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Learn About The Rutgers Editorial Style Guide

Rutgers University has its own set of guidelines on how it and its affiliated entities are to be referred to in writing. As a site in the Rutgers webspace, it is your duty to follow these guidelines to the best of your ability.

Here’s a quick rundown for you to reference when building your site:

Discussing the University

In order to comply with the Rutgers style guide, you must be mindful about how you refer to the university itself in your content. Luckily, the basics are easy to remember:

  • “Rutgers” must be capitalized in any context
  • The possessive form of “Rutgers” is “Rutgers’“, not “Rutgers’s
  • Rutgers’ full title is “Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey”
  • Use a closed en dash to indicate college location, such as “Rutgers University–New Brunswick”
    • Shortened forms like “Rutgers–New Brunswick” are acceptable after first mention

Generally speaking, the only term that consistently must be capitalized is “Rutgers”. Words like “school” or “university” are only capitalized when part of a specific name or title.

If you’re referring to any of the five campuses at Rutgers–New Brunswick, make sure you’ve got the spelling and capitalization down:

  • Busch campus
  • College Avenue campus
  • Douglass campus
  • George H. Cook campus (or G.H. Cook)
  • Livingston campus

Discussing Schools and Departments

If you are mentioning a school or department, you must use its full official title before any abbreviations on every relevant page. Check the Rutgers Editorial Style Guide for a full list of unit titles.

Every word in your unit’s full title should be capitalized, but it’s not necessary in any other format.

  • “The Rutgers Department of History is highly acclaimed”
  • “I work in the Rutgers history department”

It’s up to you whether to use Rutgers or Rutgers’ before the title of a school or department. However, there are three specific titles for which the possessive should never be used:

  • Rutgers Law School
  • Rutgers Business School–New Brunswick/Newark
  • Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

You can quickly convey which college your school or department belongs to with phrases like:

  • The School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick
  • The School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–Newark

If you use abbreviations, you must first include them in parentheses after your unit’s full title, such as “the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS)”.

Discussing Credentials

If there are too many dense abbreviations before or after someone’s name, it’s easy for your readers’ eyes to gloss right past them. Here are some quick ways to avoid alphabet soup:

  • Use “bachelor’s degree” instead of “B.A.”, and so on
  • Include the periods in between your abbreviations (Ph.D instead of PHD)
  • Describe their profession, not their credentials

When describing an individual’s possession of a degree, terms like “bachelor’s degree” or “master’s degree” should have an apostrophe. Descriptions of a degree, such as “bachelor of arts”, are written without an apostrophe.

You need only capitalize words like “professor” when they’re part of someone’s title, such as “Professor Henry Rutgers”.

If you’re discussing a Rutgers alum and would like to quickly reference their school and year of graduation, the proper format for this is the person’s name, the school’s abbreviation, an apostrophe, and the last two digits of their graduation year.

An example of this is “Henry Rutgers GSE’96“.

Discussing Courses

If you’re a professor, one great use of your Sites@Rutgers Site is to list the courses you’ll be teaching in the upcoming school year. Make sure to keep your formatting consistent as you do this:

  • Specific course sections or titles must be capitalized
  • Course subjects do not need to be capitalized unless they include a proper noun
  • Course credits should be formatted with a dash, as in “3-credit course”


These basic guidelines should place you well on the way to having properly Rutgers-branded content. Give the Rutgers Editorial Style Guide a look if you’re interested in learning more about these guidelines, or require any further clarification.