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Days and Dates

Capitalize and spell out days of the week. Spell out the names of months. Use cardinal (not ordinal) numbers to indicate date. Enclose year in commas when used with month and day (also day and date as noted in example below):

  • March 2015
  • March 15, 2010, is when students return from Spring Break.
  • Monday, March 15, will mark the end of Spring Break.

Decision Making

No hyphen, unless it modifies a noun directly following:

  • The advisory group will not have decision-making authority.
  • The professor focused on important executive powers, such as decision making.

Departments, Offices, and Programs

Capitalize only the full, proper names of departments, offices, programs, and centers:

  • The Abramson Cancer Center supports eleven research programs.

Do not capitalize shortened names, with the exception of administrative offices that are most commonly referred to by their shortened names (Admissions Office, Dean’s Office, Provost’s Office, and the like):

  • Prospective students should contact finance about Penn’s All-Grant policy.

Generic terms referring back to a properly named entity are lowercased with the exception of the University of Pennsylvania—the University—and its schools and centers:

  • “The Split Button” marks the main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. The library closes at midnight.

Directions and Regions

Lowercase north, east, south, and west when they refer to direction or location. Capitalize when used as part of a proper noun:

  • Center City is situated to the east of Penn’s campus.
  • Only a small percentage of Penn’s student body hails from the South.
  • Members of the outing club spend time traveling out West every year.


Use “Dr.” in reference to any individual—donor, faculty, staff, or guest speaker—who holds a PhD or a medical degree.

Endowed Professorships

Endowed professorships are capitalized and preceded by “the”:

  • John Biddle made a generous gift to establish the Algernon Biddle Professorship of Law and Public Policy.
  • Claire Oakes Finkelstein, the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy (Note replacement of “professorship” with “professor” in this usage, for readability.)