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Is it Bachelors Degree or Bachelor’s Degree? (Examples, Grammar)

Bachelors or bachelor’s degree: Which one do you use? Both look interchangeable, but are they really? In this post, we will see the main differences between a bachelors and bachelor’s degree and help you know which form of the word is the correct spelling and which is incorrect.

Is it bachelors degree or bachelor’s degree?

There are two ways to spell the word “bachelor.” The first is with an apostrophe before the “s” and the second is without the apostrophe. Both ways are correct, but there is a slight difference in meaning.

Without the apostrophe, “bachelors” simply refers to a group of unmarried men. With the apostrophe, “bachelor’s” refers to a man who has never been married.

So, if you are talking about a group of men who are not married, you would use “bachelors.” And single man who has never been married, you would use “bachelor’s.”

Here are a few examples sentences using both spellings:

  • The bachelors were out on the town last night (referring to a group of unmarried men)
  • John is a bachelor  (referring to a single, unmarried man)
  • This bachelor’s degree will help me get a good job  (referring to a man who has never been married)
  • I hope the bachelors enjoy their night out (referring to a group of unmarried men)

As you can see, there’s not much difference in meaning between the two spells. In most cases, you can use either one and be understood just fine.

The origin of the terms: bachelors or bachelor’s

The terms ‘bachelor’ and ‘bachelor’s degree’ are derived from the Latin word ‘baccalarius’, which means ‘young’ or ‘unmarried’ man. The word  means to men who are not married.

But it typically came to be used to refer to men who had not yet been knighted.

In the Middle Ages, the phrase ‘bachelor’ refer to a man who was poor to get a wife. Over time, the term was used more widely referring to any man who was not married.

Undergraduate degree

In the United States, the term ‘bachelor’s degree’ is used to refer to an undergraduate degree. The term ‘bachelor’s degree is also used in other parts of the world, but it has a different meaning.

In some countries, a ‘bachelor’s degree is the first degree earned after completing three years of education.

While in some other countries, a ‘bachelor’s degree is a second degree that is earned after completing graduation.

UK/US spelling

The term ‘bachelor’s degree is also used to refer to a degree that is earned by a man who has been knighted. In the United Kingdom (UK), the term ‘bachelor’s degree’ refers to an undergraduate degree.

The term ‘bachelor of arts (BA) refers to a first degree that is earned after completing three years of study. The term bachelor of science (BSc) refers to a second degree that earns after the completion of four years degree. 

Meaning of bachelors or bachelor’s

Bachelor refers to an academic degree or a man who is unmarried. In terms of the degree, bachelor’s refers to the undergraduate degree while bachelors refer to the holder of any degree.

As for the unmarried man, both bachelor and bachelors can be used. While there are some differences in using them, both phrases are generally accepted.


While the decision to make a bachelor’s degree or not is an important one, it is not one that is taken lightly.

We hope that this article helps you better know the pros and cons of earning a bachelor’s degree.


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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