The Division of Strategic Communications uses The Associated Press Stylebook as a guide for all copy the office produces, which includes journalistic and marketing pieces. For cases unique to The University of Alabama and other exceptions to AP style, as well as matters not addressed by AP, the UA Editorial Style Manual that follows provides guidance.
Visit the Graphics Standards for the University's graphic standards.
Avoid abbreviations. When lack of space makes abbreviations necessary, do not use periods. (e.g., BA, MS, MBA)
Formal names of degrees are capitalized, per AP style; informal names are not. Do not capitalize specializations or majors within degrees.
Master of Science but master’s degree
Bachelor of Arts but bachelor’s degree
Doctor of Nursing in geriatrics
Use apostrophes when writing bachelor’s and master’s degrees but do not use ’s with of constructions.
For the style rule on the use of Dr., doctorate and doctoral, see the entry under section D of this style guide.
For a list of UA degrees, please review Appendix C below.
academic divisions, UA
Do not italicize cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude or with distinction.
For all campus publications, give addresses for University of Alabama departments and offices as follows:
The University of Alabama
Office or department name
Office or department location
Box 870___ (campus box number, which is not a P.O. box number)
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0___ (campus box number)
205-348-____ or toll-free 800–___-____
The room number, building name, phone number, fax number and email address may be omitted as appropriate.
Include Hall or Building, as appropriate, for office or department locations (e.g., Rose Administration Building) and place room numbers first, omitting the word “room” (e.g., 801 Rose Administration Building).
Do not use the 1- before telephone or fax numbers.
Use adviser unless advisor is part of a group’s official name or a person’s official title.
Alabama/state of Alabama
Acceptable as a second reference or short form of The University of Alabama. Take care to write so that the word cannot be confused with the state of Alabama.
Alabamian, not Alabaman
The abbreviation Bama for The University of Alabama is too informal for some University publications, so use it with caution.
Bama Bound: The official name of orientation for undergraduates at the University.
board of trustees
The full name of the University’s governing board is capitalized as follows:
The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama
Short forms of the name are not capitalized:
buildings, names of
Do not use a space between each letter-period pair in building names, such as B.B. Comer Hall.
Use Hall or Building on first reference and in addresses, particularly in publications intended for an off-campus audience.
See Appendix: Campus Building Names for a list of official campus building names.
The Capstone is a nickname for The University of Alabama coined by former UA President G.H. Denny when he referred to the University as the “capstone of the public school system of the state” in 1912. Be aware that prospective students may not understand this meaning, although other audiences, such as alumni, may.
certificates and forms
The following guidelines apply to the titles of academic and professional certificates (as in Class AA Professional Certificate); visas; government forms; specialized forms, such as financial aid forms; and other documents referred to by name.
Terms that are generally descriptive — such as application for admission, declaration of intent, or application for admission to candidacy — should not be capitalized.
Capitalize the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs in the title of the form:
When a number is part of a form’s title, use the numeral and omit any punctuation:
Do not capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, postgraduate, postdoctoral, non-degree or any similar designation unless it is part of a title, a headline or the official name of an organization.
Use freshman when writing of one first-year student, freshmen when writing of more than one. Use freshman as a modifier.
colleges and schools, UA
Cooperative Education Program, Co-op
Co-op or Co-op Program is an acceptable second reference, but lowercase co-op when used as an adjective: the co-op experience
Core Curriculum, University of Alabama
Capitalize University of Alabama Core Curriculum, University Core Curriculum and UA Core Curriculum, but lowercase curriculum in other uses:
Two words. Generally refers to the number of course hours recommended or allowable each semester.
Course numbers and titles
When a course number and title are given together, give the alpha symbol and number followed directly by the title. There is no intervening punctuation, and do not abbreviate words in the title.
When a course title is given without the course number, you may uppercase the course title as long as it is the complete title.
Do not use alpha symbols when speaking generally of a department or program’s courses or of an academic discipline.
When listing courses by number, repeat the alpha symbol with each number.
Use a colon to indicate lecture-and-laboratory combinations. The alpha symbol is not repeated: AY 101:102
Courses offered for both graduate and undergraduate credit — and thus having two numbers — may be listed as follows: EN 480/580. Do not repeat alpha symbol.
Any two distinct courses, no matter how closely linked, should be indicated by the word “and” instead of a colon.
Example: EN 101 and EN 102
One word. Generally refers to the courses taken for degree credit.
Commonly used to describe or name The University of Alabama’s football team, Crimson Tide is now often used to refer to other NCAA teams at The University of Alabama. Avoid overuse, particularly in non-sports contexts.
See academic honors.
Never combine the symbol $ and the word dollars in the same context. The symbol replaces the word. Using both is redundant.
Incorrect: $10,000 dollars
Colleges and Schools:
See programs, academic.
See academic degrees.
The campanile on the Quadrangle was constructed in 1929 and named after UA President George H. Denny. When writing about the tower that contains the chimes, use singular verbs and do not use an article such as the if possible:
When writing about the chimes themselves, use the plural verb form and the when the structure of the sentence permits:
Every day, the Denny Chimes sound out the time.
Try to avoid sentences that mix the two references, such as the following:
Departments should be lowercased (as per AP Style).
disability accommodations and statements
Do not capitalize the names of academic disciplines or major or minor areas of study except those derived from proper nouns: English, but math.
Dr., doctorate and doctoral
UA style uses "Dr." on first reference before the name of an individual who holds an earned doctorate (other than juris doctor). This is an exception to Associated Press guidelines.
People who hold the JD, or juris doctor, are not called "Dr." Those who hold the terminal degree in that field — the doctor of juridical science or JSD — are. Do not use "Dr." before the name of a person who has received an honorary doctorate.
Doctoral is an adjective; doctorate is a noun. A doctorate or a doctoral degree, not a doctorate degree.
When listing UA faculty members in a table, cite only the highest degree attained, plus any relevant professional designation.
Avoid the use of PhD in body copy as a synonym for doctorate. In tables, PhD should be written without periods.
Emerita refers to a woman, emeritus to a man, emeriti to a mixed group or to a group of either sex. Place emerita, emeritus or emeriti after the formal title:
Professor emeritus is a title awarded by the UA System Board of Trustees. Retired faculty members who have not had this title awarded to them should be referred to as former or retired faculty, not emeriti.
The University has a responsibility to clearly communicate its commitment to equal opportunity in education and employment and to making its programs and services accessible to those with disabilities. For the most current disability statements and other information, go to the website of UA’s Equal Opportunity Programs.
ethnic background categories
For the optional ethnicity portion of applications to University programs, use the following categories:
Federal Work-Study Program
fields of study
Unless part of a formal name, game day should be two words, per AP style.
Correct: The campus is always full of energy on game day.
Incorrect: The campus is always full of energy on gameday.
Acceptable, but consider whether Alabama resident and nonresident would be more precise.
Interim program, Interim term
Interim is an acceptable short form for Interim program or Interim term, the academic term between spring and summer semesters.
magna cum laude
See academic honors.
Avoid overusing major in place of student majoring in.
See equal-opportunity statements.
For credit hours, use figures no matter how small the number:
Use figures for grade point averages. Always include the decimal point and carry to at least one decimal place: 2.0. If several averages are cited in a table, carry all of them to the same place: 3.01, 2.18, 4.00, 1.80. The abbreviation GPA may follow the numbers if they are not described in the rest of the sentence: Sam earned a 3.98 GPA. Mary’s GPA was 3.89. His high school GPA was 3.1.
Use figures in tables and charts. In tables and charts that include a total at the bottom, align the decimal points in each column. In other tables and charts, decimal alignment is preferred, but it is acceptable to align all figures along the right margin, particularly if the numbers used are a mixture of percentages, straight figures or fractions.
off campus, off-campus, on campus, on-campus
Standard hyphenation rules apply.
Capitalize office only when it is part of an official name.
Do not capitalize when used in a general sense or on second reference. Capitalize only when part of the name of an event or program. The official name of orientation for undergraduates at the University is Bama Bound.
When talking about the whole area, refer to it as Presidential Village. When referring to a specific residence hall, refer to them by name as either Presidential I or Presidential II.
In general, do not capitalize the names of academic programs. Capitalize the names of programs in headings, subheadings, titles of works, and tables of contents, as needed.
Avoid using program in place of major or department. Program often implies a separate administration or faculty.
When describing a student’s activities, it may be best to use department, major or degree program rather than simply program.
the Quad, the QuadrangleIn either its short or long form, this term refers to the central open green space where Denny Chimes is located. The phrase “old Quad” refers to Woods Quad.
Use this spelling (with accents) to mean a curriculum vitae and to distinguish it from resume (to begin again after an interruption).
room numbers and names
Usually, it is acceptable to drop the word room from addresses, as long as you do so consistently throughout the publication:
Our office is in 122 Rose Administration Building.
Capitalize room and similar words when part of a proper or well-known name:
If a room number includes a letter, put one hyphen between the letter and number. In those rare instances where there are two or more letters in a room number, use a hyphen only between the first letter or group of letters and the adjacent number.
Do not capitalize the common names of semesters, terms, academic sessions or periods (e.g., fall semester, registration, orientation, schedule pickup). If a semester or term is followed by a specific year, use capitalization (e.g., Fall Semester 2003). The special Interim term should be capitalized.
summa cum laude
See academic honors.
Use as a second reference or informal reference for the University Supply Store, particularly when writing for on-campus audiences.
titles of works
Italicize magazine and journal names, which is an exception to Associated Press guidelines.
University Core Curriculum
See Core Curriculum, University of Alabama.
University Honors Program, UHP
UHP is acceptable in all contexts as a second reference for University Honors Program.
University of Alabama, The
Always capitalize our proper name as follows: The University of Alabama.
Capitalize University when it takes the place of our full name.
UA is an acceptable short form or second reference for The University of Alabama, noun and adjective forms. Never use U of A.
Where Legends Are Made
Updated: September 2019
Following is a list of many UA and UA-related buildings, facilities and landmarks.
Parking Decks and Garages
Landmarks and Outdoor Locations
UA Editorial Style Guide – for exceptions to the Associated Press Stylebook and entries unique to The University of Alabama
The Associated Press Stylebook, latest edition -- for everything else besides the UA Style Guide. (Available online by subscription)
Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition
Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition
National Geographic Atlas of the World, Tenth Edition
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
Source: UA Registrar