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Job, educational, position, and business titles

In running text, capitalize formal job titles only when they appear directly in front of a name and are not set off by a comma. Use lower case in other instances.

  • University of Hartford President Walter Harrison
  • Walter Harrison, president of the University of Hartford
  • Sociology Professor James Smith
  • James Smith, professor of sociology
  • Tom Anderson, professor of English (English capitalized as proper noun)
  • Chief Executive Officer Mary Jones
  • Mary Jones, chief executive officer

offices and departments

The names of offices and departments at the University of Hartford are capitalized only when the full, official name is used.

Office of the Provost 
Office of Institutional Advancement
Department of Athletics

Do not capitalize
provost’s office
institutional advancement
athletics department


Except for languages such as English and Spanish, the names of academic disciplines, majors, and minors are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized. 

Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Engineering. General references, such as bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, are not capitalized. Use an apostrophe (possessive) with bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, but not in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Do not use an apostrophe with associate degree or doctoral degree. Do not capitalize the major or academic discipline.

  • Bachelor of Arts in communication, Bachelor of Science in biology

  • bachelor's degree in communication, master's degree in English

Capitalize proper nouns, days of the week, and months

  • BUT Do not capitalize the seasons:
  • I am enrolled in three classes for the spring semester. 

Capitalize Hawktober Weekend, Commencement, Orientation etc., when referring to an official University of Hartford event.

Capitalize the words “association,” “building,” “center,” “conference,” etc., when used as part of a full title.

Do not capitalize them when used alone:

  • the Center for Professional Development; thereafter, the center
  • University of Hartford Board of Regents; thereafter, the board or the regents
  • BUT: Always capitalize “University” when referring to the University of Hartford: University regent. 

Also capitalize:

A specific course title:

  • BIO 260 Ecology (no punctuation between course number and title) 


Capitalize city if part of a proper name, an integral part of an official name, or a regularly used nickname: Kansas City, New York City, Windy City, City of Light, Fun City, Greater Hartford (but greater Hartford region)

Lowercase elsewhere: a Texas citythe city governmentthe city Board of Education; and all city of phrases: the city of Hartford.

Capitalize when part of a formal title before a name: City Manager Francis McGrath. Lowercase when not part of the formal title: city Health Commissioner Frank Smith.


Names of all races and nationalities:

  • Caucasian, Irish, Chinese, Native American BUT Do not capitalize “black” or “white” when referring to African Americans or Caucasians. 

The word “class” when referring to a graduation year:

  • This year’s reunion is for the Class of 1957.

Do Not Capitalize:

The word “room” when designating a particular space:

  • The math lab is in room 204 in Dana Hall. 

Names of fields of study, programs, major areas or major subjects, unless they are proper nouns.

  • She is majoring in Spanish and economics.
  • Each student must satisfy requirements in the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences.  

Classes of students at the University:

  • First-year students are required to take a writing course.
  • My sister is a junior majoring in finance. 

Unofficial or descriptive titles preceding a name:

  • poet Michael Waters, faculty member Tom Bradley

Titles of officers of a class, social organization, etc.:

  • She is the senior class president.
  • He is treasurer of the Student Government Association.

The abbreviations a.m. and p.m.:

  • The reception begins at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 8 p.m. 

Seasons of the year or semester designations:

  • We had a very chilly spring this year.
  • He plans to change his major in the spring semester. 

Honorary terms:

  • cum laude, summa cum laude, magna cum laude

Headings and Titles

  1. Always capitalize the first and the last word of a title
  2. Capitalize the following parts of speech:
    • nouns
    • pronouns (including itmy and our )
    • verbs (including is, am and other forms of to be )
    • adverbs
    • adjectives
    • subordinating conjunctions (including if )
    • prepositions of five letters or greater
    • the first word in a compound preposition (Out of the Ordinary)
  3. Lowercase the following parts of speech:
    • articles
    • coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)
    • short prepositions of four letters or fewer 
    • to as part of an infinitive

Hyphenated words in headlines and titles:

1. Always capitalize the first element.

2. Capitalize any subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions of four letters or fewer, or coordinating conjunctions such as and, orbutfor, or nor, or such modifiers as flat or sharp following musical key symbols.

3. If the first element is merely a prefix or combining form that could not stand by itself as a word (antipre, etc.), do not capitalize the second element unless it is a proper noun or proper adjective.

4. Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number (twenty-one or twenty-first, etc.) or hyphenated simple fraction (two-thirds in two-thirds majority). 

Under-the-Counter Transactions and Out-of-Fashion Initiatives

Bed-and-Breakfast Options in Upstate New York 

Record-Breaking Borrowings from Medium-Sized Libraries 

Cross-Stitching for Beginners 

A History of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital (“In” functions as an adverb, not a preposition)

The E-flat Concerto

Self-Sustaining Reactions

Anti-intellectual Pursuits 

Does E-mail Alter Thinking Patterns?

A Two-Thirds Majority of Non-English-Speaking Representatives

Ninety-Fifth Avenue Blues

Atari’s Twenty-First-Century Adherents