Style guidelines

academic degrees

The correct form is Master of Science in X, Master of Arts in X, and master’s degree in x, bachelor’s degree in x (lowercase and possessive (‘s), not plural). Use periods when abbreviating: B.A., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. UW brand style prefers the less formal master’s degree in xx, bachelor’s degree in xx.

Avoid degree labels unless it is absolutely necessary, and instead chose words that will help humanize the work UW faculty are undertaking: UW gynecologic oncologist Jane Doe. When an academic degree is essential to the story, separate it from the name with a comma: Joe Husky, Ph.D., addressed the group. Do not combine a courtesy title with an academic degree in the same reference: never Dr. Victor Victoria, M.D.

Abbreviations for UW Tacoma degrees are listed below. For a complete list of degrees and certificates with majors or options offered at UW Tacoma, see the Academics section.

  • BA, bachelor of arts
  • BABA, bachelor of arts in business administration
  • BASW, bachelor of arts in social welfare
  • BS, bachelor of science
  • BSN, bachelor of science in nursing
  • M.Acc., master of accounting
  • MAIS, master of arts in interdisciplinary studies
  • MBA, master of business administration
  • MCL, master of cybersecurity and leadership
  • M.Ed., master of education
  • MN, master of nursing
  • MS, master of science
  • MSW, master of social work
  • Ed.D., doctor of education

academic year

The academic year begins with the summer quarter and continues to the autumn, winter and spring quarters.

academic quarter

Lowercase academic quarters including instances where the quarter is preceded with the season or followed by the year: fall term, winter term 2004.


The university’s official address is:

University of Washington Tacoma
Campus Box 358400
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402-3100

Including your campus box number is optional but can speed mail delivery. If used, the Postal Service dictates that it must appear above the street address.


Both "advisor" and "adviser" are correct, but we prefer "advisor". We have two kinds of advisors at UW Tacoma: Admissions advisors talk with prospective students, academic advisors talk with current students.

ampersands (&)

Do not use ampersands in narrative text. Acceptable in charts, graphs or wordmarks and in the formal name of a company, such as a law firm.


Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma (student government)

branch campus

Do not refer to UW Tacoma as a “branch” or “satellite” or to the University of Washington as a system. "Tacoma campus" and "Bothell campus" are acceptable; however, campus is not part of the official name and, therefore, is never capitalized.


When addressing an audience outside of campus, use the full name of the building and avoid using the building code except on second reference.

Full name Common name Building code
Birmingham Block   BB
Birmingham Hay and Seed   BHS
Carlton Center Carlton CAR
Cherry Parkes   CP
Dougan   DOU
Garretson Woodruff Pratt   GWP
Keystone   KEY
Laborers Hall   LBH
Mattress Factory   MAT
McDonald Smith   MDS
Pinkerton   PNK
Russell T. Joy Joy JOY
Science   SCI
Snoqualmie   SNO
Tioga Library   TLB
University Y Student Center University Y UWY
Walsh Gardner   WG
West Coast Grocery   WCG
The Whitney Whitney WHT
William W. Philip Hall Philip Hall WPH

campus place names

  • Academic Building refers to GWP, BHS, BB and WCG combined (This is an antiquated usage and should be avoided.)
  • Carwein Auditorium, named for a previous chancellor, Vicky L. Carwein, is in the Keystone building
  • Grand Staircase
  • Commerce Street is the sidewalk corridor that runs from the Dougan Circle to 21st Street
  • Dougan Circle is the area between the Dougan and Joy buildings
  • Gillenwater Plaza is between the Library and Philip Hall
  • Gateway Plaza is between GWP and WG
  • Dawghouse is the student lounge area on the first floor of the Mattress Factory


In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization. Resist the urge to capitalize words that you think are important. Capital letters anywhere except at the beginning of the sentence cause readers to stop or slow down. It’s faster and easier for them to read with fewer capitals.


Use the chancellor’s full name on the first reference in narrative text. Use “Chancellor Pagano” or “chancellor” for all other references. Do not capitalize “chancellor” unless the name goes immediately after it.

  • Chancellor Mark A. Pagano
  • Chancellor Pagano
  • Mark Pagano, chancellor, spoke at the meeting.
  • The chancellor introduced the speaker.

class, course

Uppercase the principal words in the names of courses.

  • Bodies of Knowledge: How We Know What We Know
  • Communities and the Common Good
  • Science and Technology in the Information Society

class year

Do not capitalize “freshman,” “sophomore,” “junior” or “senior.”


Uppercase when referring to the event.

composition titles

Italicize book titles, computer game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, long musical compositions, television program titles and names of newspapers: Antiques Roadshow, Seattle Times, Carmen, Two Wishes. Names of songs and television program episodes are quoted: “Rise Up with Pride for Washington.” Capitalize principal words in book titles and all words of four or more letters. Do not italicize: the Bible, the Constitution (of the United States) and the Declaration of Independence.

course work

Two words.


Dates are indicated by cardinal, not ordinal numbers: April 1, not April 1stJuly 4, not July 4th. Use a comma after the year if placing a date within a sentence. Example: They met on September 15, 2012, to discuss the plan. Do not use a comma after the month if only listing the month and the year: December 2010.


See academic degrees.

doctorate, doctoral

“Doctorate” is a noun that includes “degree” in its definition. “Doctoral” is an adjective. “Doctorate” is preferred over “doctoral degree.” See academic degrees.


Hyphenate where confusion might arise, e.g., e-publications, e-commerce, e-books. Do not hyphenate “email.”

endowed chairs, professorships, deanships

A person can be “named to” or can “hold” an endowed chair, but cannot “be” the endowed chair. UW Tacoma has three endowed faculty positions:

  • Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities (Michael Honey)
  • Gary E. and James A. Milgard Endowed Dean (Shahrokh Saudagaran)
  • Port of Tacoma Endowed Chair (Joel Baker)


The word “faculty” is a collective noun and refers to a group of teachers or professors. It should not be used to denote an individual teacher or professor.

Capitalize the titles “professor,” “associate professor,” and “assistant professor” only when used directly before a name. Lowercase a job title if it comes after a name or is used without a name. Lowercase adjectives such as “history” when used before titles.

Instructors are “adjunct faculty members.”

Faculty Assembly

The body of faculty members at UW Tacoma.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA)

Exception to the rule for capitalizing forms.

freshman, freshmen

In general, we are trying to move away from using the term "freshman" and instead saying "first-year student." If you do use it, note that freshman is singular, freshmen is plural. When used as an adjective it is always “freshman.”

  • We expect to enroll more than 300 freshmen.
  • The freshman curriculum includes 20 credits of writing-intensive course work.

full time, full-time

Use a hyphen only when modifying a noun. Henry is a full-time employee. He works full time.

fundraiser, fundraising

Always one word.


Grade point average. All caps, no periods. Spell out in lowercase on first reference in narrative text.


We treat "healthcare" as one word, contrary to some style guides.

Hendrix the Husky

Official mascot of UW Tacoma, named by students. Hendrix was born April 7, 2009.


The main landing page of your website. This is considered jargon and it is preferred that you say "visit our website" and not "visit our homepage".


Do not capitalize “internet” in most cases.

job titles

Capitalize job titles that fall immediately before a name. Do not capitalize job titles if they fall after the name or if the person’s name is not given. Capitalize the name of a department that is part of a job title.

  • Chancellor Mark Pagano spoke at the meeting.
  • Cedric Howard, vice chancellor of Student & Enrollment Services, gave a presentation.
  • The president will attend the next meeting.
  • The vice chancellor brought cookies.


The university’s logo guidelines are available online.

mission statement

UW Tacoma’s mission statement is available online.


Usually, spell out numbers from zero to nine and use figures for 10 and above. When a number begins a sentence, spell it out, but it is preferable to rewrite the sentence to avoid beginning with a number. Do not use unnecessary zeros in money figures or times.

Exceptions: Do not spell out ages, dates, money, percentages, numbers that are not whole, scores, house numbers or years. Street numbers of nine and below are sometimes spelled out for a more elegant effect. Spell out large, round figures, such as "hundreds” or “a million.”

  • The concert begins at 8 p.m.
  • The ticket is $5.
  • The 3-year-old house is on the market.
  • Cut the cards four times.
  • Jerry sold 3.5 cartons.
  • Seventy-eight trombones led the big parade.
  • He lives at 36352 9th Street and Eleventh Avenue.
  • Since it was a nice day, 80 percent of the voters turned out.
  • The Huskies beat the Cougars 10 to 3.

off campus, off-campus

No hyphen, unless modifying a noun.

  • The meeting is off campus.
  • It’s an off-campus site.


No hyphen.

part time, part-time

Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier before a noun.

  • Roger works part time.
  • He is a part-time employee.

phone numbers

Use the format below. Do not split phone numbers between two lines. A “1” is not needed before an “800” or other long-distance number.

  • 253-692-4881
  • 692-4881
  • 2-4881 (on campus)
  • 800-555-1234


Use a hyphen to join “post” to a noun.

  • post-graduate
  • post-doctorate
  • post-mortem
  • post-baccalaureate


Hyphenate the prefix “pre” when the root word begins with an “e” or when needed for clarity.

  • prearrange
  • prehistoric
  • pre-major
  • pre-eminent
  • pre-empt
  • pre-dawn


Use a hyphen to join the prefix “re-” to a word only when the root word begins with an “e” or if needed to retain the sense of the word.

  • re-examine
  • re-engineer
  • re-emerge
  • redesign
  • reallocate
  • re-create (as in creating again)
  • recreate (have fun)
  • re-cover (cover again)
  • recover (acquire again)
  • resign (to quit)
  • re-sign (sign again)
  • re-admission (to be admitted again)

residence hall

Do not use “dorms.”

serial comma

The preferred style for the UW is the Associated Press style of no serial comma: red, white and blue.


Do not refer to the UW as a “system.” The UW is made up of three campuses at Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma.


TTY (TeleType) and TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) are the same thing — a system that allows people who are hearing-impaired to communicate over the telephone. In print references, use "TTY." UW Tacoma's TTY number is 253-692-4413.


Do not capitalize when using as a generic noun. Capitalize when it is part of a proper name or when referring to the UW.

  • Which university do you attend?
  • The University of Washington Tacoma is a terrific school.
  • It’s the university of choice for many.
  • The University policy does not allow students to appeal their grades after one quarter.

University of Washington, UW

Use “University of Washington” or “UW” to refer to the entire, three-campus university. When specifying the Seattle campus, use “University of Washington Seattle” or “UW Seattle.”

University of Washington Tacoma, UW Tacoma

Use full name on first reference and “UW Tacoma” afterward. Do not abbreviate as “UWT” except in internal documentation or correspondence. Never use a hyphen or a comma between “Washington” and “Tacoma” or between “UW” and “Tacoma.” Do not put spaces or periods in "UW". While it is common to write "the UW", when referring to Tacoma or Bothell do not use "the" unless you are spelling out the whole name ("the University of Washington Tacoma" but not "the UW Tacoma").


Italicize in printed text or in e-documents where the address is not hyperlinked. It is not necessary to use “http://” in the visible address, only in the hyperlink. Whenever possible, request a shortened URL for use in visible addresses — a short, easy-to-remember URL that substitutes for long and complicated ones. You may also leave off the "www" in links to the UW Tacoma website; "" will get people there.

Washington state

Lowercase "state" when referencing the state of Washington. Use state of Washington or Washington state when it is necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia. (Washington State is the name of a university in Pullman, Washington.)