Academic Degrees, Capitalization and Use
Capitalize the names of academic degrees, but do not capitalize the discipline or a major, minor, concentration or field of study. Examples: Bachelor of Business Administration in finance, Master of Business Administration with a major in managerial sciences and a concentration in real estate. He has a Master of Science degree in risk management and insurance.
- Do not capitalize incomplete names of academic degrees. Examples: She has a master’s degree in business administration. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree.
- When used after a name (and this should be done sparingly), an academic degree abbreviation is set off by commas: Veda C. Storey, Ph.D., wrote the article.
- Do not precede a name with a title indicating an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree. Examples: Dr. V. Kumar, Ph.D., is redundant. Use either Dr. V. Kumar or V. Kumar, Ph.D.
Academic and Scholarly Degrees, Full Names and Acronyms
The following list includes names and acronyms for many of the degrees conferred by Robinson. Not all institutions of higher learning use the same degree names and acronyms.
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDB)
- Executive MBA (EMBA)
- Global Partners MBA (GPMBA)
- Professional MBA (PMBA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Science (MS)
Specialized Master’s Degrees
- Master of Actuarial Science (MAS)
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of International Business (MIB)
- Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA)
- Master of Science in Business Economics (MS-BUE)
- Master of Science in Finance (MS-FI)
- Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
- Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS)
- Master of Science in Information Systems Audit and Control (MS-ISAC)
- Master of Science in Managerial Sciences (MS-MGRS)
- Master of Science in Managing Information Technology (MS-MIT)
- Master of Science in Marketing (MS-MK)
- Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE)
- Master of Science in Risk Management and Insurance (MS-RMI)
- Master of Science in Wealth Management (MS-WMGT)
- Master of Taxation (MTx)
Academic Departments, Schools and Colleges
Capitalize the complete, formal names of academic departments. If the reference is informal or incomplete it should not be capitalized. Examples: the Department of Real Estate, the real estate department, the department; the School of Accountancy, the accountancy school, the school; the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, the Robinson College of Business, the business college, the college.
Do not capitalize generic terms for fields of study unless they are formal titles or proper nouns. Examples: He is a finance major but has a strong interest in marketing. His sister is studying health administration as part of her Master of Science in Health Administration.
Academic Titles and Names
Capitalize formal titles, such as dean, chair, director, professor, only when they precede a name or when the title and name appear in a listing (such as in a directory or a program for a meeting). Otherwise, lowercase such titles when they stand alone or when they follow a name. Titles that follow the name titles are set off with commas. Examples: Dean Richard D. Phillips; Richard D. Phillips, dean; the dean. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs addressed the group. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ronald J. Henry addressed the group. The head of the department is Director Debra F. Cannon. Debra F. Cannon, director of the hospitality school, spoke to the group. Debra F. Cannon, director of the School of Hospitality spoke to the group. Department Director Cannon spoke.
- Exception: Named professorships, fellowships and chairs are always capitalized — when standing alone, as well as after and before the designees’ names: S. Tamer Cavusgil, Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair; Arun Rai, Regent’s Professor and Harkins Chair in Information Systems; Glenn Harrison, C.V. Starr Chair of International Insurance.
- Note: In academic circles the term professor is used very specifically; it is not a generic term for any person teaching a course at a college or university. The word should be used only in references to those who have official status as full professors. In references to other faculty members, use the correct designations, even in casual references. Such designations include associate professor, assistant professor, adjunct professor, instructor, clinical professor, etc. Also see “professor.”
Capitalize the names of formal programs of study; lowercase informal and generic references to programs and courses of study. Examples: He was enrolled in the health administration program (the general course of study offered by the Institute of Health Administration). She is enrolled in the Executive MBA Program (a specialized degree program with a specific curriculum, entrance qualifications and administrative structure).
Academic Quarters, Semesters, Terms
Lowercase these generic terms. Examples: The fall term begins on Monday. She will take classes this summer quarter. Classes at the Robinson College of Business begin in the fall semester.
For academic units, such as centers, chairs, colleges, departments, institutes, offices and schools, capitalize the formal name. Lowercase partial or informal unit names except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives. Examples: Georgia State University, the university. Robinson College of Business, the college. The Economic Forecasting Center is nationally renowned. The center is located on the second floor at 35 Broad Street. Jacobus Boers is a member of the faculty of the Institute of International Business. The institute works with partner companies, research centers and other academic institutions. Carla Hines is administrative coordinator for the School of Accountancy. The accountancy school prepares individuals for careers in financial reporting and assurance services.
Early registration, or registration in advance of the normal registration period, is advance registration, not advanced registration (no ed).
This is a generic term that is lowercased. Capitalize only when part of a complete formal name. Examples: He was a member of the Georgia State University Alumni Association Inc. Her husband belonged to another alumni association.
Alumni Association Board of Directors
The generic term board of directors is lowercased: Georgia State University Alumni Association board of directors.
Alumnus, Alumni, Alumna, Alumnae, Alum
An alumnus (alumni in the plural) is the generic term for an individual who graduated from a school. An alumna (alumnae in the plural) is a specific reference to a woman who graduated from a school. Alum is colloquial for either a male or female graduate. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women graduates.
Annual Fund, Alumni Annual Fund, Alumni Annual Fund Campaign
These are but a few of the many generic names for certain fundraising activities. Such generic terms are lowercased. An annual fund drive and its various components, however, may have specific names that vary from year to year and may be based on a theme or a specific target audience. Such named campaigns are capitalized.
Appendix, Appendices, Appendixes
Both appendixes and appendices are correct plural forms of the word appendix, although the latter is preferred.
- Appendix A, Appendix I, Appendix 1 — Capitalize in references to a specific appendix or specifically to that portion of a book or report. Lowercase generic references. Examples: in the Appendix, an appendix, the appendix of a book.
Articles, Titles of, In Magazines, Journals and Other Publications
Capitalize and enclose in quotation marks.
In mailing addresses, use the form attn: (colon, no period).
Board of Advisors, Board of Directors, Board of Supervisors, Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors
Lowercase the names of such internal elements of an organization or institution. They are widely used generic terms. Exception: Robinson College Board of Advisors.
Book Chapters, Titles of
Chapter, essay and article titles within a book are capitalized and enclosed within quotation marks.
Books, Titles of
Titles and subtitles of books should be italicized. Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize an article (a, an, the), or words of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.
Never abbreviate in textual material. Capitalize the proper names of buildings, including the word building if it is an integral part of the formal name. Examples: The university campus has numerous buildings, including the Art and Music Building, the General Classroom Building and the Urban Life Center building.
Bullets, Use of Punctuation with
Bullets are typographical elements that are used to set off individual ideas when both emphasis and clarity are important. This is especially true when there is a list of ideas to be expressed. Two punctuation formats are used: the single-sentence format and the multiple-sentence format:
- single-sentence format— Bullets are used to set off individual elements of a long, complex sentence. No punctuation is used after each element, because the elements do not constitute complete sentences by themselves and because the bullets take the place of such punctuation as commas and semicolons at the end of each element. Also, the first word after the bullet is lowercased unless it is a proper noun.Applicants to the Executive Doctorate in Business program must submit:
- completed application
- full resume
- three essays defining reasons for obtaining the degree, personal goals and expectations and strategy for successful participation
- letter of recognition from a high-level individual within the candidate’s firm
- transcripts for all previous college and university-level education
- $100 application fee
- multiple-sentence format— When the ideas are expressed as complete sentences, end each with a period and capitalize the first word.The application procedure for the Executive Doctorate in Business program is as follows:
- Applicants must submit a $100 application fee.
- The application must be completed in full.
- Three written essays are required.
- A high-level individual within the applicant’s firm must submit a letter of recognition.
- Transcripts for all previous college and university-level education must be included.
Georgia State University and the Robinson College of Business use a “down style” of capitalization, which is a spare style that avoids unnecessary capitals. Proper names and adjectives are capitalized. Generic terms, such as university, department, school, street and state, are lowercased except when such terms are used as part of a complete expression of a formal name. (See individual entries for specific guidance on capitalizing individual titles.)
Capitalize only when it is part of a fully expressed formal name. Example: The Center for Excellence in Brand and Customer Management is a unit of the Robinson College of Business. V. Kumar is the executive director of the center.
Certified Public Accountant
Spell out in first references. Do not capitalize. Do not use periods with CPA.
Lowercase when the reference is to a chapter of an organization. Example: The Georgia chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties met yesterday. Capitalize when the reference is to a chapter of a publication, used with a number — always an Arabic figure. Example: The information was in Chapter 3 of the book.
Set within quotation marks; do not italicize.
Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name. Examples: He attends the Robinson College of Business, where he studies finance. The college is the sixth-largest business school in the nation.
Either spelling is acceptable as the plural of colloquium; however, colloquiums is preferred.
The following is not a treatise on the use of the comma, but it is a set of general guidelines to comma usage. Commas are to be used sparingly to make meaning clearer or to enable a reader to grasp the relationship between parts of a sentence more quickly.
- in a series — Use commas to separate words or phrases in a series, but do not use a comma before the conjunction in a simple series. Examples: Her course load included classes in accountancy, international business and marketing.In more complex sentences, an additional comma often is needed to prevent misreading. Therefore, a comma should be used before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction. Similarly, use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases. A dash or a semicolon should be used when elements of a series contain internal commas.Examples: The six colleges of Georgia State University are the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Health and Human Sciences, the College of Law and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Classes at Georgia State fall into these categories: daily; Monday, Wednesday and Friday; Tuesday and Thursday; and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday sessions. The Office of Admissions makes these considerations for admission: whether the candidate has shown interest in extracurricular activities, whether he or she has the requisite SAT scores and grade-point average, and whether the candidate has the ability to write a short autobiography.
- with dates, months, seasons, years — Do not use a comma between the month and year, or season and year, unless a specific day is given. Note: A comma follows the year when used with a month and day in textual material. Examples: He arrived in October 2008. Georgia State football begins in fall 2010. Honors Day was held April 20, 2009.
- with identification of cities, states, nations — In textual material, set off — enclose — the name of a state or nation with commas when it appears with a city. Examples: Paula Huntley of Atlanta, Georgia, attended. Atlanta, Georgia, has many fine schools. Caucasus School of Business, located in Tbilisi, Georgia, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
- with Jr., Sr., III, IV, etc. — Generally, do not use a comma to separate a name from Jr., Sr., III, IV, etc. However, exception is based on individual use. Examples: Thomas D. Body, III, Herman J. Russell, Sr.
Committee is a collective noun that takes a singular verb. Example: The ad hoc committee on harassment is now in session. To emphasize individuals on a committee, use the phrase members of the committee with a plural verb form. Example: The members of the ad hoc committee on harassment are meeting now.
Capitalize the full formal names of committees, but do not capitalize generic committee names. Do not capitalize paraphrastic, informal or incomplete designations. Examples: Senate Judiciary Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, Neighborhood Action Committee, Committee to Save Grant Park, the rules committee, the membership committee, the student affairs committee, the committee. See “capitalization.”
Conference, Conference Titles
Capitalize conference titles; do not set in quotation marks; do not italicize. Capitalize conference as part of a full formal name; lowercase when used alone or when used with a place name and date.
Lowercase all references to this generic term.
Course Titles, Academic and Nonacademic
Italicize the formal names of course titles, whether academic or executive education. Note: Be certain that the title is a course title, not a conference, program, seminar or workshop title, which are not italicized.
Do not use the courtesy titles Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss except in direct quotations, or where needed to distinguish among people of the same last name (as in married couples or brothers and sisters), or where a woman specifically requests that a title be used (for example, where a woman prefers to be known as Mrs. Susan Smith or Mrs. Robert Smith). In cases where a person’s gender is not clear from the first name or from the story’s context, indicate the gender by using he or she in a subsequent reference. Also, see “doctor.”
- Honorable, the Honorable — The adjective title Honorable, whether abbreviated or spelled out, is never used with a surname alone. If the article “the” is used, Honorable should be spelled in full. If the article is not used, the abbreviated form, Hon., is the correct form. Hon. and the Honorable always go before the name. Examples: President Smith greeted the Honorable John Doe warmly. President Smith greeted Hon. John Doe warmly.
Signifies graduation with honors; do not italicize.
The preferred spelling for the plural of curriculum.
See “academic titles and names.”
Lowercase. Examples: She is on the dean’s list; her brother, too, is a dean’s list student.
See “academic degrees.”
Department of, Division of, Office of
Capitalize the official names of departments and other divisions of companies, government agencies and similar institutions. Examples: Department of Economic Development, Division of Motor Vehicles, Office of Communications and Marketing. In subsequent references, such names may be shortened (but lowercased); always lowercase informal references. Examples: economic development department, motor vehicles division, communications and marketing office.
The word disc refers to phonograph records and compact discs. Use disk in references to computer technology, such as computer disk, disk drive, hard disk, diskette.
Dissertations, Titles of
Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, or doctor of podiatric medicine degree: Dr. Jonas Salk. Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees. Also, see “courtesy titles.”
- honorary doctorates — Do not use the title Dr. before the name of a person who has received only an honorary (not academically earned) doctorate. All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary.
is lowercase and is not hyphenated.
This word is added to a formal title to denote that an individual who has retired has retained his or her title or rank. Place emeritus after the formal title. Capitalize when used before the name; lowercase when used alone or after the name. Never italicize. Examples: Professor Emeritus Bruce A. Palmer, Ph.D., spoke at the luncheon. The group met to honor the professor emeritus for his years of service. Bruce A. Palmer, professor emeritus, was honored at the event. The plural is emeriti.
Capitalize when used with a number or a letter. Examples: The lawyer produced Exhibit A during his presentation. You will note Exhibit 10. The exhibit begins tomorrow. Do not put quotation marks around an exhibit name.
Do not hyphenate or italicize this term, which means by virtue of one’s office or position.
Faculty, Singular and Plural
Teachers in an educational unit are known as faculty. In references to unit members as a whole — the faculty — the term is singular. In references to members of the group, the term is plural. Examples: The hospitality faculty meets regularly on Wednesdays. For clarity, when referring to individual faculty members, add the word members. Examples: Some faculty members will make presentations at the next meeting.
Lowercase this word in references to members of learned societies, holders of fellowships and members of governing bodies.
A calendar year is January through December of a single year. A fiscal year is a 12-month period that begins in some portion of one calendar year and extends into another (such as July through June or fall quarter through summer quarter). In expressing fiscal years, both calendar years may be indicated or just the latter calendar year.
A specific fiscal year may be expressed in several different ways, any of which is acceptable. It is important to be consistent; use only one form in a document (after spelling out fiscal year in the first usage, of course). Examples: Fiscal Year 2009, Fiscal Year 2009-10, Fiscal Year 2009/10, Fiscal Year ’09-10, Fiscal Year ’09/10, FY ’09, FY 2009, FY 2009-10, FY 2009/10, FY ’09-10, FY ’09/10.
Georgia State University
The university should always be known by its proper name, Georgia State University – never by the initials GSU, GS or by the abbreviated Ga. State. Georgia State also is acceptable.
Note the hyphen. Abbreviate as GPA (without periods) only on subsequent references or if the context makes the meaning absolutely clear.
Do not set course grades in quotation marks. Form grade plurals by adding ‘s. Examples: He received a B and two A’s for the quarter. His sister, who withdrew from school due to illness, received W’s for her classes.
Graduate, Graduate from
Schools graduate students, but students graduate from schools.
is one word, lowercase.
All references to an honorary degree should specify that the degree is honorary; honorary degrees are not earned through a degree-granting academic program of study. Do not use Dr. before the name of a person whose only doctoral degree is honorary. See “academic degrees” and “courtesy titles.”
Capitalize and do not use periods with the abbreviation for identification. Do not use an apostrophe with the plural. Examples: He lost his ID. The students need their IDs to get in.
is always capitalized.
Journals, Journal Articles
Set titles of journals in italics; set titles of individual journal articles within quotation marks.
Capitalize and set off with quotation marks. Do not italicize. Example: Dr. Cavusgil’s topic is “Emerging Markets and the Current Economic Downturn.”
Italicize and use v. (not vs.) for versus. Examples: Goodman v. Price, Campbell v. City of Atlanta.
Login (n.) Log In (v.)
Logon (n.) Log On (v.)
Logoff (n.) Log Off (v.)
Italicize the proper names of magazines; do not italicize, set within quotation marks or capitalize the word magazine unless it is actually part of the formal name: Fortune magazine, but Georgia State Magazine.
Magna Cum Laude
Do not italicize this phrase, which is used to signify graduation with high honors from a university or college.
Majors, Minors and Concentrations
Lowercase names of academic majors, minors, concentrations, areas and fields of study. Capitalize the proper (formal) names of degrees. Examples: She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in hospitality and a minor in marketing. He graduated with a Master of Business Administration [with a major] in taxation with emphasis in the field of small business development.
Italicize, but italicize the city of origin only if that is part of the formal name. Capitalize and italicize “the” in a newspaper’s name if that is part of the formal name. Use parentheses to identify state or national origin of a paper if needed and if not part of the formal name. Example: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal.
Rules about when to spell out a number or use the actual numeral vary between style guides. Robinson style is as follows. Numbers one through nine are always spelled out. Numbers 10 through infinity are written as numerals. Any number that begins a sentence is spelled out, no matter how small or large.
Office of, Office
Capitalize only when office is part of the formal name of an organization, unit, subunit or agency; lowercase otherwise. Examples: Office of Student Financial Aid, dean’s office, Alumni Office, Music Office, Office of Educational Media, vice president’s office. See “Department of, Division of, Office of.”
one word (according to the Associated Press Stylebook)
one word, no hyphen
Papers, Titles of
Titles of papers presented at conferences and meetings or appearing in journals are set in caps and lowercase and set off by quotation marks. Do not italicize.
Spell out. Do not use the percent symbol.
Periodicals, Titles of
Italicize and set in caps and lowercase the titles of newspapers, newsletters, journals, magazines and similar periodical publications. Capitalize and italicize such words as magazine and journal only if part of the formal name.
Use periods; do not use an apostrophe in forming the plural. In textual materials, use the word doctorate instead of Ph.D. Example: He holds a doctorate in business administration.
Capitalize only before the name; lowercase when standing alone or when following the name. Examples: Professor Richard J. Welke; Professor Welke; Richard J. Welke, professor of computer information systems; the professor; Assistant Professor Conrad S. Ciccotello; Conrad S. Ciccotello, associate professor of risk management and insurance; the associate professor.
Note: At most institutions of higher learning, the term professor is used very specifically; it is not a generic term for any person teaching a course at the school. The word should be used only in references to those who have official status as full professors. In references to other faculty members, use official designations, even in casual references. Such designations include associate professor, assistant professor, adjunct professor, instructor, clinical professor, adjunct assistant professor, clinical associate professor, professor emeritus, associate professor emeritus, etc.
Capitalize such titles both before and after the name and when standing alone.
Program, Capitalization of
A problem arises for an editor when it is unclear whether a program’s name is a generic term for a general course of study, which would be lowercased, or the formal name of a specially designated academic structure (which often has its own director, faculty and staff, and is organized almost as a separate department or subunit). Only formal program names are capitalized.
The word program itself should never be capitalized unless it is, in fact, part of the formal name. Examples: The computer information systems program (generic name) at Georgia State University is taught, naturally, in the Department of Computer Information Systems. His father was enrolled in the Executive MBA Program (formal name) offered by the Robinson College of Business.
Capitalize the principal words. Lowercase articles, prepositions and conjunctions (regardless of length) unless such a word is the first or last word in a title.
Generally, the titles of long works and complete publications are set in caps and lowercase and in italics. The titles of short works and works within complete publications are set in caps and lowercase and set within quotation marks (not in italics).
Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name; lowercase informal and incomplete references. Examples: She attends the School of Hospitality. The hospitality school will host a career fair next week.
Lowercase academic semesters in textual material. Do not separate the semester from the year by a comma. Examples: Professional MBA program cohorts begin all three semesters. The first cohort of the Executive Doctorate in Business program will begin in the fall semester. Course sequences begin fall semester. Our student assistant will graduate in spring semester 2016.
Set in caps and lowercase; do not italicize or set in quotes.
Staff, Singular and Plural
Personnel in many organizations are referred to as staff, both in the singular and the plural. In references to unit members as a whole — the staff — the term is singular. In references to members of the group, the term is plural. Examples: The department staff meets regularly on Wednesdays. For clarity, when referring to individual staff members, use another word, such as members. Examples: The department staff meets regularly on Wednesdays; some members will be unable to make the meeting next week.
Capitalize the formal names of officially organized groups of students and student classes, but lowercase student classifications. Examples: the Student Government Association, the Public Relations Student Society of America, senior class, class of 2002, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, undergraduate.
Summa Cum Laude
Do not italicize this phrase denoting academic honor.
The preferred form is to separate area and number codes (such as 800 and 900 lines) from the telephone number with a hyphen. When giving only an extension number, abbreviate and capitalize extension. Examples: 404-555-1212, Ext. 6; 1-800-555-1212; Ext. 1-3712.
Television Programs, Titles of
Set the titles of television programs, episodes, shows and series within quotation marks. Made-for-TV movies and feature length programs on DVD have the status of films and are set in italics.
Theses, Titles of
Set off the titles of theses and dissertations with quotation marks. Do not italicize.
Trustee is a generic term for a person or group appointed to manage the affairs or property of another person or organization. It is not a formal title; do not capitalize even before the name. Also, lowercase board of trustees.
is a noun. The abbreviation, U.S., is an adjective. Examples: Robinson is the sixth-largest business school in the United States. Among U.S. business schools, Robinson is the sixth largest.
Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name or title; lowercase otherwise. Examples: He attends Georgia State University. The university is providing him with an excellent education. He works in the university’s library.
Do not hyphenate.
Upper Class (n.), Upper-Class (adj.), Upperclassman, Upperclasswoman
All forms are acceptable: upper class, upper-class, upperclass, etc.
Do not include “http://” or “www” when providing a URL, which also is known as a web address. Both are implicit and their use is dated. Examples: robinson.dev.gsu.edu is correct; http://robinson.dev.gsu.edu is incorrect as are http://www.ajc.com and www.ajc.com.
This acronym is acceptable for very important person(s).
A short biography or autobiography. The term is preferred to the longer curriculum vitae. The plural of vita is vitae.
Do not include “http://” or “www” when providing a web address/URL. Both are implicit and their use is dated. Examples: robinson.dev.gsu.edu is correct; http://robinson.dev.gsu.edu is incorrect as are http://www.ajc.com and www.ajc.com.
Workshop, Titles of
Set in caps and lowercase; do not italicize; do not set off with quotation marks.
Work-Study (adj.), Work Study (n.)
Use work-study, hyphenated, for adjectives (e.g. work-study student). Use work study, not hyphenated, for nouns.
Use un-hyphenated, all one word.
World Wide Web
is a proper noun, three words, no hyphens. Web, used alone, is capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence. It is not usually capitalized when used as a modifier (website, webmaster or web page)
Do not hyphenate.
Hyphenate in all uses.