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In university I learned that we say to do a degree in X but I saw many other sources where it says to take a degree in X.

Which is correct? Is there a regional difference?

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In the US, at least, you generally get a degree. –  onomatomaniak Oct 29 '11 at 17:54
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And in the US, before you actually get a degree, you are working on it, not doing it. –  Peter Shor Oct 29 '11 at 19:37
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4 Answers

The OED’s definition 34a of take is:

To receive, get (something given, bestowed, or administered); to have conferred upon one (spec. a sacrament, office, order of merit, degree, etc.)

That confirms my first thought that you can only take a degree once you have earned it. Before you reach that stage you have to study for a degree or, much less formally, do a degree. In British universities you can read for a degree, but that has a rather stiff sound to it these days.

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I would generally say, and usually hear, that a person is pursuing a degree in something. Such as, "John is pursuing a double degree in business and marketing."

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Agreed:

You can pursue a degree in X. You can get a degree in x. (Americans use this expression most.) And you can work on/towards a degree in x.

North Americans would very much be at a loss hearing "do/take a degree".

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Both are fine, but in the States we usually say, "get a degree in" while in the process and "have a degree in" once it has been conferred.

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