University of Rochester
EMERGENCY INFORMATIONCALENDARDIRECTORYA TO Z INDEXCONTACTGIVINGTEXT ONLY

Style Guide

Abbreviations and Acronyms

A
abbreviations

In running text, use the traditional abbreviations for states when they appear in conjunction with a city, and spell out when they stand alone.

He lives in Pennsylvania, but plans to move to Tacoma, Wash.
The company is based in, New Jersey.

Academic degrees following a person's name are abbreviated and include periods with no spaces. Abbreviations are set off by commas.

Don Jones, Ph.D., has joined the faculty.
Astronomy professor Don Jones and his team are studying the origin of black holes.

When a civil or military title is used before a last name, it should be spelled out. With full names, the title should be abbreviated. Do not use the title on second reference, except in quoted material.

Gen. Tommy Franks
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY (or describe party affiliation in context)
Gen. Tommy Franks is leading the mission. Franks described the situation as "tense," but his aide explained, "If there is a man for this task, it's General Franks."

Abbreviate and capitalize Co. and Corp. and Inc. and Ltd., and do not precede with a comma. These abbreviations are not necessary when the company name is familiar and the context is clear.

The abbreviation U.S. is to be used as an adjective only. As a noun, United States is spelled out.

Do not abbreviate street addresses in running text. Exceptions are the abbreviations NW, NE, SE, and SW used in some street addresses.

The construction on Wilson Boulevard will continue until March.

Do not use "UR" as an abbreviation for the University in general publications. A few exceptions for graphic reasons or as a play on words have been sanctioned.

academic degrees

When the listing of academic credentials with a person's name is standard practice (for example, in official bulletins of the University), the abbreviations for the credentials should be listed after the name and be set off by commas.

John Jones, Ph.D., Duke University
Sarah Smith, M.Phil., Cambridge University

In most University publications, the abbreviated title Dr. should not be used to indicate a person's credentials in a field. Many style guides—particularly guides intended for use by the news media—recommend restricting the use of the abbreviation only to those who hold medical degrees (a distinction followed, for example, in news releases written by University Public Relations), but in an institution such as the University, that can seem like an arbitrary limitation. On the other hand, using Dr. before the name of all who hold medical doctor degrees and doctorates is cumbersome for readers.

Instead, University style recommends that in most instances, a person's credentials can and should be noted within the context of the publication, typically close to the first appearance of the person's name.

Jennifer Johnson, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Strong Memorial Hospital, performed the procedure.
Arnold Smith, a professor of pediatrics, met the family in the child's room.
Cynthia Jones, who holds a doctorate in toxicology, read the results.
History professor Don James and his team are studying the origins of black holes.

Plurals of academic degrees do not take an apostrophe.

B.A.s, B.S.s, Ph.D.s
Bachelor of ArtsB.A.
Bachelor of MusicB.M.
Bachelor of ScienceB.S.
Master of ArtsM.A.
Master of Arts in TeachingM.A.T.
Master of Public HealthM.P.H
Master of ScienceM.S.
Master of Business AdministrationM.B.A.
Master of Science in NursingM.S.N.
Master of MusicM.M.
Medical DoctorM.D.
Doctor of Dental SurgeryD.D.S.
Doctor of PhilosophyPh.D.
Doctor of Musical ArtsD.M.A.
Doctor of EducationEd.D.
Doctor of PharmacyD.Pharm.

academic departments

Do not abbreviate to "dept."

Department of Biology
biology department
Department of English
English department
acronyms and initialisms

Use full caps and no periods for acronyms and initialisms, with the exceptions noted in this style guide. In general, do not use acronyms on first reference for University organizations, committees, etc. There are some exceptions for nationally known organizations.

FBI, CIA, NASA
A.D.

Precedes the year, no comma.

The skeleton dates to A.D. 800.

C.E. (Common Era) is also acceptable usage.

addresses

Do not abbreviate street addresses in running text. Exceptions are the abbreviations NW, NE, SE, and SW used in some street addresses.

The construction on Wilson Boulevard will continue until March.

In running text, use the traditional abbreviations for states when they appear in conjunction with a city, and spell out when they stand alone.

He lives in Pennsylvania, but plans to move to Tacoma, Wash.
The company is based in New Jersey.
alumni, alumnus

When discussing an alumnus with multiple degrees from the University, list the degrees in the order in which they were received, with abbreviations following the graduate degrees.

"You have to drink tea everywhere, all day," says Pelin Aylangan ’90, ’98S (MBA), an expert on tea and Turkish culture.
a.m.

See time.

B
B.A., B.S., and B.M.

See academic degrees.

B.C.

Follows year or century; no comma.

painted in the ninth century B.C.
died in 12,500 B.C.

B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) are also acceptable usage.

biblical references

In citing passages from the Bible, use book, chapter, and verse; roman type, no abbreviations.

2 Chronicles 7:14
Proverbs 3:5-11
C
CD

Acronym for compact disc is acceptable on first reference when referring to audio/music discs. Do not refer to CD-ROMs as CDs.

CD–ROM

Acronym for compact disc–read-only memory is acceptable on first reference when referring to discs that store data and/or software. Do not refer to CDs as CD–ROMS.

Center for Optoelectronics and Imaging

Located on the South Campus. May be abbreviated COI on second reference.

coed

May be used as an adjective as an abbreviation of coeducational, meaning the education of both sexes at the same institution. Do NOT use as a noun to refer to a female student.

company names

Abbreviate and capitalize Co. and Corp. and Inc. and Ltd. and L.L.P, and do not precede with a commas. These abbreviations are not necessary when the company name is familiar and the context is clear.

The panel will be led by Xerox chairman Anne Mulchahy.
courses

Course names are capitalized. Course numbers are all caps with no periods.

Women in Early Modern Europe
HIS 447
cox-2

Lowercase. Use on first reference and provide context later in publication. The full name of the enzyme is cyclooxygenase-2.

cox-2 inhibitors; cox-2 enzyme
curriculum vitae

A summary of professional and educational experiences, usually used by academics. More complete than a resumé. No italics. Can be abbreviated as C.V. when the context is clear.

D
Dr.

See academic degrees.

DVD

Has stood for both digital video disk and digital versatile disc. Acronym is acceptable in first reference to movie format. Do not use DVDs to refer to DVD-ROMs. DVD-ROMs store music, movies, or software and are played in the DVD-ROM drive of a computer.

E
Eastman School of Music

May be shortened to "Eastman School" on second reference, but not to simply "Eastman." Do not abbreviate to ESM in formal writing.

F
faculty

Do not use the abbreviation "prof." when referring to faculty.

FAQ

Stands for Frequently Asked Questions. Can use this abbreviation on first reference in running text or as a heading in electronic or print publications.

G
GED

General equivalency diploma. No periods. Acceptable on second reference.

GPA

Grade point average. No periods. Acceptable on second reference

He had a 3.4 grade point average in high school.
Graduate Living Center Maisonettes

Graduate student residences located on the South Campus. May be abbreviated to GLC Maisonettes.

GRE

Graduate Record Exam. No periods. Acceptable on second reference.

H
HIV

Stands for human immunodeficiency virus. "HIV virus" is redundant.

honorific titles

Use the honorifics Miss, Mr., Mrs., and Ms. only in quotes. When it is necessary to distinguish family members from one another, use first names rather than honorifics.

The Smiths agreed that John would support the family while Jane went to graduate school.
I
Inc.

Abbreviate and capitalize; do not set off with commas. This abbreviation is not necessary when the company name is familiar and the context is clear.

initials

When a person uses initials for their first name, the initials are followed by periods and a space.

H. L. Mencken
W. E. B. DuBois
Information Technology Services

May be abbreviated as ITS on second reference.

IT

Information technology. Do not use this abbreviation in general text. Acceptable as part of the proper name or a group or organization.

J
Jr.

Do not set off with commas.

Sammy Davis Jr.
L
Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Located on the South Campus. LLE is acceptable on second reference. Can also be referred to as "Laser Lab" in informal writing.

M
M.A., M.S., M.M., M.B.A., M.A.T., M.P.H., M.S.E., M.S.N.

See academic degrees.

M.D.

See academic degrees.

Memorial Art Gallery

Always capitalized. May be referred to as "the art gallery" when the context is clear. Avoid the abbreviation MAG in running text.

military titles

When a civil or military title is used before a last name, it should be spelled out. With full names, the title should be abbreviated. Do not use title on second reference, except in quoted material.

Gen. Tommy Franks
Gen. Tommy Franks is leading the mission. Franks described the situation as "tense," but his aide explained, "If there is a man for this task, it's General Franks."
months

Do not abbreviate the months of the year in running text.

The events of December 7, 1941, will long live in infamy.

BUT if the day is not specified then there is no comma before or after the year.

The events of December 1941 will long live in infamy.
Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss

See honorific titles.

Mt. Hope Campus

Always capitalized. Always abbreviated Mt.

N
New York

In running text, spell out the name of the state when it appears alone; abbreviate as N.Y. when it appears in conjunction with a city.

He just moved to New York.
He just moved to Geneseo, N.Y.

In complete postal addresses, abbreviate as NY.

When there is a confusion as to whether the state or the city is meant, write New York State or New York City. Do not overuse this construction; the context of the sentence should make it clear which is meant.

See states.

P
p.m.

See time.

PC

Acceptable for both personal computer and political correctness when the context is clear.

Ph.D.

See academic degrees.

plurals

LETTERS: Add s to multiple letters.

ABCs, PACs, HMOs, Ph.D.s, M.A.s

Add 's to single letters.

She got all A's this semester.
professor

See faculty.

S
SAT

Scholastic Assessment Tests. May be abbreviated on first reference when the context is clear.

Her SAT scores were very impressive.
School of Medicine and Dentistry

Capitalize when complete official name is used. Do not capitalize references to "the medical school." Do not abbreviate as SMD in formal writing.

ships

Names of ships are in italics, but not the abbreviations: SS, USS, HMS, etc.

The president landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.
states

In general University style, use the traditional abbreviations for states when they appear in conjunction with a city, and spell out when they stand alone.

He lives in Pennsylvania, but plans to move to Tacoma, Wash.
Traditional state abbreviations
STATE NAMEABBREVIATION
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Ala.
none
Ariz.
Ark.
Calif.
Colo.
Conn.
Del.
D.C.
Fla.
Ga.
none
none
Ill.
Ind.
none
Kan.
Ky.
La.
none
Md.
Mass.
Mich.
Minn.
Miss.
Mo.
Mont.
Neb.
Nev.
N.H.
N.J.
N.M.
N.Y.
N.C.
N.D.
none
Okla.
Ore.
Pa.
R.I.
S.C.
S.D.
Tenn.
none
none
Vt.
Va.
Wash.
W.Va.
Wis.
Wyo.
Strong Memorial Hospital

Located on the Medical Center campus, Strong Memorial Hospital is the main clinical component for the Strong Health network and for clinical education at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Nursing. Can be referred to as Strong on second reference. Do not abbreviate as SMH in formal writing.

T
time

Use figures for clock time and for hours, minutes, seconds, days, weeks, months and years greater than nine.

3 p.m.; 5:30 a.m.; 6 o'clock; 18 years
U
University Athletic Association

Athletic association of which the University is a member. May be abbreviated UAA on second reference.

UR

Do not use an an abbreviation for the University in general publications. A few exceptions for graphic reasons or as a play on words have been sanctioned.

URL

Universal Resource Locator. Synonymous with Web address. Always abbreviated.

U.S.

Use abbreviation as an adjective only. As a noun, spell out United States.

the U.S. government
a citizen of the United States

Last modified: Tuesday, 10-Jan-2006 16:05:07 EST