Do not use periods, except in noted academic exceptions.
BA, CSU, DVD, NCAA, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Use apostrophes only for possessive constructions, not in the plural form.
All CSUs are affected; the NCAA's rules

When an acronym will be used throughout, put the full title in parenthesis after the first reference.
PACE (Program for Accelerated College Education)

Some very well known acronyms are acceptable in all references.
CD (not compact disc), PC (not personal computer), DVD (not digital video disk)

Note: This is an exception to AP style, which calls for periods in most two-letter acronyms; see the AP Stylebook for acronym and abbreviation rules in news writing.


In running text, use the following format:
Division of University Advancement, California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542-3000

As a return address, use a multi-line format:
Division of University Advancement
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., WA-908
Hayward, CA 94542-3000

Note: When addressing envelopes for bulk mailing, use U.S. Postal Service state abbreviations – all capital letters and no punctuation.


This spelling, as opposed to adviser, is an exception to many dictionaries and style guides.

affect, effect

In general, affect is used as a verb (meaning to influence); effect is generally used as a noun (meaning result).

This paper will affect your grade. The effect of the vote was immediate.
The storm affected traffic. BUT: The storm had no effect on power systems.

Although both words have other meanings, these are the most common usages. Avoid other uses when possible to prevent confusion.

al Fresco

This is the official spelling of the early October festival welcoming students back to the Hayward campus of Cal State East Bay. It is two words, always spelled with a lower case "a," except when used to begin a sentence.

alumni / alumnus

This plural and gender-neutral noun refers to any group of students who graduated from a school. Use alumnus when referring to a man in the singular, and alumna for a woman. Though rarely used, alumnae is also acceptable to refer to a group of exclusively female graduates.

Cal State East Bay has more than 100,000 alumni.
Joe Morgan, a prominent alumnus of CSUEB
NOT: John Doe, an alumni of Cal State East Bay

In generic references to a graduate, rather than a specific person, alumnus may be used as a gender-neutral term (e.g., CSUEB's Alumnus of the Year award).

Avoid the colloquial "alum" when possible; it is permissible in the names of awards (e.g., the Young Alum of the Year) or feature headline treatments, though the preferred shortened form for news headlines is "grad." Alum is acceptable in quoted material.

For CSUEB alumni, list the two digit year of graduation with an apostrophe immediately following the name with no commas offsetting:
Magdalena Lewy Boulet '00 represents the nation.
For alumni with multiple degrees from CSUEB, separate them with a comma, and indicate the second degree when possible for clarity:
Robert Litton '00, MA '02
If including the graduate's degree or concentration, place it after the year, either following a comma or in parentheses.
Mike Abary '88 (Business Administration)

and, but

In modern American grammar, it is acceptable to begin sentences with these conjunctions, though it is best to avoid overuse.


Refer to the Cal State East Bay department as either "Intercollegiate Athletics" or "Athletic Department," not simply as "Athletics."

See entry for Pioneers.


Acceptable on all references for the regional public transit system. Acronym is capitalized; stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit.

Board of Trustees

Capitalize "Board of Trustees" on its first use with the name of the organization it serves, such as "California State University Board of Trustees" or "Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation Board of Trustees."

building names

In mailing addresses, it is acceptable to use short forms of campus buildings. In running text, use a complete name on first reference.

Cal State East Bay Magazine

The title is set in italics; the word magazine is part of the publication's name, therefore it is also uppercase and italicized.


Uppercase when referring to a specific Cal State East Bay location.
Hayward Campus of Cal State East Bay
CSUEB's Concord Campus

Lowercase otherwise.
Students living off campus

campus names and locations

The following are the full names of the University and its campuses and locations.

California State University, East Bay
California State University, East Bay Hayward Campus
California State University, East Bay Concord Campus
California State University, East Bay Oakland Professional Development and Conference Center
California State University, East Bay Online Campus

Do not refer to the Oakland location as a campus; in shortened form, it is called the Oakland Center.

campus, references to

Because CSUEB has multiple campuses, do not refer to "the campus" when you mean "the University," i.e., when referring to all locations. If you are referring to a particular campus, specify in text.

The University will be closed for the holiday.
NOT: The campus will be closed for the holiday.
Students are often surprised to see wild turkeys wandering on the Hayward Campus.

Do not use non-standard or obsolete terms such as "Cal State University" or "Cal State Hayward" to refer to the University. Refer to the Identity Standards for preferred first uses and terms to avoid.


Do not hyphenate or capitalize.

cell phone

Write as two words. The term is acceptable on first reference for cellular or mobile telephones.


The word is not capitalized, but should be hyphenated when used as part of an adjective. It is used with numerals and ordinals (an exception to Chicago style).
The 20th century, 17th-century art


This term is used for CSUEB's academic department heads. Lowercase and use after the faculty member's name and title.
Professor Nan Maxwell, chair of the economics department, said...

See the entry for endowed chair/endowed professorship.


This is the formal title for the head of the California State University system. As of January 2009, the current chancellor is Charles B. Reed. On first reference, use his full name and title:
California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed
Charles Reed, chancellor of the CSU system

In subsequent references, use Chancellor Reed or last name only in news stories.

commas, usage

In a list: Use commas to separate multiple items in a list, including the serial comma before the final entry. Commas should also separate all phrases in a more complex series.

I am taking classes in chemistry, economics, French, and philosophy.
The University was founded in 1957, began holding classes in 1959, and opened the Hayward Campus in 1961.

Separating clauses: When a sentence has two separate, related clauses with different subjects, separate the clauses with a comma and a conjunction. If the clauses share a subject, there is no comma before the conjunction.

The student turned in the form, and the dean signed it.
The student finished the test and turned it in.

Multiple adjectives: Use a comma between two or more adjectives that directly and equally modify the following noun. If the meaning does not change when the adjectives are reversed in order or separated by the word "and," they are considered coordinate adjectives and require a comma between them.

the long, sharp knife

Long and sharp both describe the knife with no relation to the other; the phrase would mean the same thing if it were written as "the sharp, long knife" or "the long and sharp knife," so a comma is required.

the warm summer sun

Summer modifies only sun, and warm modifies the resulting compound. It could not be written as "the warm and summer sun" or "the summer warm sun," so there is no comma.

See the entries for hyphenation and serial comma.

course names/numbers

Use full course titles whenever possible. When listing the course number and name, use the following treatment:
ENGL 3070 (Intermediate Workshop in Fiction)

In running text referring to general academic work, lowercase areas of study, excepting those that are proper nouns.
He teaches chemistry. She teaches English, history, and Greek philosophy.


Write as one word, not hyphenated.


Spell out the full name of the month and the numerical date. Do not abbreviate. Do not include the day of the week unless necessary in context. If the date is within the same year as the publication, it is not necessary to include it, but do so if it will improve clarity.

The fiscal year ends June 30.
He was born on February 29, 2000.

Express a range of dates in text with the word "through" rather than a dash.

June 15 through 19, October through December

Capitalize seasons (fall, winter, spring) when using with a year or to express a specific time, but lowercase in general reference.

The Fall quarter, the Spring 2010 issue
Harsh winter weather

See entry for years.


On first reference, capitalize the title before the name and use the full names of the person and the college. There are four deans at Cal State East Bay, one for each of the colleges. As of Summer 2012, the deans are:

Interim Dean Jagdish Agrawal, College of Business and Economics
Dean Michael Leung, College of Science
Dean Kathleen Rountree, College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
Dean Carolyn Nelson, College of Education and Allied Studies

On second reference, use Dean Leung or last name only. Lowercase in the plural or generic forms.
The college is searching for a new dean. The deans met last week.


Degree abbreviations should be formatted as follows, capitalized with no periods except as noted:

BA for Bachelor of Arts
BS for Bachelor of Science
MA for Master of Arts
MS for Master of Science
Ed.D. for Doctor of Education
Ph.D. for Doctor of Philosophy (the graduate degree for most disciplines in arts and sciences)

In general or informal reference, use bachelor's degree, master's degree, or doctorate.

department and division names

Capitalize only when listing a department's full formal title:
Department of Music

Lowercase when making generic or successive references:
economics classes, the department office, the chemistry and biology departments

Use full department titles on first reference or in formal publications. In news articles, use short forms when possible:
philosophy department; English department; political science department

Generally, academic programs are considered departments; most non-academic administrative areas are called offices. Exceptions include the Department of Facilities Management and the University Police Department. See entry for offices.


Use "students with disabilities" as specified by the Office for Civil Rights, which places emphasis on the person, not the disability. In certain contexts, "students with special needs" might be preferable.


Do not use in reference to Cal State East Bay student housing. The preferred terminology is "student residence complex" or "Pioneer Heights Student Apartments." It is acceptable in quotes.

The student residence complex is located on Harder Drive.
"I like living in the dorms," said sophomore Jenny Lee.


Hyphenate when using as an adjective to refer to an online business, usually selling retail goods and/or services to individual consumers.
Many graduates in the late 1990s were employed by dot-com companies.


Use the title Dr. only when referring to a doctor of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Otherwise, append the degree following the name.
Dr. Doug Ross of County General Hospital
James Bond, Ph.D


This common prefix standing for "electronic" is always hyphenated. Words that start with e-, such as e-mail, should be capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence or in a title. Breaks at the hyphen should be avoided with manual line breaks.

e-mail, e-learning, e-commerce
NOT: email, elearning, ecommerce

em dash

An em dash (—) should be placed in text with a space before and after. This dash separates short, non-essential phrases — like this one — from the remainder of the sentence. A single em dash can also separate a phrase for emphasis — a good technique for promotional writing.

On a PC: To create an em dash in Microsoft Word, hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and press the dash (-) key on the numeric keypad at the right of keyboard.
On a Mac: To create an em dash in Microsoft Word, hold down the shift and option keys, then press the hyphen (-) key.
In HTML: The preferred code for an em dash is "" although "—" is also accepted by many systems.

endowed chairs and professorships

Don't capitalize these terms, but capitalize the name of the endowed chair itself. Always use the chair title after a person's name, not preceding.

Joe Black, holder of the XYZ Professorship
Prof. Ellen Ramirez, who holds the LMNO Chair

ethnic groups and race

Capitalize the names of ethnic groups, but not references to skin color (i.e., black or white). Do not hyphenate compounds, such as African American or Asian American, even when used as compound modifiers.
African American studies, Latin American music, Chinese American students

Ethnic and racial terms should generally be used as adjectives, rather than nouns.
Asian communities, not Asians

Further information on styles and terms for ethnic groups can be found in the Chicago Manual, but as this can be a sensitive subject, consult individual subjects for their preferences on usage and spelling and use one consistently throughout the article or publication.
African American / black
Native American / American Indian
Hispanic / Latino or Latina

freshman, freshmen

Freshman is the singular term for one student and is also the adjective form. It is gender neutral. The plural form is freshmen, which refers only to more than one student; it is never an adjective. It is not capitalized unless beginning a sentence.

The freshman class
John Alexander, a freshman
several freshman students, but six freshmen

freshman learning communities

CSUEB's freshman learning communities may also be called "freshman learning community clusters" but never "the cluster program" or "freshman clusters." Note the adjective "freshman," not "freshmen."

fundraising, fundraiser

In all uses, this compound is a single word, not hyphenated, according to both Chicago and AP.

Fundraising is difficult. We are planning a fundraising campaign.
NOT: They planned a fund-raiser.

  • Print This Page
  • Bookmark and Share