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Academic Units  |  Academic Majors  |  State Abbreviations  |
City Designations  |  Campuses  |  Degrees Offered  |  
Research Centers  |  Other Resources


academic abbreviations

[see academic majors list]

academic degrees

Capitalize formal names of degrees, e.g., Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. Do not capitalize general categories of degrees, e.g., master’s degree or doctorate. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s thesis, or the like. Abbreviations are offset with periods, e.g., M.B.A., M.S., B.S., M.Des., etc.

academic titles

Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor or dean when they precede a name. Lowercase when the title follows the name, e.g., President John Anderson—John Anderson, president of Illinois Institute of Technology; Dean Ali Cinar—Ali Cinar, dean of the Graduate College. However, generic titles that do not include a proper noun are lowercase, e.g., Bob Smith, dean of libraries or dean of libraries Bob Smith. A lowercase title does not indicate disrespect; it simply follows The Chicago Manual of Style. 

Capitalize academic titles when they follow names in a list (e.g., donor list) unless the list if is part of running text, in which case the above rule applies.

Preliminary titles, as in Dean Jones or Professor Smith, should be reserved for very formal documents. See Professor.

Do not use the abbreviation Dr. when referring to faculty, as it is often confused with the title used for medical doctors. Most IIT faculty hold doctorate degrees.

academic units

Capitalize when using the formal name of a unit, like Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering. Do not capitalize when approximating the name or using it informally, as in the architectural engineering department. (See lists in back for names of academic units.)  


Acronyms may be used in running text as secondary references to names or organizations, e.g., Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research conducts studies that join together WISER researchers from throughout campus. Because many organizations at IIT are known by their acronyms, it is not necessary to place acronyms after the first reference to these organizations, for visual clarity and general journalism style. Exceptions would be Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program, in which case the acronym is part of the official name, or instances in which the acronym is not intuitive or appears much later in the running text after its first reference.

adviser, advisor

No preference, but be consistent throughout a document. Marketing and Communications, including IIT Magazine, has traditionally used adviser. However, Board of Advisors is the only correct spelling.

African American

Hyphenate only when using as an adjective, not as a noun, e.g. He is African American. The African-American art was on exhibit. Use the hyphen similarly for Asian-American, Hispanic-American, Polish-American, and the like when used as adjectives.


Hyphenate when used as an adjective and spell out when nine or less younger, e.g., He is nine years old. He is a nine-year-old student. She is 11 years old. She is an 11-year-old actress.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae

Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a male graduate of IIT or other institution. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Note: Chicago-Kent College of Law uses alumnae/i to describe groups of its graduates.

Ampersand (&)

Use only when part of an official name, as in Financial Markets & Trading.


Use the article an, not a, to precede works that begin with vowel sounds, e.g., an historic building, an island. Use a for words that begin with a vowel but that have a consonant “u” sound, e.g., a eulogy.

Anderson, John

Formal title and name is President John L. Anderson, however, by request, he would like to be referred to as President John Anderson (note omission of middle initial) except in more formal publications or letters. On second references, use Anderson or, less formally, the president.


End-quote apostrophes are used in alumni graduation years and other instances to indicate missing text, e.g., ’50s, grab ’n go, ’til. Take caution to make sure apostrophes face the correct direction (toward the missing characters). See smart/“curly” quotes for proper keying.

art exhibits

Capitalize; do not place in italics or quotations. Italicize individual works of art.

Asian American

[see African American]


The beamlines run by IIT or its affiliated collaborative access teams at Argonne National Laboratory.

Board of Trustees

Capitalize in all references to IIT’s governing body. Capitalize trustee when it precedes a name, e.g., Trustee Bob Smith. Lowercase otherwise. Always lowercase board or trustee when used alone.

bold text

In most cases, punctuation following boldface text should not be similarly bolded. The same rule applies when in italics.


Italicize titles of books, movies, magazines, plays, journals, works of art, and albums (but not songs, which are capitalized and placed in quotes).


Capitalize in all uses. Bronzeville is a neighborhood community that is generally described as between 26th and 51st streets and between the Dan Ryan Expressway and Cottage Grove Avenue. 

bulleted lists

Do not add a period at the end of items in a bulleted list unless the individual items form a complete sentence, in which case periods are optional.


Capitalize Main Campus, Downtown Campus, River North Campus, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus (also known as Rice Campus), and Moffett Campus. Never use the expression Downtown Center. Lowercase general references to a campus, as in IIT’s campus in Wheato.


This is the full, formal name of the scholarship. Less formally, it is known as the Camras Scholarship. Recipients are known as Camras scholars (note lowercase). Camras is capitalized because this scholarship is named after a man—Marvin Camras. Use Camras Pathways to Professional Excellence when referring to the certificate program; Camras Pathways less formally.


In general, capitalize official names; use lowercase for unofficial, informal, shortened titles, or generic names. Therefore, phrases such as the center, the institute,or the college are not capitalized.


Conclude photo captions with a period when they are complete sentences or partial sentences of more than two lines. Do not use periods when they consist of only a person’s name or are fragments of less than two lines.

Career Development Center

The abbreviation is CDC (no periods). Use lowercase center for subsequent references.

[see centers]

cell phone


Capitalize the exact names of centers, as in the Center for Financial Markets. Note: The McCormick Tribune Campus Center. In subsequent references, use lowercase for the center.


Spell out both the number and century when used as a noun and an adjective, e.g., twentieth century, twentieth-century discovery.


Preferred to chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson, although the latter are acceptable; Robert A. Pritzker chooses to be referred to as former chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert A. Pritzker.

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Never Kent. Use Chicago-Kent or the law school in subsequent references. The use of the College of Law is prohibited.


Always capitalize. A number of United States and foreign cities do not require state or country names in datelines or copy. [see city designations]


Freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior all are acceptable, although it is preferred to use the gender-neutral and more flexible first-year, second-year, etc. Freshmen may be described as the incoming class of XX [year]. Because students in the College of Architecture follow a five-year course of study, they should be described as first-year, second-year, etc. Also, it is not unusual for students to take longer than four years to finish an undergraduate degree.

Student classes should be hyphenated and spelled out, e.g., All first-year students live on campus. The only exception is when classes appear as alumni affiliations, in which case the ordinal is used, e.g., Tom Smith (ME 4th year) attended chemistry class; note the absence of a superscript.


Keystroke one space after a colon. Capitalize the first word after a colon only when it is a proper noun or the start of a formal quote. Also, use colons only at the end of independent clauses, never after a linking verb, e.g., The winners are: Jonathan, faculty, and students Marisa, Mark, and Emily. (Note: There should be a noun following the linking verb; therefore, you may correctly write it this way: There were four winners: Jonathan, Marisa, Mark, and Emily.) Colons may also be used with introductory phrases, such as To Whom It May Concern: etc. Colons should be placed outside quotation marks; when quoting text that ends in a colon, replace the colon with an ellipsis.


Capitalize when referring to IIT Commencement.


Capitalize the formal names of committees, as in the Campaign Executive Committee. Lowercase when approximating the name of a committee, as in Johnson’s committee.


Hyphenate a co-op experience, but the term cooperative does not take a hyphen.

corporate references

Commas should precede corporate designations (Inc., PC, LLC) except Company (Co.), e.g., He is the president of Smith and Jones, LLC.

course names

Capitalize the names of courses. Do not italicize or place in quotes. Do not use the term class when referring to a course.


courtesy titles

Use of courtesy titles such as Mr. or Ms. is discouraged except in very formal documents.

S. R. Crown Hall

Use S. R. Crown Hall in first reference to avoid confusion. Note the space between S. and R., which appears as such because S. R. is an abbreviation of beginning and middle names. Crown Hall is fine for subsequent references.


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