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.

Alphabetical Listing of Topics


academic degrees

The preferred form is to avoid abbreviations. When lack of space makes abbreviating academic degrees necessary, do not use periods (e.g., BA, MS, MBA).

Use apostrophes when writing bachelor’s and master’s degrees but do not use ‘s with of constructions.

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.

When listing UA faculty members, cite only the highest degree attained, plus any relevant professional designation.

  • Jane Smith, PhD, RN
  • Mary Jones, MAcc, CPA

academic divisions, UA

See divisions.

academic honors

Cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude and with distinction receive no special treatment in running copy: She graduated summa cum laude.

Action Card

addresses, campus

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–___-____
Fax 205-348-____
Email address
Website address

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.


Acceptable as a second reference or short form of The University of Alabama. Be careful, however, because in many contexts, the word could be confused with the state of Alabama.

See University of Alabama, The.


American Express

Spell out the name of the credit card in running text. When space is limited, such as in applications, and an abbreviation is needed, use AMEX.

ampersand (&)

Spell out and in most instances. Reserve the ampersand for use as a design element; in charts and other places where space is at a premium; in a few UA-specific abbreviations, such as A&S or C&BA; and when part of a company’s formal name.

Ampersands should not be used on University of Alabama business cards and stationery. See the Graphic Standards.


Use roman type for the possessive ending when a proper name is italicized.

Research Magazine‘s stories highlight research at The University of Alabama.

The genitive case (indicating a possessor or source) requires the ‘s or s’ or an of construction.

  • You need 36 hours’ credit to graduate.
  • For the independent study, he earned 1 hour’s credit.
  • She earned 15 hours of credit for her work at RISE.

Attributive nouns (those acting as adjectives modifying a following noun) don’t require the ‘s or s’.

  • Founders Day
  • Parents Association
  • Parents Weekend
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

assure, ensure, insure

Although these words are often used interchangeably, add an extra measure of clarity by making the following distinctions:

Use assure to suggest the removal of doubt or worries from a person’s mind (as in reassurance).

She assured me Ms. Jones was an experienced editor.

Use ensure to mean guarantee.

To ensure each student the best chance for success, we offer the services outlined below.

Use insure when referring to insurance.

The famous pianist insured each of his hands for $1 million.

as well as

Avoid overusing as well as in place of and; the phrase as well as has the sense of “too” or “also,” rather than simply “and.”


Capitalize award in running text when it is part of the name of an award.

Back to top


The abbreviation Bama for The University of Alabama is too informal for some University publications, so use it with caution.

Big Al

The official name of The University of Alabama’s mascot.

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:

  • The board of trustees met Monday.
  • The University’s board of trustees will meet Monday.

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 A: Campus Building Names for a list of official campus building names.

Back to top

campuswide identification number, CWID


Keep capitalization to a minimum — the more words you capitalize, the more you complicate your text.

Do not capitalize short forms of the names of University programs and facilities: the greenhouse, the arboretum, the law school, the education library, the financial aid office, etc.

Do not capitalize the names of disciplines such as history, art, etc. Do capitalize the names of disciplines that are derived from proper nouns such as French, English and American.

Do not capitalize the common names of semesters, terms, academic sessions or periods, such as fall semester, registration, orientation and schedule pickup. If a semester or term is followed by a specific year, use capitalization (e.g., Fall Semester 2003).

Capstone, the

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 1913. Be aware that prospective students may not understand its 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:

  • Class AA Certificate, but Class AA certification
  • Class A Professional Certificate
  • the “A” Certification in School Psychometry
  • Form I-20AB Certificate of Eligibility
  • IAP-66 Certificate of Eligibility
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

When a number is part of a form’s title, use the numeral and omit any punctuation:

  • Incorrect: Form 1,040EZ
  • Correct: Form 1040EZ
  • Incorrect: Form Two-A
  • Correct: Form 2A

classification, student

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

See divisions.


Capitalize when part of a proper name: The University of Alabama College of Engineering.

Capitalize the word when it appears by itself in reference to one specific UA college in a single publication. However,  lowercase the initial letter in the word when it appears by itself in a single publication about more than one UA college.


When introducing lists, do not use a colon if the list is an object or complement of any part of the sentence. This rule applies even to vertical or bulleted lists. In the example sentence below, the list of courses (MATH 125, EN 102, IE 203, COM 203, and ARH 151) completes the sentence (as a direct object) and thus the colon should not be used after (the verb) were.

  • Incorrect: The five courses he took were: MATH 125, EN 102, IE 203, COM 203, and ARH 151.
  • Correct: The five courses he took were MATH 125, EN 102, IE 203, COM 203, and ARH 151.

Use a colon after constructions such as “as follows” and “the following” only if the list or illustrating matter immediately follows …

  • Incorrect: The steps are as follows. Note that care was taken to eliminate redundancy:
  • Correct: The steps are as follows (note that care was taken to eliminate redundancy):
  • Correct: The steps are as follows. Note that care was taken to eliminate redundancy.

… or if the introductory sentence would be grammatically incomplete without “the following.”

Correct: I would like to make clear the following: The deadline is 4 p.m. Friday.


For appearances’ sake, it is usually best to leave off commas at the ends of centered lines of text in invitations, headings, titles and similar places.

Computer-Based Honors Program, CBHP

CBHP is acceptable in all contexts as a second reference for Computer-Based Honors Program.

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:

Her co-op experience was professionally and intellectually rewarding.

Core Curriculum, University of Alabama

Capitalize University of Alabama Core Curriculum, University Core Curriculum and UA Core Curriculum, but lowercase curriculum in other uses:

  • core curriculum (even when referring to the UA Core Curriculum)
  • undergraduate curriculum
  • graduate curriculum
  • business curriculum

course level

  • a 300-level course
  • a senior-level course
  • a course at the 400 level
  • a course at the freshman level

course load

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.

  • ART 110 Drawing I
  • EE 350 Electromechanics
  • EN 398 Modernism I: The Cultural Context

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.

  • Incorrect: Students may count up to 18 hours in SOC, FR or PSC toward the major.
  • Correct: Students may count up to 18 hours in sociology, French or political science toward the major.

When listing courses by number, repeat the alpha symbol with each number.

  • Incorrect: The required courses include EN 101, 205, and 209 or 210.
  • Correct: The required courses include EN 101, EN 205, and EN 209 or EN 210.

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. The alpha symbol is not repeated.

Any two distinct courses, no matter how closely linked, should be indicated by the word “and” instead of a colon.

The required courses include EN 101 and EN 102, EN 205 and EN 206, and EN 209 or EN 210.


One word. Generally refers to the courses taken for degree credit.

Creative Campus

A student-led initiative that became fully-operational during the 2006-07 academic year. Use Creative Campus when referring to the program in UA printed material.

credit hours

See numbers.

Crimson Ride

Crimson Tide

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.

cum laude

See academic honors.


Never combine the symbol $ and the word dollars in the same context.

Back to top


There are three kinds of dashes used in University publications. Most word-processing and page-layout programs can produce all three — hyphen, en dash and em dash.

Hyphen ( – ). Used to separate the elements of a hyphenated compound (for example, on-screen or English-speaking students) or to break words at the end of lines of copy.

En dash ( – ). Used to indicate duration or continuing or inclusive numbers (for example, 2009–10, children age 1–5). The en dash is also used to separate the elements of a hyphenated compound in which at least one of the elements is composed of two or more words (for example, post–World War II years) or both elements are hyphenated compounds (a quasi–public–quasi–judicial body). When you cannot create an en dash, a hyphen will do.

Em dash ( — ). Used to introduce an explanatory or emphatic element; to indicate a sudden break in thought or speech; to create a break in continuity greater than that suggested by the comma; and to set off multiple nouns when the nouns are the referents of a pronoun that is the subject of a summarizing clause.

EN 101 English Composition I — an introduction to college-level writing — is required of all UA freshmen.

She proofed the brochure copy — copy that could help recruit a generation of UA transfer students — for the sixth time.

He was able to surmount every obstacle but the last — a greased wall 50 feet in height.

Iceland, Malaysia, Peru — these are just some of the countries from which UA students come.

In applications and formats that don’t allow em dashes, use two hyphens ( — ). Do not overuse em dashes. Never use more than a single em dash or pair of em dashes in a sentence. Consider commas and parentheses as alternatives.

decision making (n.), decision-making (adj.)

degree programs

See programs, academic.

degrees, academic

See academic degrees.

Denny Chimes

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:

  • Denny Chimes stands on the main Quad.
  • A campus landmark, Denny Chimes was completed in 1929.

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:

  • Tricky: In the background stands Denny Chimes, which have been ringing the hours since 1929.
  • Better: In the background stands Denny Chimes; its bells have been ringing the hours since 1929.

disability accommodations and statements

See equal-opportunity statements.


Do not capitalize the names of academic disciplines or major or minor areas of study except those derived from proper nouns.


When describing a college or school of The University of Alabama, use the official names and second references and abbreviations given below.

  • College of Arts and Sciences, Arts and Sciences, A&S
  • Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, C&BA, the business school
  • College of Communication and Information Sciences, C&IS
  • College of Community Health Sciences, CCHS (If using this abbreviation, be sure your readers will not confuse the College with the Coordinating Council for Honor Societies, which also abbreviates its name to CCHS.)
  • College of Continuing Studies, Continuing Studies
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • Graduate School
  • Honors College
  • College of Human Environmental Sciences, HES
  • School of Law, law school
  • Capstone College of Nursing, CCN
  • School of Social Work

doctoral, doctorate

Doctoral is an adjective.

He entered the doctoral program in 1993.

Doctorate is the degree received.

She earned her doctorate in 1985.

domain name

The University of Alabama’s domain name is

double major (n.), double-major (adj.)

Back to top


Avoid using ellipsis points to indicate interruptions or abrupt changes in thought; use em dashes instead.

emerita, emeritus, emeriti

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 emerti after the formal title:

  • Professor Emeritus of English John Smith but John Smith, professor emeritus of English
  • President Emerita Jane Doe
  • Trustees Emeriti of The University of Alabama (as in a headline)
  • The committee included four professors emeriti.

ensure, insure, assure

See assure, ensure, insure.

equal-opportunity statements

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. Use the following statements as appropriate:

Major publications, such as catalogs and long recruitment pieces, collegiate bulletins, employee handbooks and application forms —

The University of Alabama complies with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination, including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Executive Order 11246, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Adjustment Assistance Act, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002 (VEVRAA), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and does not discriminate on the basis of genetic information, race, color, religion, national origin, sex (which includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression), age, disability or protected veteran status in admission or access to, or treatment of employment in, its programs and services. Inquiries or concerns regarding The University’s Title IX or gender-related compliance may be directed to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Beth Howard, 107 Burke Hall, Box 870300, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0300, 205-348-5496, All other inquiries and concerns may be directed to Dr. Gwendolyn Hood, University Compliance Officer, 171 Rose Administration Building, Box 870300, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0300, 205-348-5855 (voice), 205-348-5573 (TDD),

Most other publications, including recruitment publications specific to departments and divisions —

The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under federal law from discrimination on several bases.

For posters, advertising and publications in which space is severely limited —

The University of Alabama is an equal-opportunity employer (EOE), including an EOE of protected vets and individuals with disabilities.

For University, departmental or divisional events and activities, someone in the sponsoring department or division should be made responsible for handling requests for accommodations for people with disabilities, and the following access statement should appear in registration materials, invitations, fliers, etc. —

To request disability accommodations, please contact {name, department, address, phone number, email}.

ethnic background categories

For the optional ethnicity portion of applications to University programs, use the following categories:

  • American Indian/Alaskan Native
  • Asian
  • Black/Non-Hispanic
  • Hispanic
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
  • White/Non-Hispanic
  • Other______________


Back to top

This abbreviation for frequently asked questions is acceptable for Web usage but not for print publications.

Federal Work-Study Program

fields of study

See disciplines.

first-come, first-served; first come, first served

Use hyphens when the term is used as a modifier before a noun. Do not use hyphens when the term follows a noun.


See certificates and forms.

Founders Day

freshman, freshmen

Use freshman when writing of one first-year student, freshmen when writing of more than one. Use freshman as a modifier:

  • EN 101 is generally considered a freshman course.
  • She lives in the freshman dorm with 400 other freshmen.

Back to top

gender-neutral language

Make your writing as inclusive and gender-neutral as possible when representing The University of Alabama or its programs or services. There are three good ways to make your language inclusive:

1. Use the second person (you and your).

You must choose your major during the second semester.

2. Use plural nouns and pronouns. If you choose this option, be sure to change verbs and other nouns and pronouns as needed.

Students must choose their majors during the second semester.

3. Use he or she, him or her, his or her, etc.

Each student must choose his or her major during the second semester.


When giving a GPA, always use a decimal point and carry to at least one decimal place: 3.0, 2.2.


Letters used to denote grades are usually capitalized and set in roman type; words used to denote grades are placed in quotation marks:

  • A
  • B-
  • C+
  • “Incomplete”
  • “Pass”
  • WP
  • He earned a B+ in that class.
  • A grade of NC, or “No Credit,” may be given in freshman English courses.

The modifier pass/fail is not treated specially:

  • It was a pass/fail course, in which I earned a grade of “Pass.”
  • I took the course pass/fail.

graduate teaching assistant, GTA, GTAs (plural)

The abbreviation GTA is acceptable as a second reference in many publications. Avoid using graduate teaching assistant as a personal title.

  • Incorrect: Graduate Teaching Assistant Bob Jones teaches two sections of an introductory math course.
  • Correct: Bob Jones, a graduate teaching assistant in the department of mathematics, teaches two sections of an introductory math course.
  • Correct: Bob Jones, a graduate teaching assistant, teaches two sections of an introductory math course.

greek or Greek?

Uppercase when referring to social organizations and honor societies. Always uppercase when referring to the culture, nation, people or language of Greece or ancient Greece.

  • Many UA students belong to Greek-letter organizations.
  • Students majoring in classics study ancient Greek; classes in modern Greek are also available.

Back to top

high school (n.), (adj.)


Capitalize only when the year immediately follows.

  • Join us on the Quad for Homecoming 1996.
  • The homecoming bonfire will be on the Quad.

honor societies, honoraries

Use either honor society or honorary — never honorary society.


See dash/hyphen.

Back to top

in-state, out-of-state

Acceptable, but consider whether Alabama resident and nonresident would be more precise.

International Honors Program, IHP

IHP is acceptable in all contexts as a second reference for International Honors Program.

Interim program, Interim term

Interim is an acceptable short form for Interim program or Interim term, the academic term between spring and summer semesters.

Internet, internet, Internet2

Use Internet when referring to the worldwide network of computers and servers using telephone lines to transfer information. Use internet when referring generally to a network of connected networks. Use Internet2 when referring to the network of computers and applications developed by some 140 universities with corporate partners in 1996.

IT Service Desk

The information and assistance desk of the Office of Information Technology in Gordon Palmer Hall.

Back to top


Use these general guidelines to punctuate vertical and run-in lists.

Vertical lists are set off from the body text so they catch the reader’s attention. A vertical list is also the best way to organize lists with items that are lengthy or contain two or more sentences.

See colon to determine when to use a colon to set up lists.

Vertical lists may be bulleted or enumerated.

In a bulleted list, the bullet takes the place of punctuation (such as commas or semicolons) between items in a list. Do not use any punctuation at the ends of bulleted items that are not sentences. There is also no need for a concluding period at the end of a bulleted list, even when that list continues a sentence; that lone period will look lost down there.

The benefits of membership include

  • special invitations to all UA sporting events
  • The Sportsfan, the club’s bimonthly newsletter
  • a Sports Club hangtag
  • free T-shirts for each member and his/her spouse

Join now to experience all the rewards of Sports Club membership.

When your bulleted items are sentences, capitalize the first letter of each sentence and use appropriate end punctuation. When they consist of single words or phrases, it is best to lowercase the first letter.

To help make your college experience a pleasant and successful one, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Register for classes.
  • Show up for classes.
  • Buy the required books.
  • Don’t get expelled.

Keep your bulleted lists consistent. If some items in a list are sentences, make all of them sentences. If some items begin with verbs, begin all items with verbs. In short publications, such as brochures, structure all your lists the same way — either sentences or phrases, but not both. In longer works, some variance is acceptable.

It is usually best to indent your bulleted list from the surrounding copy. How much you indent depends on the density of the surrounding copy and whether your list might get lost, even with the bullets.

In an enumerated vertical list, each item is preceded by a number or letter followed by a period. Use enumerated lists when you want to refer back to specific items (e.g., “as in item 15 above”). Numbers (as opposed to letters) are best used when sequential order is important, because that’s what numbers imply to readers.

Following are some guidelines for punctuation of numbered lists:

  1. Align letters or numbers vertically along the periods that follow them (usually called decimal alignment or decimal tab), and align the text one space to the right. Second and subsequent lines of text should be aligned under the first letter of the first line of text (hanging indent).
  2. Reserve the (1), (2), (3) or (a), (b), (c) format for run-in lists.

A run-in list (one not broken out in vertical style) should suffice if your list is short or if the items within the list are short. Run-in lists take up less space than vertical lists, but they are harder to read.

If you plan to refer back to specific items in the list, enumerate the items with letters or numbers. Otherwise, simply separate the items with commas or semicolons.

Enumerate the items in a run-in list with numbers or letters enclosed in parentheses. There is no period or other punctuation enclosed within the parentheses, and there is no space between the number or letter and parentheses. Put one space between the closing parenthesis and the word that follows.

Use commas or semicolons to separate enumerated items exactly as you would if there were no (1), (2), (3), or (a), (b), (c).

Back to top

magna cum laude

See academic honors.

major, minor

Avoid overusing major in place of student majoring in.




See currency.

Back to top

nondiscrimination statements

See equal-opportunity statements.

nondissertation (adj.)

She began nondissertation research this semester.

nonsexist language

See gender-neutral language.

nonthesis (adj.)

She began nonthesis research this semester.


For credit hours, use figures no matter how small the number:

  • EN 101 is a 3-credit-hour course.
  • Samantha earned 15 hours’ credit for her psychology internship.

(See apostrophe.)

Use figures for SAT, ACT and similar test scores. Use Arabic figures in constructions such as SAT-1. Do not add commas to SAT or other scores that reach into the thousands:

  • His SAT score was 1100.
  • Her GRE composite score was 2070.

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.

Back to top

off campus, off-campus, on campus, on-campus

Standard hyphenation rules apply to these terms: When used as a modifier, either term must be hyphenated. When campus is used as a noun, drop the hyphen.

  • At UA, on-campus housing is plentiful and convenient.
  • Students who live on campus also find it affordable.
  • Off-campus apartments range in cost from $350 to $1,100 per month.
  • That building is located just off campus on Queen City Avenue.


Capitalize office only when it is part of an official name:

  • Office of Student Receivables
  • Office for Academic Affairs
  • Stop by the admissions office for details.

on-campus, on campus

See off-campus, off campus, on-campus, on campus entry.


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.

Back to top

programs, academic

In general, do not capitalize the names of academic programs; UA-specific exceptions follow. 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, as in the Computer-Based Honors Program. When describing a student’s activities, it may be best to use department, major or degree program rather than simply program.

  • Computer-Based Honors Program, CBHP
  • MFA program in creative writing
  • the PhD program in applied statistics
  • University Honors Program
  • the doctoral program in mathematics
  • Multiple Abilities Program
  • women’s studies program

Back to top

the Quad, the Quadrangle

In either its short or long form, this term refers to the central open green space where Denny Chimes is located.

Back to top


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:

  • the President’s Lounge
  • the Birmingham Room

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.

  • C-212 Clark Hall
  • 210-A Reese Phifer Hall
  • B-129G H.M. Comer Hall

Back to top


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.

Social Security number, SSN

Avoid SS# and the redundant SSN#.

summa cum laude

See academic honors.

SUPe Store

This is an acceptable second reference or informal reference for the University Supply Store, particularly when writing for on-campus audiences.

Back to top

titles of works

Italicize magazine and journal names, which is an exception to Associated Press guidelines under the entries for book titles, composition titles, newspaper names and magazine names.

Alabama Alumni Magazine
Journal of the Legal Profession

Back to top


Acceptable short form or second reference for The University of Alabama, noun and adjective forms. Never use U of A.

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

In 1974, The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama passed a resolution designating the proper name of “the institution [within The University of Alabama System] whose location is principally in Tuscaloosa” as “The University of Alabama.” The board also authorized the use of “University” upon second and subsequent references, reserving the abbreviation “UA” for “internal use.” Since 1974, however, “UA” has become an acceptable second and subsequent reference for The University of Alabama.

Always capitalize our proper name as follows: The University of Alabama.

  • The University of Alabama
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • The University of Alabama System
  • The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama

Capitalize University when it takes the place of our full name.

use, utilize

See Appendix C: Usage.

Back to top

Veterans Services, Office of


Use Visa, not VISA, when writing about the credit card.

Back to top

Woods Quad

The quadrangle bordered by Garland Hall, Manly Hall and Woods Hall. Also called the Old Quad.

work-study student


University-based radio station, home of Alabama Public Radio.


The University’s student-run radio station.


The University of Alabama bought WVUA-7 during the summer of 2001, making the University one of only a handful of schools to own and operate a commercial television station.

Back to top


Following is a list of many University (and UA-related) buildings and facilities and, where noted, their commonly accepted short names.

  • 610 Capstone Drive (houses ROTC programs and some A&S programs)
  • 700 University Boulevard East (old Capstone Medical Center)
  • A.B. Moore Hall, Moore Hall
  • Adams Hall
  • AIME Building (houses the Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence)
  • Alston (see Mary Hewell Alston Hall)
  • Alumni Hall
  • Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, Gorgas Library, main library
  • Angelo Bruno Business Library, Bruno Library, Bruno Business Library, business library
  • Aquatic Center
  • B.B. Comer Hall
  • Bailey (see Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium)
  • Barnwell Hall
  • Bashinsky (see Sloan Y. Bashinsky Sr. Computer Center)
  • Bevill (see Tom Bevill Energy, Mineral, and Materials Science Research Building)
  • Bidgood Hall
  • Biology Building
  • Blount Undergraduate Initiative Living-Learning Center, Blount Living-Learning Center
  • Brewer-Porch Children’s Center
  • Bruno (see Angelo Bruno Business Library)
  • Bryant (see Mary Harmon Bryant Hall, Paul W. Bryant Academic Center, Paul W. Bryant Museum)
  • Bryant-Denny Stadium, the stadium
  • Bryant Hall
  • Bryant Residence Hall and Dining
  • Bryce Lawn (apartment community)
  • Burke (see Mary Burke Hall)
  • Byrd Hall (residence hall)
  • Cannon House (Center for Community-Based Partnerships)
  • Capstone Medical Center (see 700 University Boulevard East)
  • Carmichael Hall
  • Child Development Research Center
  • Clark Hall
  • Clayton Hall
  • Coleman Coliseum, the coliseum
  • Comer (see B.B. Comer Hall and H.M. Comer Hall)
  • Crimson Towers
  • Crisp (see Hank Crisp Indoor Facility)
  • Denny Chimes
  • Design House
  • Doster Hall
  • East Annex
  • Environmental Health and Safety Department
  • Eric and Sarah Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering, Rodgers Library, science and engineering library
  • Farrah Hall
  • Ferguson Student Center, Ferguson Center, the Ferg (informal)
  • Foster Auditorium
  • Frank Moody Music Building, Moody Music Building
  • Frederick R. Maxwell Hall, Maxwell Hall
  • Friedman Hall (residence hall)
  • Gallalee Hall
  • Garland Hall
  • Gordon Palmer Hall
  • Gorgas (see Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library)
  • Gorgas House
  • Graves Hall
  • H.M. Comer Hall
  • Hank Crisp Indoor Facility, indoor practice facility
  • Hardaway Hall
  • Harris Hall (residence hall)
  • Hayden-Harris Hall
  • Highlands, The (apartments)
  • Hotel Capstone
  • Houser Hall
  • James B. McMillan Building (houses The University of Alabama Press)
  • Jerry Pate Golf Center
  • Jones (see W.B. Jones Hall)
  • Jones Hall
  • Julia Tutwiler Hall (residence hall), Tutwiler Hall
  • Kilgore House (houses Alabama Heritage magazine offices)
  • Lakeside Community (residence halls), Lakeside East, Lakeside West
  • Lakeside Dining
  • Law Center
  • Lewis Hall
  • Little Hall
  • Lloyd Hall
  • Lupton Hall
  • Maisel Lobby (official name of the lobby in Coleman Coliseum)
  • Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility
  • Manderson Landing, The Park at
  • Manly Hall
  • Martha Parham Hall (residence hall), Parham Hall
  • Mary Burke Hall (residence hall), Burke Hall, Burke East, Burke West
  • Mary Harmon Bryant Hall (formerly, Special Collections Building; houses the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library)
  • Mary Hewell Alston Hall, Alston Hall
  • Maxwell (see Frederick R. Maxwell Hall)
  • McLure Education Library, McLure Library, education library
  • McMillan (see James B. McMillan Building)
  • Moody (see Frank Moody Music Building)
  • Moore (see A.B. Moore Hall)
  • Moore House
  • Morgan Hall
  • Natatorium
  • New Hall
  • Ninth Street Apartments
  • Nott Hall
  • Nott Hall Annex
  • Oliver-Barnard Hall
  • Osband Hall
  • Palmer (see Gordon Palmer Hall)
  • Palmer Hall (residence hall)
  • Parker-Adams Hall
  • Pate (See Jerry Pate Golf Center)
  • Paty Hall (residence hall)
  • Paul W. Bryant Academic Center, Bryant Academic Center
  • Paul W. Bryant Conference Center, Bryant Conference Center
  • Paul W. Bryant Museum, Bryant Museum
  • Powers Hall
  • President’s Mansion
  • Reese Phifer Hall, Phifer Hall, communication building
  • Rhoads Stadium (women’s softball stadium)
  • Ridgecrest Community (residence halls), Ridgecrest East, Ridgecrest South, Ridgecrest West
  • Riverside Commons
  • Riverside Community (residence halls), Riverside East, Riverside North, Riverside West
  • Rodgers (see Eric and Sarah Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering)
  • Rose Administration Building
  • Rose Towers (apartments)
  • Rotary International Living Center
  • Round House
  • Rowand-Johnson Hall
  • Russell Hall
  • Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium, Sam Bailey Stadium, track stadium
  • Science and Engineering
  • Sewell-Thomas Stadium
  • Shelby Hall, Interdisciplinary Science Building
  • Smith Hall
  • Sloan Y. Bashinsky Sr. Computer Center, Bashinsky Computer Center
  • Soccer Stadium
  • Somerville Hall (residence hall)
  • South Lawn Office Building
  • Stallings Center (RISE program)
  • Student Health Center
  • Student Media Building
  • Student Recreation Center, Rec Center (informal), recreation center
  • Student Services Center
  • Temple Tutwiler Hall
  • ten Hoor Hall
  • Tennis Stadium
  • Tom Bevill Energy, Mineral, and Materials Science Research Building, Bevill Building
  • Tuomey Hall
  • Tutwiler (see Julia Tutwiler Hall and Temple Tutwiler Hall)
  • University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus; School of Medicine
  • University Medical Center
  • W.B. Jones Hall (Oil and Gas)
  • Wilson Hall
  • Woods Hall
  • Wyman Hall

Back to top

at sign (@)

The @ symbol must be included in all email addresses.

domain name

The University of Alabama’s domain name is

Back to top


Avoid clichés (e.g., cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, world-class, 24/7).

concise writing

Avoid pretentiousness and wordiness. Following are examples of pretentious words and wordy phrases. Suggested substitutions are in parentheses.

  • afford an opportunity (allow)
  • at a future point in time (later)
  • in the final analysis (finally)
  • despite the fact that (despite)
  • during the course of (during)
  • for the purpose of (to)
  • on an annual basis (yearly)
  • whether or not (whether)

poor phrases

Avoid poor phrases such as the following:

  • “It goes without saying” (Then why are we saying it?)
  • “Students could care less” (This implies students have some level of caring.) The correct phrase is “students could not care less.”

use, utilize

Utilize is an overworked, pretentious substitute for use. Utilize means to use something in a way in which it was not originally intended. Example: I didn’t have a screwdriver, so I utilized a knife to remove the screw. In other cases, use is preferred because it is shorter, takes less space and is quicker to read.

Back to top