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Style Guide

Capitalization

A
academic degrees

Degrees are capitalized only when using the full formal name.

Bachelor of Arts degree, bachelor's degree
academic departments

Names of departments are capitalized only when using the full formal name, or when the department name is the proper name of a nationality, people, or race.

Do not abbreviate to "dept."

Department of Biology
biology department
Department of English
English department
academy

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

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
administration

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

the University administration, Division of Administration and Finance
Administration and Finance, Division of

Capitalize when referring to offices in that division; lowercase in generic use. Do not use an ampersand (&). Do not abbreviate.

He works in the Division of Administration and Finance.
He has worked in university administration and finance for over three decades.
administrative titles

Use lowercase unless the title precedes the name. See the organizational charts for official administrative titles.

Jackson, president of the University
President Jackson
Ron Dow, dean of River Campus libraries
Dean Ron Dow
admissions

Admissions is always plural when referring to the Admissions Office or the Office of Admissions. Capitalize as part of the full, official name; lowercase otherwise.

Note that each academic unit of the University (the College, the Eastman School of Music, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Simon School and the Warner School) has its own admissions office. Be clear as to which office you are are referring. There is no "University" admissions office.

ages and eras

Capitalize historical designations.

Stone Age
Middle Ages
Renaissance

Lowercase when merely descriptive.

space age
computer age
Reagan era
arts and sciences

In text, arts and sciences should be all lowercase.

Sciences is plural in arts and sciences.

association

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

University Athletic Association
We are forming a new association for alumni.
B
Board of Trustees

Capitalize the complete, formal name; lowercase otherwise.

The Board of Trustees will meet.
The trustees will meet.
The board will meet.

Capitalize "trustee" when it appears before a name.

Mary Brown, trustee since 1994
Trustee Mary Brown
bookstore

One word, lowercase. There are University bookstores located on the River Campus, at the Medical Center, and at the Eastman School of Music.

buildings

Capitalize building names; can omit "Hall," "Building," etc. in informal writing and on second reference.

Wallis Hall
Rush Rhees Library
Drama House
He walks from Schlegel to Hoyt each morning.
Administrative Annex Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center
  Alexandra Palestra
  Edmund A. Hajim Alumni Gymnasium
  Field House
  Pool and courts
  Squash and Racquetball Center
Mt. Hope Professional Building
Ambulatory Care Facility Goler House New York State Center for Advanced Technology
Susan B. Anthony Halls
  Danforth Dining Center
  Gannett Hall
  Gates Hall
  Hollister Hall
  Morgan Hall
Graduate Maisonettes River Road Buildings
  River Road Laboratory
  River Road Residence
Bausch & Lomb Hall Harkness Hall Rush Rhees Library
Burton Hall Hill Court
  Chambers House
  Fairchild House
  Gale House
  Kendrick House
  Munro House
  Slater House
Sage Art Center
James P. Wilmot Cancer Center Hoeing Hall Schlegel Hall
Center for Optoelectronics and Imaging Hopeman Engineering Building Carol G. Simon Hall
Central Utilities Plant Hoyt Hall Spurrier Hall
Computer Studies Building Hutchison Hall
  Hubbell Auditorium
  Lander Auditorium
Strong Auditorium
Computing Center Hylan Building Strong Memorial Hospital
Crosby Hall Interfaith Chapel Supplies & Accounts Building
de Kiewiet Tower Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building Taylor Hall
Dewey Hall Laboratory for Laser Energetics Tiernan Hall
Frederick Douglass Building
  Bookstore
  Dining Center
  The Meliora
Lattimore Hall Todd Union
Drama House Lovejoy Hall Towne House
Eastman Dental Center Mail Services Building University Park
Facilities and Services Building Medical Center Annex Valentine Tower
Fairbank Alumni House School of Medicine and Dentistry Wallis Hall
Fauver Stadium Medieval House Whipple Park Apartments
Founders Court
  Anderson Tower
  Wilder Tower
Meliora Hall Wilmot Building
Gavett Hall Morey Hall
  Eastman Kodak Colonnade
Wilson Commons
Gilbert Hall Mt. Hope Campus
  575 Mt. Hope Ave.
  590 Mt. Hope Ave.
  630 Mt. Hope Ave. (Peter Barry House)
  668 Mt. Hope Ave. (Ellwanger & Barry Bldg.)
  685 Mt. Hope Ave. (Fairbank Alumni House)
  692 Mt. Hope Ave. (Patrick Barry House)
Helen Wood Hall
C
campuses

Capitalize campus when used in conjunction with a specific campus name; lowercase otherwise.

River Campus
Eastman Campus
South Campus
Mt. Hope Campus
Medical Center
He rides his bike to campus.
capitalization

The University uses the down style of capitalization; that is, the style discourages excessive use of capital letters in text.

In headlines and publication titles, all words are capitalized except articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or), and prepositions (of, in, on, etc.). The to of infinitives is also lowercase.

President to Announce Changes in the Curriculum

University, when referring to the University of Rochester, is always capitalized.

He graduated from the University in 1971.

Faculty and administrative titles are capitalized when the full title precedes the name; lowercase otherwise.

Professor of History William Jones
Charles Phelps is our ninth provost.
Provost Charles Phelps announced the initiative.

Names of departments are capitalized only when using the full, formal name.

Department of Biology; biology department

Degrees are capitalized only when using the full formal name.

Bachelor of Arts degree, bachelor's degree

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

Women in Early Modern Europe
HIS 447
centuries

Lowercase; spell out under 10.

ninth century
15th century
the 1700s
13th-century architecture
College, the

Capitalize "College" when referring to the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, the principal undergraduate unit of the University.

When it is necessary to identify the disciplines of the College, the following format is preferred:

the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering

Never use "the College of Arts and Sciences." The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is a part of the College.

Lowercase arts and sciences in text generally.

The school has a strong tradition in the arts and sciences

When used in text, lowercase "the" and capitalize "College." Use of "the College" is acceptable on first reference.

colloquium

Colloquium is singular; colloquia are plural. Capitalize when part of a full, formal name; lowercase otherwise.

Commencement

Capitalize when referring to a University graduation exercise. Each unit of the University has its own commencement exercises. There is no "University Commencement."

Parents and friends are invited to attend Commencement this weekend.
committee

Capitalize when part of a full, formal name; lowercase otherwise.

The committee meeting is cancelled until next week.
The Outside Speakers Committee will meet on Monday.
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.

Maintain odd capitalizations and punctuations. But when a name with a lowercase first letter begins a sentence, capitalize the first letter.

eBay, Yahoo!
EBay's initial public offering was one of the most successful of the dot-com era.
compass directions

Lowercase east, west, north, and south when they indicate direction. Capitalize in names and when used to indicate specific regions.

Winters in western New York can be harsh.
Winters in the Northeast can be harsh.
computer programs, names of

Capitalize the principal words in the names of computer programs. Do not use italics or quotation marks. Use the company's conventions for spelling.

Microsoft Word, PowerPoint

But when a name with a lowercase first letter begins a sentence, capitalize the first letter.

IMovie software is now available in all versions of Mac OS.
conference

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

consortium

Consortium is singular; consortia are plural. Capitalize when part of a full, formal name; lowercase otherwise.

council, counsel

Council is an assembly or other governing body. Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

the Psychology Undergraduate Council; the council meeting

Counsel means advice or a lawyer.

We valued his wise counsel.
He served as the court-appointed counsel on the case.
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
D
dean

Use lowercase unless the title precedes the name.

Ron Dow, dean of River Campus libraries
Dean Ron Dow
diseases

Lowercase, unless the disease name contains a proper name that would otherwise be capitalized.

lung cancer
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Alzheimer's disease
division

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

The Division of Genetics provides counseling services.
E
earth

Lowercase when referring to dirt or the ground; capitalize when personified or when referring to the planet.

He needs to come down to earth.
The rich, dark earth is ideal for farming
He majors in earth science.
The asteroid narrowly missed hitting the Earth.
east

See compass directions

endowed chairs

Names of endowed chairs are always capitalized, whether accompanied by a personal name or not.

Mary Wellman, Alfred R. Warren Distinguished Service Professor
The Burt Wolbach Professor of Pathology will teach this ongoing seminar.
eras

See ages and eras.

F
fact book

Two words. Capitalize as part of a title; lowercase otherwise.

The department will produce its own fact book.
The online edition of Fact Book 2001–02 is now available.
faculty

Faculty titles are lowercase unless the title precedes a name.

Jones, professor of history
Professor of History Jones

Names of endowed chairs are always capitalized, whether accompanied by a personal name or not.

Mary Wellman, Alfred R. Warren Distinguished Service Professor
The Burt Wolbach Professor of Pathology will teach this ongoing seminar.
fall

See seasons.

federal

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the federal government
fellow

Lowercase.

a university fellow
a research fellow
a Nieman fellow
BUT a Nieman Fellowship
fellowship

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

He received a Boren Fellowship.
He received a research fellowship.
foundation

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

the Head Start Foundation
foundation grants
G
genus and species

See scientific names.

geographic terms

Capitalize places, real or imaginary, with special names.

Scottish Highlands; Finger Lakes; Gotham City
government

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

We receive government funding.
We receive funding from the U.S. government.
We receive funding from the Digital Government Institute.
grades

Capitalize, no quotes. For plurals, add 's. Plus and minus signs (use an en dash) are acceptable when the meaning is clear.

She got an A minus.
She got two F's last year.
He was disappointed with the C– he received on his final exam.
graduate (noun and adjective)

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

He is a University graduate.
He is taking graduate courses.
He is a member of the Graduate Organizing Group.
H
handbook

One word. Capitalize as part of a title; lowercase otherwise.

The department will produce its own handbook.
The online edition of the Employee Handbook is now available.
headlines

In headline style, all words are capitalized except articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or), and prepositions (of, in, on, etc.). The to in infinitives is also lowercase.

President to Announce Changes in the Curriculum.

Use figures in headlines for numbers of any size.

Laser Lab Wins 3 Patents in 12 Years

Use single quotes in headlines.

Meliora Weekend 'Biggest Ever,' Says Director
heavenly bodies

Planets, stars, constellations, etc., are capitalized. The generic portions of their names are lowercase.

the constellation Orion
Phobos, one of Jupiter's moons
comet Hyakutake
historic events

Names of individual, easily recognized historic events should be capitalized. If in doubt, lowercase.

World War II; Boston Tea Party
holidays

Capitalize holidays, special days, special weeks, etc.

Christmas; Veterans Day; Breast Cancer Awareness Week
homepage

Always lowercase and write solid.

Visit the Office of Technology Transfer homepage.
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.

institute

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

Internet

Always capitalize.

intranet

A private network within an organization; lowercase unless part of a larger proper name.

We plan to establish an intranet for sharing internal documents.
We've signed a contract with Dashboard Intranets for the design.
L
library, libraries

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

Libraries at the University include:

River Campus

  • Rush Rhees Library
  • Art and Music Library
  • Chester F. Carlson Science Library (science and engineering)
  • Government Documents & Microtext Center
  • Koller-Collins Graduate English Center
  • Laboratory for Laser Energetics Library
  • Management Library
  • Multimedia Center
  • Physics-Optics-Astronomy (POA) Library
  • Rossell Hope Robbins Library
  • Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation

Eastman School of Music

  • Sibley Music Library

Medical Center

  • Edward G. Miner Library

Memorial Art Gallery

  • Charlotte Whitney Allen Library
M
magazines

Use italics for the names of magazines. Capitalize and italicize "magazine" only when it is part of the official name of the publication.

PC Magazine, Time magazine
medical school

Lowercase when referring to the University's School of Medicine and Dentistry on second refernce.

She graduated from the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1999. During her time at the medical school, she became interested in patients' rights.
Meliora Weekend

Always capitalize the name of the event.

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.

N
named chairs

See endowed chairs.

nation, national

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

National Society of Black Engineers
the national government
north

See compass directions.

nursing school

Lowercase when referring to the University's School of Nursing on second reference.

She graduated from the School of Nursing.
She graduated from the nursing school.
O
office

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

Office of Technology Transfer
A new office for incoming students will be established in the fall.
P
place names

See geographic terms.

planets

See heavenly bodies.

plurals

CAPITALIZED TERMS: Lowercase the generic word when it is last.

Yale and Harvard universities
the Universities of Michigan and California
president

Capitalize as part of a full official name, or when used as a title before a name; lowercase otherwise.

Office of the President; President Thomas H. Jackson
Thomas H. Jackson is the University's ninth president.
provost

Capitalize as part of a full official name, or when used as a title before a name; lowercase otherwise.

Office of the Provost
Thomas LeBlanc, vice provost
Charles Phelps is the University's ninth provost.
publications

In publication titles, all words are capitalized except articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or), and prepositions (of, in, on, etc.). The to in infinitives is also lowercase.

Death of a Salesman
"Midnight Train to Georgia"
R
River Campus

Always capitalized. In running text, precede with "the."

The building is located on the River Campus.

The River Campus is a geographic designation. Do not confuse with the College; the River Campus is home to the College, the Simon School, and the Warner School.

S
scholarship

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

Fulbright Scholarship
He received a full scholarship.
school

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

School of Nursing
medical school
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.

School of Nursing

Capitalize when complete official name is used. Do not capitalize references to "the nursing school."

school subjects

Capitalize names of specific courses and proper nouns; lowercase otherwise.

He signed up for Fundamentals of Biology.
She plans to major in biology.
The documentary series examined the last 200 years of English history.

See courses.

scientific names

Capitalize the genus name, lowercase the species name, and italicize both.

Home sapiens; Canis lupus

English derivations and nontechnical uses recognized by the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary may be set in roman type, lowercase.

amoebas
seasons

The seasons of the year are lowercase.

We will begin in the spring.
The program ended in winter 1996.
He is enrolled for the fall semester.
semester

Semesters are lowercase.

I want to graduate this semester.
The fall semester begins in late August.
society

Capitalize as part of a full official name; lowercase otherwise.

software, names of

See computer programs

south

See compass directions

spring

See seasons.

summer

See seasons.

symposium

Symposium is singular; symposia is plural. Capitalize when part of a full, formal name; lowercase otherwise.

T
titles

See administrative titles, publications.

trustees

Capitalize "trustee" when it appears before a name.

Mary Brown, trustee since 1994
Trustee Mary Brown
U
University Athletic Association

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

University of Rochester

When "the" precedes "University of Rochester" or "University" in running text, it is not capitalized.

"University," when referring to the University of Rochester, is always capitalized.

upstate (noun and adj.)
The campus is located in upstate New York.
He had always lived upstate before moving to Brooklyn, N.Y.
V
vice president

Capitalize as part of a full official name, or when used as a title before a name; lowercase otherwise.

Office of the Vice President
Vice President and General Secretary Paul Burgett
He was an interim vice president at Brown University.
vice provost

Capitalize as part of a full official name, or when used as a title before a name; lowercase otherwise.

Office of the Vice Provost
Vice Provost and and Chief Information Officer Mely Tynan
The vice provost will address the convention.
W
Web

Always capitalized when referring to the World Wide Web.

We need to put this information up on the Web.
Web cam

Two words. Also, Web camera.

The University's new Web cam has been popular with students and alumni.
Web site

Two words. Also, Web page.

The new Web site is now live at www.rochester.edu/giving.
webcast

One word, lowercase. Can be used as both a noun and a verb.

The Commencement webcast will begin at 9 a.m.
We will be webcasting the College Commencement ceremony.
webmaster

One word, lowercase. Refers to someone who is responsible for creating and maintaining a Web site.

office webmaster Jane Smith
Send an e-mail to the webmaster about that broken link.
west

See compass directions.

winter

See seasons.


Last modified: Tuesday, 10-Jan-2006 16:05:14 EST