Eliminate excess capitalization whenever possible.

When in doubt, don’t capitalize.

Academic Degrees

Academic degrees are not capitalized when spelled out.

A bachelor of arts in English
A master's degree in psychology
A doctorate in chemistry

Building Names and Names of Structures

Proper names of buildings, thoroughfares and monuments are capitalized:
the White House; the Capitol (when referring to the U.S. Capitol or state Capitol buildings)

The Patten House

The Lupton Library

Founders Hall

The University Center

DuPont Parkway

The Washington Monument

Chickamauga Battlefield

On second reference to a named building, for example the Lupton Library, by the shorthand “library,” don’t capitalize.
Students using the Lupton Library will find reference materials on the library's first floor.

People were outside the UTC Arena at 5 a.m. Friday waiting to get inside the arena when it opened.

Don’t capitalize references to buildings using common, generic terms, such as library, bookstore, arena.
He had never been to the new library.

College Names within the University

Uppercase College when used as part of the proper name of a college; lowercase otherwise.

  • Joe was accepted into the UTC College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Academic advisers help students choose appropriate college courses.

Course and Subjects

Capitalize a specific course or subject:
Geology 101, Investigations in Earth Science

Don’t capitalize names of school or college studies, fields of study, majors, minors, curricula or options unless they contain proper nouns when no specific course is referenced.
He is studying geology.

She is majoring in engineering.

The Department of English offers a specialization in creative writing.

She has a dual major in philosophy and English.

Departmental and Office Names

Departmental and office names are capitalized when written out completely in a formal manner (the Office of … the Department of …).

Words such as school, department, office and other common, generic terms are not capitalized when used alone.

The UTC School of Rock; thereafter, the school
The Department of Mathematics; thereafter, the mathematics department; or the math department; or the department
The Individualized Education Program; thereafter, the program
The Center for Economic Education; thereafter, the center
The Office of Records; thereafter, the records office


Elected Officials and Governing Bodies

Senate, Congress: Governing bodies are always capitalized:
Most Senate incumbents are in favor of the change. 

Capitalize when used as the proper name:
U.S. Senate; U.S. House of Representatives; U.S. Congress.

Capitalize and abbreviate in reference to a member and his or her title:
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander; U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.

Do not refer to members as, nor use as titles, “Congressman” or “Congresswoman.”

Tennessee General Assembly: Capitalize, but don’t capitalize the informal name, Tennessee legislature.

Capitalize the proper names of the two legislative bodies:
Tennessee Senate; Tennessee House.

Capitalize and abbreviate a member’s title in reference to a specific individual, but otherwise lowercase:

  • We met state Sen. Todd Gardenhire.
  • We met the newly elected state senator.

Federal, State Lowercase: The program is awaiting state and federal funding.

Governor: Lowercase at the beginning of a sentence and spelled out when not a reference to a governor by name:
The governor will not redo the bill.

Capitalize and abbreviate in reference to a governor by name:
Gov. Bill Lee will not redo the bill.


Capitalize, periods on G.I., no space; capitalize Bill.



Capitalize in reference to a specific, named campus event:
UT Chattanooga Homecoming 2018.

Lowercase in general use:
Anne looked forward to the family’s homecoming.



Names of national and international political organizations, movements, and alliances and of members of political parties are capitalized, but not the words political party, movement and platform.


Capitalize the word room when designating a particular room.

The class meets in Room 204.



The four seasons are not capitalized.

Semesters are not capitalized: fall semester, spring break, summer session.

Religious holidays are capitalized, as are most secular holidays.

Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Day, Labor Day


Don’t capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate.

That course should be taken in the freshman year.
She is a junior from Collegedale.


The title of a position is capitalized when it precedes the name of the person who holds the position. Titles are not capitalized when they follow names.

Chancellor Steve Angle came to UTC in 2013 . . .

In 2013, Steve Angle was appointed chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Creative Services Director Steve Rumbaugh moved to Chattanooga in 2017 . . .


Steve Rumbaugh is creative services director.


Exception: General titles describing professions (author, actor, pilot, artist, etc.) are not capitalized before a name.
. . . according to author Shawn Ryan . . .

Introducing actor Dennis Haskins . . .

Titles following names are not capitalized (unless they contain proper nouns).

Verbie Prevost, UTC professor of English, said . . .
Tim Smith, head of the Department of Safety and Security, said . . .


Titles without accompanying names are not capitalized.
The chancellor said . . .