Editorial Style

Editorial Style

University-Specific Usage

Names and Titles

Academic Degrees

Use degrees for UChicago alumni only. List degrees in chronological order, with no periods and no space between the degree and apostrophe. Make sure the apostrophe is curled away from the year. Use four digits for years 100 or more years ago; use two digits for years less than 100 years ago. Use AB, SB, AM, SM after names, but use BA, BS, MA, MS in running text.

Janet Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Edwin Hubble, SB 1910, PhD’17, found the first evidence for the big bang theory.

Jack has a master’s degree. Jill has a bachelor of arts degree. Sean has a BS and two PhDs.

Use class year for current students

Amy Smith, Class of 2015


Faculty Academic Titles

Academic ranks (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer, instructor) are capitalized when associated with a person. They may be followed by the units in which the faculty member has appointment/s. Do not use “Professor of...” unless the “of” is part of the official name of the professorship. Use “the” when the professorship is the only one of its kind; if there is more than one, “the” is eliminated.

Françoise Meltzer is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor.

Gary Becker is University Professor in the Departments of Economics and Sociology and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Jane Doe is Associate Professor, Departments of History and Political Science, and the College.

Jane Doe is Associate Professor in History. (Her primary appointment is in the History Department.)

John Doe, Assistant Professor in Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College


University Administrative Titles

These titles are capitalized when immediately preceding a personal name. They are lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name.

President Zimmer described his vision for the University.

Sunil Kumar is dean of Chicago Booth.

The vice president for communications recently spoke at a conference.

Julie Peterson, vice president for communications, recently spoke at a conference.


Academic Department Names

Use “and” (not &) in compound names of academic units and other institutional names.

Frequently Used Terms

University graduates:
alumna = singular, feminine
alumnus = singular, masculine or non-specific gender
alumnae = plural, feminine
alumni = plural, masculine or mixed masculine and feminine

Avoid using “alum” or “alums.”

Graduate/graduates are good alternatives for non-specific gender uses.

Autumn Quarter (capitalize, not Fall)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business (first mention); Chicago Booth (second mention)

The University of Chicago Medicine (not Hospitals or Medical Center); “medical campus” or “medical center,” lowercase, can be used on second mention.

The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy (first mention); Chicago Harris (second mention)

The University of Chicago, the University, UChicago. Do not capitalize “The” in running text. See nomenclature page.

UChicago has first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year College students, not freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.

Common Usage

Serial Comma

When there are three or more items in a series, put a comma before the “and” or “or” that precedes the last item. In case of a series within a series, use semicolons to separate the outer series.

I belong to flag football, broomball, and swim meet intramural teams.

I belong to flag football, broomball, and swim meet intramural teams; participate in aikido, cricket, and figure skating sport clubs; and study ballet, cello, and painting.



Use periods in a.m./p.m.; do not repeat in ranges.

Use noon, not 12 p.m. Use midnight, not 12 a.m.

Designate ranges with an en dash OR “from/to.” Do not combine methods.

Omit :00

The morning session is 9–11:30 a.m. Lunch is at noon. Doors will be open from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.



July 7, 2013; July 2013


Spell out single-digit numbers.

Use Arabic numerals otherwise.

Exception: Always use a numeral with percent.


Spell out directions, street names, and states, but use postal state abbreviations when followed by a zip code.

Phone Numbers


Non-University Titles

Professional titles are lowercased in running text.

Marcia Watson is senior vice president of sales for General Industry Corporation.


Acronyms and Initialisms

Avoid acronyms and initialisms except in an organization’s official or preferred name: NORC, BBC.


Always omit “http://” and “www.” unless required for functionality. Use end punctuation if the URL is part of a sentence.

You can find the College curriculum at collegecatalog.uchicago.edu.

Avoid breaking a URL between lines. If unavoidable, do not hyphenate; do break after a period, underscore, or slash.

Frequently Used Terms

African American, African American history

email; internet; online; password; username; website


autumn, winter, spring, summer (seasons)

Standard Reference Works

University Style

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. chicagomanualofstyle.org
(free from University computers)

Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. merriam-webster.com

For a downloadable pdf of the University editorial style guide, visit communications.uchicago.edu/best-practices.


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Editorial Style Guide

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