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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"

  • 1
    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, 2013 at 1:29
  • @JonHanna Thanks. Reason for asking is that this looks inconsistent (B.Sc. + PhD) scottaaronson.com/vita.pdf Feb 3, 2013 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, 2013 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


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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