Editorial Guide

The goal is clear, professional, consistent communication to enhance the image of Clemson University. The styles listed here are to be followed in all promotional and marketing materials and are not intended as guidelines for academic materials.

  • Associated Press Stylebook

    The first source for editorial guidelines for Clemson marketing community.

  • Merriam-Webster’s New World College Dictionary

    The first source for words and their meanings. It is available in print, online and as an app for your phone or tablet. Subscription to the online version of the Associated Press Stylebook includes the Merriam-Webster New World College Dictionary.

  • Unique to Clemson

    A few editorial preferences are unique to Clemson. You’ll find those below.

The University’s Name

Use the entire formal name — Clemson University — for the first reference. In subsequent references, use Clemson or the University. Capitalize University when referring specifically to Clemson University.

Do not abbreviate the name to CU.

College, School, Center, Department and Program Names

In first reference, include Clemson University when referring to units within the University. Do not use a possessive.
Example: The Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities
Clemson University’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Spell out the complete, correct name at first reference.
Example: School of Education
  The Eugene T. Moore School of Education

In subsequent references, the entire name is not necessary. Capitalize only any proper names in the generic name of the department, major, etc.
Example: He is dean of the Glen Department of Civil Engineering.
She majored in civil engineering.

Find the official names of the centers and institutes.

Abbreviations and acronyms

Clemson loves acronyms. We have our CURI, OGE, HEHD, PSA, CUSHR, CIAM2 and on it goes. But to ensure clear communications, keep acronyms under control, especially to audiences who are not extremely familiar with our subject.

Since the full name is often cumbersome when it is repeated, be sure to spell out the name completely, then cite the acronym immediately after the name.

Example: The Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) is home to The Zucker Family Graduate Education Center.

NOTE: Be especially careful to use the correct name when citing buildings, centers, programs or other areas that are named for donors, historical figures or others important to the University.


Do not capitalize the general name of an academic degree. Capitalize the name when referring to a specific degree.
Example: He was awarded a Master of Arts degree last May.
He earned a master’s degree last May.

Do not capitalize the names of majors and minors unless they contain a proper noun.
Example: She earned a bachelor’s degree in English.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Academic and Professional Titles

Capitalize titles in front of the name; do not capitalize these titles when they follow the name.
Example: Clemson University President James P. Clements
James P. Clements, president of Clemson University.
Professor and Dean Anand Gramopadhye
Anand Gramopadhye, professor and dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Exception: In lists, addresses or table, capitalize titles as needed.

Do not use Ph.D. and Dr. with the same name.
Example: James P. Clements, Ph.D. or Dr. James P. Clements

In general, AP Stylebook uses “doctor” only in first reference to individuals who hold the degree of doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine or doctor of veterinary medicine. The University recognizes the importance of the Ph.D. or Dr. in certain circumstances in order to establish credibility but generally does not use the title in marketing communications.

Do not abbreviate assistant or associate. It is not a flattering abbreviation.

Building names

Sometimes the official name of a campus building is not the colloquial name used on campus. The official names of most of the campus facilities correspond with what's found on the campus map.

Style and punctuation


As an academic institution, Clemson communications should be clear, concise and as brief as possible. People scan or read quickly, so use strong writing to make the most of the reader’s time.

  1. Use the active voice.
  2. Avoid difficult sentence structure.
  3. Avoid long introductions. Get to the point quickly.
  4. Break up long blocks of text with subheads whenever possible.
  5. Vary sentence structure.
  6. Details, examples, quotations, stories — these all make your writing more interesting. Write what you would like to read.


As a general rule, follow the guidelines of the AP Stylebook.

Other quick rules are:

  1. Single space after periods.
  2. Periods ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks.
  3. NO comma before the word “and” in a series unless the series contains compound items.
    Example: She wore red, blue and green shoes.
    His favorite foods were pizza, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream.
  4. DO use a comma when joining two complete sentences.
    Example (proper comma use but lousy writing): She wore red, blue and green shoes, and her favorite foods were pizza, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream.
  5. Clemson style is to italicize web addresses in print. There is no need to write “www” in front of most urls.
  6. Clemson style is to write phone numbers with hyphens and without a "1" before the area code. Example: 864-656-3311.
  7. Lists, known commonly as “bullets,” are a good way to display quick facts or data. Avoid mixing sentences and phrases. The rules below may seem confusing, but you should try to be consistent.
    There are two ways to handle these lists:
    • Introduce with a complete sentence and a colon like this example.
      A university can be judged by three measures:
      • The quality of its students
      • The quality of it faculty
      • The quality of its infrastructure
    • The list completes the sentence, like this example. No colon is used.
      A university can be judged by
      • the quality of its students,
      • the quality of its faculty and
      • the quality of its infrastructure.

Clemson-related words and expressions

  • All-America, All-American — the first is the name of the award, the second refers to the recipient. Capitalize both forms. Examples: He received the All-America Award in 1995. She became an All-American last year.
  • alumni — this word refers to a group of persons who have attended Clemson, including both men and women. Use alumnus when referring to one man, alumna when referring to one woman. Alumnae is not used.
  • bachelor’s degree, baccalaureate – includes Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and other four-year degrees.
  • curriculum — a single plan of study. The plural form is curricula.
  • IPTAY — athletic support program that originally stood for “I pay ten a year.”
  • Death Valley — The unofficial name of Memorial Stadium.
  • doctor, Dr. — used when referring to someone who holds a degree in medicine, dentistry, or another of the healing arts and sciences.
  • doctoral degree, doctorate — includes Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and other academic credentials. The word "degree" is not used after "doctorate.”
  • email — one word, not capitalized. Italicize the email address within written documents.
  • emeritus — an honorary title bestowed after retirement.
  • Extension — capitalized when referring to Clemson’s Extension Service.
  • land-grant — hyphenated when used as an adjective such as: Clemson is a land-grant university.
  • Solid Orange — capitalize when referring to the united, proud spirit of Clemson.
  • Clemson Family — capitalize when referring to the spirit that joins students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
  • Clemson Tigers — capitalize when referring to the student/alumni base
  • Tiger Paw — capitalize when referring to the University mark.
  • the Tiger — capitalize when referring to the mascots
  • Clemson Baseball, Football, Rowing, etc. — capitalize when referring to the University athletic program.
  • Clemson Athletics — capitalize when referring to the authorized department name.
  • Hartwell Lake — the real name of the lake near campus
  • Douthit Hills — pronounced dow’-thit