Editorial Style Guide

The UC Davis Office of Strategic Communications generally conforms to The Associated Press Stylebook, and recommends other UC Davis units do the same. We differ from AP on some styles, particularly in regard to our guidelines for writing about higher education. Here, in the same format AP uses, we present AP sections that we wish to emphasize, and-or provide examples from higher education; AP sections in which our styles are different from AP’s; and UC Davis-specific entries. Boldface indicates keywords for entries in this style guide or the AP Stylebook.

This is a work in progress, and we will revisit and update these practices. We always appreciate your feedback. Please email comments to dateline@ucdavis.edu.


abbreviations and acronyms. AP’s guidance is especially important in higher education, given our penchant for acronyms: “In general, avoid alphabet soup.”

  • For internal audiences, well-known acronyms are acceptable, say, ASUCD, for Associated Students of the University of California, Davis. But, you can never go wrong with full names on first reference, say, Information and Educational Technology, instead of IET.
  • When you provide a full name, and you intend to use its acronym later in your story (once or multiple times), you should introduce it with commas, not parentheses, and use “or” before the acronym: Information and Educational Technology, or IET. This may not be necessary if the full name and acronym are in close proximity to each other, say, within the same paragraph. The farther the distance, the more you may want to use the full name again and avoid the acronym altogether.
  • Always spell out University of California, Davis, on first reference in news releases (including comma after Davis, unless it ends a sentence). UC Davis on second reference.
  • Some abbreviations are universally recognized and acceptable before a name: Gov., Lt. Gov., Sen., Rep. and state Sen., but do not abbreviate president, vice president, secretary, assemblyman, assemblywoman or assemblymember, and capitalize the aforementioned titles only before a name.
  • Also acceptable: the Rev. and, in some cases at UC Davis, Dr. See “doctor/Dr.” under titles. Jr. and Sr. after a name.
  • See AP abbreviations and acronyms for further guidance (including style for states, times, dates and months). Look elsewhere in this document for guidance on Activities and Recreation Center, Memorial Union and Quadrangle.

academic degrees. With the exception of the alumni sections of campus publications, spell out Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Science degree. Ph.D. is acceptable in all references. Also acceptable: doctorate and doctoral degree, but not doctorate degree (“doctoral” is the adjectival form). Remember the possessive form for bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, but not associate degree. In a story about multiple people, spell out each degree on first reference, then switch to B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S. and A.A. Do not capitalize the degree subject (unless it is a proper noun): He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English. He holds a doctorate in physics. When used after a name, set off academic degree abbreviations with commas: Pam Ronald, Ph.D., researches cell and developmental biology. Avoid mixing forms, such as, She received master’s and doctoral degrees. Instead: She received master’s and doctor’s degrees. Other UC Davis degrees include M.F.A. and M.B.A.; note our use of periods, particularly in M.B.A., whereas AP uses MBA.

academic departments. See “academic departments and programs” under names.

academic majors. Lowercase all majors except those incorporating proper nouns: John Doe is majoring in physics. Jane Doe’s major is English. John Doe double-majored in Chicana/Chicano studies and art history.

academic programs. See “academic departments and programs” under names.

academic titles. See “academic and professional titles” under titles.

acronyms. See abbreviations and acronyms.

acting and interim. Contrary to AP, capitalize “Acting” before a title, as in Acting Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter (or Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter). “Acting” is used when the person who actually holds the position is still with UC Davis, but temporarily assigned elsewhere. “Interim” (capitalized before a name) is used when the position is vacant. Lowercase “acting” and “interim” after a name.

Activities and Recreation Center, or ARC. Spell out on first reference for external audiences; ARC is acceptable in all references for campus audiences. Also see Pavilion, The, or The Pavilion at the ARC.

advisor. This is an exception to AP style, primarily in consideration of the academic advising community’s preference.

African, African American, Black. Ask subjects their preferred term if race in the story is relevant. If no stated preference, use Black. Do not assume a Black person is African American. Be as specific as possible in honoring preferences, such as Nigerian or Haitian American. No hyphen when using African American as an adjective. Aim to use Black as an adjective, not a noun. However, “Blacks” is acceptable in headlines. Capitalize words of color when used appropriately to describe race, such as Black community, Brown community, White community. Do not capitalize when referencing racist terms or actions, such as “white supremacists.” (Source: National Association of Black Journalists)

Aggie Hero, Aggie Heroes. A recognition program begun by Chancellor Gary S. May in 2018-19.

Aggie Pride

Aggie Square. A collaborative effort of UC Davis and the city of Sacramento, for an innovation hub on the Sacramento campus, with construction scheduled to start in mid-2021.

Agricultural Experiment Station. The research arm of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. Capitalize as shown. See Cooperative Extension.

Agriculture and Natural Resources. A UC-wide division, but “division” is no longer part of the name. Headquartered in Davis (off campus).

alum, alumni. Use the gender-inclusive “alum” for singular and “alumni” for plural. Avoid “alumna,” “alumnus” and “alumnae.” Use class year to denote alumni status: inverted apostrophe and two-digit year without commas for undergraduate degrees; with commas and degree initials for graduate degrees. Example: “Jane Smith, Ph.D. ’99, became president today, and Joe Smith ’89 is the first gentleman.”

  • Do not refer to current students with their class years or as alumni.
  • Do not refer to an individual person as “an alumni”
  • Avoid repetition: Instead of “alum Joe Smith ’99,” use “Joe Smith ’99” or “alum Joe Smith.
  • An individual need not have graduated from UC Davis to be considered an alum; any individual who attended UC Davis as a regularly enrolled student for three quarters or one year is considered an alum by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. For guidelines on identifying alumni who changed their names upon marrying after graduating, consult “individuals” under names.

Americans with Disabilities Act. Lower-case “w.” ADA is acceptable on second reference. (Sources: ADA.gov, AP Stylebook)

ampersand. Do not use in the names of university units, programs and buildings. Use the ampersand when it is part of a company’s formal name or a composition title. The ampersand should not otherwise be used in place of “and,” except for some accepted abbreviations: B&B, R&B.

annual. An annual event happens every year. For a new event, don’t use “first annual” — the event hasn’t established that yet. Instead, note that organizers plan to hold the event annually. Also, be careful about events that may have been annual at one time but subsequently skipped some years — such as Picnic Day and Powwow. For such situations, you can call it the “annual” open house, but don’t associate a number with that use of annual. Do indicate how many times the event has been held; e.g. the 108th Picnic Day. (Source: AP Stylebook)

Arboretum. See Arboretum and Public Garden (next entry).

Arboretum and Public Garden. This is the official title of the Davis campus environment as a whole (including the Arboretum and other gardens and landscaping). For news releases, it is officially the University of California, Davis, Arboretum and Public Garden, or the Arboretum and Public Garden at the University of California, Davis. When referring to the “arboretum” as a place, it is the UC Davis Arboretum or the Arboretum (news releases should spell out University of California, Davis). Stories about the “public garden” should reference its role in our overall environment known as the Arboretum and Public Garden.

area codes. See telephone numbers (including area codes).

art exhibitions. See composition titles.

artist-in-residence. See in-residence.

artworks. See composition titles.

assistant professor, associate professor. See “academic and professional titles” under titles.

asterisk. Do not use in text. If adding footnote material at the bottom of a story, note this in parentheses, referring readers to the bottom of the story.

attribution. Attribute any statement that is not a widely known fact or that is a matter of opinion and is subject to potential disagreement. The statement His nose is 44 picas long does not require attribution as long as it is true; the statement His nose looks like a banana should have attribution because it’s an opinion subject to disagreement. Use caution in choosing verbs for attribution. Forms of the verb “say” are impartial and appear objective; other verbs, however, can inadvertently tint your writing with unintended shades of meaning. Words such as noted, commented, claimed, suggested, charged, denied and asserted should be used with precision, not just for the sake of variety. Even innocent-sounding verbs such as stated and told can unwittingly make a source sound dogmatic or didactic. In general, present tense is acceptable in paraphrasing a line of thought that an individual continuously expresses, but past tense is preferable in citing a literal quotation that an individual uttered at a specific time. See tense.

author. A noun. Do not use it as a verb.


Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science. A bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s is acceptable in any reference. See academic degrees for guidelines on when the abbreviations B.A. or B.S. are acceptable.

Baggins End. This name for “the domes” student housing on campus does not contain an apostrophe; it is named after Bilbo Baggins, a character in The Hobbit. Note: Lowercase “domes.”

Bay Area. In news releases or publications with distribution limited to Northern California, this term, with both words capitalized, may be used to denote the nine-county region around San Francisco. For publications or news releases with national distribution, refer to the San Francisco Bay Area (since there are other “bay areas” in other regions).

blogs. See composition titles.

board of directors, board of trustees. Lowercase.

books and periodicals. See composition titles.

brackets. Contrary to AP, use brackets to insert words to clarify a quotation: I received my B.A. at [the University of] Pennsylvania. Use parentheses for additional information within your own writing: I ate a late lunch at the CoHo (of course I ate there!), so I skipped dinner. See punctuation.

building. Capitalize the proper names of buildings, including the word “building” if it is an integral part of the proper name: Art Building, Social Sciences and Humanities Building. Never abbreviate “building.” For buildings named after people, abridged names are acceptable (Mrak Hall for Emil M. Mrak Hall and Hart Hall for George Hart Hall) except in stories and communications associated with philanthropy (gifts to fund construction), groundbreakings and dedications, and other ceremonial events. On first reference, spell out university names that may be unfamiliar to your audience. Terms like The Pavilion at the ARC — perfectly acceptable for campus audiences — may be unclear to off-campus readers and thus should be spelled out on first reference in news releases and many publications distributed to external audiences. Consult the online campus map for guidance on building names, but note the map is not a definitive source (for example, it lists Ann E. Pitzer Center, whereas Pitzer Center is preferred in most instances; and the map includes ampersands — for example, in Physical Sciences & Engineering Library) — that should not be used in campus names).


Cal Aggie Marching Band Alumni Association, also known as the Cal Aggie Alumni Band. The university discontinued its relationship with this organization, Sept. 3, 2019.

California. Lowercase all “state of” constructions: the state of California. Also see AP state, government and governmental bodies.

California Aggie Marching Band, also known as the Cal Aggie Marching Band-Uh! The university discontinued this student-run organization under either name, Sept. 3, 2019. Replaced by the UC Davis Marching Band as a university-supervised organization.

campus. The Davis campus (not “main campus”) is the designation for facilities and programs in Davis. The Sacramento campus is the designation for facilities and programs located in the area around Stockton Boulevard and Broadway in Sacramento, including the UC Davis Medical Center, School of Medicine and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Lowercase campus in all instances: the Davis campus.

campus music ensembles. Refer to the Department of Music website.

campuswide. When used as a suffix, “wide” is not usually hyphenated.

capitalization. In general, avoid unnecessary capitals. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one or more of the principles in AP capitalization. Chancellor does not qualify for a cap C (unless before his or her name) and university does not qualify for a cap U (unless part of a formal name).

captions. Full sentences generally are preferable to sentence fragments. Since a good picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, a caption should do more than reiterate what is obvious in the photo; a good caption should enhance and clarify that which is not immediately obvious in the photo. Depending upon the context, some thumbnail images or mugshots may require no more than a name line — simply the name of the individual or object shown. Use no period after a name line. In all other instances, use a period to conclude all captions — even those that are incomplete sentences.

  • identification: Ideally, we should identify every person whose face may be recognizable (this does not mean we need to ID everyone in a photo, but at least the central figures). When identifying multiple people, we recommend always going left to right (sometimes clockwise or counterclockwise will work, if left to right is unmanageable — and be sure to indicate direction, set off by commas. Use a combination of colons, boldface type and long dashes when identifying people in multiple rows.
    • Vice Chancellor Prasant Mohapatra, left, and Vice Chancellor Shaun Keister address news conference on research funding.
    • The University Farm Circle presents a check to the university. Pictured, from left: Front row — A, B, C and D. Back row — A, B, C and D. (Note: Insert “from left” only before the front row.)
  • tense: Since a photograph freezes a moment in time, present tense often works well in captions, particularly for actions that continue into the present. It is sometimes preferable, however, to write captions in past tense — for example, in writing about conditions that no longer exist. It is also preferable not to mix tenses within the same caption:
    • Scientists from the UC Davis Department of Applied Science conduct fusion research using a laser at Livermore.
    • Faith Fitzgerald examines the knee of a patient with arthritis.
    • Chancellor Gary S. May met with students, parents and alumni at a reception in Fresno in September. (“Meets” could cause confusion — last September or next September?)
    • The building was destroyed by fire a week after this photo was taken.
  • credit lines: UC Davis Magazine and Dateline UC Davis generally credit photographer-artist affiliation with name/UC Davis or company name, in parentheses:
    • (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
    • (Neil Michel/Axiom)
  • courtesy and stock photos:
    • (Courtesy of Keith Williams)
    • (Getty Images)
  • freestanding overall credit line covering all photos in a story:
    • Photos by Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis
  • credit line punctuation and placement: Do not use a period to end a credit line.
  • Dateline UC Davis in general places captions under photos, in parentheses at caption end, with no line break: Bill Gates hands check to Chancellor Gary S. May to build new computer research center. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
  • UC Davis Magazine in general places credit lines, sans parentheses, adjacent to photos, separate from captions.

chancellor. Do not capitalize unless it is before the chancellor’s name.

Chicano, Hispanic, Latino, Mexican American. These terms, which should be capitalized, have distinct meanings that depend, to a large extent, on the interpretations and preferences of individuals. But, according to the AP Stylebook, the preferred term is Hispanic for people whose ethnic origin is a Spanish-speaking country. Latino is an acceptable alternative for people who prefer that term. When possible, use a more specific identification, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican or Mexican American. Avoid Chicano as a synonym for Mexican American. Chicanx and Latinx are acceptable for groups and organizations, depending on their preference.

Chicanx and Latinx. Acceptable for groups and organizations, depending on their preference.

Chinese names. Note that in China the family name is first (and usually short, three to six letters). So in China it’s Liu Kwang-Ching, but in America it’s Kwang-Ching Liu.

city and county. Do not capitalize “city” or “county” in “city of” and “county of” constructions: the city of Davis, the county of Yolo.

city council. Capitalize when part of a proper name: the Davis City Council. The council or City Council on second reference, capping City and Council if the reference is to a specific council but the context does not require the city name.

class names. See course titles.

class year. Do not disclose a student’s class year standing without his or her permission. Instead, refer to a student only as an undergraduate (or graduate student or doctoral student).

coed. The preferred term as a noun is female student, but coed is acceptable as an adjective to describe coeducational institutions. No hyphen.

Coffee House. Two words for this establishment in the Memorial Union. CoHo is acceptable on second reference, and, in some cases, on first reference, provided you spell it out shortly thereafter. In other instances, coffeehouse is one word.

college and university names. See “college and university names” under names.

comma. Do not use the Oxford (or serial) comma.

commencement. Lowercase in the generic. Do not say commencement ceremony; it is redundant.

composition titles (Notes: When using italics, do not use quote marks, and vice versa; and capitalize “The” if part of a title.)

  • artwork: italics
  • article: quote marks, title case
  • blog: no italics, no quote marks
  • book: italics
  • exhibition: quote marks
  • game (video, online, analog): no italics, no quote marks
  • journal: no italics, no quote marks
  • lecture: quote marks, no italics
  • movie: italics, no quote marks
  • music (descriptive titles): italics (William Tell Overture)
  • music (generic): no italics, no quote marks (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5)
  • newspaper and magazine: no italics, no quote marks
  • other periodical: no italics, no quote marks
  • play: italics
  • podcast: italics, title case
  • poem: italics (no quote marks) for long poems and collections of poems, quote marks for short poems
  • software: no italics
  • television series and individual show: italics, but individual episodes of a series receive quote marks
  • television series episode: quote marks
  • unpublished work: quote marks, title case
  • website: no italics, no quote marks

conference titles. Full official names of conferences should be capitalized: 1990 International Conference on Family Planning Programs. Do not treat such appendages as “annual meeting” as part of titles; lowercase them: 39th annual American Institute of Biological Sciences meeting. A title given to a conference is enclosed in quote marks: “Systematic Investigation of the Effects of Caffeine in Stimulating Intellectual Discourse Among Philosophers.” Titles of lectures and papers that are read at symposia or conferences (as unpublished works) should be set within quote marks.

congressional. Lowercase unless part of a proper name: congressional salaries, the Congressional Quarterly, the Congressional Record.

Cooperative Extension. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has two major units: the Agricultural Experiment Station, a research arm, and Cooperative Extension, the educational arm. Cooperative Extension works in partnership with county, state and federal government agencies in developing practical applications of research findings and in identifying farming problems trade requiring investigation by agricultural scientists. Cooperative Extension specialists are stationed on the Davis, Berkeley and Riverside campuses; Cooperative Extension advisors (farm advisors and home advisors) are stationed in local offices throughout the state. Specialists are adjuncts of academic departments, with expertise in particular subject areas: He is a Cooperative Extension specialist in vegetable crops, in pesticide safety, in range and wildlife management, etc. Use the term Cooperative Extension on first reference; extension alone is acceptable on subsequent references. Treat “specialist” and “advisor” as formal titles, thus capitalizing them before the name of an individual: Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Fred Schrader; use lowercase following a name: Fred Schrader, Cooperative Extension farm advisor.

cop. Be careful in the use of this colloquial term for police officer. It may be used in lighter stories and in casual, informal descriptions, but often is a derogatory term out of place in serious police stories.

copyright/registered mark/trademark. ©/®/™. Do not use; they are not required in journalistic publications. If we agree to indicate copyright on a story or image, spell it out: The Mona Lisa. (Copyright Leonardo da Vinci).

councilmember. Preferable to APs councilman and councilwoman. Capitalize before a name.

course numbers. Use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject when used with a numeral: History 6, Philosophy 209. Otherwise, lowercase: calculus, world history.

course titles. Title case, within quote marks: “Introduction to Astrophysics.”

courtesy titles. See “individuals” under names.


Dateline UC Davis. The official name of the official faculty-staff e-newsletter.

dates. Always use Arabic figures, without st, nd, rd or th. See AP months for examples and punctuation guidelines.

Davis Chancellor’s Club

degrees. See academic degrees.

departments. See “Campus Departments and Units” under names.

diplomate. Lowercase after a name: Professor John Doe is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

disabilities, disabled. Use “disabled” instead of “handicapped,” and do not use “disabled” as a noun. Instead, say “disabled people” or individual(s) or “person with a disability.” Other considerations:

  • Do not describe an individual as disabled unless it is clearly pertinent to the story. If a description must be used, try to be specific about the type of disability or symptoms. Avoid descriptions that connote pity: Do not say “afflicted with,” “suffers from” or “is a victim of.” Instead, say: “He has muscular dystrophy.” Do not use “wheelchair-bound” or “confined to a wheelchair.” Instead, say: “She uses a wheelchair” or “walks with crutches.”
  • Some people view their disability as central to their identity, and use identity-first language, such as an autistic woman or autistic. Others prefer person-first language, such as “a woman with autism” or “a woman who has autism.” When describing groups or when individual preferences cannot be determined, use person-first language. (Source: AP Stylebook)
  • Be sensitive when using words like “disorder,” “impairment,” “abnormality” and “special” to describe the nature of a disability. It’s appropriate when used in a medical context: “abnormal test result” or “abnormal curvature of the spine.” “Condition” is a good substitute. (Source: National Center on Disability and Journalism’s Disability Language Style Guide)
  • See/hear: ​​Words like “see,” “hear” “look,” “listen,” etc., should be considered for context and potential ableist sensitivities, but our current style guidelines do not discourage the general expression of those words.
  • Avoid words and phrases that put disabilities in a negative light, such as “insane,” “how lame,” “blind spot,” “that idea has legs,” “blind to/deaf to,” etc. Avoid language that reduces a person’s identity to their disability, or that frames the experience of people with disabilities as outside what is “normal.” (Sources: SFSU’s Diversity Style Guide, Symmetry’s Style Guide, People with Disability Australia, “Avoiding Ableist Terminology,” UNR)

diseases. Follow AP style on capitalization. Do not use a disease as a descriptive adjective in connection with an individual — e.g., do not say: He is a diabetic, but rather, He has diabetes. One acceptable variation is “survivor of,” as in She is a survivor of cancer; it should be applied only to people who are overcoming severely debilitating or life-threatening diseases. Also, per AP, avoid such expressions as: He is battling cancer. She is a stroke victim. Use neutral, precise descriptions: He has stomach cancer. She had a stroke.

Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Diplomate. See titles.

doctor/Dr. See titles.

domes. See Baggins End.


emeritus. See “academic and professional titles” under titles.

endowed chairs and professorships. See lecturers, lectures, lectureships, and “academic and professional titles” under titles.

endowed chairs and professorships. See “academic and professional titles” under titles.

environmental impact report. Lowercase this generic title. Also see scoping.

exhibitions (including art). See composition titles.

ex officio. Do not hyphenate or italicize. Used as an adjective or adverb: She serves ex officio as a member of the UC Davis Foundation; He is an ex officio member of the committee.


fellow, fellowship. Capitalize only as part of the official name or generally accepted name:

  • The American Council of Learned Societies announced Professor Mary Smith as a new ACLS Fellow.
  • He is a Guggenheim Fellow.
  • Professor John Doe is a fellow of the American Chemistry Society.

female. See woman, women, female.

fractions. For fractions and percentages, the verb agrees with the noun following the “of”:

  • Three-quarters of the apple was eaten.
  • Three-quarters of the employees are at a seminar today.

freshman/freshmen. The gender-neutral terms “first-year student” or “first-years” are preferred. Note hyphen. (Sources: Yale, Penn State, Amherst, UNC Writing Center)

Fulbright. Use uppercase as shown: Fulbright Scholar Award(s), Fulbright Scholar Program, Fulbright Scholar(s), Fulbright Scholar Grant, Fulbright Distinguished Fellow(s); but lowercase the following as shown: a Fulbright grant, a Fulbright fellowship, Fulbright award(s). The Fulbright Scholar Program was established in 1946 under congressional legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and authorized by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (the Fulbright-Hays Act). Grants are awarded to Americans to lecture and/or conduct research abroad, and to foreign scholars to visit the United States. The Fulbright Scholar Program is funded and administered by the U.S. Information Agency through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which is affiliated with the American Council on Education. Fulbright Scholars are selected by the Board of Foreign Scholarships, whose members are appointed by the president. (Compare with Guggenheim; also see fellow, fellowship.)


gender and gender neutrality. Do not use gender-specific terms and titles, such as policeman, waitress, chairman, stewardess, foreman, mankind; instead, use police officer, server or food server, chair, flight attendant, supervisor, humanity. In sports reporting, strive for equality.

The singular “their” and “they” are both acceptable when the gender of a person is unspecified, not known or generally preferred. For example: “A student arrived at their class late” and “Joey identifies as a non-binary person. They are from Santa Barbara.” (Source: Boston University)

If you refer to the women’s basketball team, the other basketball squad should be called the men’s basketball team. Avoid personification; do not refer to cars, boats, aircraft or other inanimate objects as feminine. An engine is not a “she,” and nature is not a “mother.” Also see “gender neutrality” under titles; personal pronouns; and stereotypes.

General Education. Capitalize in reference to UC Davis General Education courses and-or requirements. Lowercase when used generically.

genus and species. See “genus and species” under names.

government agencies. Capitalize the full proper names of governmental agencies, departments and offices, but lowercase modifiers: The U.S. Department of State, the California Conservation Corps, the Davis City Council, the Woodland Fire Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California State University, the State Lands Commission, but the state Office of Emergency Services, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city Department of Public Works. Also see AP federal; government and governmental bodies; and state.

grades. Use uppercase and italics for letter grades; add + and - symbols as needed.

The Green at West Village; the first 1,000 beds (out of a total of 3,000) are projected to be available to students in the fall of 2020. To be run by Student Housing and Dining Services. UC Davis West Village also includes privately run apartments; this is student housing (lowercase).

Guggenheim. Use uppercase as shown: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship(s), Guggenheim Fellowship(s), Guggenheim Fellow(s), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow(s); but, a fellow (lowercase). Note that an individual can be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, but does not receive a Guggenheim Fellowship Award. The fellowships are awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York. The foundation has been granting awards to artists, scholars and scientists since 1925, on the basis of “unusually distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future achievement.” Although not all recipients are associated with academic institutions, most hold appointments in American and Canadian universities and colleges. Winners of the annual competition are judged by a Committee of Selection. (Compare with Fulbright entry; also see fellow, fellowship.)


headlines. In title case, per AP, capitalize all words except articles (a, an, the), prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.), and conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.) unless any of those start or end the title. See AP composition titles for further guidance. Note: In headlines, quote marks become single quote marks. If italics are not available, use single quote marks — but not for book and periodical names (either italicize them in headlines or set without quote marks).

health system. See UC Davis Health.

Hispanic-Serving Institution. “Hispanic-Serving” hyphenated. A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is a federally-designated institution with an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent, or FTE, students that is at least 25% Hispanic students. The U.S. Department of Education awards the designation to institutions that meet certain criteria in addition to the enrollment threshold, counted as of the end of the award year before the institution’s application. The designation enables institutions to apply for critical funding to support student success, innovation and institutional transformation, benefiting all students. Plural: HSIs. Emerging HSI — This is not a federally designated status. Excelencia in Education, an organization founded to accelerate Latino student success, developed the eHSI category — institutions with undergraduate FTE Hispanic enrollment of 15% to 24.9% — to track the growth of potential HSIs. It recognizes UC Davis as an emerging HSI. (Sources: White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics; UC Davis Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Excelencia in Education’s Emerging Hispanic Institutions (eHSIs): 2020-21; UCOP: “What it Means to Be a Hispanic-Serving Institution”)

Homecoming. Capitalize to denote the annual UC Davis event, but lowercase when used generically: To commemorate Homecoming, the Cal Aggie Alumni Association has scheduled a banquet. This week, homecoming activities are under way at college campuses across the nation.

homeless people. Homeless is not a noun. “Homeless people,” “people without housing” or “people/individuals without homes.” Mention that a person is homeless only when relevant. Use person-first language, such as “person experiencing homelessness,” which describes something a person is going through rather than defining them by it. (Sources: AP Stylebook, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness)

home page. Two words. But, webpage, website.

housing. Student Housing and Dining Services runs residence halls in three areas (Segundo Residence Hall Area, Tercero Residence Hall Area and Cuarto Residence Hall Area), one campus apartment community, Solano Park, and an apartment program for incoming transfer students, Student Housing Apartments, comprising several apartment communities on and off campus. Student Housing and Dining Services will run a new university apartment project for transfer students, The Green at West Village; the first 1,000 beds (out of a total of 3,000) are projected to be available to students in the fall of 2020. UC Davis West Village also includes privately run apartments; this is student housing (lowercase). Student Housing and Dining Services is part of Student Housing, Dining and Divisional Operations (a unit of the Division of Student Affairs).


Indigenous. Capitalize. See Native American, American Indian.

initials. In names, do not include a space between two initials: H.L. Mencken. George H.W. Bush.

in regard to. Not “in regards to.”

in-residence. Hyphenate and, in most cases, lowercase when used generically or following an individual’s name: The department had an artist-in-residence during each of the past five spring quarters. Jan Conroy, the department’s professor-in-residence, will be on campus until April. Many other American universities have artist-in-residence programs. However, since professor-in-residence and artist-in-residence are formal titles rather than occupational titles, they should be capitalized before a person’s name: When will Artist-in-Residence Scott Adams give his lecture? Granada Artists-in-Residence Program. Capitalize, also, when used as part of a formal name: William Gaskill, Granada Artist-in-Residence.

interim. See acting and interim.


Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. In copy, use this full name on first reference. Then Manetti Shrem Museum of Art or museum. In headlines, Manetti Shrem Museum, Manetti Shrem or museum are acceptable. Never shorten to Shrem.



lecturers, lectures, lectureships. The title lecturer or adjunct lecturer should be treated as an occupational title rather than a formal title and thus always be lowercased, even before a name: nutrition lecturer Liz Applegate. Lecture titles go in quote marks, no italics (see composition titles.) Lectureships, often endowed or underwritten, enable the campus to invite distinguished scholars to campus for a period of a few days to participate in seminars and to give one or more talks. Lectures can be held, presented or given. The 19th annual Shell Biochemistry Lecture will be held Thursday, April 17. The Shell Biochemistry Foundation lectureship is funded by a grant from the Shell Oil Corp. Also see conference titles and series.

lecture series. See series.

literary series. See series.

Long Range Development Plan. The campus’s plan for growth. (Notice no hyphen between Long and Range.) Also see environmental impact report and scoping.


magazine names. No italics, no quote marks. Lowercase the word “magazine” unless it is part of the formal title: UC Davis Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek magazine. In headlines, if italics are not available, set in regular type, no quote marks. See composition titles and newspaper names.

majors. See academic majors.

man, mankind. Avoid using when referring to human beings collectively (an exception to AP). See gender.

Medfly. Acceptable in all references to Mediterranean fruit fly. Capitalize it.

Manetti Shrem Museum. See Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

married names (for alumni). See “individuals” under names.

medical center. See UC Davis Health.

Memorial Union. Dedicated in 1955 to Aggies lost in military service. MU acceptable on second reference.

monkeypox. Use this name on first reference (following the lead of the California Department of Public Health), then switch to MPX for subsequent references. MPX is acceptable in headlines. If using MPX in copy or headlines, be sure to insert MPX with commas, after monkeypox, to explain the acronym. We are watching for a possible name change by the World Health Organization and a style change by The Associated Press, and will reconsider our style at that time.

months. Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.

Mother Nature. Avoid this term; simply say “nature” or restructure the sentence as necessary (exception to AP).

music ensembles. See the Department of Music website.



  • academic departments and programs: Capitalize formal names (exception to AP style) and lowercase informal references: Department of History (history department); Middle East/South Asia Studies Program (Middle East/South Asia studies). For proper names of academic departments, programs, graduate groups, and major and minor degrees, consult the UC Davis General Catalog.
  • academic administration subunits: Capitalize all but the most generic of names of subunits within colleges and schools. For example, associate dean of undergraduate education, College of Letters and Science human resources, Engineering Ambassadors Program.
  • campus administrative units headed by vice chancellors/vice provosts (except the Office of Research, see next point): Use whatever name a unit generally calls itself. So, if a unit generally eschews “Office of” or “Division of,” then we should drop it, too: Academic Affairs; Finance, Operations and Administration; Student Affairs. Sometimes, a unit may prefer its full name: Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. For internal audiences, “UC Davis” is not necessary in front of unit names. Retain capitalization on second reference.
  • Office of Research: Retain “Office of” so as to avoid sentences in which the capitalized “Research” sticks out like a sore thumb. Prasant Mohapatra is vice chancellor of the Office of Research.
  • campuswide administrative units that reference a position/job title: Use “Office of” construction for Office of the Campus Counsel (or campus counsel’s office), Office of the Chancellor (or chancellor’s office), Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (or provost and executive vice chancellor’s office), Offices of the Chancellor and Provost (or chancellor and provost’s office). For the Ombuds Office, which does not use an “Office of” construction, use Ombuds Office on second reference, or the office.
  • campus administrative subunits: Capitalize major sub-units and sub-subunits, such as Budget and Institutional Analysis, Facilities Management, Fire Department, Police Department, Safety Services, Campus Recreation, with or without UC Davis in front. Also, Building Maintenance Services, but lowercase its generically-named subunits, for example, mechanical, plumbing and steam, and structural services. Exception for units and programs with formal names: Office Refresh Program.
  • colleges and universities: Capitalize “college” and “university” and other similar terms when part of a formal name, but lowercase otherwise: Radcliffe College, Stanford University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the university, the academy, the institute. Exceptions: UC is acceptable in the names of our 10 campuses, and the Los Angeles campus shall always be referred to as UCLA. Second and subsequent references to other institutions may incorporate abbreviated forms.
  • course titles: Title case and quote marks (no italics): “Introduction to Astrophysics.”
  • generic references: For second and subsequent references, use generic names or terms in lowercase:
    • Department of History; the department; history department
    • School of Medicine; the school
    • University of California; the university
    • UC Board of Regents; the regents. See regents.
  • genus and species: Capitalize Latin generic plant and animal names and lowercase species names. Use italic type in news releases as well as in periodicals: Rosa caroliniana. On second reference, the genus may be abbreviated: R. caroliniana.
  • individuals: Follow AP guidelines for names; pseudonyms, nicknames; and junior and senior. In general, use your subject’s preferred first name (or nickname) and last name, and, if they prefer, middle initial(s): Gary S. May and George H.W. Bush. If including a person’s first name and nickname, insert the latter, in quote marks, after any middle initials: Cal football coach William H. “Stubb” Allison. In some instances, when a person’s name has changed, for whatever reason, a reference to their former name may be useful; this could apply to alumni who, since graduating, have married and taken their spouse’s last name. Example: Teri Bachman attended UC Davis as Teri Robinson, then took the married name Bachman. We could refer to her as Teri (Robinson) Bachman, or, if she preferred, Teri Robinson-Bachman. When someone changes their name, we should consider noting the change as circumstances may require (say, the first time we introduce their new name), in consultation with them.
  • majors: See academic majors.

Native American, American Indian. Both are acceptable; ask people for their preference. Do not use “Indian” as shorthand for American Indians; “Indian” is used to describe the peoples and cultures of India. Capitalize “Indigenous” when it refers to the original inhabitants of a place.

The land on which the UC Davis campus rests has been the home of Patwin people for thousands of years. Today, there are three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. This information is reflected in the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement Statement.

Other considerations:

  • For individuals, specify which tribe individuals are part of, as tribal nations are diverse.
  • Refer to Indigenous groups in Alaska as “Alaska Natives” and Canadian groups as “First Nation.”
  • “Native” can be used as an adjective to describe styles, such as Native fashion, Native art or Native music. Be aware, however, the term can be problematic because it doesn’t recognize a distinct Indigenous group and is often used as slang.

(Sources: NAJA Reporting and Indigenous Terminology Guide and Symmetry Style Guide)

newspaper names. No italics, no quote marks. Capitalize “The” if it is part of the official title, as in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Lowercase “the” before newspaper names if a story mentions several papers, some of which use “the” as part of the name and some of which do not. Where location is needed but is not part of a newspaper’s name, use parentheses (and spell out the state name, and no italics from the open parenthesis to the close parenthesis): The Huntsville (Alabama) Times, The (Portland) Oregonian. Also see magazine names and “books and periodicals” under composition titles.

non-. In general, no hyphen when used as a prefix (see AP Stylebook): nonprofit.

Northern California. Capitalize Northern. See the AP Stylebook’s “directions and regions” entry.

nursing school. See UC Davis Health entry.




Pavilion, The, or The Pavilion at the ARC. Former name of the campus’s largest indoor assembly space, used for athletics, recreation and other events. Note the use of “The” in The Pavilion (which is connected to the Activities and Recreation Center). The Pavilion can stand alone, or use The Pavilion at the ARC (although, for general audiences, spell out Activities and Recreation Center). Effective July 1, 2021, The Pavilion’s name became University Credit Union Center.

personal pronouns. Ask your subject what pronoun they use and use that. While the most common pronouns are he/him/his, she/her/hers and singular they/them/theirs, a wide variety may be used. More information and examples are available on this Pronouns and Inclusive Language guide from the UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center.

photo credits. See captions.

Picnic Day. In referring to the annual UC Davis event, capitalize as shown, but most events associated with the day are lowercased: Picnic Day parade, Picnic Day rodeo. We can call Picnic Day an “annual” event, but do not say a specific Picnic Day is the (choose a number) 106th annual Picnic Day, because we missed a few. Instead, say: The 106th Picnic Day will be held April 18, 2020.

plays. See composition titles.

poems. See composition titles.

podcasts. See composition titles.

Powwow. Because of the importance of powwows in Native American culture, do not use the term informally to mean a meeting. A powwow is a sacred and social gathering of Native American communities. It may also be used as a verb to indicate the act of such a gathering. Proper names of some American Indian gatherings use Pow Wow as two words. The UC Davis Powwow, first held in conjunction with the establishment of the program in Native American Studies in 1969, is part of the Cross Cultural Center’s family of Culture Days. Honoring the traditions of ancestors, powwows may include feasting, music, dancing and singing. They may also be competitive. Some powwows, or portions of them, may be open to the public or private. Ask permission before making recordings or photographs. Do not refer to Native dress as costumes. Also see annual. (Sources: AP Stylebook, The Diversity Style Guide, Cross Cultural Center)

prior to. Use “before.”

professor. See “academic and professional titles” under titles.

pronouns, personal. See personal pronouns.


  • brackets: Contrary to AP, use brackets to insert words to clarify a quotation: I received my B.A. at [the University of] Pennsylvania. Use parentheses for additional information within your own writing: I ate a late lunch at the CoHo (of course I ate there!), so I skipped dinner.
  • colon: In text, capitalize the first word after a colon only if the word is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence. (In headlines, always cap the first word after the colon.)
  • ellipses: If the words that precede an ellipsis constitute a complete sentence, either in the original or in the condensation, place a period (or question mark, exclamation point, comma or colon) at the end of the last word before the ellipsis. Follow it with a regular space and the ellipsis: I no longer have a strong enough political base. ... Then continue the quote. If the words before the ellipsis do not constitute a sentence, do not add punctuation; instead, insert a regular space and an ellipsis ... and continue the quote (the first word will be lowercase). If you delete material at the end of one paragraph and the beginning of the next, use ellipsis in both locations.
  • possessive apostrophe: Add “’s” to ALL singular common nouns ending in “s” (campus’s, for example), including in cases when the next word starts with “s”; add apostrophe only to singular proper names ending in “s” (UC Davis’, for example).


Quadrangle. Quad is acceptable in all references. Also see Vanderhoef Quad (Larry N. Vanderhoef Quad).

quarters. Lowercase names of quarters: fall quarter, winter quarter, spring quarter. Also see Summer Sessions.


race-related coverage. See AP.

regents. Per AP, capitalize only as a formal title before one or more names, or when referring to the organizational body by formal name: Regent Richard Blum, Regents Richard Blum and Sherry Lansing, University of California Board of Regents, the UC Board of Regents (do not capitalize “the”). Use lowercase in further condensations of the organizational name and other uses: the regents ruled today, the board of regents met at UC Davis, Monica Lozano was named a regent, three regents opposed the measure.

room. Completely identify a location by room number first, then building name. If the room has a formal name, add it in parentheses.)

  • 203 Mrak Hall
  • 2203 Social Sciences and Humanities Building (Andrews Conference Room)
  • 16 Chemistry Building (or for internal audiences 16 Chem)


Sacramento campus. See campus and UC Davis Health.

School of Medicine. See UC Davis Health.

scoping. In writing about environmental review, do not capitalize this generic term.

seasons. Always use lowercase, even when naming an issue of a publication: the fall-winter 2019-20 issue of UC Davis Magazine.

second reference. See “generic references” under names.

series. Titles of literary and lecture series go without quote marks, no italics; titles of individual lectures that are part of a series go in quote marks, but no italics:

  • The Women’s Resources and Research Center will present the film Personal Decisions as part of its Videos for Lunch series.
  • Political scientist Gwendolyn Mink will speak on “Women’s Citizenship, Men’s Welfare and the Racial Geology of the U.S. Welfare State, 1900-45.” Her talk is part of a yearlong program on gender and power, presented as part of the Women’s Resources and Research Center’s series on Women, International Politics and the State: A Series of Distinguished Women Scholars.

security of employment, or SOE. Used in conjunction with lecturer titles. Spell it out, lowercase, but use only if necessary.

service mark and trademark. In general, use generic equivalents unless essential to the story. Also see AP trademark.

Shrem Museum of Art. See Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

sic. Use it within brackets, in italics, after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed, or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original: He said, “I seen [sic] it all.” No period after sic, as it is a complete word. AP discourages its use. Also see AP quotations in the news.

Sierra Nevada. Not Sierra Nevadas, not Sierras, not Sierra Nevada mountains. (“Sierra” means saw-toothed mountains.)

software. See composition titles.

Southern California. Capitalize Southern. See AP directions and regions.

state. Lowercase in all “state of” constructions, and when used as an adjective to indicate jurisdiction: state Sen. John Doolittle, the state Department of Transportation, state funds. Capitalize when part of a formal name: State Farm Insurance, the State Lands Commission, the State and Consumer Services Agency. See California and government agencies; also see AP federal, government and governmental bodies, and state.

state names. Follow AP guidelines for abbreviations.

stereotypes. In general, avoid racial and sexual references or mention of debilitating physical conditions if they are not germane to the story. Also see disabilities, disabled; diseases; and gender neutrality in this style guide, and AP diseases; disabled, handicapped; and race-related coverage.

Summer Sessions. Capitalized, referring to the Summer Sessions program, a unit of Undergraduate Education. Use Roman numerals as follows: Summer Session I and Summer Session II. Or first summer session or second summer session.

symposia. See conference titles.

systemwide. See University of California and campuswide.


telephone numbers (including area codes). Use figures and hyphens. With Davis and Sacramento having different area codes, we generally recommend always using the area code in phone numbers. Do not place area codes in parentheses; use hyphens (not en dashes, not periods) between the sets of numbers. Do not use the “1” you may see in front of some domestic telephone numbers. The proper form is: 530-752-1930 or 530-555-1212, ext. 11. See AP telephone numbers. TTD and TTY are not interchangeable acronyms for telecommunication devices for the deaf. TTD stands for teletype device (and is the most current technology), and TTY stands for telephone teletype (an older technology).

tense. Past or present is acceptable, but, in general, be consistent throughout a story. Tenses may be intermingled as appropriate to context — i.e., to distinguish terminated from continuing action: I disagree, she said. But, She continues to encourage students to present new ideas.

theatre. Our style is opposite AP’s: Use “theatre” unless the proper name uses “theater.” UC Davis uses “theatre” in the Department of Theatre and Dance, Main Theatre, Wyatt Pavilion Theatre and Vanderhoef Studio Theatre.

time. Per AP, always use figures, except with noon and midnight; use lowercase type and periods, but no spaces, with “a.m.” and “p.m.”: 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 3:30 that afternoon, noon, midnight, 10-11 a.m. (use a hyphen for ranges), 10 a.m.-3 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See AP times, time zones and daylight saving time.

titles (people). In general, capitalize formal titles — president, chancellor, professor — before names of individuals, and lowercase such titles following the names of individuals. Note: Chancellor is capitalized only before his or her name. For formal titles that are on the longish side, we recommend placing their names first, followed by title, set off by commas. Lowercase descriptive or occupational titles — teacher, attorney, history professor, department chair, lecturer — in all cases. (Note that professor stands alone as a formal title and warrants capitalization, an exception to AP, but “history professor” is, like “math teacher,” an occupation, and is lowercased.) When lowercased adjectives are added to titles before a name, lowercase them all.

  • executives: Capitalize titles before a name, lowercase after a name: Chancellor Gary S. May; Ralph J. Hexter, provost and executive vice chancellor. For other executives, their titles often work better after their names, because of the need to identify their department/unit affiliation: David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Medical Center; Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor, Office of Research (not vice chancellor-research); Kelly Ratliff, vice chancellor of Finance, Operations and Administration.
  • professor, associate professor, assistant professor: Professor John Doe or Associate Professor of History John Doe, or history professor before a name. Lowercase titles and subjects after a name. Same rules apply to associate professor and assistant professor. To be absolutely certain of a faculty member’s title, ask him or her. Websites are not always up to date.
  • doctor/Dr.: On first reference in news releases, use the formal title Dr. (plural Drs.) only before the names of individuals who hold degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, preventive veterinary medicine or dentistry (M.D., D.V.M., M.P.V.M., D.D.S. or the equivalent): Dr. Sarah J. Woerner or Sarah J. Woerner ’72, M.D. ’76; but not Dr. Sarah J. Woerner ’72, M.D. ’76. (“Dr.” and “M.D.” are redundant.) For UC Davis Magazine and Dateline UC Davis, do not use Dr. (except in obituaries — see “individuals” under names), identifying individuals instead by title or profession: Dennis Styne, professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine, or physician Steven Smith.
  • professor emeritus: Uppercase before a name, lowercase after a name.
  • Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Diplomate: Uppercase before and after a name to prevent “distinguished” from being interpreted as an adjective.
  • dean: Dean Kevin Johnson; law school dean Kevin Johnson; Kevin Johnson, dean of the law school.
  • department chair: department chair Harry Johnson; Harry Johnson, department chair.
  • lecturer/adjunct lecturer: Always lowercase. Also see professor of teaching, associate professor of teaching, assistant professor of teaching (working titles approved April 25, 2019, for the lecturer with security of employment series).
  • professor of teaching, associate professor of teaching, assistant professor of teaching (lecturers in the security of employment series): Working titles approved April 25, 2019. Uppercase before a name, lowercase after a name (preferred). Can be used in conjunction with teaching subject.
  • lecturer with potential for security of employment: assistant professor of teaching (of English, of history, etc.), Assistant Professor of Teaching of Nutrition John Doe, or John Doe, assistant professor of teaching of nutrition.
  • lecturer with security of employment: associate professor of teaching (of English, or history, etc.), Associate Professor of Teaching of Nutrition John Doe, or John Doe, associate professor of teaching of nutrition.
  • senior lecturer with security of employment: professor of teaching of nutrition, Professor of Teaching of Nutrition Liz Applegate, or John Doe, professor of teaching of nutrition.
  • visiting faculty: Lowercase visiting professor and visiting lecturer.
  • endowed chairs and professorships: Include this information to show philanthropic support of the university. Use the full and official titles, obtained from the colleges and schools and or departments, not necessarily from faculty websites. Professor Thomas Richardson, who holds the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology; Thomas Richardson is the Peter J. Shields Professor in Dairy Food Science (capitalized because it is the formal name of an endowed chair).
  • Coach: Capitalize before a name when used without a qualifier: Coach Jim Les, head coach Dan Hawkins, offensive coach Dan Gazzaniga. Lowercase “coach” when it stands alone or is set off from the individual’s name by commas: The victorious team members surrounded their coach, Stephanie Hawbecker. Sandy Simpson, head coach of the women’s basketball team, is an inspirational leader.
  • Gender neutrality: Use chair, not “chairman” or “chairwoman” or “chairperson,” unless part of a formal title: He chaired the committee. Lois Weeth was chair of the UC Davis Foundation board of trustees.
  • Trustee: Treat this as a formal title when appropriate and capitalize in such cases if used before a name: Trustee Les Harvey; but Les Harvey, trustee of the UC Davis Foundation.

trademark. See service mark and trademark.


UC Davis. Acceptable in all references in internal publications. Do not use UCD. Use no periods in UC. Also see University of California, Davis, which is our style for first reference in news releases (including a comma after California and a comma, usually, after Davis, unless it ends a sentence). Never say the University of California at Davis.

UC Davis West Village. This university-owned site west of Highway 113 includes university offices and limited retail, the Davis Center of Sacramento City College, and privately owned and operated apartment complexes. The university will run The Green at West Village, a new apartment project.

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. Formerly called University Extension and UC Davis Extension. Curriculum consists of workshops, short courses and certificate programs focusing on practical skills.

UC Davis Foundation. The correct name of the nonprofit organization composed of community and campus leaders who foster private support for UC Davis. The foundation is governed by a volunteer board of trustees. board of trustees is generally lowercase; although, UC Davis Foundation Board is acceptable.

UC Davis Health. Includes the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, UC Davis Medical Center and UC Davis Medical Group. When referring to all four entities, refer to them collectively as UC Davis Health. When referring to one of them, use its specific name. In subsequent references, health system (lowercase), medical school (lowercase), nursing school (lowercase) and medical center (lowercase) are acceptable. On second reference to UC Davis Medical Group, which is the multispecialty group practice of the health system, medical group (lowercase) is acceptable. Never use the abbreviations UCDH, UCDSOM, UCDSON, UCDMC or UCDMG. The medical center is a level I trauma center (lowercase level with Roman numeral I). The physical location of the medical center and medical school is referred to as the Sacramento campus.

UC Davis Library. It includes:

  • Peter J. Shields Library (Shields Library acceptable in all references)
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering Library (no ampersand)
  • Carlson Health Sciences Library (Davis campus)
  • Blaisdell Medical Library (Sacramento campus)
  • Mabie Law Library
  • Special Collections (it houses the library’s rare books and pamphlets, manuscript collections, photographs, the University Archives and the Map Collection)

UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement. Awarded annually to a faculty member who has demonstrated skillful undergraduate teaching and remarkable scholarly achievement.

undergraduates. See class year.

“UCD Fanfare.” The correct name of the musical composition written for the university’s 75th anniversary in 1984 and often played at the start of commencement, per its composer, Jerome Rosen.

university. Do not capitalize unless part of a formal name. The University of California; the University of California, Davis; the Office of the University Registrar; The university will hold commencement next weekend.

University Credit Union Center. This is the campus’s largest indoor assembly space, used for athletics (men’s and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, and women’s volleyball) and recreation, and events such as commencement. Formerly The Pavilion at the Activities and Recreation Center, or The Pavilion at the ARC. Name change effective July 1, 2021. The University Credit Union Center is located in the campus’s U Center District (formerly The Pavilion District).

university names. See “college and university names” under names.

University of California. In news releases or publications sent to off-campus audiences, spell out on first reference. In referring to the entire University of California, the terms “systemwide” and “universitywide” (do not hyphenate either) may be used interchangeably: Systemwide, library holdings total nearly 23 million volumes. In referring to the central administration of the University of California, however, use the term Office of the President rather than “systemwide administration.” Spell out the names of other UC campuses on first reference: UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, but always abbreviate UCLA. When used alone, always lowercase university, even when referring to the University of California or one of its campuses. Lowercase the word “campus” in all instances: the Davis campus.

University of California, Davis. Always spell out on first reference in news releases. Insert a comma between California and Davis, and another comma, usually, after Davis, unless it ends a sentence (The University of California, Davis, will host the Olympics. “UC Davis” is acceptable on second and subsequent references in news releases and in campus publications. Do not use “UCD.” Use no periods in UC. Never say the University of California at Davis.

universitywide. See University of California.

unpublished works. See composition titles.


Vanderhoef, Larry N., Commons. The Larry N. Vanderhoef Commons, named after the late chancellor, sits between the Education Building and Betty Irene Moore Hall on the Sacramento campus. The Davis campus is the location of Larry N. Vanderhoef Quad.

Vanderhoef, Larry N., Quad. The Larry N. Vanderhoef Quad is bounded by the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the Buehler Alumni Center, Gallagher Hall, Conference Center and Welcome Center, and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, south campus. Named after the late chancellor. The Sacramento campus is the location of Larry N. Vanderhoef Commons.

visiting professor. See “academic and professional titles” under titles.


websites. See composition titles.

winegrower, winemaker, winemaking, wine taster, wine tasting (per Webster’s).

woman, women, female. “Woman” or “women” may now be used as adjectives to describe women, following a revision in 2022 by the AP Stylebook, which long held those terms could only by nouns, while “female” was formerly the only acceptable adjective. The change is considered more inclusive and was made to reflect sentiment that the term “female” — defined as “denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs” — emphasizes women’s biological and reproductive capacity over their gender identity and humanity. “Female” can also carry misogynistic and disparaging tones that “may vary in severity by race, class and other factors,” AP said. While “female” is still permissible to describe human women in certain contexts, be aware that many women bristle at the term. As Merriam-Webster notes “… consider that there's rarely a need to say something like ‘female surgeon’; most of the time, ‘surgeon’ works just fine.” (Sources: AP Stylebook, The New Yorker, Merriam-Webster)

work-study. Always hyphenated.




zero-net energy, net-zero energy