Editorial Standards

Academic

Alumni

alumnus: male singular
alumni: male plural or combined male and female plural
alumna: female singular
alumnae: female plural

Academic Degrees

Academic degrees may be spelled out using initial caps or abbreviated without periods using all caps; e.g.:

  • Bachelor of Science or BS
  • Master of Science or MS
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts or BFA

Include periods for Ph.D. and similar compound abbreviations:

  • Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D.
  • Master of Education or M.Ed.
  • Doctor of Pharmacy or Pharm. D.

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s and master’s, etc. (as possessive), but not in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science (no possessive). Note that associate degree is not possessive.

Formal names of degrees are capitalized. Informal references to degrees are not capitalized; e.g.:

She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Incarnate Word.

When listing degrees with alumni names: the preferred order is: year, capitalized degree abbreviation, discipline (if listed, lowercase unless a national reference); e.g.:

Jacob Dougherty ’95 BA, history
Jacob Dougherty ’95 BA, English

  • Do not place a comma between the year and degree.
  • Do place a comma between the degree and discipline.

The use of parentheses around degree information is optional.

Academic Programs

Capitalize academic programs/majors, course titles and co-curricular programs.
The word program should not be capitalized unless part of the formal title; e.g.:

The Master of Business Administration program…
The Adult Degree Completion Program…

Semester Designation

Semester designations should be capitalized only when referring to a specific year; e.g.:

The seminar course was offered only in the Fall 2013 term.
The seminar course is offered each spring semester.