master of Public Policy
M.P.S. - Master of Professional Studies
M.Poli.Sci. or M.P.S. - Master of Political Science
M.Q.F. - Master of Quantitative Finance
M.R. or M.Sc.R. - Master of Research
M.R.E.D. - Master of Real Estate Development
M.S. or M.Sc. - Master of Science
M.S.C.J. - Master of Science in Criminal Justice
M.S.C.S. - Master of Science in Computer Science
M.S.Chem. - Master of Science. in Chemistry
M.S.E. - Master of Science in Engineering
M.S.Ed. - Master of Science in Education
M.S.Fin. - Master of Science in Finance
M.S.F.S. - Master of Science in Forensic Science
M.S.H.R.D or H.R.D. - Master of Science in Human Resource Development
M.S.I.S. - Master of Science in Information Systems
M.S.I.T or M.Sc.I.T. - Master of Science in Information Technology
M.S.L. - Master of Studies in Leadership
M.S.M. - Master of Science in Management
M.S.M.I.S. or M.S.I.S.M- Master of Science in Information Systems Management
M.S.M.Sci. - Master of Science in Marine Science
M.S.Met. - Master of Science in Metallurgical Engineering
M.S.P.M. - Master of Science in Project Management
M.S.S.C.M or S.C.M. - Master of Science in Supply Chain Management
M.S.Sc. - Master of Social Science
M.S.T. - Master of Science in Teaching
M.St. - Master of Studies
M.Sw.E - Master of Software Engineering
M.S.W. - Master of Social Work
M.U.P. - Master of Urban Planning

Doctorate Abbreviations

Another type of graduate degree is a doctorate. Doctorates take four to six years (or sometimes longer) to complete. Doctoral students often earn one or more master’s degrees during their studies.

Some doctorate options include:

Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology
Art.D. or D.A. - Doctor of Arts
D.Arch. - Doctor of Architecture
D.A.T. - Doctor of Arts in Teaching
D.A.S. - Doctor of Applied Science
D.B.A. - Doctor of Business Administration
D.C. - Doctor of Chiropractic
D.Chem. - Doctor of Chemistry
D.Crim. - Doctor of Criminology
D.C.J. - Doctor of Criminal Justice
D.Des. - Doctor of Design
D.Ed. or Ed.D - Doctor of Education
D.Eng. - Doctor of Engineering
D.Env. - Doctor of Environment
D.F. - Doctor of Forestry
D.F.A. - Doctor of Fine Arts
D.G.S. - Doctor of Geological Science
D.H.S. - Doctor of Health and Safety
D.I.T. - Doctor of Industrial Technology
D.L.S. - Doctor of Library Science
D.M. - Doctor of Music
D.M.A. - Doctor of Musical Arts
D.M.L. - Doctor of Modern Languages
D.P.A. - Doctor of Public Administration
D.P.E. - Doctor of Physical Education
D.P.H. - Doctor of Public Health
D.P.S. - Doctor of Professional Studies
D.R. or D.Rec. - Doctor of Recreation
D.Sc. or Sc.D. - Doctor of Science
D.Sc.H. - Doctor of Science and Hygiene
D.S.W. - Doctor of Social Welfare, (or Social Work)
L.H.D. - Doctor of Humane Letters
Mus.D. or D.M. - Doctor of Music
Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy
S.D or Sc.D. - Doctor of Science
S.Sc.D. - Doctor of Social Science

Common Medical Degree Abbreviations

Medical students take a different track than their fellow students. Nurses, doctors, dentists, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, veterinarians, and medical technicians require specialized degrees that lead to the next step in their graduate career. Medical students may pursue the following degrees:

A.N. - Associate of Nursing
A.D.N. - Associate Degree in Nursing
A.S.N. - Associate of Science in Nursing
B.Med.Sci. - Bachelor of Medical Science
B.Med.Biol. - Bachelor of Medical Biology
B.N. or B.Nurs. - Bachelor of Nursing
B.Pharm. - Bachelor of Pharmacy
B.S.N. or B.Sc.N. - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
M.C.M. - Master of Clinical Medicine
M.M. - Master of Medicine
M.M.S. or M.Med.Sc. - Master of Medical Science
M.N. - Master of Nursing
M.N.A. - Master of Nurse Anesthesia
M.Pharm. - Master of Pharmacy
M.P.A.S. - Master of Physician Assistant Studies
M.S. or Ch.M. - Master of Surgery
M.S.M. - Master of Science in Medicine
M.S.N. - Master of Science in Nursing
M.V.S.C. or M.V.Sc. - Master of Veterinary Science
D.C.M. - Doctor of Clinical Medicine
D.Clin.Surg. - Doctor of Clinical Surgery
D.D.S. - Doctor of Dental Surgery
D.M.D. - Doctor of Dental Medicine, Doctor of Medical Dentistry
D.M.Sc. or D.Med.Sc. - Doctor of Medical Science
D.N.Sc. - Doctor of Nursing Science
D.S. or D.Surg. - Doctor of Surgery
D.Sc.D. - Doctor of Science in Dentistry
D.Sc.V.M. - Doctor of Science in Veterinary Medicine
D.O. - Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
D.P.T. - Doctor of Physical Therapy
D.S.N. - Doctor of Science in Nursing
D.Sc.PT - Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy
D.S.Sc. - Doctor of Social Science
D.S.W. - Doctor of Social Work
D.V.M - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
M.D. - Doctor of Medicine
O.D. - Doctor of Optometry
Pharm.D. - Doctor of Pharmacy
Rh.D. - Doctor of Rehabilitation

Common Legal Degree Abbreviations

Like medical students, law students earn degrees that are specific to their field. Law school typically takes around three years to complete, and law students can focus on their desired field of study. These degrees include:

B.S.L. - Bachelor of Science in Law
M.J. or M.Jur. - Master of Jurisprudence
M.S.L. - Master of Studies in Law
D.C.L. - Doctor of Civil Law
J.C.D. - Doctor of Canon Law
J.D. - Doctor of Jurisprudence. Doctor of Laws
J.S.D. or S.J.D. - Doctor of Juridical Science
LL.D. - Doctor of Laws
L.Sc.D. - Doctor of Science in Law

Common Religious Degree Abbreviations

There are many undergraduate and graduate degrees for students who wish to become ministers, pastors, rabbis, theologians, or worship music leaders. These degrees allow students to be immersed in their field of religious and historical study. Religious degree abbreviations include:

B.D. or B.Div. - Bachelor of Divinity
B.R.E. - Bachelor of Religious Education
B.R.S. - Bachelor of Religious Studies
B.Th. or B.Theol. - Bachelor of Theology
B.T.L. - Bachelor of Talmudic Law
M.Div. - Master of Divinity
M.Rb. - Master of Rabbinic Studies
M.R.E. - Master of Religious Education
M.S.M. - Master of Sacred Music
M.S.T. or S.T.M. - Master of Sacred Theology
M.Th. or Th.M. - Master of Theology
M.T.S. - Master of Theological Studies
D.C.M. - Doctor of Church Music
D.D. - Doctor of Divinity
D.H.L. - Doctor of Hebrew Literature (or Letters)
D.H.S. - Doctor of Hebrew Studies
D.Th. or Th.D. - Doctor of Theology
D.M.M. - Doctor of Music Ministry
D.Miss. - Doctor of Missology
D.R.E. - Doctor of Religious Education
D.S.M. - Doctor of Sacred Music
D.S.T. or S.T.D. - Doctor of Sacred Theology

Tips for Writing About Degrees

When do you use a period when writing a degree abbreviation? Is it bachelor degree or bachelor’s degree? Here are some types for writing about degrees or adding degree abbreviations to a name.

Degree names (associate, bachelor, master, doctorate) are not capitalized unless you’re talking about the specific degree (e.g., Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts)

Use an apostrophe when writing bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. AP style recommends not using an apostrophe for associate degree, but other style guides prefer associate’s degree. Doctorates are known as doctoral degrees and do not need an apostrophe.

When writing about someone with a doctorate, use either the title Dr. or their degree – but not both. For example: Use either Dr. Laura Ratcliffe or Laura Ratcliffe, Ph.D, but not Dr. Laura Ratcliffe, Ph.D.

If someone has earned more than one degree, use the highest level degree when writing about them. For example: When writing about Paige Flores, who has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in fine arts, you would write Paige Flores, M.F.A.

Spell out the full name of your degree on your resume, not the abbreviation.

Check Specific Abbreviations

Individual educational institutions and institutions outside of the United States may use a variation of the abbreviation shown above for a specific degree. For clarification on a specific abbreviation, check the institution's website to verify the degrees which are granted.

More Degree Resources

Now that you know about different academic degree abbreviations, you may notice them in different parts of your life. If you’re curious about all those letters after your doctor’s name, check out an article that clarifies what they might mean. And if any of the above degrees look interesting to you, look them up in your local college or university. It’s never too late to keep learning!

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