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Writing Style Guide

UCF Communications and Marketing follows the writing guidelines in the Associated Press Stylebook for stories unless otherwise noted here. This reference is not intended to be a duplication of that guide, but a supplement for style, consistency, spelling and terms often encountered around the university. Please send comments or suggestions for this evolving reference to Nicole Dudenhoefer at


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A&P Administrative and Professional employment classification. Acceptable on first reference for stories on campus but spell out the name in the story.

abbreviations and acronyms Avoid turning stories into alphabet soup. Universities have many buildings, courses, organizations, clubs, programs and titles that often are shortened for casual use, but generally spell them on first reference. It is not necessary to follow a full name with an abbreviation in parentheses; if an abbreviation on second reference is not clear on its own, don’t use it. It is often more clear on second reference to say the department or the organization or use some other identifier rather than use unfamiliar abbreviations and acronyms. Some abbreviations, however, have become so universally known that they stand alone, such as NCAA, SAT, GPA, ROTC and others, that can be used on first reference.

academic degrees The preferred form is to use bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in place of abbreviations. Also acceptable without a possessive in this style: Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science.
Abbreviations can be used when the use of full terms would be cumbersome, as in a list of people. To abbreviate, use periods and no spaces between letters, such as B.S. (Bachelor of Science) or M.A. (Master of Arts). For degrees with three or more capital letters, such as MBA or MFA, omit the periods. The word degree does not follow a degree abbreviation.
An Associate of Arts is a two-year post-secondary degree offered by colleges. For students who transfer to UCF, the degree serves as the first two years of work for a bachelor’s degree. Associate degree is not possessive.
If mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, the preferred form is to use a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology.
Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A.,and Ph.D. only when identifying many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name – never after just a last name.

academic departments Capitalize as part of an official name as in Department of Political Science and Department of History, but lowercase when referring to them generically as in the political science department or history department.

Academic Health Sciences Center Organizational structure that includes the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and College of Health Professions and Sciences.

academic titles Capitalize and spell formal titles (president, provost, dean, chancellor, vice president, professor) when they precede a name: Dean Abe Pizam. Lowercase job titles elsewhere, such as: James Green, dean. When used as descriptors, lowercase titles when they identify something else: dean’s list, provost’s office. Do not abbreviate assistant or associate.

accents Use tildes and other accent marks when spelling proper names and other words as needed. Depress control and apostrophe keys while typing the vowels for á, é, í, ó and ú.
            For ñ, depress the Alt key and type numbers 164 on the right side of the keyboard.
            For ü, type Alt 0252.

accreditation UCF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels. SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation is on a 10-year schedule. UCF was initially accredited in 1970 and was last reaffirmed in 2016 as a Level VI institution.
There is no reason to qualify accreditation: fully accredited

ACT Use only the initials when referring to the previous American College Testing.


Addition Financial Arena Official name beginning May 1, 2019, of the UCF arena, which hosts basketball games, commencement ceremonies, concerts and other events.

A&P Stands for Administrative & Professional employment category. Acceptable on first reference but spell out the name somewhere in the story.

administration Lowercase and spell out unless part of a proper name. Do not use admin.

advisor Varies from AP’s adviser.

Alafaya Trail UCF’s main entrances are along this roadway, also known as State Road 434.
            (See roads entry for main roadways in and around the university.)

alma mater

alum, alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus
            alum –  catchall term for someone who attended or graduated from the university                                            alumna – a woman who has attended UCF (alumnae is the plural)
            alumni – a group of men and women collectively
            alumnus – a man who has attended UCF (alumni is the plural)
            These terms also can refer to people who attended the university, but did not graduate.

alumni association Capitalize only if part of a proper name. (See UCF Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving.)

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

American Athletic Conference Use American or the conference on second reference.

America’s Partnership University and America’s Leading Partnership University UCF trademarks registered in 2013.

Anheuser-Busch Beer & Wine Lab Classroom at Rosen College of Hospitality Management.


Aramark UCF food-service provider.

Association of American Universities Use AAU or the association on second reference.

Associate of Arts (See academic degrees.)

AutoNation Cure Bowl Football bowl game that supports breast cancer research at UCF.



baccalaureate The degree of bachelor conferred by universities and colleges, a sermon to a graduating class, or the service at which this sermon is delivered.

bachelor’s degree (See academic degrees).

Barbara Ying Center

Barnes & Noble bookstores on campus.

Black Preferred as an adjective. African American without a hyphen also is acceptable. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. Americans of Caribbean heritage, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean American. Follow a person’s preference.

Black Faculty & Staff Association

Blackstone LaunchPad

Blended Learning Toolkit Resource materials for blended-learning courses created by UCF and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Board of Governors Capitalize when referring to the State University System’s board. Use board on second reference instead of BOG, unless it would need to be distinguished from other boards mentioned in a story. The panel that oversees operation and management of the State University System of Florida. The board has 17 members, 14 of whom are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a term of seven years. Other members are the chair of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates, the commissioner of education, and the chair of the Florida Student Association.

Board of Trustees Capitalize when referring to the UCF board. Use board on second reference instead of BOT, unless it would need to be distinguished from other boards mentioned in a story. When writing stories that only mention UCF’s board, it is not necessary to precede the name with UCF. Each state university has a 13-member panel responsible for budgeting, implementing programs and maintaining education standards. The governor appoints six members and the Board of Governors appoints five; all are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate and serve a term of five years. The remaining two members are the chair of the Faculty Senate or its equivalent, and the president of the student body of the university.

Bounce House Name of UCF’s football stadium.

BRIDG Acronym for Bridging the Innovation to Development Gap, a consortium led by UCF, Osceola County, and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council to conduct research on next-generation sensors.

Bright House Networks Stadium Former name of the Bounce House.

building numbers Use Roman numerals when identifying buildings that have the same name: Classroom Building I and Classroom Building II.

buildings Capitalize the official name of buildings on first reference, but lowercase the type of building in subsequent generic usage. Nicholson Fieldhouse, John C. Hitt Library, the fieldhouse, the library. The main campus updated building names in 2013. A master list of all building names is at

Burnett Honors College Capitalize Burnett Honors College and Burnett Honors Scholars; lowercase honors in other uses such as honors courses and honors classes.

Burnett House UCF president’s residence on campus.



Carl Black & Gold Cabana Specialty seating area in the campus football stadium.

Cartwright, Alexander N. UCF’s sixth president. Capitalize President before his name on first reference, President Alexander N. Cartwright. Use Cartwright on second reference. Lowercase title when standing alone or used after name.

Cartwright, Melinda K. President Alexander N. Cartwright’s wife should be referred to as UCF First Lady Melinda K. Cartwright or Melinda K. Cartwright, UCF first lady

catalog Not catalogue.

Celeste Hotel, The Name of the only hotel on campus, at the main UCF entrance.

Center for Distributed Learning

Center for Success of Women Faculty

Central Florida Do not use as a name for the university.
            Capitalize when referring to the region. Also, South Florida, North Florida.

Central Florida Future The final name of the former independent, off-campus, student-written newspaper that shut down in 2016 after 48 years.

Central Florida Research Park

CentroPlex City of Orlando parking garage leased by UCF for parking near UCF Downtown.

Centsible Knights A financial-literacy program to help students make sound financial decisions.

CEOWorld magazine

CFE Arena Former name of the UCF arena.

chair, chairman, chairwoman Capitalize as a title before a name; use the person’s preference.

Charge On! This can be used with or without an exclamation point, but “on” should always be capitalized. For athletics-related uses, use Go Knights! Charge On!

cities Add and spell out state names to identify cities other than Orlando in a UCF-produced story. Use judgment about whether to include Florida if it is clear the cities are in the state.
            These U.S. cities should not be followed by a state name, as per AP style: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, New York City, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tallahassee, Tampa, Washington. If unclear whether referring to District of Columbia or state of Washington, use: Washington, D.C.
             These international cities should not be followed by a country name: Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Djibouti, Dublin, Geneva, Gibraltar, Guatemala City, Havana, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kuwait City, London, Luxembourg, Macau, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Monaco, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, New Delhi, Panama City, Paris, Prague, Quebec City, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Marino, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vatican City, Vienna, Zurich.

Citronaut An early unofficial mascot of Florida Technological University.

class/course titles Capitalize specific classes and those with numerals: Evolution of Dance, Biology II, Journalism 3100. Lowercase as a general reference: dance class, biology.

class standings Lowercase designations of sophomore, junior and senior. Avoid using freshman because some consider it a sexist term; use first-year student instead. Also avoid upperclassman.

Clery Act Acceptable in all references for the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires colleges and universities participating in federal student-aid programs to disclose campus safety information.

Clinton Global Initiative University A consortium of colleges and universities that provides seed funding to student leaders and entrepreneurs working on solutions to world challenges. UCF is a member of the network.

coed Avoid this term to mean a female student. The term is acceptable to use when describing coeducational institutions. No hyphen.

COHPA Acronym for the former College of Health and Public Affairs.

college Lowercase unless part of a formal name for a specific college: College of Business. Avoid use as a synonym for university.

colleges UCF has 13 colleges:

            Burnett Honors College
            College of Arts and Humanities
            College of Business (“Administration” has been unofficially dropped from its name.)
            College of Community Innovation and Education (Renamed college that includes programs such as civic engagement and governing, safety and justice, health and well-being, public administration, public affairs, legal studies, criminal justice, health management and informatics, and education programs. 2018)
            College of Engineering and Computer Science
            College of Graduate Studies
            College of Health Professions and Sciences (Renamed college that includes health-related programs such as physical therapy, kinesiology, athletic training, social work, health sciences, and communication sciences and disorders programs. The college is part of the Academic Health Science Center with the College of Medicine and College of Nursing. 2018)
            College of Medicine
            College of Nursing
            College of Optics and Photonics (see CREOL)
            College of Sciences
            College of Undergraduate Studies
            Rosen College of Hospitality Management (Rosen or Rosen College on second reference)
(The names for the former College of Education and Human Performance and the College of Health and Public Affairs have been dropped.)

Collegiate Cyber Defense Club @ UCF Also known as Hack@UCF. (The name for this club varies from AP spelling of cyberdefense.)

commencement Preferred term for the event instead of graduation.

Communication Disorders Clinic

Communication and Media Building Formerly the Center for Emerging Media; home to the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy; Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology and Entertainment (CREATE), and other programs at UCF Downtown.

Conference USA C-USA acceptable on second reference, headlines and display type.

Counseling and Psychological Services

CREATE Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology and Entertainment.

Creative Village Development by a public/private partnership for retail, commercial, office, residential and educational space (including UCF Downtown) west of Interstate 4, generally the area near where the Amway Arena formerly stood on Livingston Street.

CREOL Acronym for Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, one of the research centers in the College of Optics and Photonics. Acceptable on first reference but spell out the name in the story. CREOL is often used on campus as the name of the college because of its cachet within the industry, but stories should make clear that CREOL is part of the college. Other research centers in the college are the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence, Townes Laser Institute, and Institute for the Frontier of Attosecond Science and Technology.

cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude

curriculum vitae A summary of one’s personal history and professional qualifications.

Cypress Dome, The Literary and visual arts magazine produced by The Cypress Dome Society undergraduate literary organization.

cyber Follow the general rules for prefixes and do not hyphenate, such as cyberattack, cyberdefense and cybersecurity. Exceptions: Cyber Monday and when cyber is used as a separate modifer as in cyber shopping.



dates Always spell out months when used with a date, except in On Campus (Pegasus) or when used stylistically as part of an ad or promoted event listing.

dean Capitalize when used as a title before a name; lowercase in other uses.

dean’s list

department, division, center Capitalize as part of a formal name. Lowercase for other uses. Department of Philosophy, the political science department.

DeVos Sport Business Management Program

dictionary Use Merriam-Webster as the official Communications and Marketing dictionary at

DirectConnect to UCF Program that guarantees admission to UCF with an associate degree from one of the university’s partner colleges: College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Lake-Sumter State College, Seminole State College of Florida, and Valencia College. No space between Direct and Connect, and always use full name.

disabled, handicapped In general, do not use these terms to describe someone unless it is pertinent to a story. If a description of an illness or condition is needed, use language that is specific and refers to the person first and the disability second: Sara, who has multiple sclerosis, works at the cafeteria. Don’t use descriptions that connote pity, such as afflicted with or suffers from. For a more comprehensive list, visit the National Center on Disability and Journalism’s style guide:

Division of Student Learning and Academic Success Division of Teaching and Learning

doctoral is an adjective; doctorate is a noun. He earned his doctoral degree. He earned his doctorate.

Dr. Avoid using, even for medical doctors. In running copy, use the person’s formal title (i.e., professor of art history, director, etc.) at the university.

Dr. Phillips Academic Commons Four-story building at UCF Downtown with classrooms, library space and offices.

Duke Energy University Welcome Center



E2i Creative Studio

East Side Club Florida-themed social area and lounge at Spectrum Stadium.

email, emailed and emailing.

email addresses Use lowercase letters and a put a period afterward if the address is at the end of a sentence.

emeritus (for a man), emerita (for a woman), emeriti (plural)

English Language Institute The university’s provider of English-language programs for international students and professors.

exempt / nonexempt The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers classify jobs as exempt or nonexempt. Exempt positions are typically executive, supervisory, professional or outside sales positions excluded from minimum wage, overtime regulations, and other rights provided to nonexempt workers. Employers must pay a salary rather than an hourly wage for a position to be exempt.
            Nonexempt employees are not exempt from FLSA requirements and must be paid at least the federal minimum wage and given overtime pay.

experiential learning



faculty Lowercase when not part of a title. The Faculty Senate, the faculty met to vote. If not cumbersome to the sentence, refer to faculty members instead of faculty.

FAFSA Spell out first reference for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

FAIRWINDS Capitalize and italicize as in UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center, FAIRWINDS Credit Union and other uses. FAIRWINDS is UCF’s student banking partner.

farmers market Produce on the Patio is the name of the UCF farmers market.

FCAT Acceptable on first reference, but spell out Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test somewhere in the story.

FERPA Spell out first reference for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Ferrell Commons

FIEA Acceptable on first reference, but spell out Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy in the story.

First Generation Program

Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center

Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities

Florida College System Florida has 28 state colleges that are under the direction of the Florida Department of Education. Many have dropped “community college” from their name.
            Broward College, Fort Lauderdale
            Chipola College, Marianna
            College of Central Florida, Ocala
            Daytona State College, Daytona Beach
            Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa
            Florida Gateway College, Lake City
            The College of the Florida Keys, Key West
            Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers
            Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville
            Gulf Coast State College, Panama City
            Hillsborough Community College, Tampa
            Indian River State College, Fort Pierce
            Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg
            Miami Dade College, Miami
            North Florida College, Madison
            Northwest Florida State College, Niceville
            Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth
            Pasco-Hernando State College, New Port Richey
            Pensacola State College, Pensacola
            Polk State College, Winter Haven
            Santa Fe College, Gainesville
            Seminole State College of Florida, Sanford
            South Florida State College, Avon Park
            St. Johns River State College, Palatka
            St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg
            State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, Bradenton
            Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee
            Valencia College, Orlando

Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities Composed of UCF, University of South Florida and Florida International University.

Florida High Tech Corridor and Florida High Tech Corridor Council

Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy

Floridan Aquifer

Florida Prepaid College Plan

Florida Technological University Original name of UCF. FTU was created June 10, 1963, by the Florida Legislature. Classes began in 1968; the university changed its name to UCF in 1978.

Founders’ Day and Founders’ Day Honors Convocation Not Founders Day or Founder’s Day.

Fraternity and Sorority Life Office building on campus.



game day Unless referring to a proper name such as ESPN GameDay.

Global Perspectives Office 

goals Former President John C. Hitt set five goals in 1992 that defined UCF’s course:

  1. Offer the best undergraduate education available in Florida.
  2. Achieve international prominence in key programs of graduate study and research.
  3. Provide international focus to our curricula and research programs.
  4. Become more inclusive and diverse.
  5. Be America’s leading partnership university.

Golden Knights Do not use this outdated nickname for UCF athletic teams. Just use Knights.

Golden Rule, The A compilation of university policies and procedures outlining student rights and responsibilities.

Gordon Rule A Florida requirement for college and university students to complete at least four courses of writing and two courses of mathematics.

GPA Acceptable on all references for grade-point average.

grades Place single quotation marks around grade letters: She earned an ‘A’ in history.

Graduate Record Examination GRE on second reference.

Graduation Success Rate

graduated from Do not drop from: Jones graduated from the university.

graduate school Lowercase unless part of a proper name.

graduation honors Lowercase cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude.

graduation years and degrees

When identifying an individual’s graduation years and degrees, use the appropriate style depending on a variety of factors: where the person’s name is used, type of degree, where it was earned, etc. Follow these guidelines:

** FOR USE IN STORIES (UCF Today, Pegasus magazine, event-program biography, etc.)

Degrees from UCF
One degree:
Undergraduate: Michelle Akers ’89
Graduate: Richard Beary ’04MS

Multiple degrees
Ida Eskamani ’12 ’16MPA
Colton Tapoler ’12 ’17EdD

Doctoral degree
Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD
Sarina Amin ’13MD

Master’s degrees
If a degree is a Master of Science or Master of Arts in anything, abbreviate as MS or MA.
Degrees such as Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM) or Master of Education (MEd) abbreviate accordingly.
Do NOT include master’s degrees with a person’s name if earned at a university other than UCF.

Doctoral degree NOT from UCF
Do not designate as part of individual’s name. If necessary, write in sentence form. Use job title instead.

UCF Honorary Alumni Award (given by UCF Alumni to non-alumni)
Refer to this honor in sentence form. Do not use a format behind the person’s name. UCF Alumni recognized Martha Hitt with the Honorary Alumni Award in 2017.
The complete recipient list is at

UCF Honorary Doctorate (given by the Office of the President)
Refer to this honorary degree in sentence form. Do not use a format behind the person’s name. After his time as a student at UCF, Richard Walsh ’77 ’83MS went on to receive an honorary doctorate from the university in 2014.
The complete recipient list is at

UCF Parent Council member
Refer to connection as a parent of a current student or alumnus in sentence form. Do not use a format behind the person’s name. Loretta Corey, an honorary alumna whose three children all attended UCF, is an avid fan of the football team.

** FOR USE IN LISTINGS OR AT EVENTS (name tags, PowerPoint slides, list of names in publications, etc.)
The format is the same as in stories above except for doctoral degrees not from UCF, and honorary and Parent Council designations. Follow these guidelines for those:

Doctoral degree NOT from UCF
Dr. Graham Worthy

Alumnus, but doctoral degree NOT from UCF
Dr. Andre Garcia ’08 ’16MBA

UCF Honorary Alumni Award (given by UCF Alumni to non-alumni)
Martha Hitt H’17

UCF Honorary Doctorate (given by the Office of the President):
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar HC’17
Richard Walsh ’77 ’83MS HC’14
Many variations of honorary doctorates exist. HC (honoris causa) was selected to designate all of them. Alumni distinction should always be designated before the honorary degree.

UCF Parent Council member
Roslyn Burttram P’20
Karen Manglardi P’15 ’16 ’20 ’22 (multiple children)
If parent’s child is currently attending UCF, use the anticipated year of graduation.

grant-in-aid, grants-in-aid

Greek, Greeks Capitalize when referring to fraternity and sorority organizations, which take their names from Greek letters.

GrowFL The Florida Economic Gardening Institute, which is based at UCF.



Hack@UCF See Collegiate Cyber Defense Club @ UCF

headlines Capitalize the first word and all other words except the articles a, an and the and the conjunctions and and but. Use numerals for numbers and single quotes for quotation marks. In subheads, capitalize just the first word and proper nouns, and end the sentence with a period.


Healthcare Corporation of America College of Medicine’s hosptal partner at Lake Nona. HCA on second reference.


Hispanic Serving Institution

Hitt, John C. UCF’s fourth president. Capitalize and use emeritus title with full name on first reference, President Emeritus John C. Hitt. Use Hitt on second reference. Lowercase title when standing alone or used after name.

Homecoming Capitalize when referring to UCF’s annual event.

Housing and Residence Life

housing sites operated by UCF
            Apollo, Hercules, Nike, Lake Claire, Libra and Neptune communities.
            NorthView, Towers at Knights Plaza, Rosen College Apartments, Knights Circle and The Pointe at Central apartments.



ICubed Acceptable on first reference for Innovation through Institutional Integration, a National Science Foundation-funded project that partners with several UCF colleges in STEM fields. Spell out complete name high in story.

IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF The university’s $500 million fundraising goal that concluded in 2019 in support of student success, academic excellence and growth opportunities.

Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport

Institute for Economic Competitiveness

Institute for Simulation and Training

instructor A non-tenured faculty rank. Lowercase in all usages.

intermural, intercollegiate, intramural  Competitive teams from different universities are intermural or intercollegiate. Competitive teams at a single community or institution are intramural.

International Affairs and Global Strategies

international students Not foreign students.


Intracoastal Waterway  



John C. Hitt Library

John Euliano Park UCF’s baseball stadium.

John T. Washington Center, John T. Washington Center Breezeway

Joust New Venture Competition



Kennedy Space Center Spell out first reference and use KSC elsewhere.

Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting

Kiplinger / Kiplinger’s Kiplinger is the financial-advice company. Kiplinger’s magazine is the acceptable style to use for the company’s Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine that publishes an annual list of the best values among colleges and universities.

Knightly News A student-produced, cable TV news broadcast. An independent, online news source.

Knightro The athletic teams’ mascot. (Glycerin was Knightro’s former female counterpart.)

Knightro’s A campus restaurant near the CFE Arena.

Knight Ride Formerly the Safe Escort Patrol Service.

Knights The university’s athletic team name.

Knights Major Exploration and Transition Center Formerly First Year Advising and Exploration (2/2020)

Knights Plaza Athletic village and shopping center.

Knight-Thon A student-organized dance marathon and other philanthropic events held to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.


L3 Harris Engineering Center Formerly the Harris Corporation Engineering Center

Lake Claire and Lake Claire Recreation Area

Lake Nona Site of the College of Medicine.

land–grant university The Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862 was designed to encourage states to establish agricultural and mechanical arts universities. The State University System’s land grant institutions are UF and FAMU.

Latino Faculty and Staff Association LaFaSA on second reference.

Latinx A gender-inclusive way of referring to people of Latin American descent.

Latinx Heritage Month The UCF campus celebration that coincides with national Hispanic Heritage Month .

LEAD Scholars Acceptable on first reference but spell out program name early in the story. Stands for Leadership Enrichment and Academic Development.

lectern A speaker stands behind a lectern, in a pulpit, and on a podium, rostrum or dais.

LEED Acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Acceptable on first reference but spell out the name in the story.

Legislature Capitalize when referring to the Florida Legislature even when not preceded by Florida.

Let’s Be Clear Campus program to help find help for victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking.

LGBTQ+ Services Resource office for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning/Queer issues.

Light Up UCF

Limbitless Solutions Nonprofit organization started by students to create 3D printed arms for children missing limbs. The group has developed other engineering projects for medical causes.

LinkedIn Learning An online-course platform.

Living Learning Communities Campus program to house students with others of same majors or interests.

Lockheed Martin/UCF Academy Acceptable on first reference for Lockheed Martin/University of Central Florida Academy for Mathematics and Science.

Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government This office at UCF along with the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida make up the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, a civic-education partnership.

Lynx Central Florida’s regional transportation system. Not LYNX.



majors Do not capitalize majors, programs, specializations, or concentrations of study if they are not part of an official department name or title. He majored in history.

manikin An anatomical model of the body used during healthcare simulation training.

mannequin A model of the human form for fitting or displaying garments.

Market Day Held each Wednesday on the patio adjacent to the Student Union for student organizations and vendors to promote products, causes or services.

Marriage and Family Research Institute

master’s degree (See academic degrees.)

Math Success Center Formerly Math Lab.

Medical City Acceptable on first reference for the developing area at Lake Nona that includes the UCF College of Medicine; Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Orlando VA Medical Center; Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando; and the University of Florida’s Research and Academic Center. The official name of the UCF presence at Lake Nona is the UCF Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona, but use only when needed for clarification.

Memory Mall

Michelle Akers Alumni Award Presented to outstanding graduates; named after the UCF graduate, Olympic gold medalist and professional athlete.


million, billion Use figures with the words million or billion. Use decimals to show fractions ($2.5 million). Don’t go beyond two decimal places. Do not use a hyphen. It was a $2 million building.

MOOC Acronym for massive open online courses. Spell out on first reference.

Morgridge International Reading Center  

Multicultural Academic and Support Services

myUCF The site for faculty, staff and students’ personalized  information and applications.


NanoScience Technology Center

National Center for Forensic Science

2017 National Champions Declared by UCF after finishing the season as the only NCAA school to finish the season undefeated (13-0), including beating Auburn in the 2018 Peach Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Day.

National Consortium for Academics and Sports

National Merit Scholarship Program and National Merit Scholar

NCAA Acceptable in all references for National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Nicholson Fieldhouse

Nicholson School of Communication and Media 

NID Network Identification number (from Network Identification).

NorthView Student housing complex adjacent to the north edge of campus.



Office of Diversity and Inclusion Formerly the Office of Diversity Initiatives.

Office of Institutional Equity Formerly the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs.

Ombuds Office

ONE Central Florida A WUCF TV magazine-style show.

OPS Abbreviation for Other Personal Services employment classification. Acceptable on first reference but spell out the name in the story.

Orlando Tech Center

orthopedics Unless a physician’s office or organization uses orthopaedics in its name.


PedsAcademy UCF’s pediatric school program at Nemours Children’s Hospital to provide children with educational opportunities. Pronounced Peeds Academy.


page When referencing page numbers, capitalize and spell out: To read more, see Page 44.

Park and Ride A campus service in conjunction with the campus shuttles.

Partnership I, Partnership II, Partnership III and Partnership IV

PBS Acceptable in all uses for Public Broadcasting Service.

PCard Acceptable on first reference for procurement card when used in publications intended for university purposes. Spell out in the story.

PedsAcademy  UCF’s pediatric school program at Nemours Children’s Hospital designed to provide children in with educational opportunities. Pronounced Peeds Academy.

Pegasus The official symbol for UCF.

Pegasus Not Pegasus Magazine.

Pegasus Express Name change from the former Black and Gold Shuttle (2018)

percent Use symbol as per AP style

Ph.D., Ph.D.s The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate and name the area of specialty. The abbreviation is acceptable for doctor of philosophy only when names are listed but not as part of running copy.

phone numbers Use area code and hyphens in news stories, not parentheses and/or periods: 407-555-1234.

PID Personal Identification number (from Personal Identification).

Pineapple Ball, The An annual event hosted by the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at which new members are inducted into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame.




presidents UCF’s presidents:
            Charles N. Millican, 1965-78
            Trevor Colbourn, 1978-89
            Steven Altman, 1989-91
            John C. Hitt, 1992-2018
            Dale Whittaker, 2018-2019
            Thad Seymour Jr., 2019-2020 (interim)
            Alexander N. Cartwright, 2020-current

President’s Honor Roll

President’s Leadership Council Group of students selected by the university president to serve as advisors and official ambassadors.

Pride Commons

professor Capitalize and do not abbreviate as a title before a name. Capitalize and do not abbreviate assistant or associate when used with the title before a name. (These capitalizations vary from AP.) Capitalize Professor Emeritus as a title before a name. Do not capitalize the title when used alone.



Quadrangle Office park west of UCF and north of University Boulevard.



Recreation and Wellness Center

Reflecting Pond Not Reflecting Pool, Reflection Pond or the Fountain.

Research Pavilion

residence hall Preferred term instead of dorm or dormitory.

resident assistant Not residents’ or resident’s assistant.

roads Road names on and near the main campus. A master list of all campus addresses is at
             Alafaya Trail (also known as State Road 434)
            Andromeda Loop
            Aquarius Agora Drive
            Ara Drive
            Centaurus Boulevard
            Central Florida Boulevard
(UCF’s address is 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, FL 32816)
            East Plaza Drive
            Gemini Boulevard
            Greek Court
            Greek Park Drive
            Home Run Court
            Hydra Lane
            Knights Victory Way
            Lake Claire Way
            Leo Lane
            Libra Drive
            Lockwood Boulevard
            McCulloch Road
            Mensa Lane
            North Orion Boulevard
            Pegasus Drive
            Perseus Loop
            Pictor Lane
            Pyxis Lane
            Research Parkway
            Scholarship Drive
Science Drive
            Scorpius Street
            Technology Parkway
Triangulum Court
            University Boulevard
            Ursa Minor Street
            West Plaza Drive

Robinson Observatory

room numbers When referencing room numbers, capitalize and spell out: The meeting is in Room 23.

ROTC Acceptable in all references for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. There are two branches at UCF: Air Force and Army.



’63 South A campus restaurant in Ferrell Commons.

SAT Use only the initials when referring to the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Do not use a comma in scores.

Scale x Excellence = Impact

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy 

School of Performing Arts

School of Social Work

School of Visual Arts and Design A merged partnership of the former art and digital media departments.

semesters Lowercase fall, spring and summer semesters as in spring semester, but capitalize when referring to a specific term as in Fall 2014.

Seminole State College of Florida Seminole, Seminole State or Seminole State College are acceptable on second reference. The college prefers not to use SSC. Another Seminole State College is in Oklahoma.


SGA Abbreviation for Student Government Association. Acceptable on first reference but spell out the name in the story.

Siemens Energy Center

slogans Some of UCF’s slogans through the years:
            Accent on the Individual
            America’s Leading Partnership University
            America’s Partnership University
            Reach for the Stars
            UCF Stands For Opportunity

Southeastern Conference SEC on second reference.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools SACS on second reference.

space Use just one space after a period in text.

Spectrum Stadium Official name of UCF’s football stadium 2017-2020.

Spirit Splash

spring break

staff member(s) If not cumbersome to the sentence, refer to staff members instead of staff.

State University System of Florida Comprised of 12 institutions:
            Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida A&M, FAMU Tallahassee
            Florida Atlantic University, FAU Boca Raton
            Florida Gulf Coast University, FGCU Fort Myers
            Florida International University, FIU Miami
            Florida Polytechnic University, FPU Lakeland
            Florida State University, FSU Tallahassee
            New College of Florida, NCF Sarasota
            University of Central Florida, UCF Orlando
            University of Florida, UF Gainesville
            University of North Florida, UNF Jacksonville
            University of South Florida, USF Tampa
            University of West Florida, UWF Pensacola

states Spell out state names when used with cities, military bases and party affiliations. (As per AP 2019.)

STEM Acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Acceptable to use on first reference, but spell out someplace in the story.
The STEAM initiative adds ‘A’ to incorporate Art with STEM fields.

Student Academic Resource Center


Student Care Services Formerly the Student of Concern Process and Case Management.

Student Development and Enrollment Services

Student Health Services Formerly UCF Health Services.

Student Union



3D AP change from 3-D (2018)

30 Under 30 Awards program that recognizes outstanding young alumni who have found success in their personal and professional endeavors.

TeachLivE Lab Mixed-reality classroom of simulated students that provides situations for teachers to develop educational practices. 

TEFL Abbreviation for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Spell out first reference for this degree.

TESOL Abbreviation for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Spell out first reference for this degree.

theatre/theater Use theatre when referring to a program, students or the craft. Use theater when referring to a venue. For proper nouns, use the spelling preferred by the organization. Varies from AP.

Theatre UCF

Thomas L. Keon Testing Center

times Use this style:

            10:30 a.m. (colon separating hours and minutes; lowercase a.m.)

            2 p.m. (unnecessary to use 2:00 p.m.)

            8-10 a.m. (if both times are in the a.m. or p.m.)

            10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

midnight (don’t use; it is confusing as to whether it refers to the beginning or end of the day.)

titles Italicize newspapers, magazines, books, movies, plays, songs, works of art, courses, lectures, etc.

™ or ® The trademark and registered symbols are not needed in stories when referring to brand names licensed by the university.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl UCF defeated Baylor University, 52-42, on Jan. 1, 2014, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Fiesta Bowl on second reference.

Townes Laser Institute

Townes & Gown Council Council set up to develop a strong relationship between UCF and the community.

Trevor Colbourn Hall


UCF Abroad The university office that provides access to study-abroad programs.

UCF Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving Formerly UCF Alumni Association. UCF Alumni on second reference.

UCF Arboretum Capitalize when referring to the set-aside natural area on the east side of campus that provides research, education and outreach opportunities.

UCF Athletics Uses a singular verb: UCF Athletics has, UCF Athletics needs.

UCF Connect Division that includes the university’s 11 regional campuses, DirectConnect to UCF, continuing and corporate education, personal enrichment, and opportunities for faculty consulting. Formerly Regional Campuses.
The campuses are: Altamonte Springs, Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Leesburg, Ocala, Palm Bay, Sanford/Lake Mary, South Lake, Valencia East, Valencia Osceola, Valencia West.
Distinct from the UCF Connect campuses are several off-site locations from the main Orlando campus, including: Center for Emerging Media, Executive Development Center, Florida Solar Energy Center, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona, and UCF Downtown.

UCF Downtown Not Downtown UCF, UCF’s Downtown Campus or any other variation. A project of UCF and Valencia College in the Creative Village, a development by a public/private partnership for retail, commercial, office, residential and educational space. Facilities include UnionWest at Creative Village, Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, Communication and Media Building, and Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy.

UCF Foundation Acceptable in all references for University of Central Florida Foundation Inc., the official fundraising and gift beneficiary for the university.

UCF Global A program for international students.

UCF Health Two clinics operated by the College of Medicine at Lake Nona and on University Boulevard near UCF.

UCF Libraries The inclusive name for all of the university’s libraries (John C. Hitt Library, Rosen Library, etc.)

UCF Online

UCF RESTORES Clinical research center that studies anxiety, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder and is committed to helping active military, veterans, first responders and civilians who have experienced traumatic events.

UCF Stands For Opportunity Capitalize all three words in the UCF slogan.

UCF Student Health Services

undergraduate A student who has not earned a degree.

UnionWest at Creative Village A 15-story tower for UCF Downtown classrooms, residence halls, offices and restaurants; the tallest downtown building west of Interstate 4. UnionWest on second reference.

United Faculty of Florida UFF on second reference for the faculty union.

university Lowercase unless part of a proper name.

University Innovation Alliance Composed of UCF, Arizona State University, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, University of California at Riverside, University of Kansas, and The University of Texas at Austin.

University of Central Florida Spell out in first reference for public publications, and use UCF or the university on second reference. For in-house publications it is acceptable to use UCF on first reference. Do not: abbreviate any of the words, use periods or spaces, or use the term Central Florida.

University Press of Florida Official book publisher for the State University System.

University Tech Center

University Tower


University Writing Center

upperclassmen Avoid use of sexist and elitist term.

Upstarts Student Venture Accelerator

U.S. News & World Report

USPS Sands for University Support Personnel System employment classification. Acceptable on first reference but spell out the name in the story.



Valencia College Valencia acceptable on second reference. University partner at UCF Downtown.

Venue, The Facility adjacent to Addition Financial Arena for concerts, sports, banquets, trade shows, etc.

Veterans Academic Resource Center

Veterans Commemorative Site On the south end of Memory Mall.

VPK Acceptable to use abbreviation on first reference for Voluntary Prekindergarten Program, but spell out in the story.



War on I-4 Athletic rivalry series created by UCF and USF.

Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality Facility for Valencia College’s culinary arts program.

Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership

Wayne Densch Sports Center

website Use all lowercase letters, even when containing a title or an acronym. Do not use www.

White Coat Ceremony College of Medicine tradition of welcoming first-year medical students as colleagues in healthcare.

-wide No hyphen in campuswide, citywide, countywide, nationwide, statewide, universitywide, worldwide.

Women’s and Gender Studies





Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies