Santa Clara University

Office of Marketing and Communications

SCU Editorial Style Guide


Campus Ministry
cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation
canon law

When referring to the codified body of general laws governing the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, capitalize:

  • Code of Canon Law


  • Canon 110


  • canon law


  • the code

In general, avoid overuse. Also see academic departments.

Capitalize University on second reference only when referring to Santa Clara University (the exception is in news releases from Media Relations, which do not uppercase University per AP style).

  • Santa Clara University has more than 8,500 students.
  • Students from almost 50 countries call this University home.
Capitalize full names of programs or schools, but lowercase otherwise.
  • School of Law; law school
Lowercase college, school and division on second reference.
Lowercase majors or areas of study unless they are part of specific course titles.
  • He teaches chemistry
  • She teaches Chemistry 101.
Capitalize when using the full proper name, but lowercase when using only a part of that name on second reference. Examples:
  • The de Saisset Museum is on the SCU campus. The museum has an extensive collection of California artwork.
  • New Student Orientation is held in the fall. Almost all new first-year students participate in orientation.
Always capitalize English or other languages.
Lowercase the common noun elements of names in plural uses:
  • lakes Ontario and Erie
  • Main and State streets
Capitalize committee names on first reference:
  • the Staff Affairs Committee
In headlines, capitalize words longer than three letters, as per AP style. In subheads, use sentence case.

For more on capitalization, see entries for academic titles and titles, book, magazine, newspaper, etc.

Career Center

An informal name for the academic bulletins. Do not capitalize.

Catholic Church

On first reference use:

  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Roman Catholic
  • Roman Catholicism

Most subsequent references may be condensed to:

  • Catholic Church
  • Catholic
  • Catholicism

Capitalize the Church on second reference, but only when referring to the Catholic Church.

celebrant, concelebrant, chief celebrant

celebrant, concelebrant (NOT co-celebrants)

chief celebrant (leader of a group of concelebrants).

cell phone
Centers of Distinction

Santa Clara University's three Centers of Distinction serve as major points of interaction between the University and society. They are:

  • the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education or Ignatian Center in second reference;
  • the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship or Miller Center in second reference; and
  • the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics or Ethics Center in second reference

Not capitalized:

  • 20th century

But hyphenated when used as an adjective:

  • 20th-century art

Spell out numbers from one to nine; use numerals after 10

  • First century
  • 11th century

The term used for Santa Clara University department heads. Lowercase and use after a professor?s name.

  • Joe Smith, chair of the department, said...

It can be used as a verb.

  • Jane Smith chaired the meeting.

It can be used as a noun.

  • Jane Smith is the department chair.

See endowed chair/endowed professorship.

Also note chairman, chairwoman. NOT chairperson. The gender neutral ?chair? is preferable when used in references to University departments and governance.

church services

Capitalize the formal names of church services or liturgical celebrations:

  • Mass, Benediction, Liturgy of the Hours
citations, bibliographic
  • Joe Smith. “Article or Speech.” Periodical 5 (1995), 6-7.
  • Joe Smith. Book Title (New York: Penguin, 1990), 855.
  • Joe Smith. “Article.” Book Title, Jane Johnson ed. and trans. (New York: Penguin, 1990), 9.
Class of '00

Note apostrophe faces away from the year. It is preferable to use “class of 2000” in a sentence. Only capitalize when used as part of a formal title.

  • Mary Jo and her friends from the class of 2000 were thrilled to see the new library on their recent campus visit. The trip was organized by the Class of 2000 Grand Reunion Committee.
class years

When a person is a Santa Clara University alumnus/alumna, list relevant degrees first (bachelor's is default, J.D. is default in law school publications) and others after comma:

  • Joe Smith '57, M.A. '59
  • Jane Smith BSEE '57, M.S. '59

Note that apostrophe faces away from the year (').

When writing about a current student, it is preferred that you not mention expected graduation date (Joe Smith '12). Instead, say:

  • sophomore Joe Smith

When a person graduated from another college or university, write:

  • Joe Smith earned a bachelor's degree in music from ABC College in 1999.

Lowercase first-year student, sophomore, junior, senior.



Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status:

  • co-author
  • co-pilot
  • co-chairman
  • co-host

Use no hyphen in other combinations:

  • coed, coeducational
  • coexist, coexistence

Cooperate, cooperative, coordinate and coordinating are EXCEPTIONS to the rule that a hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel.

coed, coeducational

 Used most commonly to describe mixed-gender residence halls.

College of Arts and Sciences

Always capitalize on first reference. Lowercase “college” on second reference.

  • The College of Arts and Sciences is home to the communications department. The college has a number of media labs and a studio control room.
college of bishops

See punctuation.

Common Application

Note lowercase "s" in one-word spelling.


Communion Lowercase adjectives that precede it and nouns that follow it:

  • holy Communion


  • Communion cup
composition titles

See italics and titles.

comprise, constitute, compose

Use comprise and constitute in the active voice without a preposition:

  • The U.S. comprises 50 states
  • NOT The U.S. “is comprised of…”
  • Seven alumni constitute the committee.

Compose may be used in the passive to mean “put together:”

  • The U.S. is composed of 50 states.
conference titles

Capitalize, with quotes:

  • "Seminar on Public Policy" 
council, counsel

Council is a noun that refers to a deliberative body or organization:

  • Among the items on the agenda at next week’s council meeting will be earthquake preparedness.

Use counsel as a verb (to advise) or a noun (advice):

  • We are seeking staff who can counsel first-year students on how to seek financial aid.

Counsel as a noun is frequently used in legal terms:

  • The litigation team offers excellent counsel on a wide range of disputes.
course titles

Capitalize, no italics or quotes:

  • He is taking Psychology 201.
  • The communications department is offering Introduction to Journalism in the winter quarter.

Lowercase when describing a course in a generic sense or area of study:

  • He is studying advanced psychology.
Cowell Health Center

 Use the health center in lowercase on second reference.

the Cardinal, Cardinal John Brown
the Core Curriculum
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