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Capitalization

Board of Regents  I  Buildings  I  Cities and Counties  I  Classes and Courses  I  Committees  I  Degrees  I  Grade Point Average  I  Historical Periods  I  Honors  I  Offices and Departments  I  Race/a>  I  Regions  I  Seasons  I  State  I  Students  I  The  I  Titles  I  Titles of Works  I  University

Board of Regents

Uppercase full title; otherwise lowercase.

  • The USM Board of Regents met at UMBC…
  • The regents approved a new arts building.

Buildings

Capitalize the full names of specific buildings, centers, laboratories, libraries, and offices. On second reference, if no proper name is used, lowercase building, center, laboratory, library and office.

  • The meeting will take place in the Administration Building. The building is located….

Examples of buildings with unusual capitalization:

  • The Commons
  • bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park

Cities and Counties

Capitalize the full name of the city, but lowercase in other cases.

  • city of Baltimore
  • Baltimore City

Names of counties should not be abbreviated.

Classes and Courses

Capitalize specific classes and courses; otherwise lowercase.

  • I am teaching Anatomy and Physiology this semester.
  • I am teaching an anatomy class this semester.

Committees

Capitalize names of specific committees.

Degrees

Capitalize the full name of a degree, as well as its abbreviation (outside of a sentence). See more rules about degree listings.

  • Master of Fine Arts in Imaging and Digital Arts
  • M.F.A. in Imaging and Digital Arts

Lowercase should be used when the degree is referred to in a general sense.

  • bachelor’s degree
  • master’s degree
  • She has a degree in political science.
  • The political science degree offers….

Grade Point Average

Do not capitalize except when abbreviating as GPA.

Historical Periods

Capitalize historical periods. Spell out first through ninth centuries and use numbers for 10th and above with century in lowercase.

  • the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the first century, the 19th century

Honors

Lowercase and italicize cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude.

Offices and Departments

Capitalize the names of departments, programs, offices and colleges when referred to specifically and/or full title is used. Lowercase if no proper name is used.

  • College of Engineering
  • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • undergraduate admissions office
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • chemistry and biochemistry department
  • The department offers….
  • Public Policy Graduate Program
  • The program is….

Race

Capitalize the names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc. Lowercase black, white when used to refer to races.

Regions

Uppercase North, South, East, West when referring to regions; lowercase when referring to compass points.

  • The university is located in the Northeast.
  • The building is north of Wilkens Avenue.

Seasons

Lowercase spring, summer, fall and winter. Lowercase references to semesters.

  • fall semester
  • spring semester

State

Lowercase the word state.

  • state of Maryland
  • the state
  • state funds

Students

Lowercase freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

  • The freshman class was the largest in 10 years.

The

In titles of publications such as newspapers and magazines, “the” is capitalized, underlined or italicized only if considered part of the proper name.

  • The New York Times article on President Freeman Hrabowski…
  • UMBC initiatives have been featured frequently in the Baltimore Business Journal

Titles

Capitalize titles that immediately precede a person’s name. Lowercase titles used in a general sense or if only a part of the title is used.

  • President Freeman Hrabowski….
  • Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC….
  • Associate Professor Jane Doe….
  • Jane Doe, associate professor….
  • John Doe, a professor of English at UMBC….
  • John Doe, a professor at UMBC….
  • The vice president said….

Titles of Works

Capitalize the first letter of the following examples:

  • nouns
  • pronouns
  • adjectives
  • verbs
  • adverbs
  • subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.)

Lowercase the following examples:

  • articles (a, an, the)
  • coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor, so, yet)
  • prepositions

University

Uppercase when referring to the official name of an institution.

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Lowercase when referred to in a general sense.

  • …gift to the university
  • university president Freeman Hrabowski