Possible Duplicate:
What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym?

I am helping a former intern ready their resume for distribution. The candidate used an abbreviation I was unfamiliar with:

B.S.s in Physics, Computer Science, and Mathematics

I am familiar with the student's educational background so after a moment of thought realized "B.S.s" was their attempt to indicate multiple bachelor of science degrees. That said I can see those unfamiliar with the student's background being confused. Unfortunately, I do not know how to provide the correct punctuation to indicate the correct grammatical number for multiple degrees in the same discipline.

What is the correct plural form for multiple bachelor degrees? Additionally, are there variations for other degree levels: associates, masters, Ph.D, etc.? In addition to the abbreviation what's the correct way to indicate plurality for the unabbreviated form?


I think this may be one of the rare cases where 's is used to denote plurality:


This seems to be supported by a bunch of places:

and many more.

| improve this answer | |
  • Agreed - the use of an apostrophe indicating a missing 'e' seems common. – Rory Alsop Jan 21 '13 at 16:34
  • What about long form? – ahsteele Jan 21 '13 at 16:34
  • 2
    For the long form, you'd say "Bachelor of Science degrees". – Hellion Jan 21 '13 at 16:57
  • B point S point apostrophe s seems so ugly though doesn't it? Do you not use open punctuation? BS's? Trouble is that can be construed as Bllshters so perhaps not! – spiceyokooko Jan 21 '13 at 17:28
  • 1
    The Chicago Manual of Style (chicagomanualofstyle.org) actually allows for both forms, I think. Although, I think that, in the US, B.S. is more common. I don't know why. – thang Jan 21 '13 at 17:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.