Abbreviation Any shortened form of a word or phrase. Use periods in most abbreviations.
Do not use periods for abbreviations in headlines unless required for clarity.
Acronym A pronounceable word formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words.
Use only an initial cap and then lowercase for acronyms of more than five letters unless listed otherwise in the Associated Press Stylebook or Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition.
- Nasdaq (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations).
- Nabisco (National Biscuit Company).
Acronyms for units across the enterprise are common but should be avoided in public-facing communications.
Initialism An abbreviation similar to an acronym, but not pronounced as a word. Each letter is pronounced.
- All uppercase without periods: BBC, FBI, NGO, PDF. Refer to Associated Press Stylebook for details.
Do not use abbreviations that are not readily recognizable.
- Less commonly known words or phrases should be spelled out on first reference and may be abbreviated thereafter.
- If an abbreviation would not be clear on subsequent reference without this arrangement, it should not be used.
- If it is the official name of an organization, an abbreviation may be used.
- See Tests for acceptable usage of the SPEAK and TOEFL abbreviations.
Use unit and program abbreviations only for internal unit communications.
- In communications intended for students and the public, use the full name of an ASU unit or its approved abbreviation (see Center, College, Word list) or use a workaround such as center, institute, office, school, college.
Do not follow an organization’s full name with an acronym, abbreviation or initialism in parentheses or set off by dashes.
- 🚫 Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR)
- 🚫 School of Earth and Space Exploration — SESE
Arizona State University
On first reference, use the full name of the university: Arizona State University. Use ASU in subsequent references, but do not introduce it as an abbreviation in parentheses. Not: Arizona State University (ASU).
An exception to using the full name on first reference may be made in internal publications, published under an ASU masthead, and when there is no question as to who owns the content. In subsequent references, authorized forms are ASU and the university.
🚫 Do not shorten to Arizona State.
- Arizona State University consistently attracts top-quality students from Arizona and across the nation.
- Students enrolling at the university have access to faculty members who are elite in their fields of study.
- 🚫 The academics at Arizona State are top-notch.
Use full building names when communicating to the public.
However, in tables and when giving directions, use ASU’s official building codes rather than full building names.
Official building names and matching codes by campus:
ASU campuses are:
- Downtown Phoenix campus
- Polytechnic campus
- Tempe campus
- West campus
On first reference, use the full campus name: Arizona State University at the Tempe campus, the West campus of Arizona State University, ASU’s Polytechnic campus. In these names, “campus” is not capitalized.
For internal communications or subsequent references, the generic campus may be used, or campus names may be shortened: Tempe, West, Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix. Not: DPC, ASU West, ASU Poly, Poly campus.
Note: Polytechnic campus versus school — The Polytechnic campus is not synonymous with The Polytechnic School which is one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, though that school is located on the Polytechnic campus.
Note: ASU Online is not a campus, but may be referred to in copy as an online campus. See Campus descriptions.
ASU@Lake Havasu, programs offered at Eastern Arizona College, the ASU California Center and The Washington Center, and ASU’s collaborative programs with Mayo Clinic may not be referred to as campuses.
Centers, colleges, departments, institutes, schools, university
The full name of an academic unit should be used on first reference: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Subsequent references may use endorsed abbreviations (see chart below) or a workaround preceded by “the”: center, institute, office, school, college.
Ampersands are not acceptable in text. Official ASU unit names use the word “and”: Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
Avoid using acronyms to refer to any university unit. Make the association to the university clear and foremost.
- Explore the many majors available in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- The College of Health Solutions is offering a free seminar.
- New College students must meet with an advisor this week.
- Not: The CLAS convocation will be held in Desert Financial Arena.
- The Polytechnic School, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University — full reference for The Polytechnic School.
- The Polytechnic School, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus — Campus added when describing The Polytechnic School and its programs.