Editorial Style Guidelines

Following a well-defined editorial style gives your writing a professional sheen and brings it in line with the university’s brand platform.

4-H

In North Carolina, this youth development program is operated through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at NC State and NC A&T State University. A 4-H member is also called a 4-H'er. The four Hs are head, heart, hands, and health.

abbreviations and acronyms

Acronyms that appear as main entries in the dictionary can generally be used without first spelling them out (e.g., HTML, IQ, NASA). Other acronyms that are used more than once in a given piece of writing — such as a web or magazine article, a brochure, a letter, etc. — should be spelled out the first time they are used, with the acronym given in parentheses immediately afterward (a departure from AP style). Use the acronym on second and subsequent references.

Correct:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released its final report. In it, the NSF makes several timely recommendations.
Incorrect:
The NSF has released its final report. In it, the NSF makes several timely recommendations.

Many writers think they should use an acronym just because it exists, but that is not the case. In the example above, if the National Science Foundation is only mentioned once in the piece, the acronym should not be used:

Correct:
The National Science Foundation has released its final report, which makes several timely recommendations.
Incorrect:
The NSF has released its final report, which makes several timely recommendations.

Avoid overuse of acronyms. When acronyms appear too often in a piece of writing, the resulting "alphabet soup" can impede comprehension and make the prose awkward. Also, when an acronym only means something to those within a specific organization, it should be used sparingly (if at all) when communicating with the outside world. In such instances, use a generic noun or nouns to replace the acronym.

Awkward:
The Grand Rapids United Elections League (GRUEL) has announced their support for a slate of candidates. GRUEL members say they hope to change the city come November.
Better:
The Grand Rapids United Elections League has announced their support for a slate of candidates. League members say they hope to change the city come November.

The personal titles Dr., Mr., Ms. and the like are always abbreviated when used with a name:

Correct:
Dr. Mackay has received funding to study the genetics of glaucoma.
Incorrect:
Doctor Mackay has received funding to study the genetics of glaucoma.

academic degrees

Academic degrees are abbreviated according to established conventions for each degree. Degrees that are abbreviated with two letters take a period after each letter, and both letters are capitalized. Some degrees are abbreviated with three or more letters. When a degree is abbreviated with three capital letters, periods are never used; when some of the letters are lowercased, periods are used according to the convention for that degree. Following are some examples of academic degrees and their abbreviations:

B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
B.S.
Bachelor of Science
BSW
Bachelor of Social Work
DVM
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Ed.D.
Doctor of Education
M.A.
Master of Arts
M.Arch.
Master of Architecture
MBA
Master of Business Administration
MFA
Master of Fine Arts
M.S.
Master of Science
Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy

Set these abbreviations off with commas when they follow a person's name:

Correct:
Randy Woodson, Ph.D., is the chancellor of NC State University.
Incorrect:
Randy Woodson, Ph.D. is the chancellor of NC State University.
Incorrect:
Randy Woodson Ph.D., is the chancellor of NC State University.
Incorrect:
Randy Woodson Ph.D. is the chancellor of NC State University.

The plural forms of the abbreviations do not use apostrophes:

Correct:
Business students who get MBAs face better job prospects than those who don't.
Incorrect:
Business students who get MBA's face better job prospects than those who don't.

The general terms for academic degrees are as follows:

  • associate degree
  • bachelor's degree
  • baccalaureate
  • master's degree
  • doctoral degree
  • doctorate

addresses

In writing to an on-campus address, the preferred order is as follows:

Recipient Name
Department Name
NC State University
Campus Box [number]
Raleigh, NC 27695-[box number]

For return addresses, the preferred order is:

NC State University
Sender Name
Department Name
Campus Box [number]
Raleigh, NC 27695-[box number]

adviser/advisor

AP style calls for the word to be spelled “adviser,” and NC State follows that style except when referring to academic advisors. Here are examples of correct usage of both styles:

  • The governor conferred with her advisers before presenting her budget proposal.
  • NC State's academic advisors help students graduate on time.

African American

AP no longer hyphenates this term or any similar term designating dual heritage (e.g., Mexican American, Italian American, etc.).

Agricultural Institute

This program, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, provides technical training in agriculture and related fields. Students who complete the institute's two-year course of study receive the associate of applied science degree.

Agromeck

The Agromeck is the university's student-published yearbook.

alma mater

Do not capitalize or italicize.

alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus

An alumnus is a person of male, unknown or unspecified gender who has attended a particular school, college or university. Alumni is the plural form, referring both to males as a group and to people of all genders as a group. An alumna is a female alumnus; alumnae is the plural form, referring only to females as a group.

a.m., p.m.

These terms referring to time of day are set lowercase, with periods and without spaces.

ampersand (&)

AP style dictates that the ampersand generally should not be used in place of "and," and NC State style follows this rule. You should only use an ampersand when:

  • It is part of an organization's official name — Procter & Gamble, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway
  • It is part of a publication name or composition title — the magazine Garden & Gun, the book and movie Marley & Me
  • It is a generally accepted abbreviation listed in the dictionary: B&B, R&B

antisemitism, antisemitic

Per a 2021 change in AP style, style these terms without a hyphen and with no capitalization.

athletics department

The official name of the university department that administers 23 NCAA Division I varsity sports is:

Department of Athletics

Treat capitalization of this department as you would any other department: Capitalize headline style when the full, official name is used, and lowercase otherwise.

Correct:
Debbie Yow is director of the Department of Athletics.
Incorrect:
Debbie Yow is director of the Athletics Department.
Correct:
Debbie Yow is director of the athletics department.

In specific references to the department or its staff, avoid the singular version of the word.

Correct:
NC State is hiring an assistant athletics director.
Incorrect:
NC State is hiring an assistant athletic director.

athletics facilities

NC State has a variety of athletics facilities located on and off campus. Each has a designated facility name.

  • Carter-Finley Stadium — Opened in 1966 as Carter Stadium in honor of brothers Nick and Harry Carter, textile executives from Greensboro, N.C., who spearheaded the fundraising for the stadium. In honor of philanthropist A.E. Finley, a longtime NC State benefactor, the named was changed prior to the 1979 season.
  • Dail Basketball Center — The home of the Wolfpack men's basketball program.
  • Doak Field at Dail Park — The home of NC State baseball. Doak Field was originally named for longtime coach Charles "Chick" Doak.
  • The Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium — The home of NC State's newest varsity sport.
  • Dail Soccer Field — Home to both the men's and women's soccer team, the field is located in the infield of Paul H. Derr Track.
  • Paul H. Derr Track — A cinder track has been at this location since approximately 1939. It was named for former track coach and head of the NC State physical education department Paul H. Derr in 1979.
  • The J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center — This tennis complex, home to the men's and women's varsity programs, houses both the Andy Andrews Indoor Facility and the Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium.
  • Lonnie Poole Golf Course — Located on 200 acres in the southeast corner of Centennial Campus, the 18-hole championship course was designed by golf champion Arnold Palmer with input from NC State graduates Erik Larsen and Brandon Johnson, both architects with Palmer Golf Course Design.
  • Wendell H. Murphy Center — This facility houses football coaches' offices, locker rooms, training facilities, a weight room, and a lobby filled with displays about the history of NC State football.
  • PNC Arena — This indoor athletics stadium near campus, formerly known as the Entertainment and Sports Arena and the RBC Center, is the home-game venue for NC State's men's basketball team.
  • William Neal Reynolds Coliseum — The home of NC State men's basketball from 1949 to 1999, it remains a multiuse facility for campus events and is the home of NC State women's basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling.
  • C. Richard Vaughn Towers — This four-level structure at Carter-Finley Stadium includes press seating, a chancellor's suite and luxury boxes that are available for rent.
  • Weisiger-Brown Athletic Facility — This is the home of the athletics department administrative offices.
  • Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center — The pool facility, located in the Carmichael Gym complex, is named for the former swimming coach and longtime athletics director.

Atlantic Coast Conference

NC State is one of seven charter member universities of this NCAA Division I athletic conference. ACC is acceptable on second reference.

Belltower

This structure, officially named the Memorial Tower, is colloquially called the Belltower or sometimes the Memorial Belltower. It honors NC State alumni who were killed during World War I. The cornerstone was laid in 1921. The Depression and World War II delayed construction, but the completed tower was formally dedicated in 1949.

Board of Governors

This is the policymaking body legally charged with governing the University of North Carolina System, of which NC State is a constituent institution. Contrary to AP, always capitalize: Board of Governors.

Board of Trustees

This body advises NC State's chancellor with the management and development of the university. Contrary to AP, always capitalize: Board of Trustees.

Board of Visitors

This body assists NC State's chancellor and the Board of Trustees in advancing and promoting the university. Contrary to AP, always capitalize: Board of Visitors.

Brickyard

Capitalize the B when referring to the brick courtyard area that is formally known as University Plaza.

Caldwell Fellows Program

This merit scholarship program provides three-year fellowships to high-achieving first-year students.

campus precincts

NC State's main campus in Raleigh is divided into the following official precincts, which are always capitalized:

  • Centennial Biomedical Campus (includes the College of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Centennial Campus (includes James B. Hunt Jr. Library and the Wilson College of Textiles)
  • Central Campus (includes Talley Student Union and Carmichael Gymnasium)
  • North Campus (includes the Belltower and D.H. Hill Jr. Library)
  • South Campus (includes the Joyner Visitor Center and the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education)
  • West Campus (includes the Materials Support Warehouse)

Note that "main campus" is not an official precinct and thus is not capitalized.

capitalization

In general, avoid unnecessary use of capital letters. Words are not capitalized just because somebody considers them important. Capitalize words in these categories:

Proper nouns (the proper name of a person, place or thing) — Debbie Yow, Raleigh, NC State University, Reynolds Coliseum, the Bulletin, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Personal titles immediately preceding a person's name — Chancellor Woodson, Coach Keatts, Provost Arden
Personal titles following a name in a formal or ceremonial list — Warwick Arden, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Brian Sischo, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Correct:
The chancellor is meeting with Dean Ranft to discuss recent successes in commercialization of research.
Incorrect:
The Chancellor is meeting with Dean Ranft to discuss recent successes in commercialization of research.
Correct:
The department has hired a new assistant professor.
Incorrect:
The department has hired a new Assistant Professor.
Correct:
The class of 2018 has a bright future.
Incorrect:
The Class of 2018 has a bright future.

Carter-Finley Stadium

See entry for Athletics facilities.

Centennial Campus

Use the full capitalized name.

chair, chairperson, chairman, chairwoman

If the body or organization in question has an official usage designated for this term, use it. In the absence of an official usage, if the person being identified has a preference, use the term the person prefers. Otherwise, use the non-gender-specific term.

chancellor

Capitalize when used before a name; lowercase after a name (unless in a formal or ceremonial list; see capitalization entry above) or when used alone. The names and terms of those who have served as NC State's chancellors and presidents follow:

  • Alexander Q. Holladay (president, 1889-1899)
  • George T. Winston (president, 1899-1908)
  • Daniel H. Hill (president, 1908-1916)
  • Wallace C. Riddick (president, 1916-1923)
  • Eugene Clyde Brooks (president, 1923-1934)
  • John W. Harrelson (chancellor, 1934-1953)
  • Carey H. Bostian (chancellor 1953-1959)
  • John T. Caldwell (chancellor, 1959-1975)
  • Joab L. Thomas (chancellor, 1976-1981)
  • Bruce R. Poulton (chancellor, 1982-1989)
  • Larry K. Monteith (chancellor, 1990-1998)
  • Marye Anne Fox (chancellor, 1998-2004)
  • James L. Oblinger (chancellor, 2004-2009)
  • W. Randolph "Randy" Woodson (chancellor, 2010-present)

Cherokee “reservation”

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe in western North Carolina. The tribe does not live on a reservation, which is land given to an Indian tribe by the federal government. Instead, the EBCI lives on 57,000 acres of land — the Qualla Boundary — purchased by tribal members in the 19th century.

Incorrect:
N.C. Cooperative Extension staffs local offices in all 100 counties and on the Cherokee reservation.
Correct:
N.C. Cooperative Extension staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

colleges

NC State's 12 academic colleges are listed below.

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Design
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Poole College of Management
  • College of Natural Resources
  • College of Sciences
  • Wilson College of Textiles
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University College
  • Graduate School

commas

NC State follows AP style with respect to comma usage. To quote the AP Stylebook: “Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series.”

Correct:
I'm taking courses in English, accounting and entomology.
Incorrect:
The cafeteria served pizza, lasagna, and salad.

However, if the final element of a series includes a conjunction, then to prevent confusion it's best to put a comma before the concluding conjunction in the series.

Correct:
I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

To ensure clarity, it's sometimes appropriate to use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series of complex phrases.

Correct:
We must ask ourselves whether the strategic plan meets the needs of current and future students, whether it can be implemented with the resources available to us, and whether its success can be accurately measured.

For further guidance on comma usage, refer to the “comma” entry in the AP Stylebook punctuation chapter.

composition titles

Apply these guidelines to the titles of books, book chapters, movies, plays, poems, stories, essays, articles, albums, songs, operas, radio and television programs, radio and television episodes, lectures, speeches, and works of art:

  • Capitalize all words in a title except articles (a, an, the); prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.); and conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.) unless any of those start or end the title.
  • Capitalize prepositions of four or more letters (above, after, down, inside, over, with, etc.) and conjunctions of four or more letters (because, while, since, though, etc.)
  • Capitalize both parts of a phrasal verb: “What To Look For in a Mate”; “Turn Off the Lights in Silence.” But: “A Life of Eating Chocolate for Stamina”; “Living With Both Feet off the Ground.” (Note the different uses of "for" and "off," and thus the different capitalization, in those examples.)
  • Capitalize "to" in infinitives: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.”
  • In a deviation from AP style, titles of large works — books, journals, magazines, newspapers, albums, movies, television shows and the like — are italicized. Titles of shorter works — chapters, articles, essays, stories, poems, songs, television episodes and the like — are enclosed in quotation marks. For example: "Shut the Door, Have a Seat" was one of the most highly rated episodes of the TV show Mad Men. The professor’s research is discussed in the article "Green Tech Goes Global" in the latest issue of U.S. News & World Report.

courses

A course may be identified by its course number (MA 201, for instance) or by its name (for example, Calculus II). Official names of courses are capitalized, but generic references to a course in terms of its material are lowercased.

Correct:
Are you taking Analytic Geometry this semester?
Correct:
We recommend taking a course in the history of religions.
Incorrect:
We recommend taking a course in the History of Religions.

Court of North Carolina

This open area, formerly called the 1911 Field, is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Court of the Carolinas. The court is bounded by Leazar, Poe, Page, Winston, Tompkins and Caldwell halls and the 1911 Building.

curricula, curriculum

Curriculum is the singular form; curricula is the plural form.

data

Data is the plural of datum. The word should generally take a plural verb.

Correct:
The study data show that carbon outputs can be reduced by 16 percent.

DELTA

This acronym stands for Digital Education and Learning Technology Applications, a unit within the Office of the Provost. DELTA’s role is to lead the way in designing, creating and supporting extraordinary digital learning experiences for NC State.

departments

When using a department's formal name, be sure to capitalize appropriately: the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. When referring to the department generically or informally, only capitalize proper nouns: the agricultural and resource economics department, the English department.

Correct:
The Department of Mathematics is hiring new faculty.
Incorrect:
The Math Department is hiring new faculty.

For the proper title of a particular department, refer to the NC State University Undergraduate Catalog, which can be accessed online.

D.H. Hill Jr. Library

The main campus library was named for Daniel Harvey Hill Jr., a professor of English and bookkeeping who became president of NC State. Do not use a comma after "Hill." See entry for NC State University Libraries.

Doak Field at Dail Park

See entry at Athletics facilities.

doctoral, doctorate

Use "doctoral" as an adjective, and use "doctorate" as a noun.

The DVM is a doctoral degree. She earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine.

Dr.

Both the AP and NC State discourage the use of "Dr." as a title in front of someone's name in most cases. It's preferable to state the person's academic rank and field of expertise: Derek Ham, assistant professor of graphic design, is an expert in virtual reality.

e- words

Except for "email" and "esports," use a hyphen in all e- words: e-book, e-reader, e-commerce, etc.

email

Do not hyphenate this word.

email signatures

It is helpful for emails to include an email signature that provides the sender’s full contact information. Below is a suggested signature format for university employees to use. Note that a boilerplate public-disclosure notice is the last element in the signature.

Name (with at least two preferred pronouns, e.g., she/her, in parentheses)
Title
Department (if applicable; can be omitted for faculty if the title makes it obvious, e.g., Professor of English)
Center or Program (if applicable)
College or unit (if applicable)
North Carolina State University
Mailing address (Campus Box XXXX)
Physical address
City, State Zip
Phone(s)
Website (if applicable)

All electronic mail messages in connection with state business that are sent to or received by this account are subject to the North Carolina public records law and may be disclosed to third parties.

emeritus

Denotes either a retiring full-time faculty member who has been recognized by the chancellor, or a full-time staff member recognized by the board of trustees, for dedicated service at NC State. It is an earned rank and comes with commensurate rights and privileges.

faculty

Lowercase unless part of a name or title.

Founders' Day

March 7 marks the anniversary of the founding of the university. The Founders' Day event commemorates the 1887 passage of a bill in the state legislature that provided for the founding of a college to teach agriculture and mechanic arts.

General Administration

The governing body of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, of which NC State is a constituent institution. See entry for The University of North Carolina for a list of all 17 campuses.

Gregg Museum of Art & Design

This museum, a unit of Arts NC State, uses the ampersand in its name.

On first reference, use “Gregg Museum of Art & Design.” On subsequent references, use “Gregg Museum” or “the Gregg.”

headlines and headers

Apply these capitalization guidelines to article headlines, headers within articles, and webpage titles and headers:

  • Capitalize all words in a headline, header or title except articles (a, an, the); prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.); and conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.) unless any of those come first or last.
  • Capitalize prepositions of four or more letters (above, after, down, inside, over, with, etc.) and conjunctions of four or more letters (because, while, since, though, etc.)
  • Capitalize both parts of a phrasal verb: “What To Look For in a Mate”; “Turn Off the Lights in Silence.” But: “A Life of Eating Chocolate for Stamina”; “Living With Both Feet off the Ground.” (Note the different uses of "for" and "off," and thus the different capitalization, in those examples.)
  • Capitalize "to" in infinitives: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.”

Holladay Hall

NC State's first building, Holladay Hall, was originally called the Main Building. The cornerstone was laid in August 1888, and the building was opened Oct. 3, 1889. The building was renamed for the college's first president, Alexander Quarles Holladay, in 1915. Today Holladay Hall houses the offices of the chancellor and other administrative offices.

Hunt Library

This library on Centennial Campus houses collections relevant to science, technology, engineering, mathematics and textiles. The library's full name is:

James B. Hunt Jr. Library

References to the governor himself, as opposed to the building named after him, use a comma after "Hunt":

Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. addressed the audience.

internet

Lowercase in all cases.

italics

NC State differs from AP with regard to italics. Use italics for unfamiliar foreign words and phrases that are not proper nouns:

The indigenous people of that region subscribe to a Weltanschauung that views the health of the people as dependent upon the health of the land.

The Afro-Brazilian drum troupe Grupo Cultural Olodum performed on Paul Simon's album Rhythm of the Saints.

Foreign words and phrases found in the dictionary can generally be set in roman type:

The commedia dell'arte provided a way for the artistic classes to comment on political issues of the day.

Titles of large works — books, journals, magazines, newspapers, albums, television shows and the like — are italicized.

  • Being Written is a novel by NC State alumnus William Conescu.
  • The professor's research was published in the Journal of Materials Sciences.
  • The New York Times has requested an interview with the chancellor.

Jane S. McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education

Informally known as the McKimmon Center, this structure was completed in 1976. It is named for a home demonstration leader who was among the first women to receive degrees from NC State.

Jr., Sr., III

The terms Jr., Sr., III and the like used after a person's name are part of the name and thus generally do not take a comma:

Lonnie Poole Jr. gave a generous gift to the university.

If a person requests that we use the comma with his or her name, we should grant the request out of respect for the individual. We should also remember that when a building, fund or other entity is named after a person, the entity and the person are distinct from one another, and so are their names. Hence, at the request of Gov. Jim Hunt, we use the comma in his name.

Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. spoke to an appreciative audience.

But there is no comma used in the full name of the Hunt Library:

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library is one of the most technologically advanced learning and collaboration spaces in the world.

Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre

This performance venue, located on the second floor of Thompson Hall, is operated by University Theatre, a division of Arts NC State. Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre seats 103 patrons.

land-grant

The first federal legislation that authorized the creation of land-grant state universities was the Morrill Act of 1862. The legislation authorized the federal government to give states land that they could use to create universities that would teach "agriculture and mechanic arts" to the "industrial classes." The hyphenated adjective land-grant (lowercase and with hyphen, as in land-grant state universities, land-grant tradition, and land-grant institution) is in keeping with the editorial practice of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. It is correct to say the state received a land grant (no hyphen).

majors, degree fields

Use lowercase for terms that generically describe a major or the field a degree is in, even if the term is part of the name of an academic department or college:

Correct:
She earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.
Incorrect:
She earned a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering.

A major or field in a foreign language is designated by that language's name — e.g., English, Spanish, Russian, etc. — and is thus capitalized.

When giving an NC State alumnus' undergraduate major and year in parentheses after their name, capitalize the major (this is an exception to AP style). State the major first and then the year. Also, state the year as a two-digit abbreviation preceded by an apostrophe.

Leigh-Kathryn Bonner (International Studies '15) founded a company called Bee Downtown, an urban beekeeping startup.

Memorial Tower

See Belltower.

Mr. and Ms. Wuf

NC State has two mascots, one male and one female: Mr. Wuf and Ms. Wuf. On Feb. 28, 1981, Mr. and Ms. Wuf were married in a mock wedding ceremony during halftime of a men's basketball game at Reynolds Coliseum. The Wake Forest Demon Deacon mascot officiated the ceremony, and Chancellor Joab Thomas gave the bride away.

The female mascot should be referred to as "Ms. Wuf," not Mrs. Wolf, Mrs. Wuf or Miss Wuf. The only exception is when the female mascot appears in pictures predating Feb. 28, 1981, in which she would be referred to as Miss Wolf.

National Collegiate Athletic Association

NCAA is acceptable on first reference.

NC State Athletic Hall of Fame

The hall recognizes the university's most accomplished athletes and coaches.

NC State Extension

Based in NC State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC State Extension provides informal education and research-based resources for all North Carolinians through programs focusing on agriculture, food and nutrition, and youth development. NC State Extension is part of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, a strategic partnership that comprises N.C. A&T State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and 101 local governments statewide.

Points to note about Extension:

  • NC State Extension never uses periods with the state abbreviation, but N.C. Cooperative Extension always does.
  • N.C. Cooperative Extension has centers located in each of North Carolina's counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. From an organizational standpoint, the county and tribal Extension centers are part of N.C. Cooperative Extension, not of NC State Extension.
  • Capitalize ”Extension“ when referring to NC State Extension or N.C. Cooperative Extension, but lowercase the word when used generically:
    • The workshop was sponsored by Extension.
    • The university's mission includes extension and engagement.

To learn more, consult the NC State Extension brand site.

NC State University Libraries

The NC State University Libraries consists of the D.H. Hill Jr. Library (the main branch), the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, the Harrye B. Lyons Design Library, the Natural Resources Library, the William Rand Kenan Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine and four campus information centers: the African American Cultural Center Library and Media Room, the College of Education Media and Educational Technology and Research Center, the GLBT Center Collection and the Mathematics Working Collection in the John W. Cell Mathematics Library.

Because the NC State University Libraries is considered a single entity, the noun takes a singular verb and pronoun.

Correct:
The NC State University Libraries is hosting a series of data visualization workshops.
Incorrect:
NC State University Libraries are hosting a series of data visualization workshops.
Correct:
NC State's libraries often host data visualization workshops.

NCSU

Do not use NCSU to refer to NC State University in any way, regardless of whether the communication in question is internal or external.

This rule stems from market research the university conducted in the 2000s to gauge public name recognition of "NCSU" vs. "NC State." This research discovered that "NC State" was recognized across the United States, but "NCSU" was not well known or well understood outside the South. To position NC State as a nationally prominent university, strengthen our name recognition and make our brand more cohesive, we eliminated “NCSU” from our communications.

To help members of our community get in the habit of using on-brand terminology, we prefer that people refrain from using NCSU even in internal communications with a more private audience, such as emails within the university or on platforms like Slack.

North Carolina Agricultural Research Service

Known until 1979 as the Agricultural Experiment Station, the agency is the research arm of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts

The official name of the school that eventually became NC State, which was founded in 1887. In 1918 the name was formally changed to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. In 1963 the name was changed to the University of North Carolina at Raleigh, causing students and alumni to protest. In 1965, the name was officially changed to North Carolina State University at Raleigh, although the final two words are rarely used in reference to the school.

North Carolina State University

  • "North Carolina State University at Raleigh" is the full, official name of our institution and may be written when explicitly required on official documents. Writers and editors should otherwise avoid using this name because of the implication that another branch of North Carolina State University exists in another city.
  • "North Carolina State University" is one of the two preferred forms of the university's full name. This form should be used on first reference in news releases and formal or ceremonial texts; and in other situations when a more formal tone is appropriate.
  • "NC State University" is the other preferred form of the university's full name. This form should be used on first reference in material aimed at high school students and undergraduates, most advertisements and other situations when a more familiar tone is appropriate.
  • "NC State" is the preferred second reference in all situations, mainly used as a noun (e.g., "Welcome to NC State"). Because "university" is missing from this short form, be careful when using it as an adjective; i.e., "NC State Department of . . ." may be confused with a department of the government of the state of North Carolina.
  • "The university" is an acceptable third reference.

Nubian Message

The Nubian Message is a student-run paper that strives to be the African-American voice on NC State's campus.

Park Scholarships

Through the generosity of the Park Foundation, NC State offers full-expense four-year Park Scholarships named for distinguished alumnus Roy H. Park.

PNC Arena

See entry in athletics facilities.

professor

In a deviation from AP style, capitalize when the term precedes a name; lowercase when it follows a name or when used alone.

Correct:
Professor Lawrence Apple teaches TID 501.
Correct:
Lawrence Apple, professor emeritus of international programs, teaches TID 501.
Correct:
John Kessel is a professor of creative writing and American literature.
Incorrect:
John Kessel is a Professor of creative writing and American literature.

professorships and scholarships

  • Arthur Fu was a Caldwell Scholar.
  • Clement Markert was named Distinguished University Research Professor.
  • Distinguished University Research Professor Donald Bitzer enjoys windsurfing.
  • Dr. Jay Narayan is the John C.C. Fan Family Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

provost

In 2016, the official name of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor changed to become:

Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

In formal communications, use the office's full title on first reference, and use Office of the Provost in subsequent references. In informal communications, such as conversations or emails with colleagues, Provost’s Office may be used.

Similarly, when referring to the provost by name, use Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden on first reference and Provost Arden in subsequent references. Capitalize the title when used before the provost's name; lowercase after the name (unless in a formal or ceremonial list; see capitalization entry) or when used alone. Do not use the shorthand abbreviation EVCP in either formal or informal communications.

quotation marks

In addition to their use in enclosing quoted matter, quotation marks are also used to enclose the titles of shorter works or works that are part of a larger work. Thus, the title of a book is italicized, and the title of a chapter in that book is set in quotation marks. (This style point differs from AP.) The same holds true for songs on an album, poems in a book of poetry, television episodes that appear as part of a television series, blog posts on a blog, articles in a magazine or journal, and the like.

"Shut the Door, Have a Seat" was one of the most highly rated episodes of the TV show Mad Men.

The study is referenced in the article "Green Tech Goes Global" in the latest issue of U.S. News & World Report.

Chapter 2 of her book, "Building a Legacy," explains how the successful alumna decided to give back to her alma mater.

red and white

NC State's official school colors since 1896. The original school colors were pink and blue, in honor of the two most popular literary societies in the school's early years. Brown and white were used for two years (1894-95) until red and white replaced them in a vote of the student body.

residence hall

University Housing prefers this term rather than dormitory.

Reynolds Coliseum

See entry at athletics facilities.

Shrine Room

The Shrine Room is located in the base of NC State's Belltower. In a long-standing campus tradition, the class rings of graduating seniors spend a night locked in the Shrine Room before being given to their new owners.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

This is the body that grants accreditation to NC State University. On second reference, use SACS.

Stewart Theatre

This performance venue, located on the third floor of Talley Student Union, is operated by University Theatre, a division of Arts NC State. Stewart Theatre seats 759 patrons.

Student Aid Association

This organization provides private financial support for athletics scholarships and facilities at NC State. Its unofficial name is the Wolfpack Club. These two names can be used interchangeably.

Talley Student Union

NC State's student community center was founded as the NC State College Union in 1951. The organization became known as Talley Student Center when it moved into a new building in 1972. In 2013 the facility was renovated, and the organization and building were renamed Talley Student Union.

Technician

Technician is the university's student newspaper, founded in 1921. The article "the" is not part of the formal name of the newspaper.

Correct:
Student government election results were reported in Technician.
Incorrect:
Student government election results were reported in the Technician.
Incorrect:
Student government election results were reported in The Technician.

Technology Tower

This 115-foot-tall conical tower, made of open latticework, anchors the east end of Talley Student Union and provides an iconic landmark on central campus.

The University of North Carolina

NC State is part of the 17-campus University of North Carolina System.

Official name: University of North Carolina

First reference in running text: University of North Carolina System

Second reference: UNC System, UNC

Do not capitalize “system” when standing alone:

The UNC System comprises 17 institutions across the state. The system's founding ideal is shared knowledge in a free society.

When the terms “University of North Carolina” and “UNC” stand alone without an additional qualifier, they only refer to the 17-campus statewide university system.

The administrative body in charge of the system, once known as UNC General Administration (abbreviated as “GA”), is now the UNC System Office. Do not abbreviate “System Office” as “SO.”

Following are the official names of the system's 17 constituent institutions as designated by the UNC Board of Governors. Preferred terms for second reference are in parentheses:

  • Appalachian State University (Appalachian State or Appalachian)
  • East Carolina University (East Carolina or ECU)
  • Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)
  • Fayetteville State University (FSU)
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T State University; North Carolina A&T; NC A&T)
  • North Carolina Central University (NCCU)
  • North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM)
  • North Carolina State University (NC State)
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC Asheville)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill)
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte)
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC Greensboro or UNCG)
  • University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNC Pembroke or UNCP)
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNC Wilmington or UNCW)
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA; UNC School of the Arts; School of the Arts)
  • Western Carolina University (Western Carolina or WCU)
  • Winston-Salem State University (WSSU)

Thomas H. Stafford Jr. Commons

This green space on the north side of Talley Student Union is named in recognition of NC State's vice chancellor for Student Affairs from 1983 to 2012.

Titmus Theatre

This performance venue, located on the second floor of Thompson Hall, is operated by University Theatre, a division of Arts NC State. Titmus Theatre seats 192 patrons.

vice chancellor, vice president, vice provost

Do not use hyphens.

Correct:
Betsy Brown is vice provost for faculty affairs.
Incorrect:
Betsy Brown is vice-provost for faculty affairs.

Watauga Club

In 1884 a group of young men established the Watauga Club to help remedy North Carolina's poverty-stricken condition. One of the group's first projects was a campaign to establish an industrial school, which is now NC State. The first president of the club was William Joseph Peele. Other influential members included Walter Hines Page, Charles W. Dabney, Josephus Daniels, John W. Thompson and William Stuart Primrose. Watauga Hall is named in the club's honor.

Watauga Medal

This award was established in 1975 to honor those who have given outstanding service to NC State.

web

This term, a shortened form of World Wide Web, is lowercase in all uses. Also: website, webcam, webcast, webfeed, webmaster, webpage. But web address, web browser.

Windhover

Windhover is the university's student-published literary magazine. Its title is derived from the title of an 1877 Gerard Manley Hopkins poem.

WolfCopy

The campuswide copying and print management service for students and departments.

Wolfline

The university's transit service.

Wolfpack

Early NC State athletic teams were known as the Farmers and Mechanics, the Aggies, the Techs and the Red Terrors. The Wolfpack nickname was used only for football from 1921 until 1948. All other teams were called the Red Terrors from 1925 until 1948, when a poll of students was taken to choose a new nickname. "Wolfpack" was the overwhelming favorite in a student vote, and all athletics teams have used it from 1948 until now. In all instances, Wolfpack is a singular noun that takes a singular verb and pronoun:

The Wolfpack plays football at Carter-Finley Stadium. It plays basketball at PNC Arena.

Wolfpack Club

This organization provides private financial support for athletics scholarships and facilities at NC State. Its official name is the Student Aid Association. These two names can be used interchangeably.

WolfPrint

The student-facing print management program at NC State.

Yarbrough Drive

This road on north campus runs from Dan Allen Drive to Pullen Road.