Style Guide -- Capitalization

Style Guide -- Capitalization

UC Style Guide


References To Utica College

When referring to Utica College, always capitalize "College". This rule also applies when using "the College" in place of the full name:
  • Everyone knows that the College holds Commencement every spring.
  • Have you ever visited Utica College?


  • We are a college known for our excellent academic programs.

Rule of thumb: When you can easily substitute "Utica College" for the word "college", always apply the initial capital. When in doubt, use the full name. 


  • The abbreviated form of Utica College is


    (capitalized initials). No periods should be used with this abbreviation. 

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Capitalize titles when they appear before a name:
  • Professor Emeritus of Music Louis Angelini
  • Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Mark Kovacs
  • Adjunct Instructor of Biology Harvey S. Cramer

When titles appear after a name, do not capitalize:
  • Dr. Louis Angelini, professor emeritus of music
  • Mark Kovacs, director of alumni and parent relations
  • Harvey S. Cramer, adjunct instructor of biology

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Academic Departments

Except in the case of language departments, do not capitalize names of academic departments or divisions when they begin with the subject:
  • chemistry department
  • English department
  • arts and sciences division
But when they do not begin with the subject, use the following convention:
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of English
  • School of Arts and Sciences

College Offices

When referring to UC offices, capitalize "Office" and place it first:
  • The Office of Marketing and Communications
  • The Office of Graduate and Extended Services


  • The marketing and communications office

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Board of Trustees

Capitalize Utica College Board of Trustees. When referring to individual members of the Board, follow these rules:
  • She has been a trustee for three years.
  • It was Trustee Susan B. Doolittle '71 who visited the building site.

Specific Features of UC Curriculum

Capitalize (as proper names) specific features of our own curriculum:
  • Cooperative Education Program
  • Three-Year Degree Program
  • Honors Program

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Committee / Program

Capitalize when part of a formal name:
  • Graduate Studies Committee
  • House Appropriations Committee
  • Young Scholars Liberty Partnership Program

However, when referring to programs in the abstract, do not use the initial capital: 

  • That is a baccalaureate program.
  • UC has added a number of graduate programs.
  • We should form a committee to study that.


Do not capitalize seasons of the year when they stand alone, but always capitalize divisions of the academic calendar and events of the collegiate year:
  • Family Weekend takes place in the fall, as does Homecoming Weekend.
  • You know that spring is the season for Commencement.
  • UC offers classes during Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Wintersession, and Summersession. 
  • My first semester at UC was Fall 2005.

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Do not capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior when referring to individuals, but always capitalize names of organized entities:
  • Sara is a junior this year.
  • Frank is a member of the Class of 1990.
  • She's in the Junior Class.

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Do not capitalize names of academic and honorary degrees:
  • bachelor of arts
  • doctor of humane letters
  • master of science
  • bachelor's degree
  • master's degree
Also note:
  • He received his doctorate.
  • He received his Ph.D.

While we recognize that different institutions follow different protocols when indicating a degree by its initials, UC style calls for utilizing periods where appropriate (no spaces). Examples:

  • B.S.
  • M.B.A.
  • Ed.D.

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Regional References

When using the terms New York state or central New York, only capitalize "New York" unless the phrase is part of a formal title:
  • The Central New York Community Arts Council (CNYCAC) has many members.
  • Utica College is located in central New York.
  • New York state has many beautiful lakes and streams.
  • UC participates in the New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association. 

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Internet References

When referring to the World Wide Web, capitalize the "W" in Web. Web site is expressed as two words, with a lower case "s" in site:
  • I love surfing the Web.
  • Be sure to visit our Web site.
Internet should also be capitalized:
  • How did the Internet come into being?
  • The company maintains a major Internet portal.

The term e-mail, however, is expressed with a lower-case "e" (and includes the hyphen).

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Joe Perry '90, M.A.

Joe Perry '90, M.A.

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