Editorial Style Guide
The Drexel University Editorial Style Guide is a reference tool for campus
communicators to use when preparing copy for
print and electronic distribution. The University's editorial
style generally adheres to The Associated Press Stylebook, except where
exceptions are noted. The purpose of this style guide is to establish
consistency across websites, print materials, social media and more.
Drexel communicators are encouraged to purchase a recent edition of the AP
stylebook or an online account at
apstylebook.com. It is understood
that some communicators working in specific functions may adhere to The
Chicago Manual of Style guidelines as a matter of practicality or because of
established professional standards.
Email questions or proposed updates to Sonja Sherwood, executive director of
publications, University Communications at
Associated Press style guide recommendations for race-related coverage
In 2020, the Associated Press announced new guidance for writers
covering race-related topics and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The AP now capitalizes Black when used in a racial, ethnic or cultural
sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and
community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African
diaspora and within Africa. Don't use BIPOC, BAME or POC unless necessary in a quote; if used in a quote, explain it. AP
also capitalizes Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place.
In addition, in 2019, the AP announced it would drop the hyphen in dual
heritage identifiers such as African American, Asian American and Filipino
American when used to refer to an American person’s heritage.
The AP Stylebook includes more detailed recommendations in its "race-related"
Associated Press Style Guide Recommendations for COVID-19
For additional information about writing about the new coronavirus disease
called COVID-19 on your webpage, please visit
the AP Style Guide recommendations.
This guide can be used to write passages or stories about the science of the
disease that require sharper distinctions. Additional terms and their
correct usage or distinctions (i.e. epidemic, pandemic, social distancing,
socially distancing) are also listed.
COVID-19, which stands for "coronavirus disease 2019," is caused by a virus
named SARS-CoV-2. When referring specifically to the virus, the COVID-19
virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 are acceptable. But, because
COVID-19 is the name of the disease, not the virus, it is not accurate to
write a new virus called COVID-19.
Referring to simply the coronavirus is acceptable on first reference in
stories about COVID-19. While the phrasing incorrectly implies there is only
one coronavirus, it is clear in this context. Also acceptable on first
reference: the new coronavirus; the new virus; COVID-19.
In stories, do not refer simply to “coronavirus” without the
article “the.” Not: She is concerned about coronavirus. Omitting
“the” is acceptable in headlines and in uses such as: He said
coronavirus concerns are increasing.
Covid-19 Virus Content Guidelines
For additional recommended content updates please see the
Covid-19 Virus Content Guide
Last Updated: 11.11.21
11.11.21 — Added guidance on using “they/them” pronouns.
7.6.20 — Added guidance on identifying race and covering race-related topics.
3.30.20 — New section on COVID-19 added.
- 1.21.20 — Preferred name and gender pronouns section added, and
University statistics have been updated.
7.2.15 — New section added on when to capitalize names of degree
- 4.24.14 — AP style rules on state abbreviations updated.
11.5.13 — Updates made to University statistics, the list of
research centers and section on Web addresses. Added standalone cities to
guidance on addresses and states.
Drexel Names and Entities
Identifying the University
- Official name: Drexel University.
Use the official name on first reference and “Drexel” or
“University” alone on subsequent reference. For example:
“The University is closed for the holidays.”
Capitalize “University” when referring specifically to Drexel.
Lowercase it when referring to universities in general.
Every Drexel-produced publication must include the official logo of either
Drexel University or the individual college or school. Refer to the
University Visual Identity Style Guide (drexel.edu/identity/) for guidance
on logo usage.
Colleges and schools
The official names of Drexel’s 16 colleges and schools and two centers
are listed below. In formal communications, it may be preferable to include
the full donor name of named colleges (e.g. Bennett S. LeBow College of
- Close School of Entrepreneurship
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Computing & Informatics
- College of Engineering
- College of Nursing and Health Professions
- College of Medicine
- Dornsife School of Public Health
- Goodwin College of Professional Studies
- Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
- Kline School of Law
- LeBow College of Business
- Pennoni Honors College
- School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
- School of Economics
- School of Education
- Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
On first reference and in most cases, these names should be linked to the
University’s. For instance, “Drexel University’s College of
Arts and Sciences has created a new academic department.” This rule can
be relaxed in school-specific publications, such as alumni magazines or
internal publications, in which the connection to Drexel is clearly
On subsequent references, use “school” or “college” by
themselves, in lowercase. For instance, “The school is pleased to
announce its new dean.”
These acronyms and abbreviated names may be used on subsequent references in
internal documents, though they should be used sparingly.
Acronyms generally aren’t recommended for external publications.
- Center for Sport Management: CSM
- Center for Food & Hospitality Management: CFHM
- Close School of Entrepreneurship: Close or Close School
- College of Arts and Sciences: CoAS
- College of Computing & Informatics: CCI
- College of Engineering: CoE
- College of Nursing and Health Professions: CNHP
- Dornsife School of Public Health: Dornsife or Dornsife School
- Drexel University College of Medicine: CoM
- Drexel University Online: DUO
- Kline School of Law: Kline or Kline School
- Goodwin College of Professional Studies: Goodwin or Goodwin College
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies: [none]
- LeBow College of Business: LeBow or LeBow College
- Pennoni Honors College: Pennoni or Pennoni College
- School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems: BIOMED
- School of Economics: Econ
- School of Education: SoE
Westphal College of Media Arts & Design: Westphal or Westphal College
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
- Official name: the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
Only capitalize the word “the” if it appears at the beginning of
On second reference, use the Academy of Natural Sciences or the Academy (or
ANS, used sparingly). One can also refer to the Academy as “the
institution” or “the museum” but these uses should not be
Drexel University Online
- Official name: Drexel University Online.
- On second reference, “Drexel Online.”
It is not permissible to use such descriptors as “the
University” or “the school” when referring to Drexel
Online, as it is neither.
Drexel research/community centers and international affiliates
Drexel is home to numerous research centers, community centers and affiliates
that operate as their own entities within the wider structure of the
University or the schools in which they are housed.
A partial list of these centers can be found below. To keep this guide updated
and accurate, schools are encouraged to submit a complete list of their
centers to Sonja Sherwood,
Research Centers and Institutes
- A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute (DNI)
- C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute (NPI)
- Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship
- Ben Franklin Technology Partners' Nanotechnology Institute
Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE)
- Center for Corporate Governance
- Center for Functional Fabrics
Center for High Pressure Plasma Energy, Agriculture and Biomedical
- Drexel Solutions Institute
- Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe)
- Office of University & Community Partnerships
- Lindy Center for Civic Engagement
Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships (second reference: the
Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University (second reference:
the Lindy Institute)
Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center (this
is the name of the physical building only; the practice itself should be
referred to simply as 11th Street Family Health Services)
Some style rules for research centers, community centers and affiliates:
Use the official name on first reference. In formal contexts, it may be
preferable to include donors’ names (e.g. the Dana and David Dornsife
Center for Neighborhood Partnerships).
On subsequent references, shortened names can be used. For instance,
“the Lindy Center.”
Additionally, “institute” or “center” can be used on
subsequent references, uncapitalized.
Finally, acronyms can be used for those centers or initiatives that have an
established, recognized acronym. These acronyms should be introduced by
first placing them in parentheses after an official reference of the center
Drexel University operates six campuses in the Philadelphia area and
Sacramento. Here are the official names for each:
- University City Campus
- Center City Campus
- Queen Lane Campus
- LeBow College of Business Malvern Campus
Some style rules for campus names are as follows:
Do not refer to the University City Campus as the “Main Campus.”
Do not refer to the Queen Lane Campus as the “Medical School
On first reference, the official campus names should be used, and if
necessary, linked to Drexel. For instance, in external publications, it may
be wise to refer to “Drexel’s University City Campus” on
On subsequent references, and when it is clear which campus is being
referred to, one can simply use “the campus.”
Building names are updated on the University's campus maps:
Departments and Offices
The official names of departments and offices, including the word
“department” or “office” are capitalized. It is the
responsibility of individual schools and colleges to ensure that academic
departments and offices are listed consistently on websites.
- Department of Biology
- Office of University Communications
Capitalize titles of programs and workshops. Do not capitalize
“the” or the words “program” or
- the WorkReady Internship program
- the weServe program at Drexel
- Drexel’s Liberty Scholars program
the Academy’s Women In Natural Sciences program (note that the
“In” is capitalized; this is unique to the Academy and this
- the Drexel Co-op program
Exhibit names are italicized.
Drexel will host an opening reception this Friday for the exhibition
A Legacy of Art, Science & Industry: Highlights from the
of Drexel University.
Drexel’s various collections should be capitalized—including
“The” for The Drexel Collection.
- the Academy’s Ornithology Collection
- The Drexel Collection
- the Drexel Historic Costume Collection
Use the shortest effective URL (without the www or http://) whenever
- Drexel’s official URL: drexel.edu (not www.drexel.edu).
If the URL must break on two lines, break at a slash. Avoid ending a
sentence with a URL; rewrite to eliminate the period.
Generally, URLs should be in lowercase, but it is acceptable to use
sentence case for clarity or branding (for example: DrexelDragons.com).
Awards, prizes, professorships: Capitalized. Words or phrases not part of
the award’s name are lowercased (e.g. Nobel Prize-winning
- Course titles: Capitalized.
Majors/minors/concentrations: Generally, lowercase unless in official
Colon: Capitalize the first word after a colon if it is a proper noun or
the beginning of a complete sentence (with a subject, noun and verb).
Capitalize when used as a noun referring to the University’s
graduation event, lowercase as an adjective.
Five hundred students attended Commencement in 2012 and two students spoke
at the commencement ceremony.
Use “cooperative education” (no hyphen) and “co-op”
(with hyphen) on second reference or when referring to the act of being on a
co-op. It is acceptable to use “co-op” as a heading for design
pieces where space is limited. When referring to the co-op program as a
brand, use title case, for example: “the Drexel Co-op program.”
The Associated Press recommends avoiding the use of abbreviations of
honorary degrees ‹ unless in a list of honorary degree holders
(including the year the degree was granted is preferable in most cases; e.g.
Bono, HD '92). When abbreviating an honorary degree in a list, use HD,
without periods. Do not refer to an honorary degree holder with the courtesy
title Dr. or Hon. When referring to someone who holds an honorary degree,
make clear that the degree is honorary.
Correct: Bono, who holds a 1992 honorary degree of law from
Drexel University, said...
Incorrect: Bono, HD, said...
Incorrect: Bono, Hon., said...
Identifying degrees, alumni and students
When writing about a Drexel alumnus or alumna, include the
individual’s degree and year of graduation. The preferred style is to
include this information on the first reference, and to use the full program
name with an abbreviated year.
John Smith, BS economics ’13.
Where space is tight, it may be necessary to include only the graduation
year information or only a degree designation plus the graduation year.
John Smith ’13 OR John Smith, BS ’13.
For current students, as with alumni, it is important to note a
student’s major and expected year of graduation. When referring to
students, then, it is preferred that the same format used for alumni be
Troy Johnson, chemical engineering ’24.
Use an apostrophe to substitute the missing numerals, not a single quotation
For mixed gender groups, default to the masculine plural (alumni).
- alumna (f., singular)
- alumnae (f., plural)
- alumnus (m., singular)
- alumni (m., plural)
alum (s., gender neutral) for an individual who prefers a gender-neutral
When writing about Drexel University College of Medicine alumni, note that the college is the successor institution of some older medical colleges that no longer exist. They are Hahnemann University (HU), Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP), Woman's Medical College (WMC), and for a time, MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine (MCPHU). Indicate these legacy institutions with an acronym:
John Smith, MD, HU ’86
John Smith, MD, MCP '94
Janet Smith, MD, WMC '69
Janet Smith, MD, MCPHU ’96
Identifying degrees, official degree program names
When writing about official college degree offerings, generally uppercase
official degree names listed with a degree rank (e.g. with Bachelor of
Science/Art or BS/BA before it), but lowercase generic fields of study or
degree subjects without any designating rank.
Correct: The College of Nursing and Health Professions offers a Bachelor of
Science in Behavioral Health Counseling. Also correct: The BS in Geoscience
from the College of Arts & Sciences is available in three
Incorrect: Drexel offers bachelor’s degrees in areas as diverse as
Biomedical Engineering and Film and Video.
Incorrect: The College of Engineering offers a number of Architectural
It’s fine to uppercase the name of an overall program curriculum.
The College of Engineering offers a number of architectural engineering
degrees in its Architectural Engineering program.
Drexel style is to write phone numbers with periods.
Incorrect: (215) 895-2000, 215/895-2000, 215-895-2000
For extensions, Drexel style uses: 215.895.2000, ext. 123
PREFERRED NAME & GENDER PRONOUNS
Effective 2018-2019, students have the option of identifying a preferred
first name that is different from their legal name and of indicating a
preferred personal pronoun and gender identification on their Personal
Information pages. Students who want to indicate a preferred name or pronoun
should initiate this process in DrexelOne.
The University will be developing and implementing a phased approach to the
use of personal pronouns and gender identification. All students are welcome
to update both information points, with the understanding that Drexel will
not start utilizing this information until a later date.
When writing about an individual who identifies as neither male nor female or who asks to be referred to with “they/them” pronouns: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, when possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun, use “they” in this case as singular for verb agreement, and avoid phrasing that implies more than one person.
For reference: https://blog.ap.org/products-and-services/making-a-case-for-a-singular-they.
More information about the University's full policy and process can be found
The personal pronouns available to choose from are:
- Prefer Not to Answer
The gender identifications available to choose from are:
- Transgender Woman
- Transgender Man
- Gender Non-Conforming/Gender Non-Binary
- Prefer Not to Answer
Faculty and staff may elect to include their preferred gender pronouns in
their Drexel email signatures. Samples can be viewed on the
Drexel Identity site.
For related guidelines and information visit
Note that Drexel departs from AP style in how it handles periodicals.
Italicize the titles of all Drexel print publications, as well as all
non-Drexel magazine, newspaper and journal titles. Lowercase the word
“magazine” unless it is part of the publication’s official
title (e.g. Time magazine, Golf Magazine).
The latest issue of Honor Bound Magazine, the official magazine of
the Pennoni Honors College …. EXEL magazine, Drexel’s
research publication…. Read more in the latest issue of the College
of Arts and Sciences’ magazine, Ask.
See section “Titles, works of composition” for rules on all
other types of published works.
Drexel University publications and online material should print or post the
full names of sources whenever available except cases in which the source
may be subjected to potential personal harm or victimization if identified,
or in cases of confidentiality related to University business interests. The
determination of when a name is withheld should be discussed with the Office
of University Communications and/or the Office of the General Counsel.
Titles, academic degrees
In text, the preferred style is to spell out degree names.
Write “bachelor’s degree” rather than “BA” or
“BS,” or “master’s degree” instead of
“MA” or “MS” and “doctoral degree” or
“doctorate” instead of “PhD.” An exception can be
made when using the abbreviated terms to identify a Drexel alumnus (see
section “Alumni and students, designating degree”).
Also acceptable: bachelor of science degree or master of arts degree,
without an apostrophe.
Drexel departs from AP style by not using periods with a degree
abbreviation (correct: BA, PhD, etc).
Drexel also departs from AP style when referring to an individual with a
medical degree as “Dr.” The “Dr.” title is never
used before names of either MDs or PhDs. Instead, include their degree
after their name. Example: Charles Cairns, MD. Associate Professor David
Because of the variety of degrees and certificates that proliferate in an
academic setting, it is acceptable in some contexts to list only the most
common advanced degrees: MD, PhD, EdD and JD.
Capitalize titles when they precede a name.
Senior Vice President of University Communications Lori Doyle…
Lowercase titles when they follow a name.
Lori Doyle, senior vice president of University Communications,
Donna Murasko, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, led a tour of the
Capitalize the actual department unless it is being used casually (i.e. on
Formal: John Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology,
Informal: John Smith has worked in the psychology department for two years.
Always capitalize a named professorship, deanship or chair before or after
an individual’s name.
Eric Zillmer, the Carl R. Pacifico Professor of Neuropsychology, recently
The Christopher and Mary Stratakis Chair in Corporate Governance Ralph
No comma before Jr., Sr. or II, III, etc.
Common Style Guidelines
For style questions not addressed here, refer to the AP Stylebook.
Academic calendar terms
Lowercase names of seasons unless part of a formal event name (e.g. the
Correct: The fall 2020 quarter ends in December.
Incorrect: The Fall 2020 quarter ends in December.
Addresses and states
In 2014, AP Style editors changed a longstanding rule on state
abbreviations. States should now be spelled out (rather than abbreviated) in
the bodies of stories, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city,
town, military base, etc. Abbreviated state names are still acceptable in
datelines, lists, tabular material, photo captions, credit lines, and in
short-form identification of political party affiliation (e.g. D-Ala.,
Correct: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the state capital; Hartford,
Connecticut. (Note that state names are offset by commas.)
Incorrect: Harrisburg, Pa.; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is the state capital.
Exception: Use postal code state abbreviations when the address is part of
mailing address with a ZIP code (e.g. directory listings, mailings).
Below are the proper abbreviations for each state, with postal code
abbreviations in parenthesis.
Ala. (AL), Fla. (FL), Md. (MD), Neb. (NE), N.D. (ND), Tenn. (TN)
Ariz. (AZ), Ga. (GA), Mass. (MA), Nev. (NV), Okla. (OK), Vt. (VT)
Ark. (AR), Ill. (IL), Mich. (MI), N.H. (NH), Ore. (OR), Va. (VA)
Calif. (CA), Ind. (IN), Minn. (MN), N.J. (NJ), Pa. (PA), Wash. (WA)
Colo. (CO), Kan. (KS), Miss. (MS), N.M. (NM), R.I. (RI), W.Va. (WV)
Conn. (CT), Ky. (KY), Mo. (MO), N.Y. (NY), S.C. (SC), Wis. (WI)
Del. (DE), La. (LA), Mont. (MT), N.C. (NC), S.D. (SD), Wyo. (WY)
NEVER abbreviate Alaska (AK), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Iowa (IA), Maine
(ME), Ohio (OH), Utah (UT), Texas (TX). Also: District of Columbia (DC).
Unless used as part of a full mailing address, the following cities can
stand alone (without a state) in a dateline. They may also stand alone in
the body of a story if they are the same as the dateline or as long as no
confusion would result: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinatti,
Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las
Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York,
Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, St. Louis, Salt Lake City,
San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington.
Lowercase “s” when naming two streets, as in 32nd and Chestnut
“And” v. ampersand
Use “&” only for official names of organizations and
companies or at the request of a donor. Two notable exceptions at Drexel are
Westphal College of Arts & Design and the College of Computing &
All bulleted items should be styled consistently. If it is a complete
sentence, the bullet should have a period. If one bullet ends with a period,
all bullets in the series should end with a period.
When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug.,
Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. but not March, April, May, June and July.
- Spell out the month when using alone, or with a year alone.
When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with
When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with
January 1972 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month.
His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date. She testified
that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the accident occurred. The storm arrived
on Saturday, March 5, 1972.
Although the day of the month is actually an ordinal number (and pronounced
that way in speaking), the correct way is to write it as a cardinal number.
Correct: On May 11, we visited Drexel.
Incorrect: On May 11th, we visited Drexel.
Lowercase and spell out the term “fiscal year” in most cases.
It’s acceptable to use an abbreviation, without a space, in graphics,
tight-spaced headlines and financial documents (for example: FY13).
Hyphens, en dashes and em dashes
Key: (for Windows)
Hyphen - The keyboard key located between the 0 and delete.
En dash – Press Ctrl + hyphen.
Em dash — Press Ctrl + Alt + hyphen.
Key: (for Macs)
Hyphen - The keyboard key located between the 0 and delete.
En dash – Press Option + hyphen.
Em dash — Press Shift + Option + hyphen.
Use the hyphen to separate numbers such as social security numbers. The
hyphen is also used for compound words.
Use the en dash to connect continuing or spans of numbers, such as dates and
times. Do not use any spaces between the words or numbers and the dash.
Anthony Drexel (1826–1893)
In narrative text, it is also correct to spell out the meaning of the en
dash in words.
from May 2003 to July 2008
between noon and 3:30 p.m.
There are many uses for the em dash, but just a few of the most common uses
are illustrated below. There should be a space between the words and the
Use an em dash to indicate a sudden break or pause in a sentence.
Going home — that was the only thing the soon-to-be graduates cared
Use an em dash to add an element that defines or expands on an element
mentioned in the sentence.
Anthony Drexel — who started his career as a banker — died
just two short years after the University’s founding.
Use a hyphen for compound adjectives before the noun: a
well-known actor, full-time job, 20-year sentence.
Numbers in text
Whole numbers one through nine are spelled out. For any other numbers, use
The six new classrooms create space for more than 1,000 new students.
More than 30 faculty members have signed up for the workshop.
Use numerals for ages, except when starting a sentence.
The ages of the volunteers are 12, 22, 25 and 65.
Three-year-old Jackie Jones had her photo taken at the dragon statue.
Hyphenate the age when it precedes the name as an adjective or when it
serves as a substitute for a noun.
The 6-year-old girl said she loved Mario the Magnificent.
Drexel’s first-year student body is mostly made up of 18-year-olds.
Use numerals for measurements, and write out the units.
He is 5 feet 6 inches tall. The fossil is 3 inches long.
Hyphenate the measurement when it precedes the noun as an adjective.
The 5-foot-6 [“inch” is understood] man… The 4-inch
bug… 5’6” is only used in very technical examples.
Write out the number if the grade is between first and ninth. For example,
“She is in eighth grade, but her brother is in 10th grade.” Use
a hyphen when using as an adjective: “She is entering her
The word century is lowercase (21st century) unless part of a proper name.
It is hyphenated when used as an adjective (it’s a 21st-century trend
all over the country).
Do not combine spelled-out numbers with abbreviations.
Correct: 23 lbs., 12 ft.
Incorrect: twenty-three lbs., twelve ft.
Commas in numerals
Always include commas in numbers in the thousands.
Numbers used in counting (2, 27, 345, etc.) are called cardinal numbers.
Numbers used to indicate order (first, 10th, 23rd, etc.) are called ordinal
numbers. Spell out one through nine for cardinal numbers and first through
ninth for ordinal numbers. Do not use superscript with ordinal numbers.
Correct: ninth, 10th
Incorrect: 9th, 9th, 10th
Do not use zeros for the cents place in a monetary amount. Use only when the
amount is a number other than $.00.
The Barnes & Noble Bookstore made $320.25 on Tuesday, $199 on
Wednesday and $212.45 on Thursday.
Use numerals when indicating course credits (e.g. 6 credits).
An outdated term referring to aboriginal people in Australia that is
considered offensive by some and should be avoided.
American Indians, Native Americans
Acceptable terms in general references for those in the U.S. when referring
to two or more people of different tribal affiliations. For individuals, use
the name of the tribe; if that information is not immediately available, try
to obtain it.
He is a Navajo commissioner.
She is a member of the Nisqually Indian
He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
Some tribes and tribal nations use member; others use citizen. If in
doubt, use citizen. Avoid words such as wampum, warpath, powwow, teepee,
brave, squaw, etc., which can be disparaging and offensive. In Alaska, the
indigenous groups are collectively known as Alaska Natives. First Nation
is the preferred term for native tribes in Canada. Indian is used to
describe the peoples and cultures of the South Asian nation of India. Do
not use the term as a shorthand for American Indians.
Refers to a sovereign political entity, communities sharing a common
ancestry, culture or language, and a social group of linked families who may
be part of an ethnic group. Capitalize the word tribe when part of a formal
name of sovereign political entities, or communities sharing a common
ancestry, culture or language. Identify tribes by the political identity
specified by the tribe, nation or community: the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma,
the Cherokee Nation. The term ethnic group is preferred when referring to
ethnicity or ethnic violence.
Acceptable, when clearly relevant, to describe people with more than one
racial heritage. Usually more useful when describing large, diverse groups
of people than individuals. Avoid mixed-race, which can carry negative
connotations, unless a story subject prefers the term. Be specific if
possible, and then use biracial for people of two heritages or multiracial
for those of two or more on subsequent references if needed.
She has an African American father and a white mother instead of She is
biracial. But: The study of biracial people showed a split in support
along gender lines. Multiracial can encompass people of any combination of
Black, white (n.)
Do not use either term as a singular or plural noun. Instead, use phrasing such as Black people, white people, Black teachers, white students.
Use the capitalized term as an adjective in a racial, ethnic or cultural
sense:Black people, Black culture, Black literature, Black studies, Black
Dual heritage identifiers
As of 2019, AP doesn’t use a hyphen in designating dual heritage, e.g. Black
American, Italian American, Mexican American.
Correct: White politicians account for 75 percent of the Senate, Black
politicians 15 percent and Latino politicians 10 percent. The legislation
targeted Black homeowners. Correct: He helped integrate dance halls among
Black, white, Latino and Asian American people. Incorrect: The Black was the first man to climb the mountain since the avalanche.
A term that Mexican Americans in the U.S. Southwest sometimes use to describe
their heritage. Use only if it is a person's preference.
Do not use indiscriminately as a synonym for the sections of cities inhabited
by minorities or poor people. Ghetto has a connotation that government decree
has forced people to live in a certain area. In most cases, section, district,
slum area or quarter is the more accurate word.
A person from — or whose ancestors were from — a Spanish-speaking land or
culture. Latino, Latina or Latinx are sometimes preferred. Follow the person's
preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban,
Puerto Rican or Mexican American.
Capitalize this term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place, e.g.
Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of Indigenous relations in Australia.
Bolivia's Indigenous peoples represent some 62 percent of the population.
Latino is often the preferred noun or adjective for a person from, or whose
ancestors were from, a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America.
Latina is the feminine form. Some prefer the recently coined gender-neutral
term Latinx, which should be confined to quotations, names of organizations or
descriptions of individuals who request it and should be accompanied by a
short explanation. E.g. Hernandez prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx. For
groups of females, use the plural Latinas; for groups of males or of mixed
gender, use the plural Latinos. Hispanics is also generally acceptable for
those in the U.S. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as
Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian or Mexican American.
Do not use when referring to East Asian nations and their peoples. Asian is
the acceptable term for an inhabitant of those regions.
people of color, racial minority
The term is acceptable when necessary in broad references to multiple races other than white: We will hire more people of color. Nine playwrights of color collaborated on the script.
Be aware, however, that many people of various races object to the term for various reasons, including that it lumps together into one monolithic group anyone who isn't white.
Do not use person of color for an individual.
Be specific whenever possible by referring to, for instance, Black Americans, Chinese Americans or members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Examples: The poll found that Black and Latino Americans are bearing the brunt of the pandemic's financial impact, not people of color are bearing the brunt of the pandemic's financial impact. Most of the magazine's readers are Black women, not most of the magazine's readers are women of color.
In some cases, other wording may be appropriate. Examples: people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds; diverse groups; various heritages; different cultures.
The term “minority” or “racial minority” is acceptable as an adjective in broad references to multiple races other than white in the United States: We will hire more members of minority groups.
Be sure the term is accurate in each circumstance, since what constitutes a racial minority varies by location.
Be specific whenever possible by referring to, for instance, Black Americans, Chinese Americans or members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Do not use minority as a noun in the singular. The plural minorities is acceptable when needed for reasons of space or sentence construction. But phrasing such as minority students or minority communities is preferable.
POC, BIPOC, BAME
Don't use these acronyms to indicate people of color; black, indigenous and people of color; or black, Asian or minority ethnic. Instead, refer to guidance under the people of color, racial minority heading.
The term should not be used to describe people who have adopted a different
racial identity. See the AP’s stylebook entry on “race-related coverage” for
recommendations on terms such as
racists, racism, racially charged, racially motivated, racially
Use only one space between sentences, everywhere, always.
Serial (Oxford) comma
In general it is recommended that communicators adhere to AP style, which
does not use serial commas, except when separating a series of complex
phrases (see second example below).
Correct: The flag’s colors are red, white and blue.
Also correct: The program explores mammals, reptiles, insects, domestic
and exotic fishes, and books on adaptation.
Incorrect: The flag’s colors are red, white, and blue.
Time of day
Correct: 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 9 a.m., noon, midnight (as well as 12 p.m. and
Incorrect: 2 PM, 2 pm, 2pm., 2p.m., 2 P.M., 2:00 PM, 2:00 pm, 2:00pm, 2:00
Never use 12 noon, 12 midnight, 12:00 noon, or 12:00 midnight.
If you are designating a range of time that is within the a.m. or p.m.
period, use the a.m. or p.m. just once. If you are designating a range of
time that spans between a.m. and p.m., use both.
Correct: 8 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., 4 to 5 p.m., 4–5 p.m.
Incorrect: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Titles, works of composition
Apply AP style by putting quotation marks around the titles of books,
computer games, movies, operas, plays, poems, albums, songs, radio and
television programs, lectures, speeches and works of art. However, Drexel
departs from AP style by italicizing titles of periodicals.
See “Publications” section for magazine, newspaper and
Exceptions: The Bible and books that are primarily reference materials such
as catalogs, almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers,
handbooks and similar publications. Do not use quotation marks around
software titles such as Photoshop or Windows.
Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of
four or more letters.
Capitalize an article — the, a, an — or words of fewer
than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.
Animals and plants
Capitalize the specific name of an animal or plant only when it begins a
sentence or begins with a proper noun or geographical location. Otherwise,
The harlequin duck is one of the smallest sea ducks. The star of Bethlehem
orchid is a breathtaking flower. North American cardinal. California
barracuda. Amazon water lily. The baobab tree.
Likewise, always use lowercase when referring to a general term for an
animal or for the plural use of the general term for an animal or plant.
The life of a sea turtle is difficult. When grizzly bears attack…
Family, genus and species
Always italicize scientific names of plants and animals. Scientific names
can follow commas, or be placed in parentheses. Capitalize ONLY the first
letter of the genus, not the species. Subspecies, if included, is
The chestnut-sided warbler, or Dendroica pensylvanica, is
commonly found in…; The chestnut-sided warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica) is commonly found in…
The family name is capitalized, but not italicized.
Fruit bats are of the family Pteropodidae.
When only the genus name is available (ex: Leptonectes sp.) the
“sp.,” which is the stand-in character for an unknown species,
is NOT italicized, but the genus name is.
Updated annually every November. (Numbers as of December 2019)
- Drexel has more than 100 full-time undergraduate programs.
- 15,346 undergraduate students.
- 8,859 graduate students.
- 4,687 online students.
- 1,630 professional students (MDs and JDs).
- Students from more than 125 countries and 46 states.
- 18 Division I sports teams and 40 club sports.
- Nearly 250 student groups.
The Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness
University Factbook, which should be consulted for additional official University statistics.
Academic Degrees, Majors/Minors and Graduate Programs
Drexel’s current offerings of degrees and programs are regularly
updated on these pages:
Glossary of Drexel-Specific Terms
Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery Located in the Main
Community-Based Master’s Project (School of Public
- Distance Learning (no hyphen)
- Drexel Co-op
- Dual Degree program (no hyphen)
Early Decision (caps),
“regular decision” (no caps). Never use
"ED/RD" or any variation thereof
- Evidence-Based Practice (not -based)
Film and Video program (NOT Film & Video Production)
First-year, second-year, third-year, fourth-year, fifth-year
Use instead of freshman, sophomore, junior, senior
Fraternity and sorority life Use in place of "Greek
life." Students may be referred to as Greeks but it is preferable to call
them fraternity/sorority members or fraternities/sororities. Don't use the
term frat unless necessary for a tight headline (specific organization
letters or full names are better)
Graduate Co-op Formerly Career Integrated Education or
- History and Politics Department
MBA LeBow does not talk about specific MBA options in
marketing materials, just MBA
MIS Always abbreviate Management Information Systems (no
Nonmatriculated (no hyphen). Note: nonmatriculated
students are now referred to as non-degree enrollment
Office of the Bursar (no longer Student Financial
Office of Student Conduct Note that conduct procedures
should not be referred to as judicial processes
The Smart Set Drexel’s online magazine
- Sport Management
Still-Deciding Students® (no
parentheses or italics)
Student Life Student Life shouldn't be referred to as an
office, division or department
Residence hall Use in place of "dorm" in reference to
- Tuition deposit (formerly matriculation fee)
- Winter Entry program (use caps)
Glossary of Athletic Terms
The official name of the athletics department is the Drexel Athletics
Department. On second reference, Drexel Athletics.
Athletic Name and Affiliates
- Drexel Dragons
- Drexel University Recreational Athletics
Common Athletic Associations and Athletic Terms
- Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta (Dad Vail for short)
- All-Colonial Athletic Association (All-CAA)
- The Bubble at the Vidas Athletic Complex (seasonal)
- Buckley Bubble at Buckley Recreational Field (seasonal)
- Buckley Courts at the Armory (33rd and Cuthbert streets)
- Buckley Field (43rd Street and Powelton Avenue)
- Buckley Green (33rd Street between Market and Arch streets)
- Buckley Recreational Field (33rd and Cuthbert streets)
- City Six
- Collegiate Squash Association (CSA)
- Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
- Daskalakis Athletic Center (DAC)
- DAC Pack
- Delaware Investments Squash U.S. Open
- Division I (D-1 or DI)
- Division II (D-2 or DII)
- Division III (D-3 or DIII)
- Drexel Recreation Center
- Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association
- Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA)
- Elite Eight
- Final Four
- First Team
- Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA)
- John & Mary Semanik Award
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
- National Invitation Tournament (NIT)
- NCAA championship
- NCAA tournament
- Philadelphia Soccer Six (PS6)
- Second Team
- Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
- Sweet Sixteen
- Third Team
- Vidas Athletic Complex
- Vidas Field
- Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT)
Glossary of Tricky Words
- 3-D (not 3D, per an AP Stylebook revision in 2018)
- adviser (not advisor)
African American (n.)
Ambiance AP stories favor ambiance, a spelling permitted
by Webster’s (ambience is the dictionary’s first choice).
- cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation
compliment v. complement In most cases,
you’ll want to use “complement,” as in a Drexel program
complements an exhibit. “Compliment” means an admiring remark.
data AP typically treats the word as singular when writing for general audiences, but as plural in scientific and academic writing. Use databank and database, but data processing (n. and adj.) and data center.
Earth Capitalized only when referred to as a specific
body in the solar system. For example, “The two astronauts will
leave Mars and return to Earth,” but “earth-friendly recycling
ensure, insure, assure Use ensure to mean guarantee:
Steps were taken to ensure accuracy. Use insure for references to
insurance: The policy insures his life. Use assure to mean to make sure or
give confidence: She assured us the statement was accurate.
- firsthand one word
first annual It is inaccurate to use “first
annual” because until the event has occurred twice it isn't actually
being held annually. It is correct to use second annual, third annual,
fundraiser (one word, the person or event that raises
- fundraising (one word)
- gray (not grey)
- groundbreaking (one word)
health care Always two words unless part of a proper
- kickoff (n.), kick-off (adj.), kick off (v.)
-long do not hyphenate daylong, weeklong, lifelong when
used as an adjective
(senior director of lifelong learning, lifelong friends, a weeklong
- nonprofit (one word)
Off-campus (adj.); off campus (n.)
percent Use a figure and always write out (5 percent
discount); ads are exceptions.
- postgraduate (one word)
- pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary
orthopedic v. orthopaedic Use orthopedic
except when orthopaedic is used in a proper name.
- rollerblading, rollerblades
- trailblazing (adj., one word)
- X-ray (n., v., adj.)
- underway AP recently ruled this is one word.
- ZIP code
Glossary of Tech/Internet Terms
app (acceptable on first reference, but explanation
should be offered)
- blog (lower case)
- CAD computer-assisted design
- database (one word)
- download (one word)
- drop-down menu
email (e-mail only on stationery, University standard)
- FAQ (capitalize)
- google (v.)
- HTML (capitalize, but lower case in Web addresses)
- HTTP (capitalize, but lower case in Web addresses)
- homepage (no hyphen)
- hyperlink (no hyphen)
- Internet (capitalize)
iPod, iPad, etc. can begin a sentence with a lower-case
- JPG (no E)
- keyword (one word)
- listserv (one word)
- login (n.); log in (v.)
- multimedia (one word)
- online (no hyphen)
- spreadsheet (one word)
startup (one word, in context of business or computer)
- Twitter; tweet
URLs (use shortest form possible:
drexel.edu/coas not http://www.drexel.edu/coas/)
- username (one word)
- webcam (no hyphen)
- webcast (one word, lower case)
- Web feed
- webmaster (one word)
- website (one word, lower case)
- the Web (capitalized)
- Web page (always two words)
- World Wide Web
www (whenever possible, omit “http://” and
“www” in website addresses)