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  • Avoid excessive capitalization as it is cumbersome for the reader.

  • “University” is capitalized when preceded by “the” as a definite article. Lowercase the word “university” in other uses.

  • Capitalize all full and proper names of university centers, colleges, schools, departments, divisions, offices, and units: Office of Admissions

  • Centers, colleges, schools, departments, divisions, offices, and units may be shortened on second reference. Keep the abbreviated name capitalized: The Division of Student Affairs has many staff positions. Employees within Student Affairs work in buildings across campus.

  • When referenced without their specific titles, centers, colleges, schools, departments, divisions, offices, and units are not capitalized on second reference: The College of Education is expanding. The college will soon need a larger building.

  • Lowercase when referring to a function vs. a unit: The admissions process will be streamlined.

  • Capitalize “Laboratory School(s)” and “Lab School(s)” when used in reference to University High School and Metcalf School.

  • Capitalize the principal words in Board of Trustees when referring to the University’s governing body. Otherwise lowercase board of trustees and always lowercase board of directors.

  • Professional titles are only capitalized in narrative text when they precede an individual’s name. They are otherwise lowercased. Titles are capitalized when they appear below a signature, on business cards, in programs, etc.

  • Capitalize committee and scholarship names when using the full or abbreviated name.

  • Capitalize “Distinguished Professor” in all references.

  • Capitalize fellowships and professorships in all references.
  • Capitalize alumni chapter names and professional organizations.
  • Capitalize course names of all languages and all courses when the full name is used. The convention for shortened course titles is to use the abbreviated department code in capital letters, followed by a space and the course number: PSY 101

  • Capitalize and italicize titles of books, plays, magazines, articles, newspapers, etc. Conjunctions are capitalized only if they start or end the title.

  • Capitalize the following annual events: Homecoming, Homecoming Parade, Family Weekend, and The Founding. Lowercase commencement, finals week, graduation, and semester.

  • Departmental majors, minors, degrees, sequences, and programs are not capitalized: Jane Doe is an accounting student in the College of Business.

  • Do not capitalize the names of departments, divisions, offices, and units of companies or other universities.

  • Seasons of the year are not capitalized.
  • Keep “box office” or “ticket office” lowercased when used in a generic sense but capitalize when used in a specific reference: Contact the Bone Student Center Box Office for tickets.

  • Capitalize “Email” when used before an address in a listing, but keep it lowercased in narrative text.

  • Lowercase the titles of professional certificates and licenses: forensic nursing certificate

  • Capitalize “City of Bloomington” and “Town of Normal."

Naming conventions

The following are specific brands and names with custom spelling. All examples below demonstrate the correct way to spell and capitalize these names:

  •—Illinois State University’s portal
  • iPeople—Online Human Resources management software
  • Canvas—Illinois State University’s web-based learning and collaboration system