I know from here here that I have to say Master of .... and master's degree. But let's consider another situation:

  • I was half the way through my master, or
  • I was half the way through my master's.

Another example is:

  • My first year of Master covers a wide variety of subjects, or
  • My first year of Master's covers a wide variety of subjects

The first question is about the 's and the second is about the capitalization of the first letter in Master.

  • 6
    In my opinion it should be Master's, as you are talking about your Master's Degree but eliding the Degree component for brevity. Master does not sound idiomatic at all to my (British English) ear, and is something I can recall being said only by non-native speakers.
    – 568ml
    Dec 12, 2014 at 12:35
  • I agree with @568ml. However, note that the term Master is quite widely used in other languages (e.g., Masterarbeit or Masterstudium in German), which seems to leads to incorrect usage also in English writing by these non-native speakers. Dec 12, 2014 at 15:11
  • Related: Is there an apostrophe in a master's degree? (which also discusses capitalization) and “Masters degree” — capital M or not? (which also discusses the apostrophe).
    – choster
    Dec 12, 2014 at 15:24
  • @choster now that I think about it, that's a good question. Master's implies you are inserting a possessive, while Masters implies you are pluralizing it. I'd think the former is more correct. Unless you are pursuing more than one of them, the possessive is, I think, meant to be referring to you once the degree is achieved. I mean, Master's Degree is the degree of a Master.
    – Jim
    Dec 12, 2014 at 17:53
  • 1
    @Amphiteóth MLA refers to the "Modern Language Association." Dec 12, 2014 at 23:52

2 Answers 2


Addressing your first question:

"I was halfway through my master" is unreasonable. Your source gives options (1) master's degree and (2) Master of [insert the study of this specific degree]. Cutting those short, you could derive only "I was halfway through my master's" or "I was halfway through my Master." "I was halfway through my master" is not only made up, but unreasonable.

"I was halfway through my master's" would make sense depending on its context. I and my colleagues would understand "degree" unless your statement followed "The portions of my and my master's dinners rested warmly on the counter," e. g.

Addressing your second question:

Use neither. From your source: capitalize only specific degrees. If you do not specify, you should not capitalize.


I would capitalize Master's because, as was previously stated, it is a shortened form of Master's Degree.

  • "Master's Degree" would not be capitalized according to MLA documentation. So your premise is incorrect and, therefore, your conclusion. Dec 13, 2014 at 4:41
  • 1
    Your post would be improved if it included a reference to support it.
    – user63230
    Dec 13, 2014 at 7:55
  • Andy is my friend. He helps me to be a better wordsmith. Apr 4, 2019 at 11:51
  • Merci Beaucoup, LaBarrister! Apr 4, 2019 at 11:54

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