Text Style Guide

Throughout the Heller website and communications materials, we observe various style norms. As a rule, AP style is preferred. The Brandeis library provides access to the AP Stylebook online for all Brandeis users. 

Below are a few norms and naming conventions specific to the Heller School and Brandeis University.

abbreviations and acronyms—The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full word or phrase, after which the abbreviation or acronym may be used by itself. Example: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

alumni/a/ae/us—Female singular, alumna; female plural, alumnae; male singular, alumnus; male plural, or mixed-group, alumni. Do not use “alum” or “alums.”

center and institute names—Capitalize the full formal name. Correct names are below:

titles and positions—lowercase unless used immediately before a name. For example, “Jane Doe is a professor at the Heller School,” and “Professor Jane Doe.”

class year—Any alumnus referenced in print should have their degree and graduating year noted immediately following the first use of their name.  For example, “Jane Doe, MBA’16.” For a Heller alumnus who is also a Brandeis alumnus, include the Brandeis graduating year first, followed by the Heller graduating program and year. For example, “Jane Doe ’12, MBA’16.”

commencementOnly capitalize if used in the formal name: 15th Commencement.

degrees—never include a person’s degree credentials after their name, unless the person is an alumnus of Heller or Brandeis. For example, “Professor Doe, PhD” should read “Professor Doe,” unless she is a Heller alumna, in which case: “Professor Doe, PhD’02.”

department names—capitalize only when using the full formal name of the department, for example, the Brandeis Department of Sociology, or the sociology department.

doctor or Dr.—The title of doctor or prefix “Dr.” should only be used for medical doctors, never for non-medical professionals with a PhD.

fundraising—This is always one word, never “fund raising” or “fund-raising.”

health care—This is always two words, never “healthcare” or “health-care.”

international student—Use this term rather than “foreign student”

nonprofit—This word is never hyphenated; it is preferable to “not-for-profit.”

program names and abbreviations—Use the full formal name of each program. Correct names and their abbreviations are below: