Below are many of the decisions that have been made about the way Penn State—its people, programs, and procedures—should be presented in text for online and print publications. Many questions about University style must be resolved on a case-by-case basis. However, these general points may be helpful to you.
Penn State is the communicative name for the University. All communications originating from Penn State should use the communicative name rather than the full name. The full name (The Pennsylvania State University) is reserved for formal documents, legal contracts, some mailing addresses, and form entries, such as the line, “Make checks payable to The Pennsylvania State University.” The full name also is used in the formal version of the statement of nondiscrimination. It may be used in some faculty listings and on formal certificates, and in any rare case where confusion might result from using the communicative name.
In text, the words Penn State are separate and both should be capitalized. Penn State may be referred to as the University on subsequent mention, but only if you are referring to the entire institution, not just a single campus, college, or other location. It is not acceptable to refer to the University as PSU.
If the University visual identity mark appears on the cover of a publication, on a certificate, or on any other page that has words on it, the words Penn State or The Pennsylvania State University need not be used on the same page as part of a title, heading, or cover text. The mark serves as the identifier.
For further information regarding the visual identity mark, contact the Department of University Marketing: 814-863-1870.
Penn State campus names
Penn State is a complicated institution. Thus, it is important to use consistent terminology when communicating about the University and its campuses.
To prospective students, parents, and Pennsylvania residents, the Penn State name and location of a campus will mean more than an administrative/academic designation such as “college.” Campus names should always be used for location-specific references. Therefore, when communicating with external audiences, avoid use of Abington College, Altoona College, Berks College, and Capital College unless it is absolutely necessary for clarification.
The University College is composed of the fourteen campuses that are not associated with one of the location-specific colleges (those mentioned above, plus Penn State Erie, The Behrend College). It is an administrative term for internal use only, and should never be used in any external communications about Penn State.
When you refer to a Penn State campus in running text, do so as listed below. Use the full name on first mention and the partial name on subsequent mention.
- Penn State Abington; Abington campus
- Penn State Altoona; Altoona campus
- Penn State Beaver; Beaver campus
- Penn State Berks; Berks campus
- Penn State Brandywine; Brandywine campus
- Penn State DuBois; DuBois campus
- Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Penn State Behrend (Alphabetize under “E” for “Erie” in a list such as this one and “B” for “Behrend” if it’s in a list that doesn’t require full names to be used first.)
- Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus; Penn State Fayette or Fayette campus (Alphabetize under “F” for “Fayette.”)
- Penn State Greater Allegheny; Greater Allegheny campus
- Penn State Harrisburg; Harrisburg campus (Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College, may be used when appropriate if clarification is called for, as noted above.)
- Penn State Hazleton; Hazleton campus
- Penn State Lehigh Valley; Lehigh Valley campus
- Penn State Mont Alto; Mont Alto campus
- Penn State New Kensington; New Kensington campus
- Penn State Schuylkill; Schuylkill campus
- Penn State Scranton; Scranton campus
- Penn State Shenango; Shenango campus
- Penn State University Park; University Park campus
- Penn State Wilkes-Barre; Wilkes-Barre campus
- Penn State York; York campus
College or campus?
Abington College, Altoona College, Berks College, Capital College, and University College are not Penn State campus names. They refer to administrative/academic entities and should be used only in that context and only as necessary to clarify the academic standing of the campus.
Correct: Jennifer was a first-year student at Penn State Berks.
Incorrect: Jennifer was a first-year student at Penn State Berks College.
NOTE: When referring to campuses of the University College as well as single-campus colleges, the preferred term is campus rather than location.
Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies (first reference); Penn State Great Valley (subsequent reference). Alphabetize under “G.”
Penn State Hershey Medical Center/College of Medicine—The official name of the clinical enterprise is Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; on subsequent reference, Penn State Hershey Medical Center; the Medical Center(uppercase “M” and “C”). Alphabetize under “H” for Hershey. On first mention, Penn State College of Medicine; on second reference, College of Medicine; the college. Alphabetize the College of Medicine under “M” for Medicine.
Penn State Dickinson School of Law—The unified, two-campus law school through May 2017 and for historical references thereafter. Alphabetize under “L” for law.
Penn State Dickinson Schools of Law—Note plural “schools.” To be used sparingly only when collectively referencing both of Penn State’s law schools: Dickinson Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and Penn State Law in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Dickinson Law—The law school located in Carlisle, Pa. “Penn State’s Dickinson Law” may be used in copy, but not in headlines. Alphabetize under “L” for law.
Penn State Law—The law school located in University Park, Pa. Alphabetize under “L” for law.
Pennsylvania College of Technology (on first reference); Penn College (on subsequent mention). Penn College is an affiliate of Penn State.
Penn State World Campus (on first reference); World Campus (on subsequent mention). Note that the name World Campus is a registered trademark of The Pennsylvania State University.
A list of all twenty-four campuses should appear as shown below. (Note that the Penn State World Campus is listed but not counted as a twenty-fifth physical campus.)
Penn State Campuses
- Dickinson Law
- Fayette, The Eberly Campus
- Great Valley
- Greater Allegheny
- Lehigh Valley
- Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (College of Medicine)
- Mont Alto
- New Kensington
- Penn State Law
- Pennsylvania College of Technology (Pennsylvania College of Technology is an affiliate of Penn State.)
- University Park
- Penn State World Campus
Whether to use “the” in front of a campus name depends on the judgment of the writer, the meaning of the sentence, and the way the sentence reads. Most of the time, the is appropriate but it’s not always necessary.
It’s best to use “the” if you’re distinguishing one campus from another:
She attended the York campus for two years and the University Park campus for two years.
Although you may if you want to, it’s not necessary to use “the” if you’re referring to the same campus all the way through a printed piece:
Penn State Shenango campus has a lot to offer.
Students find a variety of academic and social activities at Shenango campus.
When a student moves from another campus in the Penn State system to Penn State University Park, he or she is not transferring, but rather moving from one campus to another within Penn State. Use change-of-assignment to describe the student and relocate or move to in describing the action. The same descriptions apply to students who move to Penn State Behrend or Penn State Harrisburg for their final two years.
The meeting was scheduled for all change-of-assignment students from Schuylkill and Hazleton campuses.
After two years at the Shenango campus, Mayala moved to Penn State Behrend to complete the program.
Additional information about U.S. mailing regulations can be found in Postal Addressing Standards, available from Mailing Services at the University Park campus, 814-865-4051.
Automation is changing requirements for U.S. mail. To be read by machines, envelope information should be typed in all caps, with no punctuation except for the hyphen in the zip-plus-four code, leaving two spaces between the city and state abbreviation and the state abbreviation and the zip. For times when all caps seem to put a strain on the eyes, try using all caps in smaller type size.
For University Park campus addresses, keep the full University name in the address as the line above the room number and building name:
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING
THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
212 SACKETT BLDG
UNIVERSITY PARK PA 16802-1408
At University Park campus, some offices are located off campus. An example of how to address these offices for U.S. mail is:
DEPARTMENT OF TRAVEL SERVICES
THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
120 S BURROWES ST
UNIVERSITY PARK PA 16801-3857
Note that although a University Park campus mailing address is used, the zip code 16801 is used for University Park campus offices that are located in State College. To send material to downtown University Park campus offices via intercampus mail, use the name, department name, and building name:
Rebecca Cohn, Travel Services, Rider Building
The correct zip code for University Park business reply envelopes is 16802-9976. The correct zip code for University Park business reply cards is 16802-9959. For University Park business reply letters heavier than one ounce, use 16802-9989.
For sending material via U.S. mail to Penn State campuses other than University Park, use the campus name, person’s name, office or department name, and address:
OFFICE OF STUDENT ACTIVITIES
PENN STATE BEAVER
100 UNIVERSITY DRIVE
MONACA PA 15061-2799
A detailed mailing list of Penn State campuses can be obtained from University Mailing Services, 108 Business Services Building.
NOTE: There has been confusion regarding the zip-+-4 codes for the admissions office postal box and rooms 0100–0199 in the Business Administration Building—both were listed as 16802-3000. This duplication has been resolved as follows:
The zip-+-4 code for rooms 0100–0199 in the Business Administration Building remains 16802-3000; the zip-+-4 code for the admissions office postal box has changed to 16804-3000. This new code for the admissions office applies only for mail being sent to the office postal box, and should not be used as part of their return address on letterhead or envelopes.
For addresses and contact information of Penn State campuses, check each campus website. See Mailing and Addressing Services, http://www.multimediaprint.psu.edu/addressing, for more information.
academic and administrative titles
Titles are capitalized when they immediately precede names and are used as part of the names.
Dean Jeanne DuBois said …
Associate Professor Hans Ringger said …
Titles are lowercased if they follow names or are used to help describe or identify people further.
Jill Johnson, professor of history, …
Well-known professor of history Jill Johnson, …
If the person holds a named professorship or chair, such as an endowed professorship, capitalize the title whether it precedes or follows the name:
Dan Miller, Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics …
Erwin W. Mueller Professor Jan Smith …
Gita Bashir, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry …
Instructor in, not instructor of
Professor emeritus, not emeritus professor
Professor of, not professor in—but, professorship in
Research associate in, not research associate of
When the title includes the specific name of an academic or administrative unit, the name of the unit is capitalized.
Sondra Wong, director of the Office of Style and Substance, …
Dr. Randy Jones, dean of the College of Science, …
The word president is capped whenever it is used to refer to current and former Penn State Presidents, whether it’s before or after the name. This policy is designed to make it easy for readers to quickly determine that a printed piece refers to the University President as opposed to any other president.
When naming Penn State faculty, staff, or students in a document, in most cases the person should be described or identified by title, such as “James Gonzalez, a graduate student in chemical engineering, … ” or “Dr. Caitlin Martin, technical specialist for the college, … ”
Those who have earned doctorates should be referred to as, for example, Dr. Maria C. Lastname on first reference and Dr. Lastname in later references. Those who have not earned doctorates should be referred to, for example, as Frederick N. Lastname on first reference. In later references, those without doctorates may be referred to by last name only or by last name and courtesy title, such as: Mr. Lastname, Ms./Mrs./Miss Lastname (according to preference), or Ms. Lastname when the named person can’t be consulted and preference is unknown. (However, if Dr. is used with one name, use courtesy titles with all other names as well: “Dr. Smith and Mr. Jones… ” )
You may want your publication to have an informal tone and wish to use first names. The is preferred only for internal communications. If you use first names, on first reference give the person’s full name (with Dr., if appropriate) and title or position, and use the first name on second and later references. It is not acceptable to call some people by their first names and others by title and last name or by last name alone within the same publication. Nor is it acceptable to use courtesy titles with some last names but not with others within the same publication. An exception is that children, after being identified by first and last name, may be referred to by first name alone even though adults are referred to differently.
Note: It is redundant to refer to someone as, for example, Dr. Paul Lastname, Ph.D. Use either Dr. Paul Lastname or Paul Lastname, Ph.D.
The highest-level administrator at campuses other than University Park are chancellors. The chancellors of all Penn State campuses report directly to the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses.
Spelled out: associate degree; baccalaureate degree, bachelor’s degree; master’s degree; doctoral degree, doctorate; bachelor of arts, master of science, doctor of philosophy
Abbreviate degrees with periods and without spaces (Chicago style says it’s OK to drop the periods, but we still use them): B.A.; M.S.; Ph.D.; M.Mus.; M.Eng.; M.B.A.; D.Ed.; J.D.; M.D., etc. See the entry M.B.A./MBA in this section for some exceptions. Note that the honorary doctor and master of law degrees are abbreviated LL.D. and LL.M. (not L.L.D. or L.L.M.).
Plural of B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and other abbreviations with periods—B.A.’s; M.A.’s; Ph.D.’s, etc. That’s Chicago Manual style, designed to prevent confusion. With plurals of acronyms where no periods are used, do not use an apostrophe (e.g., CACs). Use B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and other degree abbreviations primarily in listings, such as departmental faculty rosters:
Alicia Kwanda, professor of physiology, B.A., Temple University; M.S., Syracuse University.
It’s more readable in regular text to spell the degrees out:
He earned a bachelor of science degree in physics.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
fall semester, spring semester, summer session—no caps when used to refer to the time of the academic year except Maymester, which is a short session between spring and summer. Use summer session when you’re referring to the time of academic year. When you’re referring to the sessions themselves (the six- and eight-week sessions), use Summer Sessions (capped), as that is the name for Penn State’s summer programs.
The word commencement is lowercased, as is the name of the semester (spring commencement, fall commencement).
The following ADA alternative-format statement must be included in ALL printed publications (except formal invitations) in easy-to-read type, directly above the statement of nondiscrimination: This publication is available in alternative media on request.
The following ADA accommodation statement must be printed in any publication that describes a specific program or special event (except formal invitations). It should be included in the section describing how to register for the program or how to locate further information.
Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact __________ in advance of your participation or visit.
A contact person’s name and telephone number should be provided in the statement where indicated above.
See the University Policy section for the Spanish version of each statement.
Do not capitalize the reference to a general administrative area of the University in which a person works.
She has worked in food service for fifteen years.
She worked in Housing and Food Services for fifteen years.
Admissions is used to refer in a collective way to the many different types of admission (e.g., first-year, transfer, readmission, provisional, nondegree, and extended). Admissions also is used when referring to the fact that thousands of students are admitted: the admissions of thousands vs. the admission of an individual. Admissions also is used as a short version of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Admission is used to refer to a single type of admission (e.g., first-year admission, transfer admission). Use admission when referring to an individual’s admission. Use admission when referring to the process of being admitted.
It’s the Undergraduate Admissions Office on first mention; the admissions office thereafter, except in certain predetermined pieces.
Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Meet me in the admissions office this afternoon.
Contact the admissions office at any Penn State campus.
advanced standing student
advance registration, advance register
affirmative action statement
The Arboretum at Penn State
On first reference, cap “The”; use “the Arboretum” on subsequent reference.
Lowercase “the” in reference to designated areas within the Arboretum: the March Bowl, the Pavilion, the Winter Garden, Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden.
The Arboretum, located on the north end of campus, is a facility for teaching, research, and outreach, with the mission of finding solutions through interdisciplinary scholarship to the challenge of maintaining healthy and appealing landscapes in the presence of a growing human population. See: arboretum.psu.edu
Milton S. Eisenhower Auditorium; Schwab Auditorium; Palmer Lipcon Auditorium (in the Palmer Museum of Art); Esber Recital Hall (in Music Building I)
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications; Bellisario College of Communications
College of Communications was officially named Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 2018. In text, use Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications on first reference and Bellisario College of Communications on subsequent mention. Alphabetize under Communications.
This is a fully operational production facility and store, in the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building on Curtin Road, the east side of University Park campus. Use full name (Berkey Creamery) on first mention; the Creamery on subsequent mention. As for the building, use full name on first mention, Food Science Building on subsequent mention.
Cap and spell out as shown. Penn State is in the Big Ten Conference. The other schools are:
- University of Illinois
- Indiana University
- University of Iowa
- University of Maryland
- The University of Michigan
- Michigan State University
- University of Minnesota
- University of Nebraska
- Northwestern University
- The Ohio State University
- Purdue University
- Rutgers University
- University of Wisconsin
The University of Chicago, while not a member of the Big Ten athletic conference, is a member—with the Big Ten universities—of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), an academic consortium.
It’s no longer the Penn State Bookstore on Campus. Use Penn State Bookstore on first reference to the bookstore at University Park campus; the bookstore after that. Names of campus bookstores should be capped as necessary.
Bryce Jordan Center; Jordan Center
Use full name on first reference (no The). On second reference, the Jordan Center is preferred, and on subsequent reference, simply use the center.
The Penn State Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin, the Undergraduate Bulletin; the Penn State Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin, the Graduate Bulletin. The full names of the bulletins are in italics, as is the partial name of each bulletin on subsequent mention.
The Penn State degree programs bulletins are now online only. The last printing was 2002–04.
Cap on all references.
Students should contact the Bursar’s office before registering.
Registration cannot be completed without prior approval from the Bursar.
The Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business; Smeal College of Business
“Administration” has been dropped from both the official and communicative names. In text, use Smeal College of Business on first mention and Smeal College on subsequent mention. Alphabetize under Business.
Lowercase, even in campus names: Shenango campus, University Park campus.
Formerly Career Development and Placement Services. Located in the Bank of America Career Services Center.
college and university names
For correct styling of names of colleges and universities other than Penn State, consult the college’s or university’s official website.
college names within the University
Uppercase “College” when used as part of the proper name of a college; lowercase when used with the unofficial name of a college. Lowercase when used alone, whether it refers to a specific college or not.
They enrolled in the College of the Liberal Arts.
Belinda was most interested in the engineering college.
The college offered a number of psychology courses.
Commonwealth Campuses; Commonwealth College; University College
Do not use these phrases. Use “Penn State campuses” or similar language instead.
College of Communications
The College of Communications was officially named Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 2018. In text, use Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications on first reference and Bellisario College of Communications on subsequent mention.
Don’t forget the “s.” Alphabetize under Communications.
community recruitment centers
Penn State’s community (student) recruitment centers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are named as follows: Penn State Admissions-Philadelphia Outreach and Penn State Admissions-Pittsburgh Outreach. That’s a hyphen after Admissions, used as a connector between the two parts of the names.
Continuing and Distance Education/Continuing Education/continuing education
Continuing and Distance Education is now the Division of Outreach and Cooperative Extension. Continuing Education (capped) is one unit within that division.
Continuing Education encompasses the areas of Conferences and Institutes, the State College Office of Continuing Education, the Williamsport Continuing Education Center, the Continuing Education Outreach Operations Office, the Intensive English Communication Program, the Institute for Justice Education and Research, Management Development Programs and Services, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Labor Studies, the Wastewater Biology Program, and the Alumni Continuing Education Office. All other area and regional offices, including those at other Penn State campuses, are referred to as Continuing Education offices.
Lowercase continuing education when referring to the function; cap when referring to the unit or program.
She wanted to enroll in the course to further her continuing education efforts.
The courses were part of Penn State’s Continuing Education program.
He received credits through Continuing Education at Penn State.
Continuing Education Unit
Continuing Education Units, based on a standard of 1 unit per ten hours of classroom contact, are awarded to participants in some Continuing Education courses. On subsequent reference, use CEU, no periods or spaces. Plural is CEUs, no apostrophe.
Upon completing the course, each participant receives a certificate or record of the 2.0 CEUs earned.
Cooperative Education Program
Cap all three words when full program name is used. Co-op is capped when it refers to Penn State’s Co-op program, but lowercased in general and descriptive references (co-op student, co-op assignment).
For information or questions on copyright issues, contact the Copyright Clearance Office in the Department of Document Services, 107 Business Services Building, 814-865-2679.
course names, numbers, descriptions
Names of courses should be given as they are listed in the appropriate bulletin. Ordinarily, a course name and number appear together in all cases, along with the General Education suffix, if any.
CLASS 033 (GH) Roman Civilization
For course numbers, always use numerals, using zeros to create a three-digit number. The General Education suffix, if any, is part of the course number and should not be omitted; for example, BI SC 001 (GN). To prevent confusion, a course’s name should be listed along with its number; for example, BI SC 001 (GN) Structure and Function of Organisms. Check the most recent edition of the General Education Guidebook or the appropriate bulletin for General Education suffixes and correct course names. This also applies to diversity designations.
Course descriptions (as they appear in the bulletin) should be used with numbers and titles, or readers should be referred to the appropriate bulletin for descriptions.
Note: When used alone, course titles should be set in roman type and capped.
Becky looked forward to her Roman Civilization class.
See Berkey Creamery.
credits in, units of
Always use numerals: 3 credits; 18 credits in history; a 3-credit course; 4 units of English; 1 unit of geometry; 2 units of a foreign language. Also, use numerals when referring to credit hours.
Credit is earned in a subject, not of it; therefore, a major may require 25–29 credits in health education, but it does not require 25–29 credits “of” health education. It is the opposite for units: units “of” a subject, not units “in” a subject.
Some admission applications require a statement on the availability of crime statistics for that particular Penn State campus. For more information and the text of the statement, contact the Department of University Safety.
Cap when used as formal name: Department of Art History; lowercase as informal name: the art history department, the department.
Department of Communication Arts and Sciences; Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
There is no “s” at the end of communication.
- College of Agricultural Sciences
- College of Arts and Architecture
- Smeal College of Business
- Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
- College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Engineering
- College of Health and Human Development
- College of Information Sciences and Technology
- Penn State Dickinson School of Law (Penn State Law [University Park], Dickinson Law [Carlisle, Pennsylvania])
- College of the Liberal Arts
- College of Nursing
- Eberly College of Science
Donor-named colleges in lists
List separately from other colleges when part of a list in running text.
The program is presented in cooperation with the Smeal College of Business, the Eberly College of Science, and the Colleges of Engineering and the Liberal Arts.
Separated by a slash, not a hyphen.
James M. Elliott Building
Formerly the Rider I Building at University Park campus. Location of the Office of Human Resources.
endowed professorships; named professorships and titles of chairholders
Cap all nouns in the title, whether the title appears before or after the person’s name.
Dan Miller, Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics …
Erwin W. Mueller Professor Jan Smith …
Patrick Bashir, Distinguished Professor of Biology …
John Stone, Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Chemistry …
Acronym for Equal Opportunity Planning Committee
It’s the Penn State Cooperative Extension on first mention; extension, no cap, on subsequent mention.
faculty, graduate faculty
Lowercase, as shown.
faculty: plural or singular?
Faculty, like other collective nouns, is used with the singular form of a verb when considered one unit and the plural form of a verb when considered as a group of individuals.
The faculty insists that students be allowed to speak.
The faculty include distinguished scholars in many fields.
the Farmers’ High School
Penn State began as this.
Federal Work-Study Program
Note that there is a hyphen in this name and that it is capped. It can be Work-Study Program in second and later references.
Lowercase work-study when used in a general sense (i.e., not referring to the specific program).
When used to refer to an academic Fellow, cap on all references. Fellowship, when not used as part of the name of a specific fellowship, is not capped.
Do not cap names of fields of study. Cap the names of majors or minors when used as specific programs offered at Penn State. Do not cap the words major, minor, option, or program, only the program name if appropriate.
He was studying history at Penn State.
He majored in History at Penn State.
The college offers the Aerospace Engineering major.
The Nursing program has undergone changes.
When referring to specific degree programs at Penn State, cap the program name but not the degree:
Penn State offers a master of engineering degree program in Engineering Science.
The master of engineering degree in Environmental Engineering is a highly competitive degree program.
Consult the current Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin for current names of fellowships, loans, grants, etc. Or call the Office of Student Aid, 814-865-6301.
Avoid this word. It’s part of the perpetuation of language-based stereotypes. Use first-year students to avoid sexism. If it’s impossible NOT to use it, remember that freshmen is the plural, but it’s freshman year, freshman students (as an adjective).
fundraising or fundraiser
It’s University style for all uses: noun, verb, and adjective; one word, no hyphen
Uppercase when referring to the University’s program.
Hyphenate grade-point average. Avoid abbreviating this if you can, in the interest of reducing “alphabet soup” in language. But if you can’t resist the urge, use GPA (all caps, no periods).
Office of Graduate Enrollment Services
The offices of Graduate Admissions and Graduate Programs have combined to form the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services, located in 114 Kern Building.
Uppercase on all mentions that refer to Penn State’s Graduate School. Lowercase when using it in a general sense or for graduate schools at other colleges and universities.
Health and Human Development complex
The complex housing the College of Health and Human Development consists of three buildings: Henderson Building, Henderson Building South, and Health and Human Development Building East.
Cap when formal name of campus program (e.g., Campus Honors program; Penn State Mont Alto Honors program). Lowercase in informal use (honors program, honors student, honors courses).
Housing and Food Services Contract
Cap as shown.
Opened in 1999 when the Hetzel Union Building was expanded to include the Paul Robeson Cultural Center. Use full name on all references.
Full name: The Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Use Huck Institutes on subsequent reference. Formerly the Life Sciences Consortium. Since the Huck Institutes is an umbrella organization, it should be treated as a single entity:
The Huck Institutes is responding to rapid changes in technology.
Refers to Penn State student identification card. Cap ID, with no periods or spaces. Do not cap card. Faculty/staff card is not capped.
Formerly Penn State Research Park. A mixed-use development welcoming personal and professional services, research and development firms, light manufacturing, offices, and laboratories. Built on 130 acres of University land, two miles northeast of University Park campus.
Use full name on first reference, andInnovation Park on second and subsequent mention (note caps).
See the entry for University Office of Global Programs.
The Morrill Land Grant Act set forth goals for land-grant universities.
Penn State is a land-grant university.
Subsequent reference: Larson Institute; the institute. Formerly the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (PTI).
on first mention; Leonhard Center or the center on subsequent mention. (pronounced len’ ard)
Library Information Access System–no periods or spaces, all caps for abbreviation. Use the full name first, the abbreviation on subsequent mention.
College of the Liberal Arts, not College of Liberal Arts; whether to use “the” in text when referring to liberal arts as a field depends on the sentence. Alphabetize under Liberal Arts.
It’s University Libraries on first mention; the Libraries thereafter. For a specific library, on first mention use the library name and cap Library with it: Pattee Library. Lowercase library when using the word by itself on subsequent references.
The address format is the recipient’s name, department name, and building name. There is no need to include a city, town, or zip code.
Janet Jones, Travel Services, Procurement Building
U.S. Postal Service mail
Please follow these guidelines when typing addresses:
- Do not use punctuation, except for the hyphen in the nine-digit zip code (example: 16802-9976).
- Use all caps or small caps instead of uppercase and lowercase.
- Use the correct two-letter capitalized state abbreviation.
For correct University mailing addresses, please consult the Penn State Directory.
Use the following format for all return addresses, per U.S. Postal Service regulations :
THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
ROOM NUMBER AND BUILDING NAME
CITY STATE ZIP CODE+4
Note: There are two spaces between “city” and “state” and between “state” and “zip code.”
Be sure to use the correct five-digit zip code. Zip codes can be found on this link to the U.S. Postal Service website
Some University Park off-campus locations do not use the 16802 zip code:
Human Resources, James M. Elliott Building, University Park PA 16801 (not 16802)
To locate zip codes for Penn State employees, consult the Penn State Directory. For Penn State office zip codes, consult the faculty/staff phone directory. When in doubt, contact the recipient directly.
In order to qualify for bulk mail (Standard A Nonprofit rate), a mailing must:
- contain 200 or more identical pieces or weigh fifty pounds or more;
- contain domestic addresses only;
- be official mail of The Pennsylvania State University.
Document Services will prepare your bulk mailing according to postal standards and include the appropriate postal form. Certain types of advertising and products are not eligible for the Standard A Nonprofit rate. For details, contact Addressing and Mailing Services at 814-865-7544.
Use the following format for the return address on all Standard A Nonprofit mailings:
THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
ROOM NUMBER and BUILDING NAME
CITY STATE ZIP CODE+4
Use of a bar code for bulk mailings may allow the mail to be processed more efficiently. Document Services can evaluate your project and apply the appropriate bar code (certified by the U.S. Postal Service) as necessary. For more information, call 814-865-7544.
For bulk mailings that qualify as permit mailings, permit indicia are printed in the upper right corner, in the same spot a postage stamp might be affixed. For mail from the University Park campus, the indicia is:
P A I D
State College PA
Permit No. 1
Please note that the “State College, PA” pertains only to the permit indicia for bulk mailings. The official city, state, and zip code for addresses is “University Park, PA 16802.”
Other Penn State campuses have their own nonprofit mailing permits. Contact the Office of Business Services at your campus for indicia formatting information and regulations.
business reply mail
For University Park business reply mail, the following official zip codes should be used:
- Postcard (one flat, two-sided piece with no folds or perforations): 16802-9959
- Letters weighing less than one ounce: 16802-9976
- Letters weighing more than one ounce: 16802-9989
For further information on addressing and mailing regulations, contact Addressing and Mailing at Document Services, University Park campus (814-865-7544).
Materials Research Laboratory; Materials Research Lab
Materials Research Laboratory is the department name; Materials Research Lab is the building name.
Matson Museum of Anthropology
Use full name on first reference (note caps); Matson Museum (note caps) or the museum (lowercase) on subsequent mention.
The degree is M.B.A., with periods, in all references. However, when referring to the program or to a person who has earned the degree, use MBA—no periods, no spaces. Plural: M.B.A.’s, MBAs.
Marisa Shala, B.S., M.B.A., will head the task force on improving MBA negotiating skills.
Two hundred MBAs attended the alumni workshop.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” can be cited in event programs, such as for commencement or athletic events, where the anthem will be played. The official text version to be used is from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and National Archives:
The Star-Spangled Banner
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The Navy Yard in Philadelphia
Penn State Great Valley offers engineering programs and courses at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, a community of offices as well as industrial and research facilities. Use The Navy Yard in Philadelphia (cap The) on first mention and the Navy Yard on subsequent mention.
As shown on first reference (capitalize The); the Inn on subsequent reference (no cap on the). Note that the Inn has a State College, not University Park, mailing address: 200 W. Park Ave., State College PA 16803.
Nittany Lion Shrine
Cap when using full name. Lowercase shrine when using alone.
A research center within the College of Health and Human Development. The building name is simply Noll Lab.
This tends to be tricky, so judge on the basis of keeping users/readers from being confused. Cap the formal name of the office, but lowercase when used informally.
Jason had an appointment in the Office of Student Aid.
Carmen was late leaving the student aid office.
For specific options that are part of specific Penn State programs, capitalize the name of the option, but not the word option: Actuarial Mathematics option; Athletic Training option. This follows the same logic as University style does for program or major specific to Penn State: Music major; Biology program. Remember that a field of study is not capped (majoring in engineering) but a specific Penn State degree program is (majoring in Architectural Engineering Technology).
Generally, lowercase: orientation; orientation week; orientation programs. Formal names for orientation come and go; if using formal name, cap per the formal name.
Encompasses the following units: World Campus (online education), Continuing Education, Professional and Community Education, and Public Media
It’s the Palmer Museum of Art on first mention and the museum on subsequent mention. It’s the Museum Store on first mention; on subsequent mention, it’s either the full name, with caps, or the store, no caps. Some museum publications have special style sheets that are a little different from this general style.
Pattee Library and Paterno Library
The official name for the two major libraries at University Park campus. Paterno Library was built adjacent to the existing Pattee Library, which underwent extensive renovations; the two libraries were dedicated in fall 2000.
On first reference; the Robeson Center on subsequent references.
In fall 2010, the School of Theatre’s academic-year production season combined with Pennsylvania Centre Stage (the summer professional production season) to form Penn State Centre Stage. The term Pennsylvania Centre Stage should no longer be used, as the entity no longer officially exists.
Full name is The Pennsylvania State University Press, but the preferred usage is Penn State Press. Also known as the University Press.
As shown on first mention (cap The). On subsequent mention: The Penn Stater (cap The). Located in the Innovation Park at Penn State.
“Alma Mater,” Fred Lewis Pattee; “Fight on State,” Joe Sanders ’15; “The Nittany Lion,” J. A. Leyden ’14.
All caps. Acronym for the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, Penn State’s statewide technical outreach network.
program names (academic), capping
Program should be capped only when it is part of a formal name, particularly one whose initials are used as an abbreviated name: Minority Engineering Program (MEP), Women in Engineering Program (WEP).
Reber Mechanical Engineering Building
Name change. No longer just Mechanical Engineering Building.
Recreation Building (Rec Hall on subsequent reference); Intramural Building (IM Building on subsequent reference)
Cap on all references.
Students should check with the Registrar before enrolling.
Contact the Registrar’s office for more information.
residence hall; resident assistant; resident instruction
Use residence hall, not dormitory.
It’s resident assistant on first mention and RA, no periods, as an abbreviation on subsequent mention. Plural of RA is RAs, no apostrophe.
Lowercase resident instruction.
room numbers and building names
Use the room number and building name, as follows:
121 Wagner Building on first mention;
121 Wagner on subsequent mention.
If a building name is used without a room number, use the word Building, Lab, or the equivalent on every reference, and cap: Schwab Auditorium; Moore Building.
Established through an endowment from William A. and Joan L. Schreyer; one of the most comprehensive scholars programs in the nation. Participating students are Schreyer Scholars; cap Scholars on all subsequent references.
It’s the Eberly College of Science on first reference and the college thereafter. Do not use College of Science alone. Alphabetize under Science.
Cap as shown on first mention; Shaver’s Creek (cap) or the center(lowercase) on subsequent mention.
Shaver’s Creek is a part of Penn State. It includes the Nature Center (natural and cultural history exhibits and live animals); the Raptor Center (injured hawks, owls, and eagles); and Horatio’s Natural History Bookstore. The center features environmental education programs, team-building programs, rental facilities, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, and gardens. For more information, call 814-863-2000.
All University publications (except formal invitations and most printed advertisements) must carry a form of the Statement of Nondiscrimination. In general, the complete text of the statement should always be used. However, in certain situations, a shortened version may be used. Exceptions to the use of the complete text are frequently a judgment call that can be made based on space available. Contact the assistant director for creative services in the University Marketing if you need advice: 814-863-1870.
See the University Policy section for the complete text of the official University nondiscrimination statement (English and Spanish versions).
The shortened version: Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected groups.
On second reference: Stuckeman School. Part of the College of Arts and Architecture, it is housed in the Stuckeman Family Building.
Opened in 2008. Houses University Health Services and the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), both formerly located in Ritenour Building.
The names of some student loan programs have changed in the recent past. The Stafford Loan is now the Federal Stafford Loan. The Perkins Loan is now the Federal Perkins Loan. See the Student Aid section of the Baccalaureate Degree Programs Bulletin for correct names of other programs.
Also, the term “recommended completion date” is now preferred over “deadline.”
student recruitment centers
See Community Recruitment Centers
It’s teaching assistant on first reference; TA —caps, no periods—after that.
A scholarly paper written to earn a graduate degree at Penn State, whether at the master’s or doctoral level, is a thesis (not a dissertation). Plural: theses.
Formal reference: Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon; second or familiar reference: Dance Marathon; continuous mentions: THON (all caps)
Board of Trustees—cap on first mention; the board or the trustees thereafter.
University should be capped any time it refers to Penn State. Do not cap university if the reference is a general one, even if Penn State is in the same sentence.
Penn State is an affirmative action, equal opportunity university.
When students leave for semester break, they usually return to the University three weeks later.
State College residents strive to build a pleasant university community.
University Editor (U.Ed.) number
Every University publication that circulates outside the University system should include a University Editor number. The number may be placed on a printed piece with approval of your college or administrative unit’s Marketing Communications Network (MarCom) representative.
University Faculty Senate
On first reference; on all subsequent references, faculty senate (lowercase).
University Health Services
University Health Services on first mention; health services thereafter.
The University Office of Global Programs has five subsections: Education Abroad, Finance and Business Services, General Administration and Planning, Global Relations and Promotion, and International Student Advising (formerly International Student Services).
About twenty-five commuter flights are available daily both to and from the University Park Airport. See http://universityparkairport.com for more information. Phone 814-865-5511.
The Penn State University Park campus is located in the borough of State College and surrounding townships. University Park is the name of the post office substation for use in mail addressed to the University Park campus and it has its own zip code, but is not a municipality that can be found on a standard map. In text, the best way to refer to University Park is: Penn State University Park campus.
It’s University-wide, hyphenated, but it’s statewide, nationwide, and just about every other “-wide”; spelled solid. University-wide is hyphenated as an adjective before a noun, but two words as an adverb or after a noun. Consult the Chicago Manual (Table 7.90) and the Hyphens section of this manual.
On first reference: Penn State World Campus; thereafter, the World Campus.
Penn State established the World Campus in response to an increasing interest in virtual university campuses that provide anytime-anywhere learning. The World Campus offers specialized signature programs (including undergraduate and master’s degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education opportunities) in a variety of academic disciplines. Part of Outreach and Online Education.