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Editorial Style Guide


The Illinois Tech Editorial Style Guide exists to help everyone at Illinois Institute of Technology who writes or edits copy. This guide takes the guesswork out of writing according to Illinois Tech standards. What is the preferred term? Which words do we capitalize? What conventions should we follow?

The guidelines stem from three main sources: (1) The Chicago Manual of Style; (2) The Associated Press Style Book; and (3) Illinois Tech practices, preferences, and conventions. The Illinois Tech Editorial Style Guide is by no means a complete list of all editorial style rules, but rather a compilation of common issues that arise as well as Illinois Tech preferences.

Recommended resources for the study of correct usage include The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago) and The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White.

For spelling, rely on any major dictionary and your computer’s spelling and grammar checker.

Items in the Illinois Tech Editorial Style Guide are arranged alphabetically.

This guide is updated annually. For questions about editorial style at Illinois Tech, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications.

Last updated: October 2016.


For treatment of numbers, including 2-D and 3-D, see the numerals entry.


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.

[See degrees offered list]

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., Former President John Anderson—John Anderson, former president of Illinois Institute of Technology; Dean Chris White—Chris White, 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., a donor list) unless the list 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.

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

[See professor]

academic units

Capitalize when using the formal name of a unit, such as Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering. Do not capitalize when approximating the name or using it informally, as in the architectural engineering department.

[See academic units list]


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 Illinois Tech are known by their acronyms, it is not necessary to place acronyms in parentheses after the first reference to these organizations, for visual clarity and conventional 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 body copy after its first reference.


On envelopes and in publications, addresses should be written with the content organized top to bottom, most specific to least specific. For example:

Office of Marketing and Communications
Illinois Institute of Technology
10 West 35th Street, Suite 4D7-1
Chicago, IL 60616

adviser, advisor

No preference, but be consistent throughout a document. The Office of 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 years old or 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 Illinois Tech 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, e.g., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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 L.

Formal title and name is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Former President John L. Anderson. On second references, use Anderson.


End-quote apostrophes are used in alumni graduation years and other instances to indicate missing text, e.g., ’50s, rock ’n’ roll. 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 Illinois Tech or its affiliated collaborative access teams at Argonne National Laboratory.

Bedford Park, Illinois

The name of the town where Illinois Tech’s Moffett Campus and Institute for Food Safety and Health are located. Do not use Summit-Argo.

Board of Advisors

As of 2015, the former term Board of Overseers is no longer used. Always lowercase board or advisor when used alone or in a general reference.

Board of Trustees

Capitalize in all references to Illinois Tech’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 or in a general reference (exception: formal documents such as the Board of Trustees Bio Book).

bold text

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


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


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. Do not use commas or semicolons at the end of each bulleted item in a series, as would be used in body copy. The first letter of each word in a bulleted sentence should be capitalized.


Capitalize Mies Campus, Downtown 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 Illinois Tech’s campus in Wheaton.

[See Campuses of Illinois Institute of Technology]


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.


In general, capitalize official names; use lowercase for unofficial, informal, shortened titles, or generic names. Therefore, phrases such as the university, 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 fewer than two lines.

Career Services

Do not use the former name Career Development Center.

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. The same rule applies to institutes.


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


Preferred to chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson, although the latter are acceptable. This rule applies to both chairs of departments and chairs of corporations. Bud Wendorf prefers to be referred to as Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bud Wendorf (ME ’71).

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.


Do not use this antiquated term. Instead, use Chicago area (noun) or Chicago-area (adjective), e.g. Chicago-area transit system.


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

[See list of city designations]


Avoid the terms freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior when referring to current Illinois Tech students; instead use the gender-neutral and more flexible first-year, second-year, etc. In some undergraduate recruitment materials, the terms freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior may be used when referring to prospective high schools students. Illinois Tech 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 always be described as first-year, second-year, etc. Also, it is not unusual for students to take more 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, as in IIT Magazine, in which case the ordinal is used, e.g., Tom Smith (ME 4th year) attended a chemistry course; note the absence of a superscript. In headlines and header copy, capitalize the word year, e.g., Tom Smith (ME 4th Year).

Graduate students should be referenced per the example Maxx Webber (M.S. BIOL candidate) in running text; in headlines and header copy, capitalize the word candidate, e.g., Maxx Webber (M.S. BIOL Candidate).

class notes

In IIT Magazine, class notes are organized 1) chronologically by graduation year, then 2) alphabetically by the alumni’s last name, then first name.

Collens, Lew

Not Lewis unless specifically requested. His title as of August 2007 is president emeritus. Capitalize if it precedes his name in copy.


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 or complete sentence. 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. Avoid colons in headlines unless the headline consists of only one line.


Use commas if the introductory clause is dependent, e.g., If they want to eat healthy, students must eat vegetables daily or if the introductory phrase is long (five or more words) and begins with a preposition. Commas also should be used if a sentence consists of two independent clauses connected with a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet); otherwise, connect independent clauses with semicolons. Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun, e.g., It was a red, furry cat but not It was a red, rescue cat. Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to offset clauses, phrases, and words that aren’t essential to the meaning of the sentence, e.g., That Friday, on the other hand, we went out for lunch. Offset the names of single individuals or entities, e.g., Marian’s son, Tim, is an avid runner (but not, for example, if Marian has more than one son).


Capitalize when referring to Illinois Tech 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.

corporation names

[See legal entities]

course names

Capitalize the formal names of courses. Do not italicize or place in quotes. Avoid the term class when referring to an academic course.


courtesy titles

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

Cramb, Alan W.

Write as President Alan W. Cramb or Alan W. Cramb is the president of Illinois Tech. On subsequent references, use Cramb or, less formally, the president.

S. R. Crown Hall

Use S. R. Crown Hall on 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 acceptable for subsequent references. It was designated a National Historic Landmark (note capitalization) in 2001.



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, but this should be avoided especially in the age of computers. 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 command+num-hyphen to insert an en dash; use command+option+num-hyphen to insert an em dash.)

[See hyphen]


Treat as a singular noun, e.g., the data indicates. The same rule applies to other words that refer to more than one person who act as a single group (e.g., rock band, movie cast, research team).



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 Illinois Tech post-graduate degrees should be noted. (Note: The undergraduate INTM and ITM programs award “bachelor of” degrees that are not the same as bachelor of science degrees, therefore they require separate designation. See degrees offered list.) For 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 referring 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, and not all medical doctors hold Ph.D.s.


Use the $ sign with figures; do not spell out the word dollar, which would be redundant, e.g., Bagels cost $2. For amounts of $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.


Use spaces between the periods that precede and follow the ellipsis, e.g., It was a long day … a very long day. 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 course....


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. If line breaks cannot be avoided, break after the @ symbol. Capitalize all words in an email subject line, following the same rules for headlines.

[See headlines]

endowed professorships

Capitalize the formal name in all uses whether before or following a person’s name, e.g., Bob Smith is Max McGraw Professor of Energy and Power Engineering and Management.


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

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]


Do not capitalize unless in a formal context or unless the word appears as a title preceding a person’s name, e.g., Please welcome Fellow of the AAAS Bob Smith; He is a fellow of the AAAS.

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 a dictionary 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

First-year student is preferred. The terms freshman or freshmen may be used in specific recruitment materials when referring to prospective Illinois Tech students who are in high school. Use freshmen when referring to a group of freshmen students (male and/or female).

[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 fewer. 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

In most instances 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 Illinois Tech and placed in parentheses following the recipient’s name, per Illinois Tech 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 Illinois Tech degree abbreviation standards, e.g., Robert Pritzker (IE ’46, Hon. Ph.D. ENG ’84).


Do not use hyphens with adverbs that take an -ly form, e.g.,  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, although this is discretionary; note that this rule does not apply to cover lines. 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 movement in editorial style nationwide is toward less hyphenation in favor of compound words.


Idea Shop TM

In internal publications, the trademark symbol should appear after Idea Shop on first reference.


Not I.I.T. Use Illinois Institute of Technology in the first reference, Illinois Tech or IIT in subsequent references. The university is moving toward Illinois Tech on second and subsequent references, and when referring to matters involving the Department of Athletics. IIT is never preceded by “the.” Illinois Tech or IIT should precede the individual schools of the university, e.g., He attended Illinois Tech Stuart School of Business (note absence of possessive, which is preferred, though possessive is acceptable). The College of Architecture brands itself per the example IIT ArchitectureIllinois Institute of Technology and its logo should be used prominently on covers of brochures and in advertising headlines.

[See Illinois Tech]

IIT Research Institute

Not Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute. In first reference use IIT Research Institute (IITRI) and IITRI thereafter. The name of the main IITRI facility is The Tower or IIT Tower, not IITRI Tower, as it was previously called.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Never preceded by “the.”

[See IIT]

Illinois Tech

This reference is now considered acceptable in all publications, especially undergraduate and athletics communications, but should be avoided in very formal documents.

Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program

Not IIT Boeing Scholars Academy.

Illinois Tech Microgrid

Formerly referred to as Perfect Power System or the smart microgrid, Illinois Tech Microgrid is the preferred term per Galvin Center Director Mohammad Shahidehpour (August 2016). The word smart preceding microgrid also should be avoided.


Always hyphenate in all uses, e.g., brother-in-law, mother-in-law. Plural follows the example brothers-in-law.


Illinois Institute of Technology should always be referred to as a university, or as an institution, never as an institute. Lowercase institute and center when generally referring to Illinois Tech’s research groups or as a second reference.

Institute for Science, Law, and Technology

ISLAT is acceptable on second reference. Do not use ampersand.

Institute of Design

If making more than one reference, use Illinois Tech Institute of Design in the first, and ID thereafter. ID is located downtown (Downtown Campus), though it is administratively part of Illinois Tech.

International Center

Not International Cultural Center.


Always capitalize.


Noted as Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program; use IPRO or IPRO Program on subsequent references. The word interprofessional is used to describe the academic aims of Illinois Tech, although not all academic projects are officially IPRO projects. Note that IPROs are required undergraduate academic courses and not independent student-research projects.

Jr. and Sr.

Do not use a comma to offset this suffix, e.g., Bob Smith Jr. The same rule applies to II, III, etc., but not to M.D. or Ph.D., although the use of the latter is discouraged.

[See doctor, Dr.]

Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship

Always use full name on first reference. On subsequent references Kaplan Institute or the institute are acceptable.


The Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated train line. It is in quotation marks because it is a nickname, with the “L” referencing elevated, per the AP Style Guide.


Use the word to describe only buildings or sites that have been officially declared landmarks. S. R. Crown Hall has been designated a landmark; the official designation should be capitalized, e.g., National Historic Landmark. The entire Mies Campus is on the National Register of Historic Places, which is not the same designation.

lecture series

Capitalize the name of a lecture series. Use quotations only for titles of individual lectures, e.g., At the Ralph Peck Lecture, the speaker delivered the lecture “Toward a Greener Planet.”

legal entities

Unless absolutely necessary, do not use legal entity references such as LLC, Ltd., or Co. in body copy, e.g., Microsoft (not Microsoft Corp.). Commonly used proper names are sufficient, and acronyms or abbreviations denoting a legal entity often add unnecessary length. Any commas that may precede an acronym/abbreviation also may create perceived inconsistencies. The exception is in some formal Chicago-Kent College of Law publications, for which the legal name must be used, regardless of inconsistencies between spellings or legal references or punctuation.

Life Sciences building

After fall 2016 the name Life Sciences building should no longer be used. The building should be referred to as the Robert A. Pritzker Science Center.

[See Robert A. Pritzker Science Center]

line breaks

In printed publications, avoid more than two subsequent lines that end (break) with hyphens or dashes. When two lines break at an en dash or em dash, the dash should appear on the previous line. Avoid auto-hyphenation in narrow columns. Avoid justified copy, which often can result in odd line breaks and spacing, unless stylistically motivated.


master plan

Lowercase in all uses unless part of a proper name, e.g., Mies Campus Master Plan.

McCormick Student Village

One of Illinois Tech’s residence hall complexes.

The McCormick Tribune Campus Center

Capitalize the formal name. Lowercase general references to the campus center, as in Rem Koolhaas designed Illinois Tech’s campus center. Note the use of “The” with a capital in the formal title. Do not use “The” when the formal name is preceded by an adjective, e.g., the new McCormick Tribune Campus Center. MTCC on subsequent references is acceptable.

M.D. and Ph.D.

Avoid using in running copy. Generally, Ph.D. is only used when designating a degree as part of alumni affiliation. When used, however, commas should precede both M.D. and Ph.D., e.g., Fred Smith, Ph.D. is the department chair.

[See doctor, Dr.]


Do not put a 12 in front of it or use 12 a.m.

[See time of day]



Mies Campus

Always capitalize. As of 2015 it is no longer referred to as Main Campus. Do not precede with the.

Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is the full and preferred name in a first reference, though Mies van der Rohe is also acceptable. Use Mies for subsequent references. Possessive is Mies’.

Modernist, Modernism

Always capitalize. Lowercase modern.

Moffett Campus

Always capitalize. Moffett Campus is located in Bedford Park, Illinois (not Summit-Argo).


Italicize names of movies. Do not place in quotations.


Use a person’s first and last name in the first use. In subsequent references, use last name only, e.g., Martin Jischke is president emeritus of Purdue University; Jischke is an Illinois Tech alumnus. When two individuals with the same last name appear in articles of most publications, use the first names on second references or as needed for clarity. In some publications or advertisements, students’ first names may be used where appropriate or to evoke emotion or a particular tone, although last names are preferred.

For individuals whose last names begin with a lowercase van (e.g., van der Meer), capitalize the v on the second reference unless the individual specifies otherwise; capitalize when the last name begins a sentence.


Appear in quotations within the birth name, e.g., Alan “Bud” Wendorf. In rare cases, primarily in lists of names, parentheses can be used in place of quotations for visual clarity.

nonprofit, not-for-profit


Do not put a 12 in front of it or use 12 p.m.

[See time of day]


Spell out whole numbers below 10. Use figures for 10 and above. Place a comma in four-digit numbers such as 1,243 (exception: SAT scores). Use numerals but not zeroes for large numbers, e.g., 4 trillion. In a series containing numbers of 10 or above, use numerals for all amounts, e.g., There were 4 students, 10 faculty, and 3 staff. Use numerals with percent for all numbers, e.g., 8 percent, unless the figure is scientific data, in which case the % symbol should be used, e.g., 8%. For uses not covered by these guidelines, follow The Chicago Manual of Style.

The same rules apply to ordinals, e.g., eighth or 124th.

Write the abbreviations for two dimensional and three dimensional as 2-D and 3-D (using a hyphen), respectively. This follows the AP Style Guide convention.

Office of Admission

No “s” on the official title of this office. More specifically, one can use the Undergraduate Office of Admission.


Do not hyphenate.


Research papers and the like should be capitalized and placed in quotations.

part-time, full-time

Hyphenate when used as an adjective.


Spell out in copy. In charts, graphs, and tables, and when referring to scientific data, the % sign is acceptable.


Italicize names of periodicals. Do not place in quotations.


Plural is Ph.D.s. Generally, Ph.D. is not used unless designating a degree as part of alumni affiliation. When referring to a medical doctor, use only Dr. Do not use Dr. to indicate a Ph.D. who is not a physician.

[See doctor, Dr. for usage]

phone numbers

Preferred Illinois Tech style for phone numbers follows the example 312.567.3104.

postal abbreviations

Use two-letter postal abbreviations only for mailing addresses on postal correspondence. In all body copy spell out state names except in lists (e.g., IIT Magazine class notes or when referencing a mailing address in a publication), in which case follow the state abbreviations as designated by AP style. (Exception: formal invitations, in which case all abbreviations should be avoided.)

[See list of state name abbreviations]


In IIT Magazine, postscript copy (generally, web urls, contact information, etc.) should be italicized.


Use the possessive ’s for proper nouns ending in s, e.g., James’s, not James’. (Exception: Mies’)



premier, premiere

Premier is an adjective to describe something of importance or size, or a noun for the head of a government. Premiere is a noun to describe something first in order.

Robert A. Pritzker Science Center

Pritzker Center is acceptable on second and subsequent references.

professional societies

Capitalize full names in all uses.


Capitalize when used as a formal title before a full name. Lowercase when used after a name. Do not abbreviate. Avoid using the title on second references. Note the importance of using the accurate professorial rank, e.g., associate professor should be used over the more general reference to professor, which also is a higher rank.

program/unit names

Capitalize the words program or unit only when used as part of the official program or unit name.

[See academic units]

quotation marks

Closing double and single quotation marks always follow a comma and period (even though this may defy conventional wisdom). They precede a colon and semicolon. Do not confuse a single quote with a final apostrophe, which always precedes the period or comma. Television and radio shows are capitalized and placed in quotations, as are book chapters, individual lecture titles, journal articles, papers, dissertations, and theses. Make sure that the quotation marks are in fact quotations and not the symbol for inches.

[See smart/“curly” quotes for proper keying]

residence halls

Never refer to residence halls as dormitories. In rare occasions the informal dorm may be used in undergraduate recruitment materials only.

John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center

As of 2015 the name of the building is John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center. It is no longer referred to as Engineering 1 Building or E1. Rettaliata Center or simply the center are acceptable on subsequent references.

Rice Campus

Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus in formal references, Rice Campus in casual and subsequent references.


School of Applied Technology

Its former name, Center for Professional Development, should not be used.


Lowercase unless part of a formal name, e.g., They went to the Spring Fling dance. But spring semester. Note: There is no comma when used with a year, e.g., spring 2000. Prefer spring 2000 as opposed to spring of 2000.

second and subsequent references

Do not capitalize approximated or shortened second references to entities (including colleges or institutes), organizations, or places within a story or document, e.g., IIT’s Mies Campus is large; the campus covers 120 acres. The College of Architecture educates students; the college also prepares professionals for success.

M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy

Always use M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy on first reference. In second references Self Leadership Academy or the informal the academy are acceptable. Note the space between M. and A., which appears as such because M. A. is an abbreviation of beginning and middle names.

serial comma

Always use for maximum clarity, e.g., We ate toast, cereal, and bacon for breakfast; She packed her green, yellow, red and white, and blue dresses.

smart/“curly” quotes

Oftentimes text copied from an email message or from a website and pasted into another document will not include quotation marks or apostrophes (“ ‘, ’ ”) but rather the symbols for feet and inches (', ''), also referred to as minute and second marks, or prime or double prime marks. These should be corrected manually. To correct in Mac, simply type in the smart quote (one or two apostrophes, for foot or inch, respectively) and then select the command to undo formatting (command-Z, or alternately select Undo AutoFormat under the Edit menu).

smart phone

[See cell phone]

South Side

Capitalize in all uses.


Keystroke one space after periods (including sentences), colons, and semicolons.


state names

Spell out state names in body copy. This rule reflects the most recent AP style guidelines. Special abbreviations should used when state names are paired with most cities or towns in lists, such as in the class notes of IIT Magazine [see state names abbreviations list]. Use two-letter postal abbreviations only in addresses in correspondence or when referencing addresses in a publication. A number of recognizable United States and international cities do not need to be identified by their state or country names in body copy, e.g., Chicago, Philadelphia, Moscow, Paris, etc.

[See city designations list]


Capitalize street when it is part of the street name: 10 West 35th Street. Lowercase street(s) when used generically or referring to more than one street in a sequence, e.g., IITRI sits on the corner of 35th and State streets.

[See Greater Grand Boulevard]


Be careful to avoid superscripts, as many document programs will automatically convert text to numerical superscripts, e.g., 15th, not 15th.

television shows

Capitalize and place in quotation marks.

that, which

That does not require punctuation; it is used where there is more that one possibility, e.g., Choose an option that meets your needs. A comma should precede which; which is used to add information on to something that has already been identified, e.g., He completed the survey, which was sent to him via email.


Do not put this definite article before Illinois Institute of Technology. Be careful to avoid putting it before other proper names.

time of day

8 p.m., not 8:00 p.m. Use noon and midnight and not 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.

[See midnight and noon]

times of day

Follow this order in the notice of events: day of the week, date, time, and, place, e.g., Friday, October 13, 1988, 7:30 a.m., Perlstein Hall Auditorium.


Do not capitalize when used generally in conjunction with a person, e.g., Bob Smith, an Illinois Tech trustee, has been one of the most active supporters of the university. In general, do not capitalize titles that follow the name of a person, but capitalize trustee and titles that precede names.

[See Board of Trustees]

United States

Spell out when used as a noun. Use U.S. only as an adjective. The acronym is acceptable on second references. Similarly, U.K.


Illinois Tech is a university, not an institute or college. In second or subsequent references, use the university or, alternately, the institution, not the University. The latter reflects the movement in journalism style toward eliminating excessive capitalization.


web addresses

Avoid allowing web addresses (URLs) to break at the end of a line or placing punctuation immediately after them (except for URLs that end a complete sentence). To avoid bad line breaks, editors and writers may wish to refer to the websites in copy without giving the address; an accompanying sidebar or chart can list addresses for any sites mentioned in the story or document. You may omit the http:// for brevity but not the www. unless necessary for stylistic treatment, e.g., sidebars. Use the full URL form ( when the web address does not begin with www.


widows, orphans

In body copy of printed publications, be careful to avoid one-word lines. Also avoid instances where one or two lines of text begin a new column, or where one or two lines of text end a column above or beneath an image.

World Wide Web

Capitalize in all uses. Note: www in website addresses is always lowercase.





Use the plural “s” without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries, e.g., the 1980s, the 1900s. Also ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s (note direction and use of closed apostrophe). Use an en dash to indicate a span of years, and use the full, unabbreviated years when a span of time crosses more than one decade, e.g., 1942–45 but 1942–50 and 1942–1955.

Academic Units of Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Illinois Tech Armour College of Engineering
  • Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Illinois Tech College of Architecture
  • Illinois Tech College of Science
  • Illinois Tech Institute of Design
  • Illinois Tech Lewis College of Human Sciences
  • Illinois Tech School of Applied Technology
  • Illinois Tech Stuart School of Business

Academic Major Key, Abbreviations

Academic majors are identified in university-wide publications by the college or unit name, not always by the specific area of study (e.g., an aerospace engineering graduate would be cited as MMAE, not Aero Eng). A list of the appropriate major abbreviations follows.

Major codes reflect current official university codes from the Office of the Registrar.

Accelerated MBA BATN
Advanced Architecture/Landscape Architecture Dual Degree ALA2
Advanced Architecure/Integrated Building Delivery Dual Degree AIN2
Advanced Electronics ELEC
Advanced Software Development ASD
Aerospace Engineering AE
Air Resources AR
Analytical Chemistry ACHM
Analytical Method Development AMD
Analytical Spectroscopy ASP
Applied Analytics AANL
Applied Economics APEC
Applied Electromagnetics EMAG
Applied Mathematics AMAT
Applied Physics APHY
Architectural Engineering ARCE
Architecture ARCH
Architecture Advanced Program 2 ARC2
Architecture Post-Professional Program 1 ARC1
Architecture Profession Program 3 ARC3
Architecture/Integrated Building Delivery Dual Degree AINB
Architecture/Landscape Architecture Dual Degree ALAN
Astrophysics ASPY
Behavioral Health and Wellness BEHW
Biochemistry BCHM
Bioinformatics BIFO
Biological Engineering BENG
Biology BIOL
Biology for Health Professions BHPR
Biomedical Engineering BME
Biomedical Imaging and Signals BMI
Business Administration BA
Business Administration 16 BASX
Business Analyst BUSA
Characteristics of Inorganic and Organic Materials IOM
Chemical Engineering CHE
Computer Science/Chemical Engineering Dual Degree CHCE
Chemistry CHEM
Chromotography CHRO
Civil Engineering CE
Communication COM
Communication Systems COMM
Compliance Pollution Prevention CPP
Computational Decision Science and Operations Research CDOR
Computational Intelligence CI
Computer Engineering CPE
Computer Engineering Dual Degree CPEC
Computer Information Systems CIS
Computer Integrated Design and Manufacturing CIDM
Computer Networking and Telecommunications CNT
Computer Science CS
Construction Engineering and Management CM
Construction Management CMGT
Consumer Research, Analytics, and Communication CRES
Control Systems CTRL
Corporate Finance CF
Current Energy Issues CEI
Cyber Forensics and Security CYF
Cyber Security Management CYM
Cyber Security Technologies CYT
Cyber-Physical Systems CPS
Data Analytics DA
Data Center Operations and Management DCOM
Data Management and Analytics DMA
Data Science DSC
Database Systems DSYS
Design DSGN
Business Administration/Design Dual Degree BADS
Digital Humanities DHUM
Digital Voice and Data Communication Technology DVDC
Distributed and Cloud Computing DCC
Earthquake and Wind Engineering Design EWED
Economic Development & Social Entrepreneurship EDSE
Electrical and Computer Engineering ECE
Electrical Engineering EE
Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering Dual Degree EECP
Electricity Markets ELEM
Engineering Graphics and CAD EGC
Engineering Management EMGT
Entrepreneurial Finance EFIN
Environmental Engineering ENVE
Ethics Workplace Business Engineering Government EWB
Family Law FLW
Finance FIN
Financial Economics FECO
Financial Markets Compliance FMC
Financial Modeling FMOD
Financial Services FNS
Financial Toolbox FTLB
Food Processing Engineering FPE
Food Processing Specialist FPSP
Food Safety and Industrial Management FSIM
Food Safety and Technology FST
Fundamentals of Finance FUNF
Geoenvironmental Engineering GEO
Geotechnical Engineering GTE
Hazardous Waste Engineering HWE
Health Physics HP
Humanities HUM
Indoor Air Quality IAQ
Industrial Technology and Management INTC
Industrial Technology and Management INTM
Industrial Training IDTR
Information Architecture IARC
Information Security and Assurance ISAS
Information Technology and Management ITM
Information Technology and Management ITMF
Information Technology Innovation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship IILE
Infrastructure Engineering and Management IEM
Innovation and Emerging Enterprises IEE
Instructional Design TID
Integrated Building Delivery INBD
Intellectual Property Management and Markets IPMM
International and Comparative Law ICLP
International Intellectual Property IP
International Technical Communication ITC
Investments INV
Landscape Architecture LAND
Landscape Architecture Advanced Standing LAN2
Management Science MSC
Manufacturing Engineering (Materials) MFMS
Manufacturing Engineering (Mechanical) MFGM
Marketing Analytics MANL
Marketing Analytics and Communications MAC
Marketing Analytics/MBA Dual Degree BAMA
Marketing Management MKT
Materials and Chemical Synthesis MCS
Materials Chemistry MCHM
Materials Science and Engineering MSE
Mathematical Finance MMF
Mathematics Education MED
MBA/Finance Dual Degree BAFI
MBA/Public Administration Dual Degree BAPA
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering MAE
Mechanical Engineering ME
Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics MBB
Network Engineering NETE
Nonprofit and Mission-Driven Management NPMD
Particle Processing PP
Personnel and Human Resource Development PHRD
Pharmaceutical Engineering PHME
Physics PHYS
Physics Education PED
Political Science PS
Polymer Science and Engineering PSE
Power Engineering PWR
Prepharmacy Studies PREP
Process Operations Management POM
Product Quality and Reliability Assurance PQRA
Psychiatric Rehabilitation PSYR
Psychology PSYC
Public Administration PA
Public Management PMGT
Public Works PW
Radiological Physics RPHY
Regulatory Science REGS
Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling REHC
Rehabilitation Counseling REHN
Rehabilitation Engineering Technology RET
Risk Management RM
Science Education SED
Security Safety and Risk Management SSRM
Signal Processing SP
Social and Economic Develepment Policy CECD
Sociology SOC
Software Engineering SE
Structural Engineering STE
Sustainability Management SM
Sustainability Management MBA Dual Degree BASM
Sustainable Enterprise SEPR
Synthesis and Characterization of Inorganic Materials SIM
Synthesis and Characterization of Organic Materials SOM
Systems Administration SYSA
Systems Analysis SA
Taxation TAX
Technical Communication TCOM
Technical Communication and Information Architecture TCIA
Technical Communication and Information Design TCID
Technological Entrepreneurship TENR
Technology and Humanities THUM
Telecommunications and Software Engineering (Computer Science) TSEC
Telecommunications and Software Engineering (Electrical Engineering) TSEE
Trading TRAD
Transportation Engineering TE
Transportation Systems Planning TSP
Trial Advocacy TA
Undecided Armour UNDA
Undecided Human Science UNDH
Undecided Science UNDS
Undeclared UND
US, International, and Transnational Law USTL
VLSI and Microelectronics VME
Water and Wastewater Treatment WWT
Web Design and Application Development WDAD
Wireless Communications Engineering WIRE

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Architecture
  • Bachelor of Industrial Technology and Management
  • Bachelor of Information Technology and Management
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Analytical Chemistry
  • Master of Applied Mathematics
  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Biology
  • Master of Biological Engineering
  • Master of Biomedical Imaging and Signals
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Chemistry
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Cyber Forensics and Security
  • Master of Data Science
  • Master of Design
  • Master of Design Methods
  • Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Master of Electricity Markets
  • Master of Food Processing Engineering
  • Master of Food Safety Technology
  • Master of Health Physics
  • Master of Industrial Technology and Operations
  • Master of Information Technology and Management
  • Master of Integrated Building Delivery
  • Master of Intellectual Property Management Markets
  • Master of Landscape Architecture
  • Master of Materials and Chemical Synthesis
  • Master of Materials Chemistry
  • Master of Mathematical Finance
  • Master of Mathematics Education
  • Master of Network Engineering
  • Master of Power Engineering
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Works
  • Master of Science Education
  • Master of Telecommunications and Software Engineering
  • Master of Technological Entrepreneurship
  • Master of VLSI and Microelectronics
  • Master of Engineering in Architectural Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Construction Engineering and Management
  • Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Geotechnical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Transportation Engineering
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Science Education
  • Master of Laws
  • Juris Doctor
  • Doctor of Science of Law
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Campuses of Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus
  • Downtown Campus
  • Mies Campus
  • Moffett Campus

Research at Illinois Tech

Research at Illinois Tech is delineated by the following categories: institute; center; and service, education, and outreach center.

Research Institutes

  • IIT Research Institute (IITRI)
  • Institute for Food Safety and Health
  • Pritzker Institute for Biomedical Science and Engineering
  • Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER)

For a list of Illinois Tech institutes and centers, visit the website for the Office of Research.

State Name Abbreviations

Use the below abbreviations, per the AP Style Guide, for states that accompany their cities in lists such as the class notes of IIT Magazine. Do not confuse these abbreviations with postal abbreviations, which are used only in address lines in correspondence or in publications when referencing an address. Do not abbreviate state names that stand alone in copy or that appear in formal invitations; in those cases, state names should be spelled out.

Ala. Md. N.D.
Ariz. Mass. Okla.
Ark. Mich. Ore.
Calif. Minn. Pa.
Colo. Miss. R.I.
Conn. Mo. S.C.
Del. Mont. S.D.
Fla. Neb. Tenn.
Ga. Nev. Vt.
Ill. N.H. Va.
Ind. N.J. Wash.
Kan. N.M. W.Va.
Ky. N.Y. Wis.
La. N.C. Wyo.
Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah are never abbreviated in copy.

City Designations

The following United States and Canadian cities stand alone and do not use state/province designations in body copy.

Las Vegas
Los Angeles
New Orleans
New York (not New York City, but New York state if it aids in clarification)
Oklahoma City
Quebec City
St. Louis
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
San Diego
San Francisco
Washington, D.C. (always include D.C. when referencing the city)

No cities in Canada should be followed by province names, only Canada spelled out. (This is counter to AP style, which says to include province names.)

The following 49 international capitals and cities stand alone, without country designations in body copy.
Guatemala City
Hong Kong
Kuwait City
Mexico City
New Delhi
Panama City
Quebec City
Rio de Janeiro
San Marino
Sao Paulo
Vatican City

Supplementary Resources and Authorities

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual

Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago)

The Elements of Style Strunk and White

Diversity Style Guide Society of Professional Journalists

The SPJ website includes the section Diversity: The Whole Story, which is a list of tips, tools, and guidelines for terms and usages pertaining to diversity, including a link to the Disability Language Style Guide from the National Center on Disability and Journalism.