Writing Style Guide
TCU Marketing & Communication follows the Associated Press Stylebook for capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation, spelling, numerals and other questions of language usage to build credibility within publications, demonstrate a commitment to professional communication and ensure consistency. If you do not have an AP Stylebook, you may purchase a book or subscribe to an online service at https://store.apstylebook.com/apstylebookonline.html.
These guidelines are for general use and are intended to be a resource for those who communicate with internal and external audiences on behalf of the University. Students and faculty engaged in academic writing would likely be better served by consulting the style guide(s) specific to their disciplines—such as Modern Language Association Style—or more general grammar/style guides.
The TCU Writing Style Guide complements the AP Stylebook for writing components specific to TCU and its entities.
AddRan College of Liberal Arts Use full, formal name on first mention; AddRan (or college) on subsequent references.
Bob Schieffer College of Communication Use full, formal name on first mention; Schieffer College (or college) on subsequent references.
College of Education Use full, formal name on first mention; college on subsequent references.
College of Fine Arts Use full, formal name on first mention; college on subsequent references.
College of Science & Engineering Use full, formal name on first mention; college on subsequent references. Use ampersand, not “and.”
Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences Use full, formal name on first mention; Harris College or HCNHS (or HCHS) on subsequent references. Use ampersand, not “and.”
Neeley School of Business Use full, formal name on first mention. Use Neeley School on subsequent references. Only use M.J. Neeley School of Business when referencing the history of the school.
John V. Roach Honors College Use full, formal name on first mention; Honors College (or college) on subsequent references.
TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine Use full, formal name on first mention. Use medical school for subsequent references.
Alumni Service Award
Bob Bolen Civic Leadership Award (Neeley School of Business)
Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar
Chancellor’s Staff Award for Outstanding Service
Claudia V. Camp Research and Creative Activity Award
College of Education Excellence in Education Award
Distinguished Alumni Award
Distinguished Student Award
Michael R. Ferrari Award for Distinguished University Service and Leadership
Neeley Alumni Business of the Year
Neeley Alumni Professor of the Year
Neeley Fellows Awards & Honors
Nordan Young Artist Award
Nordan Scholar Awards
Outstanding Young Professional Award
Valuable Alumni Award
Wassenich Award for Mentoring in the TCU Community
Advisory board Always lowercase
AddRan Board of Visitors
board of trustees Always lowercase
Brite Divinity School Board of Trustees
Chancellor’s Advisory Council
Clark Society Board
College of Fine Arts Board of Visitors
College of Science & Engineering External Advisory Board (EAB)
Education Board of Visitors
Frog Club Board
Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences Board of Visitors
International Board of Visitors (IBOV) (Neeley School of Business)
John V. Roach Honors College Board of Visitors
National Alumni Board
Neeley Alumni Executive Board
Quinq Club Board of Directors
TCU Alumni Association
TCU Leadership Center Board of Partners
TCU Parents Council
Buildings & Rooms
Use formal name of campus facilities with uppercase first letter in formal communication.
Example: Mary Wright Admission Center
On second reference, if the proper name is used, drop the first and middle name/initial and retain uppercase.
Example: Wright Admission Center
When the proper name is not used on second reference, lower case the name.
Example: admission center
Brown-Lupton University Union; University Union (always capitalize; BLUU is acceptable for internal, on-campus use)
Amon G. Carter Stadium Use full name with middle initial unless simply calling it “the stadium.” Never use “Carter Stadium.”
Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center Use ampersand not “and.” Refer to building by its full name or “the Kelly Center.”
Fast Break Club
Campus Commons Do not shorten name or lowercase
The Art Galleries at TCU
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts
Stuart Family Courtside Club
Chairs & Professorships
A list of chairs and professorships can be found in the TCU catalog. To get to the list, go to
Clubs & Special Interest Groups
Black Alumni Alliance
Frog Club Fort Worth Alumni Chapter only
Froggie Moms Houston Alumni Chapter only
Hispanic Alumni Association
TCU Alumni Career Network Fort Worth Alumni Chapter only
TCU Lettermen’s Association Use whole name on first reference. On later reference use “Lettermen’s Association.”
Silver Frogs Two words
TCU Frog Club (Use “the Frog Club” on second reference)
Dates, Seasons & Years
July 2011 (no day, no comma)
May 12, 2011 (day, comma — if the full date is used in a sentence, use a comma after the year as well—On May 12, 2011, the family took a vacation.)
Sept. 23-24, 2011 (not 23 and 24)
Sept. 3 (not September 3rd)
1990s (no apostrophe)
fall, spring, summer (seasons not capitalized)
fall 2011, spring 2011, summer 2011 (no comma when combined with a year)
Follow these rules regarding “fiscal year” in all written reports and documents:
FY2017 (No space between the “Y” and the “2”)
Fiscal Year 2017
Do NOT use:
We only include a class year after a name for TCU degrees. Maiden names are included to make it easier for classmates to recognize individuals.
Honorary degree recipients are addressed as “doctor” in formal correspondence (i.e. Dr. John Smith) when they received the honorary degree from TCU only. When included in a biographical sketch, write out the degree followed by the words “honoris causa” to signify that the degree is honorary, not earned.
In TCU Magazine copy
Bachelor’s—Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10
Master’s—Jennifer Maiden Smith ’12 MBA
Bachelor’s and master’s— Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10 (MBA ’12)
Double master’s—Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10 MM (MBA ’12)
Bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate—Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10 (MBA ’12, PhD ’15)
Secondary bachelor’s only if a different year—Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10 (BS ’12)
Brite grads (especially in obituaries) will say they have a master’s in divinity (M.Div.), but it may actually be a B.Div. (no longer offered).
Ranch Management—Certificate: Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10 RM or Degree: Jennifer Maiden Smith ’10
In TCU Magazine Notes
JENNIFER MAIDEN SMITH was promoted to president of XYZ Co.
JENNIFER MAIDEN SMITH MBA was promoted to president of XYZ Co.
Bachelor’s and master’s
JENNIFER MAIDEN SMITH (MBA ’12) was promoted to president of XYZ Co.
Bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate
JENNIFER MAIDEN SMITH (MBA ’12, PhD ’15) was promoted to president of XYZ Co.
In TCU Magazine Obits
JENNIFER MAIDEN SMITH ’10 (MBA ’12, PhD ’15) of Fort Worth on Jan. 1.
Graduate degrees and abbreviations
Available by discipline at https://graduate.tcu.edu/degrees-and-programs/degrees-and-programs/
Art History, MA
Biology, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Business, Energy Professionals (Energy MBA), MBA
Business, Executive (EMBA), MBA
Business, Health Care Professionals (Health Care MBA), MBA
Business, Professionals (PMBA), MBA
Chemistry, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Clinical Nurse Leader, MSN
Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult/Gerontology, MSN
Clinical Nurse Specialist Pediatric, MSN
Communication Studies, MS
Counseling, ME.d. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in MEd)
Criminal Justice, MS
Curriculum and Instruction, M.Ed. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in MEd)
Developmental Trauma, MS
Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP
Educational Leadership, Ed.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in EdD)
Educational Leadership, MBA/Ed.D.
Educational Leadership, M.Ed.
Educational Studies: Counseling and Counselor Education, Ph.D.
Educational Studies: Curriculum Studies, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Educational Studies: Science Education, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
English, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Environmental Management, MEM
Environmental Science, MA
Environmental Science, MS
Higher Education Leadership, Ed.D.
History, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Master of Liberal Arts, MLA
Mathematics, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Music Education, MM.Ed.
Musical Arts, DMA
Nursing Education, MSN
Nursing Practice-Anesthesia, DNP-A
Physics with Business Option, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Physics, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Physics/Astrophysics, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Physics/Biophysics, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Physics/Business, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Psychology, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Rhetoric and Composition, Ph.D. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in PhD)
Social Work, MSW
Special Education, M.Ed.
Speech-Language Pathology, MS
Strategic Communication, MS
Studio Art, MFA
Supply Chain Management, MS
Brite Divinity School
Master of Arts in Christian Service, MACS
Master of Theological Studies, MTS
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (TCU Magazine does not use periods in MDiv)
Brite Dual Degrees
The MSW-MACS, MSW-MTS and the MSW-M.Div. degrees represent the Master of Social Work, Master of Arts in Christian Service, Master of Theological Studies and Master of Divinity degrees.
Daryl D. Schmidt Lectureship on Religion in Public Life
Faculty and Friends Chamber Music Series
Fogelson Honors Forum
Jane and Pat Bolin Innovation Forum
Latin American Music Festival
Jim Wright Symposium
MBA/MS Invitational Supply Chain Case Competition
Paul F. Boller, Jr., Symposium on the American Presidency
PepsiCo MBA Invitational Business Base Competition
PepsiCo MBA Invitational Case Competition
PianoTexas International Academy & Festival (No space between Piano and Texas, use ampersand, not “and”)
Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition
Robert D. Alexander Lectureship in the Liberal Arts
Tandy Executive Speaker Series
Texas Christian University Fall Convocation & Founders’ Celebration (use ampersand, not “and”)
TCU Family Weekend
TCU High School Investor Challenge
TCU Investment Strategies Conference
The Festival of Student Scholarship and Creativity
Trinity Shakespeare Festival or Trinity Shakespeare Festival at TCU
Vicente Fox Forum of World Leaders
Women to the Power of 10
Financial Aid & Scholarships
A list of most of the endowed scholarships can be found in the TCU catalog. All references should be consistent with this list.
If the scholarship you are looking for is not in the list, contact Donor Relations, email@example.com, for the official name. To get to the list, go to
Addison & Randolph Clark Society Use “the Clark Society” on subsequent reference, use ampersand, not “and.”
TCU Clark Society: Leadership Donors Investing In TCU’s Future
Boilerplate—When writing about the Clark Society, include the following statement: “The Addison & Randolph Clark Society recognizes students, alumni, parents and friends who annually strengthen TCU with leadership-level investments. Clark Society members have a resounding and continuous impact across the entire campus, leading an effort to elevate the university through philanthropy. Annual gifts of $1,000 or more can be designated toward any program a donor wishes to support. For more information about the Clark Society, please visit www.clarksociety.tcu.edu, call the Donor Relations Office at 817-257-7806 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gifts may be sent to University Advancement, TCU Box 297044, Fort Worth, Texas 76129. They also may be made by calling 817-257-7800 or online at makeagift.tcu.edu.”
Clark Society Board
Clark Society Scholars
Clark Society Endowed Scholarship
Clark Weekend When referring to the Clark Society, use terms such as inclusive and fun. Emphasize support of our students as opposed to support of the institution.
Edward Clark Hall Named for Pamela and Edward Clark in recognition of their generous support to TCU. When writing about Clark Hall, remember: These gifts did not “fund,” “underwrite” or “make possible” the hall.
Junior Clark Society
tagline: TCU Junior Clark Society: Giving Forward
50th Class Gift
kickoff Do not use in reference to a campaign
Marion Hall Marion Hall is named in recognition of multiple generous gifts to TCU by Anne and John Marion and The Burnett Foundation. When writing about Marion Hall, remember: These gifts did not “fund,” “underwrite” or “make possible” the hall.
Marlene Moss Hays Hall Named for Marlene Moss Hays in recognition of the generous support by she and her husband, Emeritus Trustee Spencer Hays. When writing about Marlene Moss Hays Hall, remember: These gifts did not “fund,” “underwrite” or “make possible” the hall.
needs When writing about a campaign, use word like “opportunities” and “priorities” to convey that the university meets needs.
Senior Class Legacy
TCU Calling All Frogs Phonathon
TCU Class Gift
TCU Frog Club…Scholarships for Champions
The Office of Annual Giving
Faculty/Staff Annual Campaign
B.M. & Frances Britain Society recognizes the many generous alumni and friends who have included TCU and/or Brite Divinity School in their estate plans. Use “the Britain Society” on second reference.
TCU Frog Club
tagline: Scholarships for Champions
Use whole name on first reference. Don’t capitalize the “T” in “the.” On later reference use “the Frog Club.”
Mary Wright Admission Center The admission center was named for Mary Wright in recognition of multiple generous gifts to TCU by Bob and Mary Wright. When writing about the Clark Society, remember: Their gift did not “fund,” “underwrite” or “make possible” the admission center. This also applies to Marlene Moss Hays Hall, Marion Hall, and Pamela and Edward Clark Hall.
Names & Titles
Use formal name on first reference
Example: Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. (only us a comma before Jr. for Chancellor Boschini)
On second reference, Chancellor Boschini or the chancellor
Also: Chancellor Emeritus Michael R. Ferrari
Spaces after Periods
Use one space after periods at the ends of sentences and following initials/titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. and Rev.
Patrick Beckham ’59 (no comma before or after year)
Floppy and Genevieve Blackmon ’43 ’44 (when both are graduates)
Jim ’57 and Eloise Holder (husband only is graduate)
Jim and Eloise Holder ’57 (wife only is graduate)
When two initials are used in a name, do not separate with a space. Example: J.M. Moudy. When referring to TCU board of trustee members, always include a middle initial, if applicable.
Junior, Senior and III
William D. Smith Jr. (no comma before “Jr.” except for Victor J. Boschini, Jr.)
William D. Jr. and Helen Smith (when wife is included)
William D. Smith III (no comma needed)
Academic Unless referring to a medical doctor, use the title “Dr.” when addressing faculty members only in formal correspondence.
First reference: Dr. Jane Doe OR Jane Doe, M.D., D.O., etc.
Second reference: Doe (no courtesy title)
Never: Dr. Jane Doe, M.D. (redundant)
Example: Dr. Jane Doe is director of the pediatrics department at Your Hospital USA. Doe has served in this role since 2004. OR Jane Doe, M.D., is director of the pediatrics department at Your Hospital USA. Doe has served in this role since 2004.
First reference: John Doe, Ph.D. OR Professor John Doe
Second reference: Doe (no courtesy title)
Example: John Doe, Ph.D., is head of the political science department at Your University USA. Doe has served in this role since 2004. OR Professor John Doe is head of the political science department at Your University USA. Doe has served in this role since 2004.
Andrea Nordmann, chief university compliance officer
Brian G. Gutierrez, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration
Bryan C. Lucas, chief technology officer
Darron Turner, chief inclusion officer and Title IX coordinator
Don J. Whelan Jr., vice chancellor for University Advancement
James R. Hille, chief investment officer
Jean M. Mrasek, chief of staff
Jeremiah Donati, director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for Student Affairs
Nowell Donovan, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs
Tracy Syler-Jones, vice chancellor for Marketing & Communication
Victor J. Boschini, Jr., chancellor
Yohna Chambers, vice chancellor for Human Resources
When wife is Dr. and husband is Mr., use Dr. Lynn D. and Joseph W. Ball; Dear Dr. and Mr. Ball
When both spouses are doctors and share a surname, use Dr. Joseph W. Ball and Dr. Lynn D. Ball; Dear Drs. Ball
When both spouses are reverends and share a surname, use Rev. Joseph W. Ball and Rev. Lynn D. Ball; Dear Revs. Ball
Reverend comes first unless the doctor is a TCU/Brite employee (i.e. Dr. Newell Williams, president of Brite Divinity School, would come before his wife Rev. Sue McDougal)
Publications & Media
eleven40seven (student-run publication)
Image magazine (student-run publication)
Impact Clark Society’s newsletter
Intentions Gift Planning’s newsletter
TCU News Now
The Boller Review: A TCU Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity. On second reference use “The Boller Review.”
the TCU Daily Skiff Do not capitalize or italicize “the”
TCU This Week
ampersand (&): Use the ampersand (&) if it is a formal part of the title or name
campuswide (words created with the suffix “wide” are written as one word with no hyphen)
capitalization: Capitalize sparingly; lowercase academic subjects/majors and minors unless they are proper nouns (mathematics, French). Capitalize the formal, full names of centers, bureaus, institutes, schools, colleges, departments, administrative offices, boards and committees; lowercase informal usages. Examples: Center for Cultural Analysis (formal), cultural analysis center (informal); Office of Residential Services (formal); residential services (informal); Graphic Design Program (formal), graphic design (informal). Capitalize titles when immediately preceding a name, never following a name.
chairman, chairwoman (chair or co-chair is acceptable)
Collegiate Beaux Arts
comma Do not use a comma before the word “and” in a series.
TCU Core Curriculum Full name on first reference; core curriculum on second reference
course titles Capitalize the proper name of a course to denote a course of study
distinguished guest artist
dormitory Do not use; TCU prefers residence halls
emerita (feminine singular), emeritus (masculine singular), emeriti (masculine plural), emeritae (feminine plural)
Facilities Master Plan
Fort Worth Not “Ft. Worth”
Fundraising (no hyphen)
GPA Always use when referring to grade-point average
HIIAT (Health Innovation Institute at TCU)
Horned Frog Use Frogs on second reference
HyperFrogs Student spirit organization
interim Capitalize when in a title preceding a name; do not capitalize when following a name
intramural (competitive units within a single community or institution)
intermural (competitive teams from different universities)
kickoff (one word if adjective or noun, avoid in reference to campaign events)
kick off (two words if verb)
LiiNKâ or LiiNK Project (Let’s Inspire Innovation ‘N Kids Center)
Luther King Capital Management Center for Financial Studies LKCM Center for Financial Studies on subsequent references
magna cum laude
Metroplex (capitalize when referring to Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex)
obituary Never obit
Pat Schieffer Use on all references
ratios Use figures and hyphens: a 2-1 ratio
SERC Science & Engineering Research Center
summa cum laude
TCU No periods between letters
The Commission on the Future of TCU Italicize complete name; do no italicize when using the Commission on later reference
T.J. Brown & C.A. Lupton Foundation Use full name on first reference; Brown-Lupton Foundation on second reference
theatre TCU Department of Theatre, theatre major, Jerita Foley Buschman Theatre
TRiO programs Federal outreach and student service programs to support participants from disadvantaged backgrounds
Trustee Always capitalize when referring to TCU or Brite Trustees; lowercase others
Vision in Action: Followed by name (i.e. Vision in Action: Lead On)