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Editorial Style Guide

Consistency of style and usage makes reading easier. This style guide is designed to increase the effectiveness of University of Utah publications by encouraging stylistic consistency and sensible usage campus-wide.



The online news hub and weekly digital newsletter for students, faculty and staff at the University of Utah. Use the “at” symbol followed by lowercase “the” and uppercase “U” with no spaces in all references (exception is the URL, which is



The Association of American Universities is an association of 65 leading universities in North America (including one in Canada) that are distinguished by the breadth and quality of their research and graduate programs. Membership is by invitation only. The University of Utah was invited to join the AAU in November 2019. Spell out on first reference. AAU in subsequent uses.


academic degrees

If mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone's credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as “Janika Aguilar, who has a doctorate in psychology….”  Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.

  • associate degree (no possessive)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
    • bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s
    • B.A., B.S.
  • Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration
    • master’s degree or master’s
    • M.S., MBA
  • doctorate, doctoral degree, doctoral candidate
    • Ph.D.
  • Doctor of Medicine
    • M.D.



ACCESS Scholars represent women and individuals from all dimensions of diversity who embody the program values of excellence, leadership, and gender equity.


academic titles

Lowercase when the title is a description or comes after the name.  Initial capital letter only when a formal title (not simply a job description) precedes a name. In order to minimize capitalization, generally follow this order:

  • professor’s name, rank and department
  • dean’s name, rank and college
  • vice president’s name, rank and area



Well-known acronyms/initialisms* can be used on first reference, including GPA, SAT, ACT, IRS, ROTC, TIAA/CREF, without periods.

For less immediately recognizable acronyms, spell out on first reference, then use the acronym on second reference. Don’t put acronyms in parentheses or set off by dashes following first reference—AP says avoid using an acronym if its reference is not going to be clear when it is used.

(*An acronym is a word formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words: laser—light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. An initialism is an abbreviation formed from initial letters: GPA—grade point average. But for simplicity, we will use the term acronym for both in subsequent entries in this guide.)



use initial cap on title that follows if the title normally would have an initial cap (e.g., before name).

  • …said acting Director of Student Affairs Arkadia Wilkerson. She served as acting director from 2015-18.



  • Spell out full names of streets and use initial caps when part of a formal street name without a number.
  • Use abbreviations for only Ave., Blvd. and St., and only with numbered address.
  • All similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) are always spelled out in full.
  • Spell out Utah, except when writing an actual mailing address that requires use of the two-letter state abbreviation (UT).

Advanced Placement

Initial caps for this program of the College Board. Second reference can be AP.



Not adviser



Affect as a verb means “to influence” (to affect something) or as a transitive verb, to feign (to affect an accent).

Affect as a noun is best avoided unless appropriate for scientific usage (e.g. emotional affect), and then perhaps with brief explanation.

Effect as a verb means “to cause.” Effect as a noun means “result.” To effect change; to have an effect.



All uppercase because it’s an acronym. Not necessary to spell out on first reference. See also HIV.


alma mater

Two words, lowercase. The term refers to a school, college or university a person once attended.



  • alumnus/alumni (male singular/male or gender-neutral plural)
  • alumna/alumnae (female singular/female plural)
  • alum (gender neutral singular)
  • alumni/alums (gender neutral plural)

When identifying university alumni, you may use degree and class year (with periods in the degree abbreviations, without commas around the degrees, apostrophe (not single quotation mark) before the year, and with a space between the degree and year abbreviations).

  • LaDawn Smith Jones B.A. ’60 M.A. ’63
  • Martin Gomez B.S. ’75 Ph.D. ’80

When it’s not possible to ascertain a person’s degree, use just the class year—the first class year in the case of multiple degrees.

  • Darnell Harris ’75

See also academic degrees entry.


Alumni Association

See U Alumni entry.


Alumni House

Use full name on first reference: Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House. On second reference can be shortened to the Eccles Alumni House, U Alumni House, or Alumni House.


a.m., p.m.

Lowercase, with periods but no spaces.


among, between

Between is for two items.

Among is for more than two items.


ampersand (&)

Use in text only when it is part of an organization’s formal name (and in display copy if optimal for space/layout and they do so, such as in logos/wordmarks on webpages and letterhead); otherwise, use “and.”



Spell out the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on first reference. APLU in subsequent uses.

The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The association's membership consists of 244 public research universities (including the University of Utah), land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations.


Asia campus

University of Utah Asia Campus on first reference. U Asia Campus on second reference. Avoid the acronym UAC.

The campus is located in Incheon (not Songdo), South Korea (not Korea).



ASUU stands for the Associated Students of the University of Utah and is led by student body officers elected by U students. Spell out first reference. ASUU in subsequent uses.


associate degree

No apostrophe (not associate’s degree)


Athletics facilities

The U Athletics Department manages several indoor and outdoor facilities. Crimson Field and the McCarthey facility are shared with Campus Recreation.

First reference Second references (and note)
Crimson Field the field (the turf practice field next to Ute Field)
Dumke Family Softball Stadium Dumke Stadium, the softball stadium, the stadium/facility etc.
Dumke Gymnastics Center the Dumke Center, the gymnastics center, the center/facility etc.
George S. Eccles Tennis Center the Eccles Tennis Center, the tennis center, the center/facility etc.
Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Basketball Facility the Huntsman Basketball Facility, the basketball facility, the facility
Jon M. Huntsman Center the Huntsman Center, the center/facility
Kenneth P. Burbidge Jr. Family Athletics Center the Burbidge Center, the center/facility
McCarthey Family Track & Field Complex the track and field, the track/complex/facility (
Rice-Eccles Stadium Rice-Eccles, the stadium
Sorenson High Performance Center SHPC, the center
Spence Eccles Field House Eccles Field House, SEFH
Spence Eccles Ski Team Building the ski team building, the building/facility etc.
Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center the Eccles Football Center, the football center, the center/facility etc.
Ute Field the field
Ute Natatorium the natatorium, the facility
 Click here to see the facility home page.

Athletics’ teams

U teams with specific names:

  • Basketball: The men's basketball team is known as the Runnin’ Utes. (Runnin’ Utes can be first or later reference as long as Utah men’s basketball is also used high up.)
  • Football: The football team is known as the Utah Utes. The program is referred to as Utah Football with a cap F. (Utah Utes can be first or later reference as long as Utah Football is also used high up.)
  • Gymnastics: The gymnastics team is known as the Red Rocks. Use both Utah gymnastics and Red Rocks in references to the team. (Red Rocks can be first or later reference as long as Utah gymnastics is also used high up.)

U teams referred to just by name of sport, usually preceded by Utah on first reference, plus gender if needed: baseball, women’s basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, skiing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving (display and second reference abbreviation: swim & dive), tennis, track & field, volleyball, beach volleyball (check Sports tab at for more)


“Said” or “says” are both acceptable. Be sure to stick to one tense throughout the story.



Use an apostrophe (possessive) when referring to the degree.
bachelor’s program, bachelor’s degree, bachelor’s in communication; see academic degrees for more


Board of Trustees, Board of Regents

Lowercase on second reference when omitting board.


building names

Use the proper official name of the building on first reference. Second reference can be shortened version or building acronym. See the U Building List or the Campus Map.


break room

Two words.



Capitalize bureau when it is part of a proper name. Lowercase otherwise.


bureau at the U

The University of Utah has bureaus within various departments. See the full list of U bureaus here.


Campus Recreation facilities

Campus Rec manages or utilizes several indoor and outdoor facilities. (Crimson Field and the McCarthey facility are shared with Athletics.)

First reference Second references (and note)
Crimson Field the field (the turf practice field next to Ute Field)
Disc Golf Course the course
Eccles Student Life Center the Student Life Center, ESLC
Lassonde Sport Courts the sport courts
McCarthey Family Track & Field Complex the track and field, the track/complex/facility
Outdoor Leisure Pool the ESLC outdoor pool, the leisure pool
University Federal Credit Union Playfield UFCU Playfield, the playfield, the field
Click here for the Campus Recreation home page.


Avoid unnecessary capital letters. Too many capitals detract from your message by slowing and distracting the reader. Use a capital letter only when principles in this style guide or other references justify your doing so. Do not capitalize a word simply because you consider it important.



Capitalize center when it is part of a proper name. Lowercase otherwise.

The University of Utah has more than one hundred centers on campus. See the full list here.



Use numerals unless it is the first word in a heading or sentence. Hyphenate when used as a modifier (a 20th-century explorer).


child care

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier.


class of

Two words, lowercase.

  • the class of 1988, the class of ‘88



Short for coeducational. Permissible to use this term to show dual use by men and women.

  • Kahlert Village is a coed residential hall.

Do not use the term as shorthand for a female student.


colleges and schools

In most cases, U colleges and schools should be preceded with University of Utah in first reference.
Capitalize both words when part of the name of a specific college or school, such as the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering. Lowercase when the word stands alone:
The college offers nine majors.

First reference Second references Website
College of Architecture + Planning the college, CA+P
College of Education the college
College of Fine Arts the college, CFA
College of Health the college, COH
College of Humanities the college
College of Mines and Earth Sciences the college, CMES
College of Nursing the college
College of Pharmacy the college
College of Science the college
College of Social and Behavioral Science the college, CSBS
College of Social Work the college
David Eccles School of Business Eccles School, school of business
Honors College the college
John and Marcia Price College of Engineering the college, COE
Kahlert School of Computing the school
School of Dentistry the school
School for Cultural and Social Transformation  the school, Transform
S.J. Quinney College of Law College of Law, the college
Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine the school, SFESOM
Click here to see a list of affiliated departments, programs and divisions.



No comma before and/or in a list.

  • First, second and third. First, second or third.

Commas go inside of quotation marks.

  • “I’m so excited to graduate in three years,” she said.

Watch usage in connecting people with their jobs, books, etc. Here’s a common but incorrect example, introducing Martin and this journal: “Martin Gomez is editor of the journal, ABC.” Here, because “journal” is a descriptor of ABC, there is no comma. The confusion comes from usages such as: “Martin Gomez is in his first year as editor of a major university journal. That journal, ABC, has existed for more than 50 years.” There, ABC is a nonessential part of the sentence and is therefore set off by commas. So:

  • WRONG: ABC editor, Martin Gomez is here.
  • RIGHT: ABC editor Martin Gomez is here. The editor of ABC, Martin Gomez, is here.



Capitalize when referring to a specific commencement and precede with “General.”

  • The 2021 General Commencement will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5.

Lowercase when writing generally about commencements.



Capitalize titles of official or formal committees; lowercase unofficial or informal ones.

  • Campus Health and Safety Committee
  • Undergraduate Scholarship Committee
  • Her courses must be preapproved by her graduate committee.


Continuum magazine

See University of Utah Magazine entry.



Capitalize when referring to a specific convocation and precede with the college name.

  • Candidates attending a College of Humanities Convocation ceremony can request accommodations.

Lowercase when writing generally about college convocations.


course/class titles

Proper nouns (e.g., languages) should be initial caps in all instances. Others (e.g., history, mathematics) should be initial caps only when referring to a specific course.

  • The undergraduate course English 230 is a required class for all engineering majors.
  • I love history. My favorite class was History of American Novelists.



One word



Curriculum (n. sing) means the subjects, materials and plan of study for an academic course.
To pluralize, use curricula (not curriculums).



dash (em)

Use the em dash (—) without space on either side.

  • Students enrolled in the most popular course—Ceramics 150—within the first hour of registration.



One word



In text, a date including a year should be set off with commas.

  • On January 12, 2017, the class met in the law building.

When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.

  • January 1972 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the accident occurred.


day care

Two words as a noun, hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • She’s at day care. The day-care bill is expensive.



Capitalize when it is used before someone's name, and lowercase otherwise.

  • Dean Wilkerson, Dean Juanita Garcia, the dean said


dean's list

Always lowercase.



No apostrophes: 1990s



See academic degrees entry.



Capitalize when using the official title of the department.

  • Department of Biology, Department of Metallurgical Engineering

Lowercase when referring to the academic discipline generally or when not using official title.

  • The biology department published research today.
  • Across the country, modern dance departments envy the Marriott Center for Dance.


Distinguished Professor

To avoid confusion, treat this professorial rank like an endowed title:

  • Mary Smith, who holds the rank of Distinguished Professor, or Mary Smith, a Distinguished Professor of psychology.



The acronym EDI formerly referred to the U’s division for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Per Utah House Bill 261 passed in January 2024, the university no longer has an EDI division. For more guidance on the law, visit 'Complying with HB 261' in the Belonging Style Guide.



Written as three periods with a space on either side ( … ).



Lowercase, no hyphen.


emeritus, emerita, emeriti, emeritae

Place immediately after the title and follow normal capitalization rules.

  • Professor Emeritus Joe SmithDean Emerita Arkadia WilkersonChancellor Emeritus John White; Joe Smith, professor emeritus of history; Emmalie Wang and Tamra Hallston, professors emeritae of history.


endowed chairs

As the university’s primary way of recognizing academic distinction, endowed chairs promote excellence. They also enable the university to attract, retain and honor distinguished faculty members. Be sure to list the endowed chair title when referencing.

  • L.R. Wang, MD, Presidential Endowed Chair


exclamation point

Avoid use. Allotted the use of three for your entire career.



All uppercase because it’s the acronym for frequently asked questions.


fellows and fellowships

The name of a fellowship is capitalized (such as Marriner S. Eccles Graduate Fellowship). The word fellow is not usually part of the official award name and is therefore not capitalized.

  • a fellow of the Royal Academy, Fulbright fellow, Fulbright Fellowship



This federal act affords students certain privacy rights with respect to their educational records. Spell out Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act on first reference. On second reference, FERPA is allowable.


first-year student/freshman

Because of the gender specificity of freshman and freshmen, general preference is given to use of first-year student, although freshman or freshmen may be more appropriate when used with other class names: sophomore, junior and senior.


Founders Day

No apostrophe (not Founders’ or Founder’s).

The Office of Alumni Relations each year celebrates the founding of the University of Utah in 1850 with Founders Day events recognizing outstanding individuals with Distinguished and Honorary alumni awards. (Honorary Alumna, Distinguished Alumnus, etc.) These annual awards, along with honorary degrees, are the highest honors awarded by the U.


Fort Douglas

Two words. Capitalized. Initially established in October 1862 during the Civil War as “Camp Douglas”—in honor of former Illinois Sen. Stephen A. Douglas. It was renamed Fort Douglas in 1878. The historic remnant of the fort that remains on the university campus was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975; a small portion of the fort is currently designated as the Fort Stephen A. Douglas Armed Forces Reserve Center and is overseen by the Utah National Guard.



Spell out amounts less than one in stories, using hyphens between the words.

  • two-thirds, four-fifths, seven-sixteenths, etc.

Use figures for precise amounts larger than one, converting to decimals whenever practical.

In tabular material, use figures exclusively, converting to decimals if the amounts involve extensive use of fractions that cannot be expressed as a single character.


full time

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • She works full time. He’s a full-time artist.


genus, species

Italicize these specifics (deviation from AP).

In scientific or biological names, capitalize the first, or generic, Latin name for the class of plant or animal and lowercase the species that follows: Homo sapiensTyrannosaurus rex.

In second references, use the abbreviated form: H. sapiensT. rex.


George Thomas Building

This building on Presidents Circle has been home to the U’s library, the natural history museum, Tanner Dance, and now the Crocker Science Center. Take care when referencing the building or any of these entities that you have the correct time period/location for each.



All caps, no periods



No quotation marks around them and no apostrophes when plural.

  • He received an A, two Bs, and three Cs.


graduate (n.), graduate, graduated, graduating (v.); graduated (adj.)

Graduate is correctly used in the active voice:

  • She graduated from the University of Arkansas. The university graduated 3,000 students.

When graduated is used as an adjective, it means marked into units of measurement: a graduated beaker.



Capitalize whether referring either to the nationality or to fraternity members. Also capitalize names of fraternities and sororities:

Fraternities Sororities
Alpha Gamma Rho Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Phi Alpha Alpha Delta Pi
Beta Theta Phi Alpha Kappa Alpha
Farmhouse Alpha Omicron Pi
Kappa Alpha Order Chi Omega
Kappa Alpha Psi Delta Delta Delta
Kappa Sigma Delta Sigma Theta
Lambda Chi Alpha Kappa Delta
Omega Psi Phi Kappa Kappa Gamma
Phi Beta Sigma Phi Mu
Phi Delta Theta Pi Beta Phi
Phi Gamma Delta Sigma Iota Alpha
Pi Kappa Alpha Zeta Phi Beta
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Zeta Tau Alpha
Sigma Chi
Sigma Nu
Sigma Phi Epsilon



One word, no hyphen.


health care

Two words, hyphenated as modifier. Examples:

  • He needs better health care. She’s a health-care provider.

(Exception: the proper name of Intermountain Healthcare.)


Health Sciences

Is two words. Used when referring to the senior vice president's title.



Hyphenate this modifier.


Herriman Campus

University of Utah Herriman Campus on first reference. U Herriman Campus on second reference. No acronym. Example:

  • At the University of Utah Herriman Campus, a college degree is now more accessible than ever.
  • Students can earn both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree without ever leaving the U Herriman Campus.



Not necessary to spell out on first reference. All uppercase because it’s an acronym. HIV virus is redundant because the V already stands for virus; avoid. People are either HIV-positive or HIV-negative. See also AIDS.



Plural, no apostrophe.



Capitalize for the annual event: U Homecoming; Homecoming week, game, etc.



One word. The front page of a particular website.


honorary degrees

Honorary degrees are awarded each year at commencement. When referring to someone who holds an honorary degree, make clear that the degree is honorary. Avoid the use of abbreviations of honorary degrees unless in a list.

Do not refer to an honorary degree holder with the courtesy title Dr. Do not use the abbreviation of the degree except in a table or list of honorary degree holders.

  • RIGHT: Queen Noor, who holds an honorary humanities degree from the University of Utah, said …
  • WRONG: Queen Noor, L.H.D., said …


Huntsman Cancer Institute

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah on first reference; Huntsman Cancer Institute on second reference.

Do not use the term Huntsman Cancer Hospital. The formal name is Huntsman Cancer Institute. If you need to distinguish between the clinical operations, use "Huntsman Cancer Institute Hospital" on first reference, and "cancer hospital" on second. Never use The Huntsman. As of 2022, do not use HCI.

  • Patients at Huntsman Cancer Institute are treated in a leading-edge cancer hospital.

Find more at Huntsman Cancer Institute's brand guide.



Use hyphens after prefixes such as non-, pre-, and re- when:

  • the second element must be capitalized: pre-Columbian, non-LDS.
  • compound words must be distinguished from homonyms: recover, re-cover.
  • the second element consists of more than one word: non-English-speaking people.
  • the last letter of the prefix and the first letter of the following word are the same: pre-engineering.

Hyphens are used to connect compound modifiers to enhance clarity: well-known author, bluish-green color.
Hyphens are not used after an adverb and modifiers that end in -ly: very good report, easily remembered rule.


hyphenating measurements

Note placement of hyphen/s. A 14,000-foot addition. A 40,000-square-foot building. A five-foot-high wall.


hyphenating a related series of measurements (feet, ages, time, etc.)

Note placement of hyphens. A 10- to 15-foot range. A class for 13- to 15-year-olds.


in memoriam

Commonly misspelled.


Indigenous Land Acknowledgement statement

In October 2020, the University of Utah officially launched its Indigenous Land Acknowledgment. The statement recognizes and honors the fact that the university is located on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute tribes; the state of Utah is home to eight distinct tribal nations.



No space between two initials preceding last name: L.R. Nali, not L. R. Nali.



Capitalize institute when it is part of a proper name. Lowercase otherwise.

The University of Utah has dozens of institutes within various departments and areas. See the full list of U institutes here.



Lowercase. Use an initial cap on title that follows, if the title normally would have an initial cap: interim Vice President Peter Higuchi.



See regions, directions entry.





Jr., Sr.

Precede with a comma: Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. No comma precedes a Roman numeral: Joseph P. Kennedy III.



kickoff (noun/adjective), kick off (verb)

  • The campaign’s kickoff was last spring. Let’s hold a banquet to kick off the season.



KUER is the radio station at the University of Utah. It was established in 1960 and broadcasts at 90.1 FM.



Capitalize only when part of the formal name of an endowed lectureship or a job title.

  • Renee Manuel, the 2021 XXX Lecturer in Animal Science. Associate Professor (Lecturer) Emmalie Wang.



Capitalize and use quotation marks around the titles of lectures.

  • He will present a lecture titled "Drowning in Neoliberalism: The Origins of Hurricane Katrina."



Capitalize when preceded by the state name: Utah Legislature.

Retain capitalization when the state name is dropped but it still refers specifically to the state's legislature.

  • The Legislature approved the resolution.

Lowercase when used generically.

  •  No legislature in America has approved such a bill.


libraries on campus

First reference Second references
J. Willard Marriott Library Marriott Library, the library
James E. Faust Law Library Faust Law Library, the law library, the library
McKay Music Library the music library, the library
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library Eccles Health Sciences Library, EHSL, the library



One word.



One word.


log on / log in  vs. logon, etc.

Verb, two words: to log on, log in, sign in, log out, log off. To log on (or log in, sign in) means to connect with a computer resource or system; you log on to CIS (note: not log onto) and you log off.

Noun, one word: logon, login, logoff. You use your logon/login (or username) and password to log on; don’t forget your login; finish your logoff for security.


long-term, longtime

Note that only long-term takes a hyphen.


Madsen Family Health Center

Madsen Family Health Center. On second reference, the health center.



The word major refers academically to a major program of undergraduate study.

Lowercase the names of majors unless they contain a proper noun.

  • Middle East studies, English, exercise and sport science, theatre.

For a current list of majors offered at the University of Utah, click here.



See Swoop entry.



Use an apostrophe (possessive) when referring to the degree.

  • master’s program, master’s degree, a master’s in communication.



Use plural subject-verb agreement: The media are covering the event.



Use instead of 12 a.m., which is a confusing term.



Capitalize the names of months in all uses.

When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.

Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.

When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas.

When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.


MOU, memorandum of understanding

Lowercase memorandum of understanding. MOU on second reference and in headlines.


mountain bike

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • She got a new mountain bike. She won the mountain-bike competition.


more than, over

Acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value.

  • Salaries went up more than $20 a week. Salaries went up over $20 a week.


Moran Eye Center

John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah on first reference; the Moran Eye Center or Moran on second reference. Never use “The Moran.”



One word, no hyphen.


museums at the U

  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts: On first reference, use full name. On second reference, can use UMFA. The museum is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building on main campus.
  •  Natural History Museum of Utah: On first reference, use full name. On second reference, can use NHMU. The museum is located in the Rio Tinto Center east of campus. The museum was called the Utah Museum of Natural History until its move to that new building in 2011.
  •  Fort Douglas Military Museum: On first reference, use full name. On second reference, can use the museum or military museum. Originally a 19th-century barracks, the museum includes various exhibits on the history of Utah and western states.



See entry for The MUSS.


national parks

Capitalize all words when a single park is mentioned. When more than one park is mentioned, national park is lowercase while the proper names remain uppercase: Zion National Park, Zion and Bryce national parks.

This rule is also true for rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, counties, etc.



Sufficient on all references for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, of which the University of Utah is a member.



See hyphens entry.

Common university non- words include noncredit, nonmajor, nonmatriculated, nonrefundable, nonresident, nonthesis, nontraditional.



Hyphenate when referring to Continuing Education not-for-credit programs.



Spell out words: zero through nine

Use numerals: 10 and above

Do not use superscript for numeral ordinals

  • Words: First, second, third … ninth
  • Numerals: 10th and above
  • Exception is in a title: He was a member of the 1st Marine Division.



When necessary to establish a person's credentials, spell out the certification.

  • Jo Kwan, a registered nurse, or Maria Lopez, a licensed practical nurse.

Use of the abbreviations R.N. and L.P.N. is acceptable when a list of people and their professional credentials is necessary.



occupational titles

Always lowercase: lawyer Josefina Castro, architect Mike Jones.


off campus, off-campus

Hyphenate when it is used as a modifier; no hyphen otherwise.

  • Many University students live off campus. Off-campus living requires a commute to classes.


Office of Alumni Relations

See U Alumni entry.


OK, OK’d, OK’ing, OKs

Often, approve is a better verb. Avoid okay.



Initial cap in all references to the international athletic contests held every two years: the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the 2002 Winter Olympics, the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Winter Games, the Summer Games, the Olympics, the Games. NOTE: Much Olympic terminology is trademarked; it is heavily and strictly regulated. Be extremely careful in using such terms, especially if the usage has any commercial (rather than news or information) implication.


On (day of the week)

Do not use “on” prior to a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion: The meeting will be held Monday. The class is held January 20.


On campus, on-campus

Hyphenated when used as a modifier. No hyphen otherwise.

  • He lives on campus; on-campus housing is less expensive.



One word, no hyphen.



Acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value.

  • The crop was valued at over $5 billion.



Proper style is Pac-12 (not PAC-12, PAC12, Pac 12, Pac12). This athletic conference represents 12 universities in the West. The University of Utah became a member of the Pac-12 Conference in July 2010.


Parking lots and facilities

When referring to a specific parking lot on campus, capitalize and use the figure.

  • Parking is available in Lot 57 and Lot 3.

Use parking facility rather than parking deck or parking garage. The campus has four parking facilities.


Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology Center (formerly TVC)

Use full name on first reference; the PIVOT Center or PIVOT on second reference. As of late 2020, PIVOT builds on the work of the former Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC).


Part time, part-time

Always hyphenate as an adjective (modifier), but otherwise is two words.

  • She is a part-time student and also works part time.



One word, uppercase S.



Use % sign.



Only one space between a period and the beginning of the next sentence.


Pioneer Theatre Company

One of the four professional theater companies in Utah, and the only fully professional theater in Salt Lake City. The company is housed in the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre building. Note theatre spelling in the proper names but preferred theater spelling for general references.

Use full name on first reference. Use PTC for second and future references.


PIVOT, the PIVOT Center (formerly TVC)

See Partners entry.


phone numbers

Use hyphens for phone numbers.



See hyphens entry. Common university post- words: postdoctoral, postgraduate, postsecondary.


postal regulations

See addresses entry.



See hyphens entry. Common university pre- words: prearchitecture, prearrange, predental, pre-engineering, pre-existing, prelaw, premajor, premed, premedicine, prenursing, preprofessional, pretest.

Because they are words in their own right (listed in the dictionary), omit the hyphen in preempt and preeminent, for example.


precedence, precedent

You can set a precedent; something with priority takes precedence. (“Have we done that before? Is there a precedent? Well, whatever Shaundra says takes precedence.”)


predominate, predominant

Something that is predominant (adjective) predominates (verb; hard “a” as in “apes”). The trees in the park are predominantly evergreen. Evergreen trees predominate there.


president (university)

Never abbreviate.

Use President Victoria Doe; Victoria Doe, university president.

It’s former President Smith, interim President McIntyre, acting President Malik.

Do not use U president Victoria Doe (see University of Utah entry).

On second reference to the university president, use President Doe or the president (lowercase) (see academic titles entry). It is, however, the Office of the President.


Presidents Circle

Plural, no apostrophe. The Park Building, location of senior leadership administrative offices, is located at 201 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.


Presidents Day

Plural, no apostrophe. National holiday.


principal, principle

A principal as a noun is a person holding high rank, generally in a school, or as an adjective, it means “leading.” It also has specific meanings in law and finance. It can be used as a noun or an adjective. A principle is a basic truth, law or assumption. It is only used as a noun.



Do not abbreviate to Prof. in titles. See academic titles entry.


quotation marks

Use single quote marks (not double) in display copy such as headlines and within already quoted material. “I said, ‘No way,’ but it was true.”

See titles entry for when to use quotation marks around articles, compositions, etc.



Use hyphens or to for ranges of dates or times, but never a dash.

  • April 22-28 or April 22 to 28
    2-4 p.m. or 2 to 4 p.m.

When discussing a range, pair “from” with “to” or “between” with “and”: The contest is open from May 1 to June 1. They are accepting entries daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Take care if wording whether a range is “until” a day or time or “through” it; until Saturday suggests that it ends at the start of that day; through Saturday means it continues until the end of that day.



See hyphens entry. Common University re- words: readmission, reapply, reaward, re-enlist, re-enter, re-entry, re-establish, re-examine.


Red Butte Garden & Aboretum

Red Butte Garden consists of a botanical garden, arboretum and amphitheatre operated by the University of Utah, in the foothills east of campus.

In first reference, use Red Butte Garden (& Arboretum isn’t necessary). In second reference, can use the garden or Red Butte. Note that “garden” is singular.


red rock

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • He awoke surrounded by red rock. She loves Utah’s red-rock country.


regions, directions

In general, lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction. Initial caps when these words designate regions: the Northeast, the West, Western states, Intermountain West. A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward. It’s intermountain area (all lowercase because no specific region is indicated).



Note accent marks in two places.


river rafting

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • She taught river rafting. She leads river-rafting trips.



Skip the word room when giving locations/directions to U audiences: The meeting is in 206 Park. If you use room before a number, use an initial cap and the building name: Meet in Room 206 in the Park Building. … Location: Room 206, Park Building.

Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms: the OC Tanner Ballroom in the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House


Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence

The Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the most prestigious honor the university bestows on its faculty, recognizes excellence in teaching, research and administrative efforts, collectively or individually, on behalf of the University and comes with a $50,000 award. The recipient is announced as part of commencement. Learn more here.

Use full name on first reference. Second references: Rosenblatt Prize, the prize, the award.



This acronym is sufficient in all references for Reserve Officer/Officers/Officers’ Training Corps (each military branch prefers it spelled out slightly differently).


Sandy campus

Use the University of Utah—Sandy Campus.



See attribution entry.



Lowercase, even though originally it was an acronym.


screen saver

Two words, no hyphen.



See entry for colleges and schools.



Lowercase: in fall, during summer.


security bugs

Capitalized, no italics, no quotation marks.



The entire three-digit section number is always included when referencing a course (1010-001, not 1010-1 or 1010-01).


semesters and terms

Lowercase semester and term unless used with a year: spring semester, Spring Semester 2022. Summer has both semester-length classes and term-length classes: first term (or “first half”) and second term (or second half) summer classes. Fall Semester 2020 began on Aug. 24. Fall semester typically includes a weeklong break.


semicolon (;)

Used to separate a series of complex phrases (it functions like a comma with a series of simple items). Also used to join two separate sentences that have a connecting thought.

  • Opera is not just a bunch of loud ladies who sing; it is a unique art form with historical significance.



When listing seminar topics by day, use the following format.

  •  Day One: The Healing Hands. Description of the day’s activities.

When listing items in a series, use commas to separate simple series (see commas).

When listing more complex series of phrases use semicolons (;) to separate the phrases.

  • Learn nursing theory-the function and skills of organization; nursing management-steps in stress reduction, motivation and communication; and human resource management.

To introduce a series of items use a colon (:). If you have other punctuation within the series use a colon.


Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre

Home to the Pioneer Theatre Company, the building hosts productions of all kinds.
Use full name on first reference. Use PMT on second and future references.


social media

Commonly used online media outlets: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr, Quora, Vimeo, Medium


Social Security

Initial caps in all references to the U.S. system.



One word (n. and adj.) to describe a new business venture.


state names

Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base. No state name is necessary if it is the same as the dateline. This also applies to newspapers cited in a story.


state of Utah

Lowercase state in this usage. Usually, just Utah is sufficient.



Lowercase, one word, no hyphen.


student body (n.); student-body (adj.)

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • The student body voted. She ran for student-body president.


study abroad

This term is lowercased unless it is part of an official program name (such as the London Study Abroad).



Swoop, a red-tailed hawk, is the mascot of the U’s sports teams, introduced in 1996.

One word, always capitalized.


syllabus, syllabi

Avoid syllabuses.



Initial cap, hyphen.



Used most commonly at the university to refer to social gatherings often in stadium parking lots or surrounding areas before football games and other sporting events (both home and away).

One word. The verb “tailgating” is also acceptable. Avoid tailgater.



The following are some commonly used standardized tests (and virtually all can use the acronyms on first reference; use your judgment based on context):

  • ACT, formerly American College Testing Program, a test for undergraduate admissions.
  • CLEP, College Level Examination Program, a test that qualifies a student for course credit in lieu of taking the course.
  • GATE, Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering.
  • GMAT, Graduate Management Admissions Test, a test for graduate business admissions.
  • GRE, Graduate Record Examination, used for graduate admissions.
  • IELTS, International English Language Testing System, used to determine how well an applicant will succeed in using English at the college level.
  • LSAT, Law School Admission Test.
  • MAT, Miller Analogies Test, graduate admissions
  • PCAT, Pharmacy College Admission Test.
  • Praxis, a teacher certification test.
  • SAT, formerly the Scholastic Aptitude Test, a test for undergraduate admissions.
  • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language, used to determine how well an applicant will succeed in using standardized English at college level.


that and which

Which clarifies its precedent and almost always takes a comma; it is usually parenthetical in that it could be dropped without changing the meaning of the sentence: “The couch, which is in the office, is red.” That doesn’t take a comma and functions to clarify its precedent; it is considered essential in that its absence would change the sentence’s meaning: “The couch that is in the office is red, while the one in the living room is blue.”



The MUSS is the University of Utah’s student fan club for a number of athletics teams on campus including football, men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and baseball. Established in 2002, The MUSS has been touted as one of the Top Five Student Sections in the country by ESPN and the NCAA.

MUSS is a word taken from the school’s fight song but more recently has been said to stand for the “Mighty Utah Student Section.”

The official title includes a capitalized “The” before MUSS.

  • Why should I join The MUSS?

The word MUSS can be used as an adjective.

  • MUSS members, MUSS registration, MUSS seats, etc.



Use 2 p.m., not 2:00 p.m. But 2:30 p.m. is fine.


titles (academic)

Capitalize and spell out formal title such as chancellor, chairman, etc., when it precedes a name.

Lowercase elsewhere.

Lowercase modifiers such as department in department Chairman Jerome Wiesner.


titles (compositions, publications, etc.)

Quotation marks

  • Books
  • Games (video, computer, board)
  • Movies
  • Operas
  • Plays
  • Poems
  • Albums
  • Songs
  • Radio programs
  • TV programs
  • Lectures
  • Speeches
  • Works of art

No quotation marks

  • Mobile apps
  • Social media platforms
  • Courses/classes
  • The Bible
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs of reference material
  • Almanacs
  • Directories
  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Gazettes
  • Handbooks
  • Software (WordPerfect or Windows)



Not “towards”


TVC (defunct: now PIVOT)

The former Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC) in late 2020 became the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology Center (the PIVOT Center or PIVOT).


U Alumni

U Alumni (two words, both initial capped) is the name for what was formerly called the University of Utah Alumni Association (changed in 2020). U Alumni is both a branded program and an association of alumni that falls under the auspices of the Office of Alumni Relations. Annual Giving, the Student Alumni Board, and The MUSS are also examples of programs that are managed by the Office of Alumni Relations.

One can be part of the U Alumni community without being a degreed alum. People who meet the definition of “alumni” (degree-holder or at least 60 matriculated credit hours or four semesters­—a.k.a., “non-grads”), or who were grandfathered in as Life members or Honorary Alumni, can all be called “members of U Alumni” or “part of the U Alumni community.”


U Alumni Board of Governors

Use full name in first reference. In second reference, may use U Alumni Board or the board.

Avoid BOG or BoG as abbreviations.



Always use periods to signify the abbreviation for United States.



One word, uppercase U and C.

Use instead of “university ID” or “student ID.”



One word. Capitalize both the U and the M.

It is the word the university uses to refer to the official U email account given to students, faculty and staff.


University of Utah, university, the U

Within body copy/text/paragraphs: University of Utah on first reference. The university or the U in subsequent references. Never the University (don’t cap).

Within signature lines or standing alone: The University of Utah


University of Utah Athletics

Use full name on first reference. Use Athletics on second and future references.

See entries for Athletics’ facilities and U Athletics’ teams.


University of Utah Health

Use full name on first reference.

On second reference, use U of U Health (never U Health).

Never use acronyms, such as UUH or UH.

Find more at the U of U Health Brand and Style Writing Guide.


University of Utah Health Plans

University of Utah Health Plans is the formal name for University of Utah Health's insurance provider. Use University of Utah Health Plans on first reference for body copy. Use U of U Health Plans on second reference. Never use acronyms, like UUHP.


University of Utah Hospital

Use the full name on first reference.

On second and future references, use University Hospital.


University of Utah Magazine

Use the full name on first reference, when space allows. Second reference is Utah Magazine or the magazine. Avoid U Magazine. Note, the magazine was named Continuum from its inception in 1994 to the rebrand in 2020.


University Marketing & Communications

Use full name on first reference. On second, can use UMC.


University Police

Not Security or University Security



Only use in reference to the football team (Utah Utes) or basketball team (Runnin’ Utes), and only when preceded by those. Do not use to refer to members of the University of Utah community or other Athletics teams. For information about the U’s partnership with the Ute Indian Tribe, click here.


Veterans Day

No apostrophe


vice president

Never hyphenated or abbreviated. For rules on capitalization, see academic titles entry.


Wasatch Front

Two words, both capitalized. Refers to metropolitan area along the Wasatch Mountains in Utah from approximately Nephi to Brigham City.


Wasatch Range/Mountains

Two words, both capitalized. The Wasatch Range or Wasatch Mountains are a mountain range that runs about 160 miles from the Utah-Idaho border south to central Utah.



Short form of World Wide Web, it is a part of the internet that enables the distribution of image-rich content and information. The web is not the same as the internet but is a subset; other applications, such as email, exist on the internet.



one word (as are webcam, webcast, webmaster, webpage, webfeed; but web address, web browser)

Do not put full URL or www in stories. Do one of the following:

  • Link to partial website:
  • Link to the word here or website.
    • For more information, click here. For more information, visit the website.


no entries



One word, no hyphen.



Abbreviate as ’12, the ’70s. Note the direction of the apostrophe. And because it’s plural, not possessive, no apostrophe before an s at the end of a decade: the 1940s.


no entries