Prospective Students Current Students Business & Industry Faculty & Staff Alumni Visitors
Media Room
Marketing and Communications Home
Staff Contacts
Planning a Print Project
Project Starter Form (pdf)
Web Services
Broadcast Email
Communication Tools
Editorial Style
Logos / Images / Fonts
Stationery &
Business Cards
Office / Postal Services
Media Relations
Interview Tips
IIT Magazine
IIT Today


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



There are no spaces around dashes: Illinois Institute of Technology—a university with a national reputation. Typists often use two hyphens to represent a dash. Note the difference between an en dash and an em dash. En dashes are used in place of the word “through” or “to” to illustrate passage of time or absence within a sequence of numbers, e.g., 1942–43, 1–4 p.m. Em dashes are used between words in place of commas and must be used in pairs for middle-position modifiers, e.g., Chemistry 101—a requirement for all students—is best taken during the first year. Note: To insert an en or em dash in Word for PC, go to Insert-Symbol-Special Characters. For Mac, use apple+num-hyphen to insert an en dash; use apple+option+num-hyphen to insert an em dash.   



Write dates as Arabic figures, without the ordinals such as st, rd, etc. Do not place commas between months and years, e.g., October 1997; but October 12, 1997. Use commas after years that appear mid-sentence, e.g., He had a test on October 12, 1997, during his freshman year.

degree/graduation years

Degree and graduation years should follow the names of alumni whenever possible, e.g., Bob Smith (CHE ’55). Note the use of parentheses, the space after the major abbreviation, and the direction of the apostrophe. There is no need to use B.S. to note a bachelor’s degree because it is assumed, although IIT post-graduate degrees should be noted: Alumni with more that one degree in the same major, e.g., Tom Smith (CHE ’65, M.S. ’68); with more than one degree in different majors, e.g., Fred Jackson (ARCH ’85, M.S. PSYC ’90). For clarity, do not abbreviate the graduation years of alumni who graduated in the 1800s and early 1900s (preceding the current century), e.g. Weymouth Kirkland (LAW 1901).

director, executive director

[see academic titles]


Lowercase north, northeast, etc., when they refer to compass directions. Capitalize these words when they refer to regions: the Midwest, the South Side.

doctor, Dr.

Avoid the title Dr. before the names of academics who have earned a doctorate. Dr. may be used in reference to a medical doctor. Caution: Not all professors hold doctorates.


Use the $ sign with figures. Bagels cost $2. For $1 million or more, do not link numerals and words with a hyphen, e.g., The $20 million building will open today.

Downtown Campus

Always capitalize.


The Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated train line.


Use spaces between the periods that precede and follow the ellipsis. Use four periods to note an ellipsis at the end of a sentence, with no space before the first point, e.g., It was a three-month class....


Lowercase unless at the beginning of a sentence, and do not use a hyphen. Email addresses in copy should not be broken between two lines.

endowed professorships

Capitalize the formal name in all uses, e.g., Max McGraw Professor of Energy and Power Engineering and Management.


Use Energy/Environment/Economics (E3) in first reference to this program, E3 thereafter.

Engineering 1 Building

E1 is also acceptable. Not Engineering One Building.

ethnic groups

For hyphenation, see African American.

ex officio

Do not italicize. Hyphenate when used as an adjective, e.g., the ex-officio member.

faculty titles

[see academic titles]

foreign words

Use italics for foreign words that will not be familiar to most readers, upon first use. Do not italicize thereafter. Foreign words that most readers will know and that are listed in Webster are not italicized, e.g, a priori, pro bono, ad hoc, in vitro, recherché, et al, etc.

fraternities and sororities

Spell out names and capitalize them. Do not use Greek letters.

freshman, freshmen

Freshman and first-year student are both acceptable. In IIT Magazine, use freshmen when referring to a group of freshmen students (male and/or female), although first-year students is preferable.

[see classes]

full-time, part-time

Hyphenate when used as an adjective.



Capitalize in all uses. Do not capitalize the unless it starts a sentence, e.g., The area known as the Gap lies between Michigan Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive and between 31st and 35th streets.

Greater Grand Boulevard

Capitalize in all uses, e.g., Greater Grand Boulevard is between 26th and 39th streets and between State Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.


Preferred style is to capitalize all words except articles, prepositions, and improper words of two letters or less. Capitalize all words if the headline consists of three words or fewer. Do not use periods. Subheads, a- and b-heads, cover lines, and pull quotes can vary (in IIT Magazine, only the first word and proper names are capitalized).

health care

Hermann Hall

Not Hermann Union Building or HUB.

high school

No hyphen is needed when used as an adjective.

home page

honorary Ph.D.

Honorary doctoral degrees should be noted in running text for individuals who received such degrees from IIT, placed in parentheses following the recipient’s name, per IIT style. The proper abbreviation is Hon. Ph.D. If a specific discipline or major/degree area follows this abbreviation, it should be abbreviated according to IIT major abbreviation standards, e.g., Robert Pritzker (IE ’46, Hon. Ph.D. ENG ’84).


Do not use hyphens with adverbs that take an -ly form. It was an extremely hard test. In headlines, the second word in a hyphenated phrase should not be capitalized unless it is a proper noun. Consult a dictionary or the Chicago Manual of Style when determining whether to spell a compound word as two words or one hyphenated word; many commonly appearing examples do not use hyphens but rather combine words (e.g., online). The national journalistic trend is toward unhyphenated, compound words.


© 2008 Illinois Institute of Technology 3300 South Federal Street, Chicago, IL 60616-3793 Tel 312.567.3000