Capitalization

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On this page:   Campus |  Course Names | Degree |  Person's Titles | Programs, Departments, Discipline Names | Schools, Colleges, Professional Schools | SubjectsTitles of things (books, movies, presentations)

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Campus

Capitalize "campus" when it follows the campus name, e.g. "McNichols Campus." Campus should not be capitalized on second reference even when it is referring directly to a specific campus. Do not capitalize campus when it is describing more than one campus, e.g. "The McNichols and Corktown campuses have been renovated in recent years." The University has three campuses in Detroit: McNichols Campus, Corktown Campus, and Riverfront Campus.

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Course names

Capitalize the full name of a course, but if a course is referenced generically, it should not be capitalized.

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Degree

When using the formal degree name, capitalize all major words of the degree name, e.g. "Bachelor of Science in Business Administration." Avoid using "Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration."

On the other hand, if the degree name is referenced more generically, add apostrophe-s and do not capitalize, e.g. "a bachelor's or master's degree in marketing." Note here the subject is not capitalized.

Another example of proper degree designation is B.S. in Business Administration (see Degree abbreviations below).

"Master's/bachelor's"

Use apostrophe-s when outside a formal degree name, usually followed by "degree," like "she earned her bachelor's degree at age 67" or "master's degree in mathematics." Do not use apostrophe-s in formal degree names, as above.

Degree abbreviations

Always put periods between the letters, e.g. B.S., M.A., Ph.D. One exception to this rule is MBA (Master of Business Administration).

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Program/department/discipline names

Capitalize the name of a program or department when using the formal name or when referring to a specific program/department. Some examples: "Department of Marketing & Communications," "professor of History," "Architecture students," or "Professor Smith joined the Department in 1992."

Do not capitalize such names when referring to the discipline in a more general sense, e.g., "She enrolled in the Architecture program because of her lifelong interest in all kinds of architecture," or, "We know that marketing and public affairs are just two of the many functions of the Marketing and Communications Department."

You may omit "Department" or "Program." For example, "Marketing & Communications" would also be a correct way to refer to the department. Similarly, both "Dental Hygiene program" and "Dental Hygiene" are acceptable. If the words "program" and "department" are not part of the formal name, do not capitalize them.

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Person's Titles

Individual's titles

Capitalize a person's title if it precedes his/her name. If it follows, do not capitalize. Examples:

  • "President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., delivered the convocation speech"
  • "Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., president of the University, delivered the convocation speech."
  • "Associate Professor of History George Washington has written six books."
  • "George Washington, associate professor of History, has written six books."

Though the individual's title may not be capitalized, his or her department name should be capitalized, e.g. "John Doe, vice president of Information Technology." However, if the person's title contains a description of his/her role rather than a department name, do not capitalize. For example, "Jane Doe, communications manager."

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Schools, Colleges, Professional Schools

The names of Detroit Mercy's colleges and schools are:

  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Engineering & Science (note ampersand)
  • College of Health Professions/McAuley School of Nursing
  • College of Liberal Arts & Education (note ampersand)
  • School of Architecture *
  • School of Dentistry *
  • School of Law *

Always capitalize "School" or "College" when referring directly to a specific Detroit Mercy school or college, including on second and subsequent reference (with or without the full college/school name). Don't capitalize "school/college" when using them generically, e.g. "Enrollment in the schools and colleges increased."

The name of the college or school should always be capitalized even if it is not preceded by "school" or "college,"-e.g., "a meeting of Engineering & Science faculty.

Professional Schools

Capitalize the names of the professional schools when using the formal name, e.g. "School of Law" or "School of Architecture." On second reference or when referencing less formally, use Detroit Mercy Law or Detroit Mercy Dental. Avoid using capitalized "Dental School," "Law School," etc., instead of the proper names. As with the schools and colleges, if referring specifically to a professional school as "the School," always capitalize school.

Note that:

  • the School of Dentistry is located on the Corktown Campus
  • the School of Law is located on the Riverfront Campus

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Subjects

Always capitalize "English." Otherwise, subjects should not be capitalized, except when referring specifically to program/department names. For example, "The student excelled in mathematics and the sciences, but she proved less successful in English literature. That's why she was attracted to Detroit Mercy's College of Engineering & Science." For more, see Program/department names.

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Titles of things (books, movies, presentations)

Use "title case" capitalization for titles of things. (Do not use all capitals.)

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