The Editorial Style and Usage Guide is a reference for issues of style that are commonly encountered in publications produced for Kennesaw State University. The guidelines are meant for general use to ensure consistency across written and printed communications prepared on behalf of Kennesaw State.
The Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing follows the Associated Press Stylebook on matters of style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary on questions of spelling. This style and usage guide is not intended as a substitute for more comprehensive guides. Specific academic disciplines are governed by their own style guides, such as Chicago Manual of Style and APA style, that are not applicable here.
The style and usage guide is intended to evolve in order to reflect current usage and to embrace new terms as they come into common use.
abbreviations and acronyms – Spell out the full name and put the acronym in parentheses on first reference. Example: Center for Teaching and Learning (CETL).
ABD – all but dissertation; all caps, no periods
academic degrees – Capitalize the proper names of academic degrees. Do not capitalize incomplete names of academic degrees. When abbreviating the degree name, list in all caps with no periods, except where noted below. Examples: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Bachelor of Arts in English, Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management, master’s in business, BBA in Accounting, BARCH.
Kennesaw State offers the following undergraduate degrees:
African and African Diaspora Studies (BA)
Apparel Textile Technology (BAT)
Applied Computer Science (BA)
Applied Science in Information Technology (BAS)
Art Education (BS)
Art History (BA)
Asian Studies (BA)
Civil Engineering (BS)
Computational and Applied Mathematics (BS)
Computer Engineering (BS)
Computer Game Design & Development (BS)
Computer Science (BS)
Construction Engineering (BS)
Construction Management (BS)
Criminal Justice (BS)
Digital Animation (BFA)
Early Childhood Education (BS)
Electrical Engineering (BS)
Electrical Engineering Technology (BS)
Elementary Education (BS)
English Education (BS)
Environmental Engineering (BS)
Environmental Science (BS)
Exercise Science (BS)
Geographic Information Science (BS)
Health and Physical Education (BS)
History Education (BS)
Human Services (BS)
Industrial and Systems Engineering (BS)
Industrial Engineering Technology (BS)
Information Security and Assurance (BBA)
Information Systems (BBA)
Information Technology (BAS)
Information Technology (BS)
Integrative Studies (BS)
Interactive Design (BS)
International Affairs (BA)
International Business (BBA)
Journalism and Emerging Media (BS)
Manufacturing Operations (BAS)
Mathematics Education (BSEd)
Mechanical Engineering (BS)
Mechanical Engineering Technology (BS)
Mechatronics Engineering (BS)
Media and Entertainment (BS)
Middle Grades Education (BS)
Modern Language and Culture (BA)
Music Education (BM)
Music Performance (BM)
Organizational and Professional Communication (BS)
Political Science (BS)
Professional Sales (BBA)
Public Health Education (BS)
Public Relations (BS)
Science Education (BSEd)
Secondary Education (BSED)
Software Engineering (BS)
Sport Management (BS)
Supply Chain Logistics (BAS)
Surveying and Mapping (BS)
Technical Communication (BS)
Theatre & Performance Studies (BA)
Kennesaw State offers the following master’s and doctoral degrees:
American Studies (MA)
Analytics and Data Science (Ph.D.)
Applied Engineering (MS)
Applied Exercise and Health Science (MS)
Applied Statistics and Analytics (MS)
Art Education (MAT)
Business Administration (Executive MBA)
Business Administration (MBA)
Business Administration (Ph.D.)
Business Administration (WebMBA)
Business Administration / Conflict Management (MSCM/MBA)
Chemical Sciences (MS)
Civil Engineering (MS)
Computer Science (MS)
Conflict Management (MS)
Construction Management (MS)
Criminal Justice (MS)
Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.S.)
Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Educational Leadership (Ed.S.)
Educational Leadership (MED)
Elementary Education (MED)
Elementary Education (Ed.D.)
Elementary Education (Ed.S.)
Engineering Management (MSEM)
English Education (MAT)
Healthcare Management and Informatics (MS)
Information Systems (MSIS)
Information Technology (MS)
Instructional Technology (Ed.D.)
Instructional Technology (Ed.S.)
Instructional Technology (MED)
Integrated Global Communication (MA)
Integrative Biology (MS)
International Conflict Management (Ph.D.)
International Policy Management (MS)
Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care (MSN)
Mathematics Education (MAT)
Mechanical Engineering (MS)
Middle Grades Education (Ed.D.)
Middle Grades Education (Ed.S.)
Middle Grades Education (MED)
Professional Writing (MA)
Public Administration (MPA)
Public Administration / Integrated Global Communication (MPA/MAIGC)
Quality Assurance (MS)
Reading Education (MED)
Science Education (MAT)
Secondary Education (Ed.D.)
Secondary Education (Ed.S.)
Secondary Education (MEd)
Secondary Education English (Ed.D.)
Secondary English (MAT)
Secondary Mathematics (MAT)
Secondary Science (MAT)
Social Work (MSW)
Software Engineering (MS)
Special Education (Ed.D.)
Special Education (EDS)
Special Education (MAT)
Special Education (MED)
Systems Engineering (MS)
academic departments, schools, and colleges – Capitalize the complete formal names of academic departments but lowercase informal or incomplete references. Examples: the College of the Arts; the School of Music; the music school.
Kennesaw State has the following colleges and academic departments:
Leland and Clarice C. Bagwell College of Education
Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education
Department of Inclusive Education
Department of Educational Leadership
Department of Instructional Technology
Michael J. Coles College of Business
School of Accountancy
Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality
Department of Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis
Department of Information Systems
Department of Marketing and Professional Sales
College of Architecture and Construction Management
Department of Architecture
Department of Construction Management
College of Computing and Software Engineering
Department of Computer Science
Department of Information Technology
Department of Software Engineering and Game Development
College of the Arts
School of Art and Design
School of Music
Department of Dance
Department of Theatre and Performance Studies
Wellstar College of Health and Human Services
Wellstar School of Nursing
Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management
Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education
Department of Social Work and Human Services
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Communication and Media
School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development
School of Government and International Affairs
Department of English
Department of Foreign Languages
Department of Geography and Anthropology
Department of History and Philosophy
Interdisciplinary Studies Department
Department of Psychological Science
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Department of Technical Communication and Interactive Design
College of Science and Mathematics
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
Department of Mathematics
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Department of Physics
Department of Statistics and Analytical Sciences
Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
Department of Civil and Construction Engineering
Department of Computer Engineering
Department of Electrical Engineering
Department of Engineering Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Mechatronics Engineering
Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering
KSU Journey Honors College
College of Professional Education
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
academic programs – Capitalize the names of formal programs of study; lowercase informal and generic references to programs and courses of study. Examples: He was enrolled in the geology program. He was enrolled in courses offered by the Department of Geology.
academic terms – Lowercase generic terms. Examples: The fall term begins on Monday. Classes for the Coles College of Business begin in the fall semester. But when referring to a specific term, capitalize. He started at KSU in Fall 2019.
academic titles and names – Capitalize formal titles when they precede a name.
Capitalize formal titles, such as dean, president, director, vice president or chancellor, when they precede a name. The description professor is lowercase except in the case of Professor Emeritus before a name or for named professorships, fellowships and chairs. Otherwise, lowercase such titles when they stand alone or when they follow a name. Examples: Dean Jeff Smith; Jeff Smith, dean of the Johnson School of Journalism; professor Jeff Smith; Jeff Smith, Cal H. Fullerton Professor of Journalism; Regents’ Professor of Journalism Jeff Smith.
academic units – Capitalize the formal name of an academic unit. Lowercase partial or informal unit names. Examples: The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is located on the campus. The center is located on the campus.
academic year – Use a hyphen for academic year. Example: The 2020-21 academic year.
acronyms, abbreviations – Spell the full name and put the acronym in parentheses on first reference. Example: Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)
addresses – Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. with a numbered address. Spell out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number. All similar words are spelled out.
advisor – The preferred spelling for academic advisor.
ages – Use figures for ages. Example: The 5-year-old girl participated in the event. The boy is 7 years old.
alumni association – Capitalize only when part of a formal name. Examples: She is a member of the Kennesaw State Alumni Association. She is a member of the alumni association.
alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae, alum – An alumnus (plural alumni) is the generic term for an individual who attended a school. An alumna (plural alumnae) refers specifically to women. Alum is colloquial for either a male or female attendee. Alumni refers to a group of men and women attendees.
alumni class year – Spell out the class year in running text unless the alumnus status is obvious from the context. Examples: Joe Smith, a 2005 KSU graduate; 2005 graduate Joe Smith; Joe Smith, Political Science ’05. (Note: the reverse apostrophe is used with class years, not single quotation mark: ’97).
a.m., p.m. – Lowercase with periods.
ampersand – Do not use & in place of and unless it is part of a formal name.
annual – The first occurrence of an event is the first or inaugural, not first annual. Upon the second occurrence, second annual may be used.
artist-in-residence – use hyphens
athletic director – Capitalize when preceding the name. Example: Athletic Director John Doe.
bachelor’s degree – use apostrophe
Board of Trustees – References to the Kennesaw State University Board of Trustees are always capitalized. Example: The Board of Trustees approves the budget.
building names – Never abbreviate. Capitalize the proper names of buildings.
Buildings on the Kennesaw Campus include:
Academic Learning Center
A.L. Burruss Building
Ann and John Clendenin Computer Science Building
ATOMS Center and GYSTC
Auxiliary Services & Programs
Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex
Campus Services Building
C.A.S.A. and Center for Elections
Chet and Hazel Austin Student Residence Complex
Cox Family Enterprise Center
Distance Learning Center
Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center
Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center
Horace W. Sturgis Library
Howard Logan Stillwell Theater
James V. Carmichael Student Center
Joe Mack Wilson Performing Arts Building
KSU Convocation Center
LeoDelle and Lex Jolley Lodge
Mathematics and Statistics Building
Music and Entertainment Business Program
Public Safety Building
Science Laboratory Building
Social Sciences Building
Student Health Services
Visual and Commercial Arts Building
Wyman Pilcher Public Service Building
Buildings on the Marietta Campus include:
Civil Engineering Tech Building
Clarence Arntson MET Building Complex
Crawford Lab Building
Engineering Lab Building
Engineering Technology Center
Joe Mack Wilson Student Center
Lawrence V. Johnson Library
Recreation and Wellness Center
Student Competition Team Building
Walter Kelly Sr. Memorial Field
Clair Harris Textile Center
Wilder Communications Center
cabinet – lowercase the generic term cabinet. President’s Cabinet is uppercase.
campus – lowercase the generic term campus. Capitalize when referring to Kennesaw Campus or Marietta Campus.
campuswide – One word
center – Capitalize only when it is part of a formal name. Example: The event is at the KSU Center. The center is hosting the event.
century – Lowercase. Example: the 21st century.
chair – Preferred title of presiding officer, instead of chairman, chairwoman or chairperson.
chancellor – Lowercase unless preceding a name.
class – Capitalize a specific class. Example: the Class of ’12.
coach – Lowercase coach as a job description, not a formal title. Examples: Kennesaw State coach John Smith.
college – Capitalize formal references to colleges; lowercase otherwise. Examples: He studies at the Coles College of Business. The college is next to the residence hall.
Kennesaw State has 13 colleges:
Commas – Oxford commas (comma before the “and” in a list) are not used in simple lists, but if there is a longer list that could be confusing, the comma is appropriate.
Commencement – Capitalize when referring to the Kennesaw State event; lowercase otherwise.
The Commons – Capitalize full formal name.
comprise, compose – Comprise means “to contain” (the whole comprises the parts). “Comprised of” is incorrect. Compose means “to make up” (the parts make up the whole). Examples: Kennesaw State comprises 13 colleges. Kennesaw State is composed of 13 colleges. Thirteen colleges compose Kennesaw State.
conference – Capitalize formal conference titles; lowercase informal references. Examples: the KSU Social Networking Conference; the social networking conference.
core curriculum – Lowercase all references to the generic term.
course titles – Capitalize official course titles.
coursework – One word.
courtesy titles – Courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. are not used, except in formal documents, such as invitations.
cum laude – Signifies graduation with honors; lowercase, do not italicize.
curriculum vitae – Vita, vitae refer to a short biography or autobiography. A curriculum vitae is a summary of academic and work history.
dates – Use figures, without st, nd, rd or th. Some months are abbreviated when used in exact dates (Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.). Some months are never abbreviated (March, April, May, June, July). All months are spelled out when alone or with year only. Examples: The game was on Jan. 15, 2012, in Kennesaw. The event will be on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the theater. The program begins April 22. He took the job in November 1998.
Dean – Capitalize when used a formal title before a name. Lowercase otherwise.
dean’s list – Lowercase.
decades – When listing the full decade, add an “s” without apostrophe. Use an apostrophe to denote missing numbers only. Examples: 1970s, ’90s.
degrees – See academic degrees.
departments – Capitalize the formal names of departments and other divisions or offices. Lowercase informal references. See academic departments.
dimensions – Use figures and spell out measurements such as inches, feet, yards. Examples: He is 6 feet 3 inches tall. The 6-foot-3-inch man left on foot. They dropped the 8-by-12 painting.
dissertation – Capitalize titles of dissertations and set with quotation marks; do not italicize.
doctor – Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title for a medical doctor on first reference. Do not use Dr. before names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees, except in formal documents such as invitations.
doctoral, doctorate – Doctoral is an adjective; doctorate is a noun. A person with a doctorate has earned a doctoral degree.
dorm – Use residence hall instead of dorm or dormitory.
email – No hyphen
emeritus, emerita – The title represents a special status conferred on some faculty members at retirement. Place emeritus after the formal title. Examples: President Emeritus John Johnson spoke at the luncheon. The group met with the president emeritus.
ex officio – Do not hyphenate or italicize this term, which means by virtue of one’s office or position.
faculty – Teachers in an educational unit are known as faculty. In references to unit members as a whole – the faculty – the term is singular. In references to members of the group, the term is plural. Examples: The chemistry faculty meets regularly on Wednesdays. Some faculty always miss this meeting.
farther, further – Farther refers to physical difference. Further refers to time or degree. Examples: The workers moved farther along the road. The committee members decided to investigate
the issue further before making a decision.
fall semester – Lowercase.
fellow – Lowercase this word in references to members of learned societies, holders of fellowships and members of governing bodies.
fellowship – Capitalize as part of a formal name; lowercase otherwise. Example: The professor won a Wilson Fellowship.
fewer, less – Use fewer to describe numbers and less to describe quantity. Examples: Fewer than 20 students were absent last semester. There is less time to study these days.
first-year student – Use instead of freshman.
fiscal year – The fiscal year is July 1 through June 30 and carries the numerical designation of the latter year. Spell out on first reference; FY is acceptable on second reference.
Foundation – Capitalize when referring to KSU Foundation.
fractions – Spell out amounts less than one, using hyphens. Convert amounts greater than one to decimals. Examples: He said four-fifths of the class took the test. The students ran 1.3 miles.
Fulbright scholar, Fulbright Scholarship – Lowercase scholar; capitalize Scholarship.
full-time, full time – Hyphenate as an adjective. Otherwise, use two words without hyphen. Examples: He is a full-time employee. He works full time.
fundraiser, fundraising – one word
grade point average – Spell out, without hyphens, or abbreviate as GPA.
grades – Capitalize letter grades; not in quotation marks or italicized. Use apostrophe for plurals. Examples: He received two A’s, a B and three C’s.
graduate – Schools graduate students, but students graduate from schools.
health care – two words
high school – no hyphen
historic, historical – A historic event is an important one, while a historical event is one that simply happened in the past.
honors – cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude. Lowercase, not italicized.
hyperlinks – Hyperlinks are generally noted with a common blue coloring to distinguish them from regular text.
hyphens – Use hyphens between the parts of compound modifiers when preceding a noun, except when one of the words is the adverb “very” or an adverb ending in “-ly.” Examples: a part-time position; a do-it-yourself project. But: a perfectly tuned piano.
ID – Capitalize, do not use periods for the abbreviation to identification. Do not use apostrophe with plural form. Examples: He lost his ID. The students lost their IDs.
include – Include denotes partial listing, not the full list.
initials – No space between initials in names. Example: W.E.B. Du Bois.
international student – Use instead of foreign student.
it’s, its – The contraction it’s means it is. The possessive of it is its. Examples: It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. The dog lost its collar.
Jr., Sr. – Abbreviate Jr. and Sr. with no comma after the name. Example: The event celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.
Kennesaw State University – The official name is Kennesaw State University. The full name Kennesaw State University must be used as a first reference in all news releases, feature articles, publications and on the web. Kennesaw State is acceptable on second reference once the full name has been used. The abbreviation KSU is acceptable on second reference, but it should be used sparingly. The capitalized term, the University, may also be used on subsequent references.
lecture titles – Capitalize and set within quotation marks. Do not italicize.
magazine titles – Italicize the proper names of magazines. Only italicize the word “magazine” when it is part of the formal name. Examples: Time magazine; Kennesaw State University Magazine.
magna cum laude – lowercase
majors, minors, concentrations – Lowercase the names of academic majors, minors, concentrations, areas and fields of study unless it is a proper noun. Example: She majored in art history with a minor in English.
master’s degree – use apostrophe
MBA – no periods
medical terms – Lowercase diseases, conditions, symptoms, tests and treatments except for proper names. Examples: He had tests for cancer. The doctor said he had Crohn’s disease.
midnight – Do not add 12 before it.
military titles – Abbreviate military titles when they are used with full names. Examples: Brig. Gen. Joe Josephson; Sgt. Maj. John Johnston.
months – see Dates
more than, over – More than is used with figures. Over is used to describe spatial relationships. Examples: There are more than 100 students in the class. The helicopter is over the field.
movie titles – italicize move titles.
music composition titles – Capitalize and italicize the titles of ballets, motets, operas, oratorios, song cycles, tone poems and similar long compositions. Capitalize and set within quotation marks the titles of individual arias, choruses, dances, ensembles, songs and similar short compositions.
names – Use person’s full name and title upon first reference. Do not use courtesy titles, such as Mr. and Mrs., except for medical doctors, which take Dr. on first reference. Use last name only on second reference. In formal documents, such as invitations, courtesy titles may be used.
non-degree – Two words, hyphenated.
noon – Do not add a 12 before it.
numbers – Spell out whole numbers less than 10 or when the number begins a sentence; use figures for 10 and above. Use figures for academic course numbers, addresses, ages, percentages, and dimensions. Examples: There were nine courses available. Thirty-six students took the class. He saw 36 students. About 300 students ages 8-18 visited 5 Main St.
office – Capitalize when office is part of the formal name. Upon second reference, the shortened form that drops “Office of” is capitalized. Informal references are lowercase. Examples: The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is open tomorrow. Staff from Undergraduate Admissions will present a report. He filed the application in the admissions office.
online – One word
part-time, part time – Hyphenate as an adjective. Otherwise, use two words without hyphen. Examples: He is a part-time employee. He works part time.
percent – The symbol or the word is acceptable. Example: They took a 15 percent loss. It’s 14% of what it was last year.
Ph.D. – Use periods; do not use an apostrophe in forming the plural Ph.D.s.
photograph titles – Use quotation marks.
play titles – Italicize
p.m., a.m. – Lowercase with periods.
poem titles – Use quotation marks for the titles of short poems. Italicize titles of long poems or poem collections.
postsecondary – one word
president – When referring to KSU’s president, always spell out. Capitalize when used before a name; lowercase otherwise. Use last name on second reference. Examples: Kennesaw State President Pamela Whitten. The mayor met with the president. Whitten said the program would begin in May.
professor – Lowercase as a job description, not a formal title, except in the case of Professor Emeritus before a name or for named professorships, fellowships and chairs. See academic titles.
residence halls – Use residence hall instead of dorm or dormitory.
room and board – Use housing and meals.
room numbers – College, hall, building may be omitted when the name of the building is known. Examples: 121 Prillaman; 4-206 Convocation Center.
school – Capitalize only as part of a formal name; lowercase informal and incomplete references. Examples: She attends the Wellstar School of Nursing. Classes will begin in the nursing school.
seasons – Lowercase names of seasons unless they are part of a formal name or designate an issue of a periodical. Examples: He graduated in the spring semester. She was on campus in Fall 2012. The article was in the Winter 2010 issue of Poetry.
semester – Lowercase academic semesters. Examples: Courses begin fall semester. She will graduate spring semester 2024.
spacing – Place one space after a period at the end of a sentence.
spring semester – lowercase
street – Use abbreviation only with numbered addresses. Examples: She lives at 101 Main St. He lives on Broad Street.
student-athlete – hyphenate
student classifications – lowercase freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, undergraduate
student groups – Capitalize formal names of officially organized groups. Examples: the Student Government Association; the Biology Club
summa cum laude – lowercase, not italicized
summer semester – lowercase
telephone numbers – Complete phone numbers should be provided in written copy. Use parentheses to separate the area code from the seven-digit number. Example: (770) 423-6000.
theater, theatre – Use theatre in reference to the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies or as part of a proper name. Use theater for general purposes. Examples: She is a student in the theatre department. The performance was in Stillwell Theater. After the performance, the theater was empty.
theses – Set off the titles of theses and dissertations with quotation marks. Do not italicize.
time – Use figures except for noon and midnight. Omit the :00 following the hour. Examples: The event begins at 5 p.m., and the dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. The festival is from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be Wednesday, March 3, 8-9 a.m. Exceptions: In formal documents, such as invitations, the :00 may be used. The alternate abbreviations AM and PM are acceptable.
titles of works – In general, use italics for titles of entire works, such as books, long works and compositions, works of art and art exhibitions, legal cases, magazines, pamphlets, long poems, plays, movies, television series, television programs, symphonies and operas. Titles of works that are part of a whole, such as book chapters, articles, columns, blog entries, short poems, short stories, comic strips, lectures, individual works of art, songs and individual episodes of television series, should be in quotation marks. Examples: The article “Painting by Numbers” appeared in Kennesaw State University Magazine. The song “Here Comes the Sun” is on Abbey Road. The episode “Running” in the show The Walking Dead inspired the movie Zombies.
trustee – Trustee is the generic term for a person or group appointed to manage the affairs or property of another person or organization. Capitalize when used as a formal title.
T-shirt – Use capital T and hyphenate.
University – Capitalize as part of a complete formal name or as informal reference to Kennesaw State University. Lowercase otherwise. Examples: The University started a football program in 2015. She went to a different university before attending KSU.
URL – Punctuation is used after URLs when they are part of complete sentences.
Vita, vitae, curriculum vitae – Vita, vitae refers to a short biography or autobiography. A curriculum vitae is a summary of academic and work history.
Web – Capitalize the proper noun World Wide Web, but lowercase other forms. Examples: The information is on the web. The information about his webcast is on the website.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.