Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. Should one capitalize academic degrees? I am reading a quasi-academic journal and am wondering about the capitalization of three words in the following sentence: “He was hoping to use his Associate of Applied Science degree.”

A. Chicago style is to lowercase the degree (including the field) in running text and whenever it’s used generically. Generic uses (like the one in your sentence) often are introduced by “a” or “the” or “his.” Capitalize the name of a degree when it is displayed on a resume, business card, diploma, alumni directory, or anywhere it looks like a title rather than a description. You can’t go too far wrong with this if you’re consistent within a given document.