Masters of Science Abbreviation

Whether you are filling out your LinkedIn profile or applying to college, knowing how to abbreviate the master’s degree you receive is important. In this article, we will explain the different ways to abbreviate Master of Science.

How Do You Abbreviate Master of Science?

Master of Science is typically abbreviated:

  • MS
  • M.S.

Some universities still use the Latin form Scientiae Magister, and “Sc.M.” is the corresponding Latin form of the masters of science abbreviation. Other abbreviations include:

  • MSc
  • M.Sc​.
  • SM
  • S.M.
  • ScM
  • Sc.M.

What Is a Master of Science?

A Master of Science is an earned degree of education that reflects the level of knowledge, usually achieved through university study, known as a master’s degree. A master’s degree is usually associated with hard sciences, like biology, or engineering, or medicine, but maybe earned for some of the humanities, as is the case with an English teacher, for instance.

In the United States, for example, a master’s degree is awarded after a bachelor’s degree is earned. A bachelor’s degree is typically a four-year program of study that focuses on a specific subject. Abbreviated “BS” or “B.S.,” this degree is made to give a learner a strong base of knowledge or skill in a specific field. After the B.S. is earned, a learner may continue studies in a typically two-year master’s degree program.

The study involved in a MS degree program most often entails some classroom learning and a great focus on application or research. Most programs are a combination of research and classroom learning, though some programs are entirely research-based. Each educational center has its own rules of governance.

Earning a M.S. degree most often requires a master’s thesis to be produced and accepted before the degree is awarded. A master’s thesis is a formal presentation of research results in written form.

When Is It Proper to Use the Master of Science Abbreviation?

Proper use of the master of science abbreviation depends most on style conventions. For instance, the American Psychological Association (APA), offers rules for abbreviations and acronyms, telling writers to use abbreviations only after they use the complete form of the word or words abbreviated, if the abbreviation or acronym is conventional and readers are likely to be more familiar with the abbreviation than with the complete form, and if considerable space can be saved and repetition can be avoided.

However, the Modern Language Association (MLA), style guide requires writers do not use the complete degree name or abbreviation when following a person’s name except in bylines, and then the abbreviation should be capitalized with no periods, and specifies writers use lowercase letters when writing out the complete form. However, like APA style, initialisms and acronyms may be used for the first time immediately after using the complete form. Again, the abbreviations or initials must immediately follow the complete form in parentheses. Also, if there is no second instance of the initialism or acronym, do not use it in the text at all. Further, only the initialism or acronym should be used thereafter. Like the APA guide, MLA style format also instructs the writer not to use periods between the letters of an initialism, with the pertinent exception to this rule being when initializing educational degrees like M.S.

Also, although there is not a limit for the number of uses of abbreviations, writing is generally easier to understand when words are written out rather than when abbreviated, or when the writing is thick with abbreviations. It is also advisable to only use an abbreviation when the writer will be using it more than three times, as frequency in the text will foster familiarity. Being unfamiliar with the abbreviation or acronym will require the reader to flip back to the first appearance of the complete word abbreviated.

In either case, using the master of science short form should only be used to make the writing clearer for the reader.

How Can I Use the Abbreviations in Sentences?

According the APA style guide, we can use an initialism or acronym M.S. as a master of science short form in sentences thus:

I have to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide for my master of science (MS) thesis. Although the APA style guide is specific, it is not complicated, so it won’t be too cumbersome when I write my master’s thesis for my MS degree.

The same paragraph according to the MLA style sheet would look like this:

I have to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide for my master of science in economics (M.S.) thesis. Although the APA style guide is specific, it is not complicated, so it won’t be too cumbersome when I write my master’s thesis for my M.S. degree.

Here’s another APA example:

If you are going to work toward your master of science (MS) degree, try talking to someone who recently earned their MS for suggestions on balancing research and writing your thesis. Even someone with an MS in another field may have valuable insights.

And here is the same paragraph according to MLA format:

If you are going to work toward your master of science (M.S.) degree, try talking to someone who recently earned their M.S. for suggestions on balancing research and writing your thesis. Even someone with an M.S. in another field may have valuable insights.

Note to customer: required keyword ”masters of science abbreviation” is incorrect, it should be “master of science abbreviation.

Master of Science or Master’s of Science?

According to Western Michigan University, you should not use an apostrophe when writing Master of Science since it is the name of a specific degree. You should also capitalize “master” and “science” in the phrase “Master of Science” since they are part of a degree title. You should not capitalize the phrase “master’s degree”, the singular and possessive phrase that describes the degree since it can describe any degree.

When you are referring to a general “master’s degree”, you should add an apostrophe to make it possessive according to Grammarly.


This post was proofread by Grammarly. Try it - it's FREE!

Capitalize My Title is a dynamic title capitalization tool used to make sure your titles or headlines use proper capitalization rules according to various style guides include APA, AP, MLA, and Chicago. It also counts your words and checks for grammar issues.

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