KU Style Guide


Proper nouns are capitalized; common nouns are not. Avoid unnecessary capitals. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed here:

Chapters: Capitalize chapter when used with a numeral in reference to a section of a book or legal code. Always use Arabic figures: Chapter 1, Chapter 20.

Class standing/year: Lowercase references to an individual’s class standing. John Smith is a sophomore in engineering.

Colleges: Capitalize and use the formal style for the four colleges of Kutztown University: The Kutztown University College of Business, the College of Education. Do not use informal style KU business college. The connotation of business college is significantly different from College of Business.

Council of Trustees: Capitalize when used formally: The Council of Trustees of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, the KU Council of Trustees. Lowercase when using informally without reference to Kutztown University: the council of trustees, the council, trustee.

Courses: Capitalize specific courses, lowercase general reference. Use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject when used with a numeral: History 6, Philosophy 209. Otherwise, lowercase: calculus, world history.
      I passed Introduction to Performance Origami and Belching as a Cultural Norm.
      The mathematics and English literature courses caved in on me.

Dean, dean’s list: Capitalize before an individual’s name when used formally: Dean Michelle Kiec, College of Visual and Performing Arts. But, David Beougher, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Science. Also, as a title of honor or respect it should be in lowercase: Averill Harriman, dean of American statesmen.

Dean’s list refers to the list each dean produces. It is not plural possessive, and it is not capitalized. Jane made the dean’s list every semester.

Departments and offices: Capitalize only when they are part of official titles; otherwise lowercase. At KU, departments are academic and offices are services: the chemistry department, Kutztown University Department of Chemistry, Office of University Relations.

Honors Program, honors: An individual may graduate with honors, even without having been a part of the KU Honors Program. I am taking Honors algebra, and calculus.

Compositions: Capitalize the principal words in the names of books, movies, plays, poems, operas, songs, radio and television programs, works of art, etc. See composition titles, magazine names and newspaper names.

Titles: Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name, lowercase after a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or in constructions that set them off from a name by commas. Queen Elizabeth II; Chancellor Greenstein; President Hawkinson; Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president of Kutztown University; The president signed the agreement.

Use lowercase at all times for terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles. actor Tom Hanks, astronaut John Glenn, teacher Anne Sullivan.

AP views the term professor as an occupation and therefore lowercase before a name; however, capitalize Professor Emeritus: professor Emerick, Professor Emeritus Thomas Grant. See professor.