Marketing: Editorial Guide

Academic Style

Academic, Administrative, and Professional Titles

Most style guides choose to capitalize titles only when they immediately precede a name. However, as an institution of higher learning, Marywood University will defer to academic tradition and capitalize titles within the context of university publications.

                Dr. William Conlogue, Professor of English

                Lisa Casella, Associate Director for University Admissions Communications

                Carrie B. Toomey, Art Director

However, in news release formats and as other outside formats demand, we will follow the accepted Associated Press Stlyebook, i.e. lower case format, for all titles, regardless of rank. For the sake of respect, as well as consistency, Marywood University uses courtesy titles on secondary and later references. This is applicable for University publications, web content, and media releases. If someone has earned a doctorate, that person’s degree should be listed after his or her last name upon first reference. For later references, simply writing Dr. and the person’s last name is acceptable. For all others on second reference, simply use Mr. or Miss/Mrs./Ms., according to personal preference. Use Ms. when a woman’s title preference is not indicated or known.

William Conlogue, Ph.D., professor of English, (later, Dr. Conlogue)

Lisa Casella, associate director for university admissions communications, (later, Ms. Casella)

Carrie B. Toomey, art director, (later, Mrs. Toomey)


Instructor in, not instructor of

Professor emeritus or emerita, not emeritus or emerita professor

Professor of, not professor in – but, professorship in

Research associate in, not research associate of

The word president is capped whenever it is used to refer to current and former Marywood Presidents, whether it’s before or after the name. This policy is designed to make it easy for readers to quickly determine that a printed piece refers to the University President as opposed to any other president.

When naming Marywood University faculty, staff, or students in a document, in most cases the person should be described or identified by title, such as “John Smith, a graduate student in education, …” or “Lia Richards-Palmiter, Ph.D., Director of Student Equity and Inclusion, …”

You may want your content to have an informal tone and wish to use first names. If so, on first reference give the person’s full name and title or position, and use the first name on second and later references. It is not acceptable to call some people by their first names and others by title and last name or by last name alone within the same publication. Nor is it acceptable to use courtesy titles with some last names but not with others within the same publication. An exception is that children, after being identified by first and last name, may be referred to by first name alone, even though adults are referred to differently. (Note: It is redundant to refer to someone as, for example, Dr. Alan Levine, Ph.D. Use either Dr. Alan Levine or Alan Levine, Ph.D.)

The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sponsors Marywood University. Upon first reference, write the formal name of the Congregation. For later references it is acceptable to refer to the Sisters, the Congregation, or the IHM Sisters. Note that Sisters holding doctorates may choose to list this degree also. Traditionally, the abbreviation of the Congregation’s name always included periods, but, in more recent times, it is usually written without periods. As a rule of thumb, we usually include the periods for degree abbreviations in Marywood publications. Sisters may be correctly listed in the following ways:

Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D.

Sister Mary Persico, IHM   

Academic Degrees

Spelled out: associate degree; baccalaureate degree, bachelor’s degree; master’s degree; doctoral degree, doctorate; bachelor of arts, master of science, doctor of philosophy.

In university publications, we typically abbreviate degrees with periods and without spaces: B.A.; M.S.; Ph.D.; M.B.A.; Ed.D.; J.D.; M.D., etc., though the Chicago Manual of Style indicates that it is acceptable to list them without periods. The key here is consistency throughout the piece.

If you are using the plural of B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and other abbreviations with periods, use B.A.’s; M.A.’s; Ph.D.’s, etc. That’s Chicago Manual style, designed to prevent confusion. With plurals of acronyms where no periods are used, do not use an apostrophe (e.g., CACs). Use B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and other degree abbreviations primarily in listings, such as departmental faculty rosters:

Edward J. O’Brien, Professor of Psychology, B.A, University of Kansas; M.S., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts; APA-Approved Residency in Clinical Psychology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Licensed Clinical Psychologist; C.M.F.C.*

*Note that the designation C.M.F.C. after a person’s name in any Marywood University publication indicates membership in the University’s own Order of Cor Mariae Pro Fide et Cultura, an honor bestowed on members of the faculty and administration upon completion of distinguished vicennial service to the University.

When listing degrees that a person has earned, it is clearer in regular text to spell out the degrees:

He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Capitalize degrees on business cards, on diplomas, or when displayed in a directory or resume. Lowercase them in running text, where they are almost always generic in nature.

Academic Disciplines

Do not capitalize academic disciplines for general use, such as after a degree, or for informal use. Capitalize only when using the discipline as a formal name.

General: Jack earned a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting.

Informal: Sara is taking some philosophy courses this semester.

Formal: The Department of Nursing requires a community service component.

Academic Year

Semester names should not be capitalized when used to refer generally to the time of the academic year. For example, use spring semester when generally referring to that time of the academic year. If a specific year is attached to a semester, thereby imparting special significance to it, it should be capitalized.

                Registration for summer sessions will occur during the spring semester.

                Registration for Spring Semester 2023 will occur during Fall Semester 2022.


                Registration for the spring semester will occur during the preceding fall semester.

The word commencement is typically lowercased in media releases, however, for University publications the institution defers to academic tradition once more by choosing to capitalize references to this annual ceremony and its related events

                The Marywood University Commencement will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

                Activities have been set for Commencement Weekend.


Although people at Marywood University refer to various facilities and programs by acronyms in speech and internal publications (such as LC for the Learning Commons), in University content, writers should not use acronyms except for those commonly used both inside and outside the University community (such as NASA and the FBI). If an acronym must be used to spare readers confusion, spell out the full name on the first mention, with the acronym in parentheses following: Learning Commons (LC), then LC upon second reference.

Administrative Areas

Do not capitalize the reference to a general administrative area of the University in which a person works.

She has worked in advancement for eight years.


She worked in the Office of University Advancement for eight years.


Admissions refers in a collective way to the many different types of admission (e.g., undergraduate, transfer, graduate). The word admissions is also used when referring to the fact that thousands of students are admitted: the admissions of thousands vs. the admission of an individual. Use admission when referring to an individual’s admission.


Lowercase, even in campus names.

                She attended Marywood University’s School of Social Work at the Lehigh Valley campus.

                The Pocono campus of the School of Social Work sent several students to a national conference.

Chair; chairperson

Use chair or chairperson, even if you know the gender of the person involved.

Class Years

There has been much discussion regarding this topic. It has been determined that all class years of alumni or students should be written after the individual’s full name (not between a woman’s maiden name and married name). Do not use a comma between the name and the year. It is important to note the reasoning behind this practice:

  • A class year applies to a person, not to the person’s name. Even if a person changes his or her name, the class year still applies to that person.
  • Technically speaking, the class year is a modifier, and as such should never be placed in the middle of a proper noun, e.g. a person’s name.
  • Automatic line spacing in digital content often creates a situation in which a class year could fall at the end of a line. If it were between a person’s name, it would splice the person’s full name. If a comma divided the class year and name, the class year would subsequently be separated from that person’s name. In addition to being incorrect in format, these placements could cause great confusion for the reader.
  • Additionally, the prospect of pairing a class year next to a maiden or graduation name would mean that writers would need to evaluate every case to determine whether a person’s name had been acquired prior to or after graduation before verifying a class year placement. This practice is tedious as well as erroneous.
  • Finally, aesthetics play a role – it simply looks better and more consistent to use a class year following the person’s full last name.


Correct:                Noreen Durkin Anderson ’14

                                                John Smith ’01  

Incorrect:               Noreen Durkin ’14 Anderson

John Smith, ’01

Colleges and Schools

The colleges of Marywood University are always capitalized:

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Health and Human Services

College of Professional Studies

Marywood University schools, such as the School of Architecture, the School of Social Work, the School of Business and Global Innovation, and the School of Education, are part of different colleges within the University, but retain a distinct identity as a school. On a first reference, these schools typically include the University name (Marywood University School of Social Work); upon subsequent references, they can be referenced in shorter formats. For example, the School of Social Work is often referred to by its abbreviation (SSW). Make sure to use the longer format with the abbreviation in parentheses in the primary reference, and then feel free to use the abbreviation in subsequent references.


The Marywood University School of Architecture (SOA) was created to produce a new generation of architects and interior architects. The School is a place for research, exploration, and testing ideas. The SOA requires all second-year architecture and interior architecture students to purchase their own laptop computers.

The Marywood University School of Social Work (SSW) is the leading provider of social work education in Northeast Pennsylvania, having educated thousands social workers since 1969. The School of Social Work offers graduate programs in four locations, including Scranton, Lehigh Valley, Pocono, and Central Pennsylvania. The collaborative research projects of SSW faculty and students are often presented at national conferences.

Referred to in a general sense, do not capitalize:

Marywood University has three colleges and four schools.


Marywood University has three colleges, including the College of  Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Professional Studies, as well as four schools, the School of Architecture, the School of Business and Global Innovation, the School of Education, and the School of Social Work.

Continuing Education Unit

Continuing Education Units are standard units of educational contact for participants in various continuing education courses. On second and subsequent references, use CEU, no periods or spaces. Plural is CEUs, no apostrophe.

Upon completing the course, each participant receives a certificate of the 6.0 CEUs earned.

Course Names, Numbers, Descriptions

Names of courses should be given as they are listed in the appropriate catalogs. Ordinarily, a course name and number appear together in all cases. For course numbers, always use numerals. To prevent confusion, a course’s name should be listed along with its number and with the number of credits for the course following in parenthesis.

ENGL 339 Children’s Literature (3)

Course descriptions (as they appear in the catalog) should be used with numbers and titles.

Note: When used alone, course titles should be capitalized.

Julian looked forward to his Dynamics of Speech Communication class.

Credits in, Units of

Always use numerals: 3 credits; 18 credits in history; a 3-credit course; 4 units of English; 1 unit of geometry; 2 units of a foreign language. Also, use numerals when referring to credit hours.

Credit is earned in a subject, not of it; therefore, a major may require 25-29 credits “in” health education, but it does not require 25-29 credits “of” health education. It is the opposite for units: units “of” a subject, not units “in” a subject.

Dean’s List

Always capitalize Dean’s List. It is a formal academic document.


No apostrophe: 1920s; 1980s; mid-1970s; spell out thirties; forties; fifties; sixties; etc.

A decade would only include an apostrophe if it was being used as a possessive modifier.

The actors wore 1950’s clothing styles.


The clothing styles featured in the revue were from the 1950s.

Department Names

Capitalize when used as a formal name: Department of Nursing; lowercase as informal name: the nursing department, the department.


Separated by a slash, not a hyphen.

                The free drop/add period will last until Friday.

Faculty–Plural or Singular?

Faculty, like other collective nouns, is used with the singular form of a verb.

The faculty insists that students be allowed to speak.

The faculty includes distinguished scholars in many fields.

Fields of Study, Marywood University Programs

Do not capitalize names of fields of study. Capitalize the names of majors or minors when used as specific programs offered at Marywood University. Do not cap the words major or minor. Only capitalize the program name if it is part of the official name. If the word program does not constitute part of an official name, it should be in lowercase format.

He was studying art at Marywood University.

Most Art Education majors from Marywood University do their student teaching in local schools.

The Science program features a number of concentration areas.

The Physician Assistant Program at Marywood University is committed to providing students with an exceptional education in a supportive and nurturing environment.

When referring to specific degree programs at Marywood University, cap the program name but only cap the degree for University publications. External outlets (media, publications) usually lowercase degrees:

Marywood Publication:

Marywood University offers a Bachelor of Arts program in Communication Arts.

The Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology is a highly competitive program.

External Usage

He hopes to earn his master of science degree in biotechnology next May.

Ms. Walsh holds a bachelor of arts degree in art therapy.

ID Card

Refers to Marywood University’s identification card. Capitalize ID with no periods or spaces. Do not capitalize card.

Off campus, On campus

As adverb, no hyphens; as adjective, hyphens.

The two had rented an apartment off campus for the summer.

On-campus housing was provided for stranded commuters during the blizzard.

Office Names

Capitalize the formal name of the office, but lowercase when used informally.

Frank addressed his memo to the Office of Military and Veteran Services.

Sharon worked with the marketing office to get publicity for her club’s event.

Program names, capitalizing

See fields of study, Marywood University programs in this section


A scholarly paper written to earn a graduate degree at Marywood University, whether at the master’s or doctoral level, is a thesis (not a dissertation). Plural: theses.


Board of Trustees: Capitalize on first mention; the board or the trustees thereafter.


University should be capped any time it refers to Marywood. Do not cap university if the reference is a general one, even if Marywood is in the same sentence.

Marywood University is an independent, comprehensive, Catholic institution.

Students leave for winter break in mid-December and return to the University in mid-January.

Area residents value our university community.


It’s University-wide, hyphenated, but it is statewide, nationwide, and just about every other “wide” spelled solid. If you want to investigate further, consult the Chicago Manual and the “Hyphens” section of this guide.