These style guidelines are presented alphabetically (use links above to access a specific section). You can also search for items using the search function provided above. The main guide is preceded by a brief list of key style rules that address frequent questions.
Key Style Rules
UC Santa Cruz name: Use “University of California, Santa Cruz,” for the first reference (if possible), then “UC Santa Cruz” thereafter. Avoid “UCSC,” although it is acceptable to prevent awkwardness and repetition and can also be used for headlines. For additional style notes and a list of other UC campus names, see the University of California campuses entry.
Numbers: Spell out “one” through “nine” except when referring to purely numerical measures (e.g., “6%,” “$8”). Use numerals for 10 and above except at the beginning of sentences. Numerals are also used for ages (“8 years old”). For additional details see the numbers entry below and refer to AP.
Commas separating words in a series: Use a comma before the conjunction (“a, b, and c” not “a, b and c”). Note that UC Santa Cruz style differs from AP in this usage.
Commas and periods always go within quotes: John said, “I’m hungry.” “Me too,” said Jane.
Impact is a noun, not a verb: Use “had an impact on,” not “the policy impacted students.”
Gender references: Copy intended to apply to all genders should be written so that no gender bias is implied. Avoid “man,” “mankind,” and words ending in “-man.” Avoid singular pronouns (“he,” “she,” “his,” “hers”) when referring to all genders. Recast the sentence and substitute “they” or “you.” For further details see the gender references entry.
Hyphenate compound adjectives: This makes it easier to understand the sentence. Example: “A part-time job,” but “The job was part time.” Do not, however, hyphenate compound adverbs if the first word ends in -ly: “privately held,” not “privately-held.” For more on this topic, see hyphenation of compound words and AP.
The following terms are one word: “email,” “website,” “coursework,” and “fieldwork.” These are changes from the previous style.
Capitalization: Avoid unnecessary capitalization. Words such as “association,” “committee,” or “regents” are not capitalized unless used as part of a body’s formal name. Do not capitalize job titles (except acronyms such as CEO, CFO, etc.) within a sentence (“John Smith, director of marketing, said … “). Capitalize full names of academic divisions and departments, formal standards, etc., but not disciplines and majors. For more, see the disciplines, majors, and programs entry below.
Bulleted list capitalization: In a bulleted list of items, capitalize the first word in each item, with the remainder lowercase (unless words would otherwise be capitalized). No final punctuation unless elements are full sentences. Example:
- Loan programs
- Payment schedules
- Frequently asked questions
Use a single space (not double spaces) between sentences: The double space was originally needed to provide proper spacing in typewritten documents, but it is no longer used.
Avoid passive sentence structures and verbs (“Mistakes were made.”): Whenever possible, use active verbs and tenses.
accents in Spanish words:
The use of the accent (´) over vowels in Spanish words follows set rules based on pronunciation. Although these accents are often omitted in English-language publications, omitting them may be considered incorrect spelling. Many people of Hispanic origin use accents in spelling their names (although many do not). Commonly accented names include “José,” “María,” “García,” “Gómez,” “Martínez,” and “González.” The accent is used by “San José State University” and the “city of San José.” However, it is not used by the San Jose Mercury News. NOTE: To create the accent, hold the “option” key and press “e.” Release both keys, then press the letter to be accented.
acronyms and abbreviations:
Follow AP style. Periods are not used in most abbreviations: EOP, UN, NATO, CIA, URL, CD, DVD. Here are some exceptions:
- Degrees: B.A., Ph.D., M.D.
- Certain place names: U.S., D.C.
- Other exceptions: Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc., St., Co., pp., B.C., A.D., B.C.E., C.E.
Do not abbreviate the name of a program unless you have already given it in full: Education Abroad Program (EAP).
Format mailing addresses as follows. Abbreviate terms such as “St.” and “Ave.”
University of California, Santa Cruz
(Department or Office Name)
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz CA 95064
“Admissions” (plural) is often used to describe the overall admission process. At UC Santa Cruz, for example, the Office of Admissions oversees this process. Usage varies, but use “admission” in sentences similar to the following: “They reviewed the systemwide admission requirements.”
AP’s preference is adviser, based on advise (v.). AP stories allow the use of the “advisor” spelling for a formal title or certification. UC Santa Cruz style allows the “-or” spelling if it’s in a formal title or a recognized certification, or is simply an industry standard or departmental preference. Both spellings are listed in the dictionary as correct.
The term for the people and culture of Afghanistan. Afghani is the Afghan unit of currency.
African American, Black:
Use these terms interchangeably for Americans of African descent (except for UC application or admission reports). No hyphen in the noun or adjective form. Do not use “African American” for people of African descent living in other countries (Canada, Caribbean nations, etc.).
Capitalizing Black is a change made in June 2020, following AP’s decision to capitalize it when used in a racial, ethnic, or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity, and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa. The lowercase black is a color, not a person.
- alumnus (one male)
- alumna (one female)
- alumni (two or more males or mixed genders)
- alumnae (two or more females)
alumni class and year:
- class of ’78
- Crown ’97
- Porter ’02
- Oakes ’18
- Graduate Studies ’06
To include name and degree earned, use the following form:
- María González (Cowell ’92, literature)
For multiple degrees use:
- John Jones (M.A. economics ’90; Ph.D. ’95)
- Janet Jackson (Rachel Carson ’15, applied mathematics; Ph.D. ’19)
Preferred and mandatory for UC application or admission reports. “Native American” is acceptable in other contexts. No hyphen in noun or adjective form.
The College Board has trademarked “AP” and capitalizes “Exam,” but for clarity, we can refer to them on first mention as “Advanced Placement examinations.” Also: “AP courses.”
apostrophe use (possessive):
To show possession, add “apostrophe s” to singular words, even if they end in s or z:
- Santa Cruz’s
To plurals ending in s, add an apostrophe only:
- nine dogs’ tails
Be careful not to confuse possessive adjectives, which do not take apostrophes, with contractions, which do:
- The tree lost its leaves.
- It’s time to go.
Do not use the apostrophe in plurals such as the following:
- M.A.s and Ph.D.s
No hyphen in noun or adjective form.
Banana Slug/Slug vs. banana slug/slug:
Capitalize Banana Slug or Slug when referring to the UC Santa Cruz mascot, students, and alumni. Use lowercase for references to the gastropod animal.
Enclose any words inserted in a quotation in brackets ([/]). See ellipsis (…) below for words deleted from a quotation.
Some people of color are referred to as brown populations. In this usage, brown is not capitalized.
buildings and locations, names of campus:
Capitalize full names, as in the examples below. Note that “building” is typically used after some of these names for clarity. However “building” is not capitalized because it is not part of the formal title. For the names of additional campus buildings, see the website for the campus unit that administers the facility.
- Barn Theater
- Baskin Engineering building
- Baskin Visual Arts Center
- Bay Tree Bookstore
- Biomedical Sciences building
- Coastal Biology building (note lowercase “building;” CBB can be used as an abbreviation)
- Coastal Science Campus (note that “Science” is singular)
- Cowell Ranch Hay Barn
- Digital Arts Research Center (DARC)
- Earth and Marine Sciences building
- East Field House (also West Field House)
- Engineering 2 building
- Family Student Housing
- Graduate Student Commons
- Hahn Student Services
- Humanities and Social Sciences facility
- Humanities Lecture Hall
- Interdisciplinary Sciences building
- Kerr Hall
- McHenry Library
- Music Center Recital Hall
- Natural Sciences 2 building
- Ocean Health building
- Physical Sciences building
- Quarry Amphitheater
- Quarry Plaza
- Science & Engineering Library
- Seymour Marine Discovery Center
- Sinsheimer Labs (or Sinsheimer Laboratories)
- Social Sciences 1 and Social Sciences 2 buildings
- Student Union
- Theater Arts Center (includes the Mainstage Theater, Second Stage Theater, eXperimental Theater, Media Theater)
- Thimann Labs (or Thimann Laboratories)
- University Center
- University House
- University Town Center (UTC)
Lowercase “library” and “theater” when used alone or in plural form (note the “er” form of “theater”):
- the theater
- the campus libraries
Cite room numbers as follows (note that “Room” is not used, nor is punctuation):
- His office is located at 102 Hahn Student Services.
California Community College(s):
Capitalize when referring to the system as a whole or to a specific college; lowercase general references.
- The Community College/University of California Memorandum of Understanding
- He spent two years at a community college.
For a complete list of community college names, visit this link.
California State University:
Usage similar to that for community colleges (see above). Full names and accepted abbreviated forms are listed below.
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo)
- California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly, Pomona)
- California State University, Bakersfield (CSU Bakersfield)
- California State University, Channel Islands (CSU Channel Islands)
- California State University, Chico (Chico State)
- California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSU Dominguez Hills)
- California State University, East Bay (CSU East Bay)—previously CSU Hayward
- California State University, Fresno (Fresno State)
- California State University, Fullerton (CSU Fullerton)
- California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach State)
- California State University, Los Angeles (CSU Los Angeles)
- California State University, Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime)
- California State University, Monterey Bay (CSU Monterey Bay) (CSUMB)
- California State University, Northridge (CSU Northridge)
- California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State)
- California State University, San Bernardino (CSU San Bernardino)
- California State University, San Marcos (CSU San Marcos)
- California State University, Stanislaus (CSU Stanislaus)
- Humboldt State University (Humboldt State)
- San Diego State University (San Diego State)
- San Francisco State University (San Francisco State)
- San José State University (San José State)
- Sonoma State University (Sonoma State)
Lowercase, even when used with Santa Cruz:
- the campus
- the Santa Cruz campus
However, the UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science Campus uses “Campus” as part of its formal name, so it is capitalized.
Use “catalog.” “Catalogue” should be used only for publications that use this alternate spelling (such as UC Irvine General Catalogue).
Use instead of “chairman” (“the department chair”) for generic references. “Chairwoman” or “chairman” may be used with a name: “Chairwoman Janet Yellen.” For endowed chairs, use “chair holder.”
Capitalize when used with a name as a title (“Chancellor Cynthia Larive”); lowercase elsewhere (“Cynthia Larive, chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, hosted the event”). For a list of past UC Santa Cruz chancellors with dates of service, see below.
Chancellors, UC Santa Cruz:
Dean McHenry, January 1961—June 1974
Mark N. Christensen, July 1974—January 1976
Angus E. Taylor, February 1976—June 1977
Robert L. Sinsheimer, June 1977—July 1987
Robert B. Stevens, July 1987—July 1991
Karl S. Pister, July 1991—July 1996
M.R.C. Greenwood, July 1996—April 2004
Martin M. Chemers, April 2004—February 2005
Denice D. Denton, February 2005—June 2006
George R. Blumenthal, July 2006—June 2019
Cynthia K. Larive, July 2019—present
city, county, and state names:
- Lowercase “city”and “state” when used in the “state of” and “city of” construction (city of Santa Cruz, state of California).
- Capitalize “county” in Santa Cruz County or Los Angeles County; lowercase in the “county of” construction.
- Capitalize these terms if used as part of a formal name (“State Lands Commission,” “Santa Cruz City Planning Commission”). But lowercase when used as an adjective to indicate jurisdiction: “The state of California;” “the state Department of Transportation.”
class/year for students:
Use lowercase (unless the first word in a sentence): “first-year student,” “sophomore,” “junior,” “senior.” Note that “first-year student” is preferable to “freshman” (although the latter is acceptable). “Frosh” is acceptable in informal contexts and headlines.
Adjective use only, as in “coed dorms.” Never use as noun to mean “female student.”
colleges (UC Santa Cruz):
Also see the entry for divisions, departments, colleges, and schools. For UC Santa Cruz colleges, capitalize the full formal name and also the generally used college names. Lowercase “college” when used alone, as a general term, or in the plural. For example:
- Stevenson College, Stevenson
- Rachel Carson College, Rachel Carson
- John R. Lewis College (see note below)
- Kresge and Porter colleges
- the college system
- the 10 UC Santa Cruz colleges
John R. Lewis College: UCSC announced in October 2021 that College Ten would be named in honor of the late congressman and civil rights icon John R. Lewis. The formal name change took place in May 2022. Use the full name “John R. Lewis College” when referring to the college. Do not use shortened versions such as “John Lewis” or “Lewis.”
For College Nine, do not use a figure (IX or 9). For example: “College Nine was founded in 2000.” Acceptable short form once the college has been identified: “Nine.” The same usage applies to colleges at other UC campuses.
Capitalize the full, formal name and lowercase otherwise: “The College of Letters and Science is one of several colleges at UC Santa Barbara.”
These can be tricky! Please refer to AP and Strunk & White for specific usage questions. Here are some common issues:
For dates and times, use the following guidelines:
- April 1, 1950, was …
- April 1950 was …
- The program was scheduled for 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.
A word, phrase, or clause that is in apposition to a noun, and that is parenthetical, is set off by commas:
- Washington, D.C., can be humid in summer.
- My wife, Amanda, works at the university.
- I live in Santa Cruz, which is south of San Francisco.
- That book, which was assigned for the course, is excellent.
If, however, the word, phrase, or clause is restrictive (identifies or restricts the meaning of the noun), commas should not be used:
- My sister Ellen works at the lab. (The speaker has more than one sister.)
- Milton’s work Paradise Lost is an epic poem. (Milton wrote many works.)
- The book that I received for Christmas was boring. (Use “that,” not “which,” in restrictive clauses.)
In a series, use a comma before the conjunction:
- Cowell, Merrill, and Oakes
Use a comma before a conjunction connecting two independent clauses (two clauses that have both a subject and a verb and could stand alone as separate sentences):
- Course 20 is required for the major, and students should complete it by the end of their junior years.
As a general rule, do not use a comma before a conjunction connecting a compound predicate:
- Joe bought two books and looked at the magazines.
The full names of courses are capitalized. In text, the discipline and course number should be set in roman (not italic) type and the course title should be italicized. General course references are lowercase (except for proper nouns).
- She received a poor evaluation for Politics 20, American Politics.
- She took courses in French, military history, and statistics.
In a sequence of courses with a single title and course description, either of the following styles is acceptable:
- Chemistry 1A-B-C
- Chemistry 1A, Chemistry 1B, Chemistry 1C
Use numerals even for 1–9 (“5 credits”).
dash (long dash or “em” dash):
Long or em dashes (—) can be used to indicate a parenthetical thought, an abrupt change in thought, or an emphatic pause. Example: “I am off to France in June—if I graduate.” When using the em dash, do not use surrounding spaces (this usage differs from AP style). Do not use double hyphens (–) as a substitute unless the em dash is not available. To create the em dash, hold down the “option” and “shift” keys, then press the “hyphen”
dash (short dash or “en” dash):
The en dash (–) is slightly longer than a hyphen and shorter than the em dash. The en dash is used in spans of numbers (“pages 87–89”) or dates (“2015–16” or “May–September”). The en dash is also used to connect compound modifiers made up of two-word proper nouns or already hyphenated words:
- the North Dakota–South Dakota border
- non-European–non-Asian population
To create the en dash, hold down the “option” key and press the “hyphen” key.
- Capitalize formal names of degrees (“John Smith, Doctor of Laws”; “The department offers a Master of Arts in Literature”).
- Lowercase short forms and degrees mentioned in general terms: “bachelor of arts degree,” “master’s,” “doctorate,” “graduate certificate.”
- Capitalize abbreviations and insert periods: A.B., B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.; “Robert Kerr, Ph.D. candidate.”
- Use the possessive form (master’s, bachelor’s) for degrees.
- Avoid mixing forms, as in “He received his master’s and doctoral degrees.” “Master’s and doctor’s degrees” would be preferable (or rewrite the sentence).
departments, divisions, colleges, and schools:
Capitalize the full name or shortened form:
- Department of Anthropology
- Anthropology Department
- Oakes College
Lowercase these terms when used alone or generically:
- The Women’s Studies Department includes faculty from a number of disciplines. The department offers a wide range of courses.
- the department, the departments
- The school is considered one of the best in the U.S.
See also the entry for disciplines, majors, and programs.
For additional guidance on this topic, visit www.adata.org.
- Do not refer to a person’s disability in public documents without his or her consent. Verify how the person wishes to refer to his or her disability.
- In general, refer to the person first and the disability second (this avoids defining the person by the disability). Emphasize ability, not limitations. Examples: “She uses a wheelchair,” not “She is wheelchair-bound.” And “A person who is deaf,” not “A deaf person.”
- In references to facilities, emphasize accessibility rather than disability (“accessible parking” and “accessible restrooms”). Do not use the word “handicapped.”
- Use neutral language and avoid negative terms like “victim,” “invalid,” or “afflicted.”
- Avoid euphemisms such as “challenged,” “differently abled,” and “special.” Many people find these terms condescending.
- Avoid terms like “normal,” or “able-bodied” for those without disabilities.
disciplines, majors, and programs:
Lowercase the names of disciplines, majors, and undergraduate and graduate programs when not part of a formal name:
- astronomy and astrophysics program
- Earth sciences courses
- history of consciousness program
- legal studies major
- master’s program in chemistry
- M.S. program in applied economics and finance
Capitalize disciplines when part of the department name or when used to indicate a course:
- Department of Sociology
- Astronomy and Astrophysics Department
- Anthropology 101
Capitalize proper names within the names of majors and disciplines:
- American studies
- French literature
- Latin American and Latino studies major
- Earth sciences
Capitalize the following uses of “program” if part of the formal name (visit a program’s website if you are not sure of its formal name):
- Science Communication Program
- Writing Program
Dr. (as in “Dr. Jones):
Use for medical doctors.
ellipsis ( … ):
Use an ellipsis (plural “ellipses”) to indicate the deletion of one or more words when condensing quotes. Be careful not to distort the meaning when shortening quotes. In general, treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word constructed with three periods and two spaces, as shown above. For complete details of punctuating ellipses, see AP.
See brackets ([/]) above for words inserted in a quotation.
email (not “e-mail” or “Email” or “E-mail”):
In directories, no need to preface email addresses with “email.”
When referring to UC Santa Cruz endowed chairs, use the full formal name (“The Ida Benson Lynn Endowed Chair in Ocean Health”). When referring to the chair holder, use the following abbreviated form that incorporates the donor’s last name and the area of study: “James Zachos, the Lynn Professor of Ocean Health.” Note that some chairs use “in” and some use “for” in the title. For a complete list of UC Santa Cruz endowed chairs, see http://news.ucsc.edu/awards/endowed-chairs.html
Use “Narrative Evaluation System” (specific to UC Santa Cruz) in a historical context only. Lowercase short and general forms: “narrative evaluations,” “evaluation system.”
every day vs. everyday:
Every day is an adverb. Everyday is an adjective.
She goes to work every day. He wears everyday shoes.
Lowercase when used alone, when referring to faculty members of a college, or in combination with a granting organization:
- an NIH fellow
- a Guggenheim fellowship
- a fellow of the American Economic Association
- a fellow of Cowell College
Capitalize the names of specific grants, scholarships, and loans (Regents Scholarships, Regents Fellowships, University Loans, Pell Grants)
Capitalize the full names of forms; lowercase shortened or general forms.
- Application for Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships
- Petition for Removal of Incomplete
- admission application
- fee waiver form
Hyphenate (“one-third,” “one-half,” etc.)
- Avoid “man,” “mankind,” and words ending in “-man” (such as “fireman” and “chairman”) Substitute: “humanity,” “people,” “worker,” firefighter,” or “chair.”
- Use “his or her” or “he or she” when referring to an unspecified individual; use specific gender references (“he,” “his,” “she,” “her”) as appropriate for specified individuals. Do not use “he/she” or “his/her.” Overall, though, it is preferable to avoid this usage if possible; use plural construction or recast the sentence to substitute “they” or “you.” (“Students must pay their fees,” or “You should pay your fees.”)
- UC Santa Cruz style recognizes that people have a range of pronouns. In campus publications, people can be referred to as he, she, or they. The writer should take care to avoid confusion on the reader’s part. While the use of “they” as a singular pronoun is acceptable, try to reword when possible, since this gender-neutral construction is still unfamiliar to many readers.
For example, in stories about people who identify as neither male nor female, or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person. Here’s an example of rewording:
Hendricks said the new job is a thrill (instead of Hendricks said Hendricks is thrilled about the new job or Hendricks said they are thrilled about the new job).
- Avoid references to “both genders” or “either gender.” Instead use “all genders” or “any gender.”
general education requirements:
Lowercase unless a specific program title.
Follow AP style. Lowercase in text “The governor signed the bill”); capitalize and abbreviate if used as title before a name (“Gov. Brown signed the bill”).
Acceptable in most usages; spell out “grade point average” (lowercase) if needed for clarity.
“seventh-grader,” “seventh-grade students,” “the seventh grade.”
grades and course notations:
- Capitalize course notations and grades (Pass, No Pass, Incomplete, In Progress, Withdrawal; P, NP, I, IP, W; A, B, C, D, F). Do not enclose in quotation marks or use italics; instead, rephrase sentence if needed for clarity. Use the term “notation,” unless referring to a letter grade.
- Do not use quotes or italics to set off letter grades (“a student with a B average”; “a grade of C or better”).
Capitalize the first word only, unless the headline contains a word that is capitalized in text (such as “English,” “African,” or “Earth”).
hyphenation of compound words:
Hyphenation of compound words generally follows Webster’s, so when in doubt, consult that reference. Here are some basic rules: Words formed with prefixes are not usually hyphenated:
Exceptions: When the second element is capitalized, when the second element is a figure, to avoid letter duplication, or to distinguish homonyms:
- pre-Civil War
- pre-register, pre-registration
- re-enter, re-entry
- re-create, un-ionized
Many compounds that are spelled open as nouns are hyphenated as adjectives:
- child-care program; she needed more child care (not childcare)
- field-study program; she conducted a field study (not fieldstudy)
- full-time or part-time job; he works part time
- health-care services; they lacked adequate health care (not healthcare)
- low-income family; the family had a low income
- lower-division course
- ninth-century manuscript
- off-campus housing; she lives off campus
Compounds that begin with adverbs ending in “-ly” are not hyphenated:
- highly complex species
- poorly organized paper
For compound hyphenation, use this form:
- two- to three-hour period
Preferred forms of some commonly used compounds and other terms:
- African American, Asian American, Mexican American, and similar compound words are not hyphenated when used as modifiers.
- campuswide, statewide
- copyedit (but copy editor)
- corequisite, prerequisite
- cross-cultural (hyphenated in all uses)
- decision making
- fundraising, fundraiser
- high school physics; he attended high school (not high-school)
- home page
- Indigenous (in reference to original inhabitants of a place)
- interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary
- internet, the net
- nonprofit (adj.)
- nonrefundable (adj.)
- online, offline
- postdoctorate, postgraduate
- vice chancellor, vice president (not hyphenated)
- voicemail (not “voice-mail” or “voice mail”)
- wait list (n.); wait-listed (adj.)
- the web; web-based (adj.); website
- well-xxx (hyphenated before and after the noun: well-regarded, well-edited, etc.)
- year-round (adj.)
Use “International Baccalaureate exam(s)” on first mention; after that, “IB exam(s).”
Capitalize this term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place. “Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of Indigenous relations in Australia.” “Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples represent some 62% of the population.”
initials in names:
Try to avoid middle initials in publications unless a person typically uses them as part of his or her name. Initials can be used as part of a signature (“UC Provost Jane M. Smith”). Note that a space is typically used between two initials in a name (“E. B. White”). One exception to this rule: Former UC Santa Cruz Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood uses no spaces between initials.
Lowercase. Avoid using “on the internet;” use “online.”
Do not capitalize (an intranet is one of many)
Latino/Latina, Hispanic, Mexican American, and Chicano/Chicana:
Usage in this area varies, but in general:
- Use “Latino” (or “Latina” for female individuals) to refer to people of Latin American descent who live in the U.S. (those living in Latin America are “Latin Americans”). Latin America includes Mexico, Central America, and South America; it also includes Brazil (where Portuguese is spoken). “Latino” is always capitalized.
- “Hispanic” generally refers to people who originated in Spanish-speaking countries (including Spain). It does not include people from Brazil. “Hispanic” is capitalized.
- “Mexican American” (or “Cuban American,” “Peruvian American,” etc.) can be used to refer to people from specific countries. These terms are not hyphenated when used as modifiers.
- “Chicano” (or “Chicana”) is a term preferred by some, but not all, Mexican Americans living in the U.S. It can be used carefully to refer to these people and groups (and can also be used in a historical context).
- Some prefer the recently coined gender-neutral terms Latinx or Chicanx, which should be confined to quotations, names of organizations, or descriptions of individuals who request it and should be accompanied by a short explanation. “Hernandez prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx.” For groups of females, use the plural Latinas; for groups of males or of mixed gender, use the plural Latinos.
Lowercase only if generic (not referencing the California Legislature). If California is implied, then cap (“the Legislature;” “the state Legislature”).
John R. Lewis College:
UC Santa Cruz announced in October 2021 that College Ten would be named in honor of the late congressman and civil rights icon John R. Lewis. The formal name change took place in May 2022. Use the full name “John R. Lewis College” when referring to the college. Do not use shortened versions such as “John Lewis” or “Lewis.”
log in or log on (v.), login (n.), log-in (adj.):
- Be careful when you log in (or log on).
- Her login was unsuccessful
- She used an incorrect log-in code.
See the entry for disciplines, majors, and programs, above.
When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. (per AP).
Follow AP style. Spell out numbers up to and including nine, and use figures for 10 and above:
- one, eight, nine
- 10, 21, 105, 2,436
Number usage can be mixed in the same sentence or paragraph:
- Two administrators and 11 faculty members from UC Santa gave reports. Eleven journalists, three legislators, and 146 community members voiced their opinions.
Use the same rules for ordinal numbers:
- second, ninth, 10th, 25th, 169th
- UCSC’s five tennis players ranked first, third, 10th, l6th, and 23rd in the men’s singles competition.
Spell out numbers that begin a sentence or the title of a course. Spell out numbers one through nine if they occur with “century,” and use figures for 10 and above. In these cases, also spell out the numeral if it appears at the beginning of the sentence or course title:
- Twentieth-Century Chinese Art
- French History: The 19th Century
- Classical Chinese Culture and Literature: Sixth Century through 16th Century
- Professor Emerita Nicole Paiement specializes in 20th-century French music.
- Twentieth-century Caribbean and Latin American literatures and cultural studies is Professor Lourdes Martínez-Echazábal’s field.
Use figures for course numbers, course credits or units, page numbers, scores, percentages, compound numbers, decimal fractions, and very large numbers:
- Biology 3
- 5-credit course
- page 7
- 4 feet 7 inches
- $5 billion
- 3 million years ago
office names, administrative and academic:
Capitalize full names of offices (and their shortened forms when it’s a clear reference to the UC Santa Cruz campus):
- Office of the Department of Theater Arts; Theater Arts Department Office
- Office of the Chancellor; Chancellor’s Office
Note: Some campus offices prefer the use of complete names (e.g., “Office of the Registrar,” “Office of Admissions”).
Use the % sign when paired with a number, with no space, in most cases (a change in 2019): Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago; her mortgage rate is 4.75%; about 60% of Americans agreed; he won 56.2% of the vote.
In casual uses, use words rather than figures and numbers: She said he has a zero percent chance of winning.
At the start of a sentence: Try to avoid this construction. If it’s necessary to start a sentence with a percentage, spell out both: Eighty-nine percent of sentences don’t have to begin with a number.
phone number formats for U.S. numbers:
(212) 727-2074. Use a hyphen, not an en dash.
place and regional names:
Capitalize full names of specific places and recognized regions. Do not capitalize if the reference is to a more general area. Examples:
- Central Coast
- Southern, Northern, and Central California
- East Coast, West Coast (but eastern U.S.)
- Monterey Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area
- Salinas Valley, Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Central Valley
Related lowercase uses include central Africa, western Asia, eastern Nevada.
Lowercase names of quarters (“winter quarter”). No comma is used between quarter and year (“spring quarter 2020”). In general, use “quarter” instead of “term,” though the latter may be necessary with references that include UC Berkeley and UC Merced.
Capitalize only as a formal title before one or more names, or when referring to the organizational body by formal name:
- the Board of Regents of the University of California
- the Board of Regents
- the regents
- Regent Richard C. Blum
- Richard C. Blum and Sherry L. Lansing are regents
- American history and institutions requirement
- English/reading and composition requirement
- language other than English requirement
- subject requirement
- examination requirement
senior thesis, senior project:
Social Security number:
Do not capitalize when referring to a specific program or when referring to the period of time (“She took the class during the first summer session”; “The summer session at UC Santa Cruz is popular.”)
time of day:
In correspondence and press releases, use lowercase “a.m.” and “p.m.” with a space after the numeral.
- 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
These forms are preferred for noon and midnight (Do not use “12 a.m.” or “12 p.m.”).
- 12 noon; noon
- 12 midnight; midnight
For class time ranges and other durations involving minutes, use the following style, employing the en-dash—a slightly longer dash than a hyphen, made by simultaneously pressing option-hyphen:
- 8:00–9:10 a.m.
- 4:15–11:00 p.m.
titles, academic and administrative:
In general, capitalize formal or courtesy titles—“president,” “chancellor,” “senator”—that directly precede names of individuals. Lowercase titles after names and when they are used descriptively.
- Dean Paul Koch met with students.
- The dean of the Division of Graduate Studies has retired.
- The provost of Crown College is giving a lecture.
- Chancellor Cynthia Larive chaired the committee.
- Cynthia Larive, the chancellor, agreed to the plan.
- Chancellor Emeritus Karl Pister
- Karl Pister, chancellor emeritus
- Professor Eric Porter
- history professor Eric Porter (“history professor” is descriptive)
- UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D.
- Associate Professor Jane Doe
The title “professor” should be used only for full professors; “associate professor,” “assistant professor,” or “lecturer” should be used as appropriate. “Professor” is acceptable to refer to all ladder-rank faculty in headlines. Occupational or descriptive titles are lowercased:
- novelist Toni Morrison
- historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
titles of events and programs:
Capitalize title (as noted in the section below) and enclose in quotes (“University Forum: Community Partnerships in the Time of COVID”).
titles of works and publications:
Note that the following rules apply to text only and are not necessarily correct bibliographic form. Also note that this usage differs from AP style; it instead follows the Chicago Manual of Style.
The full or abridged titles of published books, pamphlets, and periodicals should be capitalized and italicized. These guidelines also apply to the titles of campus print and online publications.
- University of California, Santa Cruz, General Catalog, 2019–20
- UC Santa Cruz General Catalog
- Fall 2019 Schedule of Classes
General and descriptive titles should be lowercase (not italic):
- fall schedule
Articles, prepositions, and coordinate conjunctions should be lowercase in titles unless they are the first or last words; lowercase the “to” in infinitives.
- The Last of the Mohicans
- A Rage to Live
In addition to published books, pamphlets, newspapers, and periodicals, the titles of long poems, plays, major musical works, paintings and sculptures, compiled music recordings (CDs, records, albums), radio and television programs, movies, and DVDs are capitalized and set in italics:
- a story in the San Jose Mercury News
- an article in Foreign Affairs
- Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice
- the film Monster’s Ball
- the television program Grey’s Anatomy
- the radio program All Things Considered
- Don Giovanni by Mozart
- El Greco’s View of Toledo
- Tom Jones by Fielding
The titles of articles, songs, short poems, and parts of books are capitalized, set in roman (non-italic) type, and enclosed in quotation marks:
- “Silent Night”
- “The Raven”
- Professor Thackeray’s article is titled “Which Way Is Up?”
Similarly, the names of unpublished works such as master’s theses and dissertations should be enclosed in quotation marks in roman type:
- Her dissertation was titled “Women in Early America.”
- His thesis, “Man and His World,” was …
- Do you like the song “Frère Jacques?”
Note that commas and periods are set inside of quotation marks; colons and semicolons are placed outside of quotation marks (unless they are part of the matter quoted).
Lowercase; don’t use “transfers.”
Avoid underlining in computer-generated documents. Underlining originally indicated italic text in typewritten documents, but it is no longer used.
University of California title:
Capitalize “University of California”; lowercase “university” when not using the formal title.
- The University of California has revised its policy on smoking.
- The university’s current drug policy is consistent with previous policies.
University of California campuses:
Format as follows: “University of California, Campus Name.” Do not use “at” between the main elements. Instead, use commas before the campus name (and after the campus name if additional text follows):
- The University of California, Santa Cruz, opened in 1965.
- She attended the University of California, Davis.
Full name on first reference is preferred. The following short forms are acceptable:
- UC Berkeley
- UC Davis
- UC Irvine
- UC Merced
- UC Riverside
- UC San Diego
- UC San Francisco, UCSF
- UC Santa Barbara
- UC Santa Cruz
Hyphenate as a modifier (“upper-division students,” “lower-division courses”).
For URLs cited in text use the following guidelines. The type style (italic or colored type) can vary, but avoid underlining.
- Cut http:// but retain www.
- Use http:// if there is no www. Example: http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu
- https:// Required to access secure sites. Do not cut.
- If possible, avoid breaking URLs across lines in print documents or PDFs. If necessary, break after a slash or a dot. For very long internal URLs, consider using a shorter redirect.
Use periods. Use only as an adjective (“U.S. citizens”); use “the United States” for nouns (“He was born in the United States”). Do not use “America” as a synonym for the “United States.”
Cap letter and hyphenate visa designation; lowercase visa: “F-1 visa.”
web, the web, website:
In July 2020, the Associated Press decided it would continue to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic, and cultural senses.
This decision follows its move in June to capitalize Black in such uses. The AP consulted with a wide group of people internally and externally around the globe and considered a variety of commentary in making these decisions.
There was clear desire and reason to capitalize Black. Most notably, people who are Black have strong historical and cultural commonalities, even if they are from different parts of the world and even if they now live in different parts of the world. That includes the shared experience of discrimination due solely to the color of one’s skin.
They found less support for capitalizing white. White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color.
The AP will closely watch how usage and thought evolves, and will periodically review its decision.
work in progress:
years (academic and fiscal):
Connect with en dashes, as follows: 1996–97; 1999–2000; 2020–21. For fiscal years, use “FY 1996–97” (with a space). Avoid constructions such as the following: 1996–1997, 1996/97, 1996/1997, 96-97, 96/97).