• Generally, no periods with abbreviations: IQ, IOU, VCR, HMO
Exceptions: U.S., U.N. (see United States)
• Form the plural by adding an s (no apostrophe): VCRs, HMOs, CD-ROMs.
• Abbreviations: BA, PhD, MD, RN, MBA, MFA. (See Chicago 15.21 for a more complete list.)
• Use lowercase and, where appropriate, possessive in text: “master’s degree in business administration”; “doctorate in political science.”
• A degree takes the indefinite article a: “He earned a PhD.”
• Form the plural by adding s: BAs, PhDs, MBAs.
*An exception may be made to include periods in more formal documents and certificates, “Ph.D.”
academic departments and programs
For a current list of department and program names: macalester.edu/academics
- No period, use all caps: CARE, VISTA, AIDS.
• Not adviser
African American, Japanese American, Indian American
• No hyphen
*Spell out one through nine; use numerals for 10 and up: “a six-year-old boy,” “a 47-year-old man.” For consistency’s sake, use all numerals if otherwise mixed: “a 6-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man.”
*Avoid using except when necessary in acronyms, etc.
alumni names with class year
- Example: Ruth Stricker Dayton ’57 P’88
- Quote (in the proper direction) before each number, no comma between, and no space between P and ’88. There is a space between name & class year and between class year & “P”.
- Use lowercase for informal usage (alumni office); capitalize formal name only: Alumni Relations. For postal address, always use Alumni Relations.
• Capitalize for clarity.
• Alumna is a female graduate; the plural is alumnae. Alumnus is a male graduate; the plural is alumni. However, alumni is considered to be gender-inclusive, so we use it for a group including both males and females. Alum and alums are appropriate in casual use. An alumnus is anyone who attended Macalester for at least two semesters.