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In most instances, Chapman University references the AP Stylebook for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, etc. There are, however, circumstances where the University follows its own protocol. If you can’t find a particular reference to your question in the CU Writing Style Guide, please check the AP Stylebook or contact the Office of Media Relations and Communications.

Information regarding the correct naming protocol for campus buildings and facilities »


academic degrees. See also Titles.

  • Spell out the long name of the degree. When spelling out, use lowercase: bachelor of arts, bachelor’s degree, master of arts, master’s degree, doctorate, doctoral degree. Ex: She has her master of arts degree in biochemistry. He has a doctorate in American literature.
  • After a name, abbreviate degrees using uppercase letters with periods: B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., Ed.D., or D.Pharm. Note there are no periods in MBA, MFA, DPT or in JD. When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas. Ex: John Snow, Ph.D., spoke at the conference.
  • Do not precede a name with a title for an academic degree followed bythe abbreviation for the degree in the same reference. Wrong: Dr. John Snow, Ph.D., spoke at the conference.
  • Honorary degrees: All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary. 

academic departments. Capitalize the names of academic departments, offices, programs, and schools when the formal name is used. Ex: The club is sponsored by the Department of History. The Department of Languages hosted the film festival. Lowercase when referencing a more generic description. Ex: History departments from across the country sent delegates to the conference. She left her brushes in the art department. 

academic titles. See Titles.

acronyms/initials. On the first reference, the name or title should be written out and followed by the acronym in parenthesis; do not use periods for most acronyms. Ex: The Argyros School of Business and Economics (ASBE) was established in 1975. In 2000, ASBE moved to Beckman Hall. See alsoColleges and Schools.

A.D./B.C. vs. CE/B.C.E. As a reference to a calendar year, either version is acceptable. However, the terms B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era) tend to be used more widely in scientific and academic circles. Both B.C.E. and B.C. always follow the year number. CE also follows the year number, but AD traditionally precedes the year number. Ex: Chapman University traces its heritage to AD 1861. Or Chapman University traces its heritage to 1861 CE.

Admission. At Chapman University, it is singular, i.e., the Office of Admission not the Office ofAdmissions. On second reference, the office can be referred to as the admission office or Admission.

African-American. See Race and ethnicities.

age. See Numbers.

alma mater. Do not italicize. See also Latin terms.

alumni. Individuals are considered alumna/alumnus if they graduated from Chapman University. Brandman University graduates, while they may be strongly affiliated, are not considered Chapman alumni. If an individual attended Chapman and completed 28 credits or more, they are considered "non-degree alumni."  

Note the different forms, depending on gender and quantity:

  • alumna/alumnae: An individual female who has graduated from or attended the university as a student is an alumna. A group of two or more women is referenced as alumnae.
  • alumnus: An individual male who has graduated from or attended the university as a student is an alumnus. Also, use alumnus when making a general reference to someone who may be either male or female. Ex: An alumnus of Chapman University will receive Chapman Magazine after graduation.
  • alumni: This is a plural term that refers to a group of two or more who have graduated from or attended the university. The group may consist of all males or males and females. Do not use alumnus/a or alumni/ae. An indeterminate group of alumni are always alumni not alumni/ae.
  • Alum or alums are slang terms acceptable ONLY in a quotation. In regular text, always use the correct and complete term.
  • NOTE: Alumni are consider alumni if they have graduated from Chapman University, both undergraduate and graduate.

SeealsoClass year.

a.m./p.m. Use lowercase a.m. and p.m. Avoid am/pm, AM/PM or A.M./P.M. Do not use twice in the same grouping. Wrong: 7 p.m.-8 p.m.  Correct: 7-8 p.m. See also Numbers/Time.

American Celebration. This is the full and proper name of the event. Never use the abbreviation AmCel in print or in official speech.

among/between. Use among when discussing a relation of more than two items, individuals, or groupings. Use between when discussing a relation of two items, individuals, or groupings. Ex: We could not choose between chocolate or vanilla gelato, so we agreed to split a large dulce de leche among the five of us.

ampersand (&). See Punctuation/Symbols.

AMVETS. National organization associated with the Military and Veterans Law Institute. See

annual. An event cannot be described as annual until it has taken place for two consecutive years. Never use the term first annual.

Argyros School of Business and Economics, George L. See Colleges and schools. 

Attallah Piazza. See Campus Naming Protocol.

Athletics Program, Donald P. Kennedy Intercollegiate. Note plural on Athletics.

attorney, lawyer. In common usage, the terms are interchangeable. Technically, however, an attorney is someone who is empowered to act for another and may or may not be a lawyer. A lawyer is a person admitted to practice in the court system and occasionally is called an attorney at law. Do not abbreviate. Do not capitalize unless it is an officeholder’s title. Ex: He spoke to defense attorney Mary Payson. She contacted District Attorney Hamilton Burger. (AP Stylebook)

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B.C./B.C.E. See A.D./B.C.

bachelor of arts, bachelor of science. See Academic degrees.

between/among. See Among/between.

biannual/biennial. Biannual = Occurs twice a year. Biennial = Occurs once every two years (or every other year).

black. See Race and ethnicities.

blog. Acceptable as a substitute for Web log. Capitalize the formal name of a blog, but don’t italicize or place the title in quotation marks. Ex: Our campus news blog is named Happenings.

board. When referring to Board members, use the following terminology:

  1. Emeritus Trustee
  2. Emeritus Trustees
  3. Emeritus Governor
  4. Emeritus Governors
  5. Emeritus Chairs
  6. Ex-Officio (with a hyphen)

book titles. See Titles.

board. Capitalize when part of a proper name. Ex: Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, Board of Counselors. Lowercase when used alone: Suzanne Wang joined the board this year.

Brandman University. Brandman is a separate entity from Chapman University, with its own Board of Regents and administration, and should be referred to as such. It is, however, part of the Chapman University System.

building names.  See Campus Naming Protocol.

bullets. See Punctuation.

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campus. Always lowercase unless it begins a sentence. Ex: Chapman’s campus was named the third most beautiful campus in the nation. Use Fowler campus or Rinker Health Science campus rather than main campus when appropriate.

center. In all cases, lowercase center or institute when the word stands alone. See

chair/chairman/chairwoman.Chair is generally preferred as a title. Capitalize chair when it precedes a name, but lowercase when it follows. Ex: Board of TrusteesChair Raul Khan met with Ann Peterson, chair of the music department.

chair, endowed. Capitalize chair when it is part of a formal endowed title. Ex: Jack Cho held the Jerrold A. Glass Endowed Chair in Accounting and Economics at Chapman University. See also Named chair.

chancellor. Capitalize before a name when used as a title, but lowercase after a name. Ex: The event featured a speech by Chancellor Daniele Struppa. Or The event featured a speech by Daniele Struppa, chancellor of Chapman University.

Chapel, Wallace All Faiths. See Campus Naming Protocol

Chapman Family.  Capitalize Family when using this phrase.  Chapman Family refers to the greater Chapman community, encompassing students, alumni, parents, family, staff, faculty and friends of the university, such as donors.  Ex: Alumni are valued members of the Chapman Family.

Chapman Magazine.Capitalize Magazine because it’s part of the official name of the publication.

Chapman University. On first reference, always include University. Chapman is acceptable on second reference. Capitalize University when used alone to refer to Chapman, but lowercase when referencing other schools. Ex: Chapman University celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2011. Chapman traces its roots to Hesperian College. The University is growing in national prominence among all universities in the U.S.

Cheverton Award. Given annually to the outstanding graduating senior at Chapman University. Named for Cecil F. Cheverton, president of Chapman from 1929-1941.

Church, Christian (Disciples of Christ). See Disciples of Christ.

class year. Include a class year whenever alumni are mentioned. Make sure the apostrophe is facing the correct way. Ex: Students listened to Abe Chapman ’98 and to Bea Chapman ’99 (M.A. ’02). Couples: Dee Chapman ’02 (M.A. ’06) and Effie Chapman ’98. If a person attended Chapman but did not graduate, he or she is listed as Class of [year they would have graduated]. Ex: Fred Chapman, Class of ’68. For current students, it is preferable to use the student’s projected graduation year. Ex: The award this year went to GiGi Chapman ’20.

College of Performing Arts. See Colleges and schools.

Colleges and Schools. Use the complete name of the school in the first reference, followed by its acronym in parenthesis where appropriate. On second reference, the school can be identified in shortened form.

  • George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics (no acronym; second reference: The Argyros School)
  • Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies (no acronym; second reference: Attallah College of Educational Studies; short version: Attallah College)
  • Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (DCFMA; second reference: Dodge College or the film school)
  • Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (WCHSS; second reference: Wilkinson College but never WC)
  • Dale E. Fowler School of Law (no acronym; second reference: Fowler Law School or Fowler School of Law)
  • College of Performing Arts (CoPA)
  • School of Pharmacy (no acronym; second reference: Chapman Pharmacy or the pharmacy school)
  • Schmid College of Science and Technology (SCST; second reference Schmid College)
  • Remember that schools and colleges are academic units, not physical locations. A film can be screened in Marion Knott Studios but not in the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. A recital can be held in Salmon Recital Hall but not in the College of Performing Arts. (For building names, see  Campus Naming Protocol.)  

comma. See Punctuation.

commencement. Capitalize when referring to the Chapman event. Lowercase in general references.

Conservatory of Music. Formally the William D. Hall and Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Conservatory of Music. Second reference: Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music. Part of the College of Performing Arts. Lowercase conservatory when it stands alone.

course titles. Place the formal names of academic courses in quotes and uppercase important words. Use lowercase to describe types of courses within a major, school, or department. Ex: Professor Zheung teaches “Trademarks and Unfair Business Practices.” Professor Brown teaches business law courses.


curriculum.Curriculum is a singular noun. The plural is curricula (not curriculums).

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dash. See Punctuation.

dates. Avoid abbreviations in text. Exceptions: tabbed or columnar presentations and layouts. Always use Arabic numerals. Never use ordinal abbreviations, such as January 15th or July 3rd. Academic semesters and years are lowercase. If only writing month and year, do not separate with a comma. Ex: fall semester 2000 or spring semester or March 2003. (AP Stylebook) See also A.D./B.C.andNumbers.

dean. See Titles.

degrees. See Academic degrees.

departments. See Academic departments.  

disabled. See Handicapped.

Disciples of Christ. Disciples of Christ is often used conversationally when describing Chapman’s founding denomination. However, the denomination’s correct identification on first reference is The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Second reference: Disciples.   Ex: Members of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) attended the event. Uppercase Disciples when referencing the denomination specifically. Ex: Here at Chapman University, the Disciples have a long history. Since 2010, we are also a recognized school of Disciples’ partner denomination, the United Church of Christ.  

Disciples on Campus. Disciples on Campus is a student ministry overseen by staff of the Office of Church Relations on campus. On second reference, the name can be abbreviated as DOC.

dissertation. Capitalize the principal words and place quotation marks around the names of academic papers, dissertations, essays, lectures, and theses. 

Doctor/Ph.D. See Titles.

doctorate/doctoral. Doctorate is a noun, and doctoral is an adjective. Ex: She earned her doctorate in comparative literature. He is a doctoral student in history.

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. See Colleges and schools.

dollar. Always lowercase. Use figures and $ in all cases except casual references. Ex: Dollars are flowing into the project. For specified amounts, the word takes a singular verb. Ex: He said $500,000 is what they want. If the amount exceeds one million, use a dollar sign and the word million. Ex: They made a generous gift of $2.5 million. See also Numbers.

Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies. See Colleges and schools.

dorms. Avoid using dorms or dormitories. Preferred use is residence halls or student residence halls. For a listing of residence hall names, please see

Doti, James L. President of Chapman University. For non-academic publications, Jim Doti, Ph.D., is preferred over James L. Doti or James Doti. He has been president of Chapman University since 1991. Approved biographical information is available at

Doti, Lynne. The David and Sandra Stone Professor of Economics at Chapman University and wife of President Jim Doti. When mentioned in text in connection with President Doti, include Lynne’s academic identification. Right: President Jim Doti and his wife, Professor Lynne Doti, attended. Wrong: President Jim Doti and his wife, Lynne, attended.

Dr. SeeTitles. 

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earth. Lowercase when used in idioms and similar phrases; capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet. Ex: They will have to move heaven and earth. The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences is located within the Schmid College of Science and Technology. The study of Earth’s geology is a growing area of interest.

Economic Science Institute.Science is singular. Second reference: ESI. See also

ellipsis. See Punctuation.

email. One word, no hyphen, lowercase. (AP Stylebook)

emcee. Verb. Do not abbreviate as MC, which refers to master of ceremonies. Ex: MC Jack Daniels did a great job of emceeing the show.

emeritus. See Titles.  

endowed chair/endowed professorship. Don’t capitalize the words when they stand alone, but do capitalize the name of the endowed chair. Ex: The gift will also establish the Jerrold A. Glass Chair in Finance and the Jacqueline M. Glass Chair in Theatre and Music at Chapman. The gift established two endowed academic chairs.

Escalette Permanent Art Collection. Short form of the Ross and Phyllis Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. Art is always singular when referencing the collection. First reference should include the full formal name of the collection.

Escalette Plaza. See Campus Naming Protocol.

ethnicity. See Race and ethnicities.

exclamation point. See Punctuation.

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faculty. It is a singular noun and should always be lowercase. Ex: The faculty is especially busy in September. However, faculty members are less busy in July. Exception is made when faculty is part of a name. Ex: TheFaculty Senate met in the Faculty Athenaeum.

Fashionable Women of Chapman, The. This organization’s name was changed in 2011 to The Women of Chapman. See also Women of Chapman.

fellow/fellowship. Capitalize full names of fellowships without italics or quotation marks. Ex: Ruebén Martinez is a Presidential Fellow of Chapman University. Lowercase when used generically. Ex: She received a state-sponsored fellowship.

fewer/less. In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity. Right: Fewer than 10 applicants called. (Individuals.) Right: I had less than $50 in my pocket. (An amount.) But: I had fewer than five $1 bills in my pocket. (Individual items.)

filmmaking/filmmaker. One word.

Folino Theater. Note that Folino Theater, unlike all other theatres on campus, is spelled with an –er ending, rather than –re.

foreign students. Preferred description is internationalstudents.

former. Always lowercase. Ex: Speakers at the event includedformer President George N. Reeves, Bob Marley, and Jim Anderson, former dean of the college.

Founders Day. No apostrophe. Celebrated in March.

FTE. Acronym for “full-time equivalent,” which represents the workload of an employed person (or student) in a way that makes workloads comparable across various contexts.

full time/full-time. Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. Ex: He works full time. She has a full-time job.

fundraiser/fundraising. No space and no hyphen.  

fraternity/sorority. Capitalize the names of fraternities and sororities but not the words fraternity, sorority, or chapter. Ex: He decided to pledge the Chapman chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

freshman/freshmen. Freshman is singular. Freshmen is plural. Both are lowercase. Ex: She is a second-semester freshman and boasts one of the best GPAs among this year’s freshmen. 

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gay. See LGBT. 

gender sensitivities. Avoid gender-specific terms (he/she or his/her) by using plural pronouns (they or their) and plural verbs where possible. Ex: The children brought their snacks from home. Rather than: Each child brought his or her snack from home.

grade point average. The acronym GPA may be used in all references to grade point average; however, for audiences who may be unfamiliar with the term, spell out on first reference using lowercase lettering.

graduates with honors. Italicize but do not capitalize: cum laude, magna cum laude,and summa cum laude.

Greek. Capitalize when talking about a sorority or fraternity on campus.  

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handicapped. In general, do not describe an individual as physically disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to the story. (AP Stylebook)

headlines. Only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. (AP Stylebook) Put headlines to an article in quotation marks without italics.

health care/healthcare. One word when used as a compound modifier. Ex: He works in health care. He is a healthcare worker.

Hispanic. See Race and ethnicities.

home page. Two words. Lowercase.

Honorable. Formal title for all current or former government officials, diplomats, representatives, senators, mayors, city council members, etc. Ex: The Honorable George L. Argyros ’59 or the Honorable Mayor Lisa Simpson. Generally this honorific is only used in lists of board members or in letter writing, not in magazine or marketing texts. Can be abbreviated as Hon.

honorary degrees. See Academic degreesand Graduates with honors. 

Honors Program. University Honors Program or Honors Program is acceptable.

hyphen. See Punctuation.

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initials. When using two or more initials in a name, use periods without spaces. Ex: C.C. Chapman.

institute. Lowercase center or institute when the word stands alone. See

Internet. Always capitalized. Internet addresses, however, are typically written in lowercase:

irregardless. Do not use. The correct choice is regardless.  

italics. Use italics for book and publication titles, films, plays, operas, articles, and television shows. Use quotation marks for smaller works within these works — for example, episodes of a television show or arias within an opera. Ex: The “Betrayal” episode of Glee aired last night. They sang the love duet “O soave fanciulla” from La Bohéme. See alsoTitles.

it’s/its. It’s is a contraction for it is or it has: Ex: It’s up to you. It’s been a long time. Its is the possessive form of the neutral pronoun: The company lost its assets.

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JD. Stands for Juris Doctor. Preferred use is JD (without periods). See also Academic degrees.

Jesus or Jesus Christ. Uppercase in all uses.

Jr./Sr.; Junior/Senior. Abbreviate only with full names of persons. Do not precede with a comma. Ex: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. For alphabetical listings by name, follow this format: Doe, John, Jr. (Note: Martin Luther King, Jr. Daydoes officially include a comma before Jr.) Lowercase junior and senior when referring to class year designations. See also Names and Titles.

Jew. See Race and ethnicities.

journal titles. See Titles.

judge. Capitalize before a name only when used as a formal title. Otherwise, lowercase. Do not use the title in second reference. Ex:  Judge Brown was asked to judge the contest. Brown selected the second entry to win the blue ribbon.

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K. Do not use K to denote thousand in text. However, it is acceptable to use the capitalized letter to denote kilometers. Ex: Our goal is to raise $200,000 from Chapman’s 5K Race. Incorrect: Our goal is to raise $200K from Chapman’s 5k Race.

Koran. See Quran.

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laboratory. Spell out and capitalize as part of an official name. On second reference, lab is acceptable.

Latin terms. Non-English words are typically italicized in text, including Latin terms, with the following exceptions: emeritus, alumni (and its variations), alma mater, curriculum vitae (CV), pro bono, or ad hoc.

Latino/a. See Race and ethnicities.


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