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, Colleges, Departments, Etc.  I  Race  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.


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.


Capitalize names of specific committees.


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


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

Offices, Colleges, Departments, Etc.

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

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

For more information on how to properly write out the names of offices, colleges, and departments, visit this page.


Following guidance from the Diversity Style Guide, UMBC capitalizes Black or White when writing about race. Phrases denoting heritage, such as Asian American and African American should not be hyphenated.

For guidance on making statements in support of Black community members, visit this page created by the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Read more about inclusive and affirming language use at UMBC here.


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.


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

  • fall semester
  • spring semester


Lowercase the word state.

  • state of Maryland
  • the state
  • state funds


Lowercase first-year, sophomore, junior and senior.

  • The first-year class was the largest in 10 years.


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 mathematics student Janet Lee…
  • UMBC initiatives have been featured frequently in the Baltimore Business Journal


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 mathematics 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


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