Is “Science” Capitalized? (Helpful Examples)

Should the word “Science” ever be capitalized? There have been some comments online that “Science” is a field of study and, consequently, should always be capitalized.

We want to know what’s the rule for the capitalization of “Science” and what mistakes we should try and avoid.

Is “Science” Capitalized?

“Science” as a common noun shouldn’t be capitalized. However, as a field of study, it should be capitalized in official or formal contexts. For example, if “Science” is being referred to in a diploma or as the official name of the department (or office) it should begin with a capital “S”.

is science capitalized

Take a look at the examples below:

  • Christina loves her science teacher.
  • Christina has a Bachelor’s in Political Science.

The examples present two completely different scenarios.

In the first sentence, it’s mentioned that someone loves “Science”. They’re interested in it in general, for no official or formal purpose, just because “Science” is fun and interesting. In that case, “Science” as a subject doesn’t need to be capitalized.

In the second sentence, we have a different picture. “Science” is being mentioned as the official title on someone’s diploma or degree. Because it’s official, we need to capitalize the whole title: “Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences”.

That’s to say that “Science” in this context, has to be capitalized. It’s the general rule for AP Style writing as well, but we recommend that you check your trusted sources to be completely sure that you aren’t making any mistakes or missing any details.

Is “Science” a Proper Noun?

Not always. “Science” can be a proper noun when mentioned in official or formal settings. For example, as the official name of a department or office, as the official name of a class in a University, or in a degree “Science” is a proper noun and must be capitalized.

When to Capitalize “Science”

“Science” should be capitalized every time it’s being used as a proper noun, or as the name of something formal and official. For example, when listed as a major in someone’s diploma, as a job title in academia, as the official name of a department or building, etc.

Let’s go over some good examples below:

  1. The Ph.D. program in Biological Sciences is highly coveted.
  2. George works in the Computer Science Department.
  3. The university has a Department of Science, you should talk to them.
  4. Dr. Brown has a chair in the Political Science Department.
  5. Howard teaches Data Science 201.
  6. I’m applying for a job in the Environmental Sciences Department.
  7. I’m writing a recommendation letter for Jackie, to help her apply for the Master of Science program.

When to Not Capitalize “Science”

Whenever “Science” is mentioned as a subject or a general area of interest, there’s no need to capitalize it. If it’s outside of any official or formal setting, it’s just a conversation between regular people. In this case, “Science” is a common noun and, as such, shouldn’t be capitalized.

Take a look at the examples:

  1. Anna’s degree is in data science.
  2. My mother used to be a science teacher for elementary students.
  3. The book is about science fiction and seems very interesting.
  4. The university offers degrees in areas like art, science, and math.
  5. My husband’s a scientist, so it’s safe to say he loves science fiction.
  6. Science as a subject was my favorite in school.
  7. Hank purchased a science kit for his son, for him to during science class.

Which Is Used the Most?

Which one of those forms is used more often, “Science” capitalized or all lower case? Let’s take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.

is science capitalized usage

We can’t help but point out that “Science” has been used as a word constantly and at a high level for as long as the graph shows. Our lives are surrounded by “Science” and conversations about it.

We also noticed that the word “Science” with its capitalized and lower case version has been following the same usage trend over the decades, even swapping places as the most used word a few times.

Right now, “Science” with all lower case letters is used more than the capitalized version. It tells us that, right now, people talk more about science as a general subject than in an official capacity. However, it doesn’t mean it cannot change in the future.

On the contrary. At this point, the difference between the two words isn’t so considerable. They may swap places as the top word in usage again quite soon.

Final Thoughts

“Science” should be capitalized whenever it’s being mentioned in an official or formal document: a diploma or degree, a department or office in a university, an official class, etc. If you’re just talking about “Science” as a general area of interest, there’s no need to capitalize it.