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Office of Communications

Editorial Standards

Maintaining editorial consistency in University communications is critical to the overall strength of the Penn State brand.


The University follows separate standards for marketing and news materials:

Below are some common standards applicable to both news releases and marketing materials:

  • Penn State — not Penn State University (unless part of a formal title) or The Pennsylvania State University (reserved for formal documents, legal contracts, and other exceptional cases), and never PSU.
  • Capitalize University when referring to Penn State.
  • Capitalize President when referring to a current or former Penn State President.
  • Lowercase college, except in formal reference (the Eberly College of Science; the college).
  • Lowercase department and associated terms, except in formal reference (the Department of Biology; the biology department; the department; Penn State biology).
  • Lowercase academic and administrative titles, except when they precede names and are used as part of those names (Dean Tracy Langkilde; the dean; Professor of Biology Tracy Langkilde; Tracy Langkilde, professor of biology).
    • Exception: endowed professorships, named professorships, and titles of chairholders — capitalize whether the title appears before or after the person’s name (Evan Pugh University Professor of Chemistry Squire Booker; Squire Booker, Evan Pugh University Professor of Chemistry).
    • Also, it is redundant to refer to someone as Dr. Firstname Lastname, Ph.D. Use either Dr. Firstname Lastname or Firstname Lastname, Ph.D.
  • Lowercase academic degrees when spelled out (bachelor of science degree; bachelor’s degree; doctoral degree; doctorate).


Also, please note: As a general rule, all promotional publications and marketing materials must be reviewed by the Office of Communications and assigned a University Editor (U.Ed.) number before they can be published or distributed.

Items that should have a U.Ed. number (and the requisite review and approval) include the following:

  • Recruitment materials
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Catalogs
  • Calendars
  • Schedules of events
  • Booklets
  • View books
  • Invitations
  • Annual reports
  • Magazines


The following items do not require a U.Ed. number or review:

  • Classroom instructional materials
  • Scholarly journals
  • Faculty papers
  • Internal memoranda
  • Forms

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Communications at