The Office of University Communications generally uses Associated Press style in the weekly Briefing and Sacramento State Leader, the Sac State Magazine, news stories, and other written material, except in arts events releases, where we use a few rules from the Chicago Manual of Style. When Sacramento Bee style conflicts with AP style, we use Bee style. Styles that deviate from those are listed below, as are styles that frequently lead to questions.

Questions? Ahmed Ortiz ( in University Communications maintains the style of and updates to this guide, the most recent date of which appears at the bottom of the document. Please direct suggestions, questions and/or comments to him.


academic degrees Preferred usage is the type of degree – bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree – not BA, MS, etc.: “Professor Wilson has a master’s degree.”

Exceptions are when referring to a specialized doctorate (e.g. “Ph.D.” is acceptable in all uses for physical doctorate and “Ed.D.” for educational doctorate) or an alumnus who has an advanced degree. “Professional Wilson See alumni grad years.

Sacramento State does not traditionally use “Dr.” before an individual’s name unless on special occasions or for people who have earned a medical degree.

academic departments Capitalize the name of an academic department only when using its full name: “The Department of Computer Science will sponsor the annual contest, but the biology department will provide prizes.” Lowercase when used as a nonspecific reference: “There will be a department meeting in the auditorium tomorrow.” For the sake of clarity, do not capitalize department names of other campuses: “She comes to Sacramento State from Mills College, where she was an assistant vice president in the department of human resources.”

academic honors Lowercase “cum laude,” “magna cum laude” and “summa cum laude.”

acceptable naming conventions for this university In public- and inward-facing communications, use “Sacramento State,” “Sac State,” “the University,” or the full name “California State University, Sacramento.” We don’t refer to ourselves as “CSUS” and we especially never, ever use “Sacramento State University.” See also: Sacramento State, University/university, University nomenclature

acronyms Avoid using acronyms unless they are very well-known: “ASI,” “MBA,” “ROTC.” If you must use an acronym (for instance, an organization with a very long title), use the full name followed by the acronym in parentheses. Then use the acronym on secondary references.

advisor Not “adviser.”

alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus Use “alumnus” (plural: “alumni”) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use “alumna” (plural: “alumnae”) for similar references to a woman. Use “alumni” when referring to a group of men and women.

Alumni Center See Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center

alumni grad years

  • Bachelor’s degree only: Herky Hornet ’96 (Entomology)
  • Master’s degree only: Herky Hornet, MS ’99 (Entomology)
  • Bachelor’s and master’s, same subject: Herky Hornet ’96, MS ’99 (Entomology)
  • Bachelor’s and master’s, different subjects: Herky Hornet ’96 (Entomology), MA ’99 (Art)
  • Teaching credential: Herky Hornet, Credential ’10
  • Bachelor’s and credential: Herky Hornet ’99 (Entomology), Credential ’10
  • Double major: Herky Hornet ’99 (Entomology and Art)
  • Doctorate, not in Education or Physical Therapy: Herky Hornet, Ph.D. (Public History)

No (major) after MBA, DPT, Ed.S., Ed.D., MSW, or MPPA.

For captions, use grad year only: “Herky Hornet ’96, MS ’99, pictured at left, entertains the Causeway Classic crowd.”

a.m., p.m. Lowercase, with periods after each letter. Avoid redundancies such as “10 a.m. this morning,” “12 noon,” “3 p.m. this afternoon,” “8 p.m. tonight.” See also: midnight, noon

amount vs. number/fewer vs. less/many vs. much Amounts are for things that are measured or not countable. Think of it as a cousin of another rule you can’t get your head around: fewer vs. less. “There was a great amount of sand in her shoes.” “The number of sand grains in his shoes would take decades to count.” “The amount of water that flooded the house was staggering.” “The recommended number of gallons of water to bring to Burning Man depends on how many days you plan to be there.” This might be an easy way to think of it: “amount,” “much” and “less” work together. Same goes for “number,” “many” and “fewer.” Generally, if the plural form takes an “s,” you’re looking at a number/fewer/many construct (although this also is true for things such as geese, moose, mice, fish, etc.). And if I’m just not getting it done for you, this probably better explains at least part of it.

ampersand (&)/and Use “and” in written communications, unless an ampersand is part of the proper name, such as Johnson & Johnson. An exception is University colleges and departments that use ampersands. In those cases, use “and”: “Speech Pathology and Audiology,” not “Speech Pathology & Audiology”; “Department of Public Policy and Administration,” not “Department of Public Policy & Administration.”

A/anchor U/university Uppercase when referring to a specific initiative, program, e.g., “Anchor University Initiative.” Lowercase when used generically: “We are an anchor university.”

antiracism/antiracist No hyphen.

article titles Place within quotation marks.

artworks and shows Italicize the titles of individual pieces. Place names of art shows in quotation marks.

assemblymember Use in place of “assemblyman,” “assemblywoman.” Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: “Assemblymember Kevin McCarty”; “Kevin McCarty is the assemblymember representing District 7.”

Associated Students Inc. The University’s student governmental body does not take a comma between “Students” and “Inc.” Use the acronym “ASI” on secondary references.

at/in When naming the site of on-campus events, use “at” for buildings and places, and “in” for rooms within those buildings and places: “The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be held at the Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center.” “She will deliver the Livingston Lecture in the University Union, Redwood Room.” “Saturday’s Homecoming game kicks off at 6:05 p.m. at Hornet Stadium.” “The Wednesday Nooner is at Serna Plaza.” Out-of-town events occur at places in cities: “The Board of Trustees meeting is at the Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach.”

athletics facilities See University buildings and places


Black Capitalize in reference to people of African origin: “Daniel Hahn is the first Black police chief in Sacramento’s history.” “Stevante Clark emerged as a leader in the local Black community after his brother Stephon was killed in a police shooting.”

books, journals and periodicals See publications.

Broad Fieldhouse See Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse


California’s capital university Write in all uses exactly as listed here. And it’s “the capital city,” lowercase, in reference to Sacramento.

center Capitalize only when used in the proper name: “The Sacramento State Aquatic Center rents kayaks and canoes. You may also borrow life jackets from the center.”

chair Do not use “chairman,” “chairwoman,” or “chairperson.” Lowercase when not used before a person’s name.

college There are eight at Sacramento State – seven academic colleges and the College of Continuing Education. Always uppercase the full name. On secondary references, if it is clear which college is being referred to, simply use “college” or “the college.”

comma The Oxford comma is used in communications that originate from the President’s Office: “Red, white, blue, and yellow.” Otherwise, follow Associated Press style in all other communications and don’t include a comma before the last item in a simple series: “Red, white, blue and yellow.” However, if the list is complicated, you may include the serial comma if it makes the sentence read more clearly: “The College of Arts and Letters contains the departments of art, music, design, and theatre and dance.”

Communication Studies Not “Communications.”

councilmember Use in place of “councilman,” “councilwoman.” Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: “Councilmember Angelique Ashby.”

COVID-19 Use all caps when writing about the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.

co-author Hyphenate.

CSU This abbreviation is acceptable on all references, including first, to the California State University system’s 23 campuses. They collectively are “the CSU” or “the CSU system.” Note that some campuses differ from California State University, Sacramento, in their names: “San José State University,” “San Diego State University.” For a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the preferred and alternate short forms of individual CSU campus names, as well as a guide to proper use of campus initials, refer to the CSU’s Branding Standards Guide at

CSUS Not used when referring to the University. In general, use “Sacramento State” or “Sac State.” See University nomenclature


DACA The acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is acceptable on first reference. However, effort should be made to spell out its full name within a story in a contextually appropriate manner.

dates and times The preferred sequence is time, day, date, place: “4 p.m. Saturday, June 19, in Lassen Hall.” Do not use a comma between the month and year if no day is included: “July 2012.” Hyphenate inclusive times and dates: “Workshop hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.” Do not use “on” before a date unless excluding it would cause confusion: “Registration begins Monday, June 25, but the deadline is Saturday, June 30.” Avoid using “st,” “th,” or “rd” with dates: “Christmas is Saturday, Dec. 25, and school resumes Monday, Jan. 3.” The day of the week and date are used for upcoming events: “The festival begins Saturday, June 19.” For events in the past, only the date is used: “The festival began June 19.” Do not include the year unless the event is more than 12 months in the past or 12 months in the future. See also: midnight, noon

dean Lowercase unless used before the person’s name: “Mary Jones is the new dean of the College of Arts and Letters. She replaced Dean Alice Smith.”

Deans’ Award(s)/Dean’s Award When referred to in total, the seven awards constitute the Deans’ Awards. Refer collectively to honorees as “Deans’ Award winners” – i.e., winners of awards given by seven deans. Individuals are honored by their specific college; when referring to a single winner, use the singular possessive: “Herky Hornet, the College of Health and Human Services Dean’s Award winner” – i.e., winner of an award given by the dean of a college. Note that it always takes a possessive of some sort; never “Deans Award(s).”

degree Follows “master’s” and “bachelor’s”: “Professor Smith holds a master’s degree in English.” “Doctorate” can stand alone. But: “doctoral degree.”

departments/divisions Uppercase the full formal name of a campus department or division: “The Department of Physical Therapy,” not “physical therapy department”; “Ed Mills is the vice president for the Division of Student Affairs.” For the sake of clarity, do not capitalize department and division names of other campuses: “She comes to Sacramento State from Mills College, where she was an assistant vice president in the department of human resources.”


Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse “Broad Fieldhouse” or “the Fieldhouse” on secondary references.

email No hyphen.

emerita, emeritus titles Use “professor emerita” for a retired female faculty member who retains her academic rank (plural: “professors emeritae”). Use “professor emeritus” for a retired male faculty member (plural: “professors emeriti”). Use “professors emeriti” for a group made up of both genders.

enrollment Always refers to the fall census figure from the current school year.

Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex See University buildings and places.

events, festivals, etc. Capitalize titles; no italics or quotation marks.

exclamation points Limit their use to signage, greeting cards and emails.


Face covering Use this term instead of “mask” when referring to facewear used to protect against infection.

Fall Address/Spring Address Capitalize when referring to the University President’s annual speeches.

finals week Lowercase.

first ever/first-ever/first time ever Avoid this adjectival redundancy and any of its malignant cousins not mentioned here. “First,” “inaugural” or “premiere” all suffice.

fundraising One word, no hyphen.


Golden 1 Center The downtown arena is the home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the University’s annual Commencement. Note that it is not called “Golden 1 Arena” and that “the” is not part of its formal name.

GPA Suitable for all references to grade-point average. No hyphens, no periods. Keep in mind that specific information on individual student GPAs is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).


he/she/they; his/hers/theirs Be mindful of individuals’ pronoun choice, to the point of asking the subject if required, and use whichever he, she, or they prefer.

headlines Uppercase only the first word and proper nouns in headlines. Follow AP’s style of using single quotes for quotation marks in headlines.

Herky The colloquial for school mascot Hercules the Hornet may be used in all references.

Hive Uppercase in uses such as “protect the Hive.” For the several campus sites that go by “Hive,” use “the Hive at/in [campus site].”

Homecoming Capitalize activities referring to Sacramento State’s Homecoming event. Note the capitalization when referring to the week of activities: “Homecoming Week.”

home page Two words.

Hornet Family Uppercase.

hyphen Follow AP Style of using a hyphen rather than an “en” dash in ranges: “The event runs from 3-4 p.m.” “The report covers fiscal year 2016-17.”


Internet Lowercase is OK in reference to the decentralized, worldwide network of computers that can communicate with one another. Do not include “http://www.” or “www.” when providing a website URL in print publications unless a web address will not work without them.




Latinx The University’s preferred term for Latin American persons of any gender. The plural form is Latinxs. However, whenever possible, ask the source how they would like to be identified, as some might prefer the more traditional Latina/Latino.

lecturer Use this term for adjunct faculty.

lectures Place their titles within quotation marks.

Library See University buildings and places


magazines See publications.

majors Capitalize majors, degree programs and concentrations when used contextually, even if not a proper noun. “She earned her bachelor’s in Civil Engineering.”

midnight, noon The most concise way of clearly articulating either version of “12 o’clock.” Never, ever, ever use “12 a.m.,” “12 p.m.,” “12 noon,” “12:00 noon,” “12:00 midnight,” et. al. It’s simply “midnight” or “noon.” And neither is capitalized unless at the beginning of a sentence.

more than/over Although the AP Stylebook now says otherwise, “more than” is the correct wording when dealing with numbers: “More than 50 people applied for the position.” “Over” is best used to describe a spatial relationship: “The water flowed over the dam.” “More than,” put simply, is used for numbers: “More than 30,000 students attend Sacramento State.”

movies Italicize the title.

Mr., Mrs. and related Don’t use except in rare cases such as “in memoriam” items to show respect.

multicultural Follow this spelling, but note: The campus facility is the “Multi-Cultural Center.”

music Italicize the titles of operas and albums. Put song titles in quotes. When the title is a form and key (Symphony in G), no italics, no quotes.


neighborhoods Capitalize the names of widely known local neighborhoods such as East Sacramento, South Sacramento, Midtown, etc.

newspapers See publications.

numbers Spell out numbers less than 10 except in headlines, where numbers can be used in all cases.


office Capitalize when using the complete name, but lowercase when used as a nonspecific reference: “The Office of Water Programs meeting is in Modoc Hall, where the office is headquartered.” For the sake of clarity, do not capitalize office names of other campuses: “She comes to Sacramento State from Pepperdine University, where she was vice president for the office of student affairs.”




paintings, drawings, statues See artworks.

panels, webinars, workshop sessions, etc. Place titles within quotation marks: “The Office of Human Resources will hold a “Managing Your Finances” workshop May 8.” However, treat serialized webinars as episodic: italicize the name of the webinar series and place the title of that particular “episode” in quotes. “The Dreamer Resource Center invites faculty and staff to register for its first webinar series, Addressing the Undocumented Stress Cycle, a four-part series led by Dr. Basia Ellis, sociocultural psychologist and assistant professor. The next webinar is “Healthy Activism and Long-Term Well-Being: What Does It Take?” 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 26.

percent, percentages, percentage points (AP style change in 2019) Use the % sign when paired with a numeral, with no space, in most cases: Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago. Her mortgage rate is 4.75%.” “About 60% of Americans agreed.” “He won 56.2% of the vote.

For amounts less than 1%, precede the decimal with a zero: “The cost of living rose 0.6%.”

In casual uses, use words rather than figures and numbers: “She said he has a zero percent chance of winning.”

Ph.D. Not usually included after a title. Instead, use “holds a doctoral degree in …” or “holds a doctorate in …”

phone numbers Express common (U.S.) phone numbers in 10-digit form and use hyphens to separate the area code, prefix and suffix: “916-278-2140.”

plays, musical productions, operas Italicize the title.

President of Sacramento State Robert S. Nelsen. In writing, he is referred to as President Robert S. Nelsen, President Nelsen (on second reference) or, on formal occasions, Dr. Nelsen. Uppercase “President” when referring to the President of Sacramento State, even without a name. When referring to the President and his wife, Jody, the preferred listing is “President Robert S. and Jody Nelsen.”

Presidential addresses Capitalize references to perennial speeches: “President’s Town Hall,” “Fall Address,” “Spring Address.”

professional titles Uppercase before a name titles that convey professional distinction: “Provost John Smith”; “Assistant Professor Jyn Erso.” For lengthier titles, he preferred use is the title after the name and lower case: “Suzy Hornet, executive director, Office of Inclusive Excellence, and University Diversity Officer.” Titles such as “student assistant,” “(department) intern,” “team trainer (Exception: see President of Sacramento State).

professor The preferred use is after the name and with the field of study: “John Smith, professor of history.” But capitalize the title if used before the name. We do not use “Dr.” except for medical doctors. We also do not include Ph.D. or other alphabet soup after names.

publications Italicize the titles of books, magazines, newspapers and other periodicals.



reentry Not “re-entry.”

residence halls At Sacramento State, student living spaces are residence halls, not dormitories.


Sacramento State See acceptable naming conventions for this university, University nomenclature

Sacramento State Downtown The formal name of the University’s School of Public Affairs, located at 304 S St. “Sacramento State’s downtown location” also is acceptable in all references.

seasons Lowercase except when referring to a specific semester: “The new residence hall is scheduled to open in fall 2017.” But: “The new residence hall is scheduled to open in time for the Fall 2017 semester.”

songs Place titles within quotation marks.

speeches Place titles within quotation marks.

spring break/winter break Lowercase.



Television stations Use the following protocols for Sacramento’s local stations. Note that several use run-on call letters and numbers:





Univision 19


Telemundo 33



television and radio programs Italicize their titles.

theater This is the preferred spelling, but it’s “Department of Theatre and Dance,” “University Theatre” and “Studio Theatre” when referring to the campus entity and facilities.


UC University of California. In many cases, such as campus and alumni publications, “UC” is acceptable on first reference. But for broader, off-campus audiences, spell out on first reference.

UNIQUE The acronym for “Union Network for Innovative Quality University Entertainment” is acceptable in all references.

University/university The uppercase is acceptable in secondary references to Sacramento State: “the University.” “University” is always uppercase when referring to Sacramento State, lowercase when referring to another university.

University Foundation On secondary references, use uppercase "Foundation."

– – –

University buildings and places

Academic Information and Resource Center Spell out on first reference and use the acronym “AIRC” in secondary references.

Adams Building This off-campus brick structure of office suites at College Town and Hornet drives formerly was owned by University Enterprises Inc. and remains the home of the Institute for Social Research. Its full name is the Aroline McKeever Adams Building.

Admissions Office No apostrophe.

American River Bike Trail This common moniker is acceptable in all references to this trail, the proper name of which is the also acceptable Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. “Bike trail” is OK on secondary references.

Art Sculpture Lab This facility is located behind the Sacramento State Police Department. On secondary references, “the lab” is acceptable as long as doing so creates no ambiguity.

ASI Children’s Center It’s acceptable to use the acronym for “Associated Students Inc.” on first reference. Use “Children’s Center” or “the center” on secondary references.

– – –

Athletics facilities

Athletics Center The building in Lot 1 that houses the athletics administrative offices.

Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse

Event Center The as-yet-unbuilt, as-yet-formally-named 5,000-seat facility does not take a plural “Events.”

football practice field

handball courts

Hornet Field Home of the University’s soccer teams.

Hornet Stadium Home of the University’s football team.

intramural fields

John Smith Field Home of the University’s baseball team.

Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center

The Nest Use the shorthand version of the Hornets Nest for the home of the University’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics teams.

Shea Stadium Home of the University’s softball team.

tennis courts

– – –

Bioconversion and Agricultural Collaborative Use the full name of the BAC Yard on first reference.

– – –

Centers and Institutes

Academic Talent Search

Archaeological Research Center, the

Asian Pacific Islander American Research Center (APIARC)

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Student Center

Capital Campus History Resources Institute

Career Center

Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution

Center for Biomedical Device Development

Center for Business Analytics

Center for California Studies

Center for Collaborative Policy

Center for College and Career Readiness

Center for Contemporary Music

Center for Economic Education

Center for Entrepreneurship

Center for Family Studies

Center for Hellenic Studies

Center for Information Assurance and Security

Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Education, Research and Advancement (CIMERA)

Center for Mathematics and Science Education (MASE)

Center for Pacific Asian Studies

Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences

Center for Practical and Professional Ethics

Center for Regional Environmental Science and Technology (CREST) Center for Small Business

Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Excellence Center for the Study of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the

Center for Teaching and Learning

Center for World Music

Community Engagement Center

Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the

EdInsights Center (formerly Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy) Gerontology-Longevity Center

Institute for Archaeology and Cultural Studies

Institute for Social Research

Institute for the Study of Media and Politics

Institute for Water, Energy, Sustainability and Technology (iWEST) Iranian and Middle Eastern Studies Center

Maryjane Rees Language, Speech, and Hearing Center

North Central Information Center

Office of Water Programs

Science Educational Equity Program

Serna Center

Sustainable Technology Outdoor Research Center (STORC)

Testing Services Center

– – –

Donald and Beverly Gerth Special Collections and University Archives Use “Special Collections” or “University Archives” on secondary references. Avoid condensing into an acronym.

Epicure Restaurant Capitalize “Restaurant” as part of its formal name. Use “Epicure” on secondary references.

Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex Scheduled to open in fall 2019. Use “the Tschannen Science Complex,” “the Science Complex” or “the complex” on secondary references.

– – –

Galleries (

Anthropology Museum In Mendocino 1000.

Robert Else Gallery Use the full name on first reference for the gallery at Kadema Hall and “Else Gallery” on secondary references.

R.W. and Joyce Witt Gallery Use the full name on first reference for the gallery at Kadema Hall and “Witt Gallery” on secondary references.

Special Collections and University Archives Use “Special Collections” on secondary references.

University Library Gallery Use “Library Gallery” on secondary references.

University Library Gallery Annex “Library Gallery Annex” is acceptable on all references.

University Union Gallery Use “Union Gallery” on secondary references.

– – –

Hornet Bookstore Don’t capitalize “the” before the proper name unless at the beginning of a sentence. Use “the Bookstore” on secondary references.

Hornet Crossing The proper name of the tunnel that traverses the railroad tracks and connects the campus to Elvas Avenue/65th Street on the west.

Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center Use the full name on first reference. On secondary references, it’s “the Alumni Center.”

Library Quad The proper name of the grassy area in front of the University Library. Use “the quad” on secondary references unless clarity calls for using the proper name.

Main Quad The grassy area bordered by the River Front Center and Shasta Hall to the east, Douglass Hall to the south, Lassen and Sacramento Halls to the west, and the Transit Center to the north. Use “the quad” on secondary references unless clarity calls for using the proper name.

Outpost The proper name of the building that houses the eateries located just northwest of the University Library.

parking structures and lots Use Arabic numerals when designating structures and lots: “Parking Structure 2.” “Lot 6.” On secondary references to parking structures, use “PS [structure number],” with a space between the letters and number to avoid potential confusion with the PlayStation systems.

River Front Center

Round House

Sacramento State Planetarium Part of the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex. Capitalize on secondary references: “Opportunities remain to provide financial support for the Planetarium.”

Sacramento State Ticket Office Sells tickets for on- and off-campus events. “Ticket Office” or “University Ticket Office” are acceptable on secondary references.

Serna Plaza The proper name of the area between the Hornet Bookstore and the University Union.

South Green The area bordered by Tahoe Hall on the north, Benicia Hall on the east, and The WELL on the southwest.

Sustainable Technology Outdoor Research Center (STORC) On first reference, use the full name of this research-based center on the campus’s east end across State University Drive from Riverside Hall. The acronym is acceptable on secondary references.

Transit Center The preferred name for the bus loop on the campus’s north end (the J Street entrance).

University Arboretum Use “the Arboretum” on secondary references.

University Library Capitalize when referring to the University Library. “Library” (uppercase) is acceptable on secondary references. Lowercase for all other libraries unless using the proper name: “The University Library is larger than most libraries in Sacramento. Only the Central Library downtown is larger.”

University Union Do not capitalize “the” before the proper name unless at the beginning of a sentence. Note that it isn’t “the Student Union,” “the University Student Union,” etc. Refer to it as “the Union” on secondary references. When an event is in a specific room within the Union, use the name of the building and the room of the event, separated by a comma, on most occasions: “The meeting will be held in the University Union, Foothill Suite.”

Upper Eastside Lofts

The WELL Although the formal name of the campus’s fitness and recreation center is not technically an acronym, it is written in all caps with “The” capitalized. Its corporate entity is Union WELL Inc.

– – –

University nomenclature Our formal name is California State University, Sacramento. However, the preferred style when referring to the University is “Sacramento State” or “Sac State.” Those three conventions, as well as “the University,” are the only acceptable means of referencing this institution. Do not use “CSUS,” “Sacramento State University,” “Sac State University,” “CSU Sacramento,” etc. See also: acceptable naming conventions for this university, Sacramento State, University/university

uppercase Generally, avoid using it. We do uppercase the names of all seven colleges and the College of Continuing Education, as well as the names of departments when the full department name is used: “Department of History,” but “history department.” Uppercase “President” when referring to the President of Sacramento State, even without a name. Uppercase “University” when referring to Sac State on secondary references.



web page, website Note their different treatment in terms of compounding. A web page is subordinate to and not synonymous with a website, except in the case of a primary landing page. A website denotes a proprietary domain. For example, this campus’ website/domain is Typing this into a web browser takes you to the domain’s primary page. Information on respective colleges, divisions, etc., is found on subpages within the domain. These pages are navigated to from the main page; for example, The College of Arts and Letters therefore has a page on the website. Basically, if the url contains words after a forward slash that follows ".com," ".edu," ".org" et. al., (in the example, that would be “college/arts-letters/”) it's a web page, not a website. Avoid using the terms interchangeably.

winter break/spring break Lowercase

Writing Partners @ Sac State



years An apostrophe is not needed for written periods of time such as “the 1950s.” However, it is needed for abbreviated forms of decades to indicate omitted characters: “the ’60s.” Beginning a sentence with a year expressed in numerals is acceptable but awkward. Try instead to rewrite the sentence.


Updated 9.20.21