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Should I write “PhD” or “Ph.D.”?

I see that PhD is written PhD while the undergraduate degree is written B.Sc.

What's the reason for this?

Should I write the Master of Science MSc or M.Sc.?

Is Scott Aaronson's CV inconsistent listing his degrees as "B.Sc." and PhD"

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marked as duplicate by Jon Hanna, tchrist, Lynn, coleopterist, Andrew Leach Feb 3 '13 at 9:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You will find that PhD Ph.D. BSc B.Sc. MSc and M.Sc. are all found. The question linked to handles this for PhD/Ph.D. but the answer covers the rest. The only thing to add to it is to be consistent, so PhD and BSc or Ph.D. and B.Sc., but not one form together with another in the same piece of writing. –  Jon Hanna Feb 3 '13 at 1:29
@JonHanna Thanks. Reason for asking is that this looks inconsistent (B.Sc. + PhD) scottaaronson.com/vita.pdf –  Programmer 400 Feb 3 '13 at 1:59
I agree. If they were to ask the same question here, I'd advise them to pick on or the other unless they had a good reason for being inconsistent (I can't imagine one, but it's good not to assume). –  Jon Hanna Feb 3 '13 at 14:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is strictly style manual stuff. American English generally prefers using periods with abbreviations, and British English generally prefers to omit the periods. Both are "correct", but which one is acceptable is a matter of who is accepting it. It's not grammar or spelling, merely a punctuation convention.

I always omit the periods for academic degrees. If a publisher wants the periods, it has copy editors that can insert them. If it's for your university, check the university's style manual. If there's no manual that you must use, be consistent about including or omitting the periods. It's strictly personal preference unless otherwise indicated, or unless doing it one way or the other causes confusion.

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