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SDSU Style Guide

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academic degrees

Degrees are lowercase. Use an apostrophe in bachelor's degree, a master's degree, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts. Try to avoid using abbreviations such as B.A., M.A. or D.M.A., etc. Capitalize only when referring to the official name of the degree. Note: if mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone's credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology.


  • bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications; master's degree in education
  • Bachelor of Arts in English; Master of Science in electrical engineering
  • an associate degree
  • She earned her doctorate
  • five master's degree programs
  • he is working as a postdoctoral student (no hyphen)
  • When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas: John Jones, Ph.D., spoke. However, that should be used to identify someone.
academic departments

Consider the audience when referring to South Dakota State University departments. Capitalize names of colleges, divisions, departments and committees only when using the official name.


  • the Department of Mechanical Engineering; the mechanical engineering department (shortened version)
academic titles

Academic titles should be capitalized when they precede a name, but lowercase elsewhere. Spell out formal titles such as president. In general, use professor as a title. Avoid using Ph.D. unless necessary to establish credentials and do not use professor and Ph.D. together.


  • South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn will attend the event.
  • Barry Dunn, president of South Dakota State University, will attend the event.
  • The university president will attend the event.
  • The university recognized Bill Gibbons, professor of industrial microbiology, for his accomplishments.
  • The university recognized Professor Bill Gibbons for his accomplishments.
  • Bill Gibbons, Ph.D., led the study.

Use the singular form when referring to the admission process. Use the plural form when referring to the university office.

Example: The Office of Admissions helps students with the admission process.


AP style uses adviser.

academic advisor

However, the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) prefers advisor when using the term 'academic advisor.' As a result, South Dakota State will only deviate from AP Style when using the term 'academic advisor.'


Use numerals. A 10-year-old, she just turned 7. Also, she is 7 years old (no hyphens).


Identify SDState graduates by the last two digits of their class years with an apostrophe ('99 - the curl should face left) before the year.

Example: Alumni Association President/CEO Andi Fouberg '99


Use lowercase with periods and no spaces. Avoid redundancies such as 6 p.m. tonight. If a.m. or p.m. occurs at the end of a sentence, use only one period at the end.


It is preferred that 'and' be spelled out. However, the ampersand (&) also is acceptable in all uses. For consistency, 'and' is used on university stationery, business cards, news releases, body copy and unit-specific wordmarks unless otherwise requested.

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The Barn

Official name of the building, which was built for $85,500 as the Gymnasium-Armory in 1918.


Use term - lower level.

Big 12 Conference

SDState is an affiliate member of the Big 12 Conference in wrestling. While the conference logo is XII, it uses Big 12 Conference in text.

Briggs Library

The Hilton M. Briggs Library. Home of University Archives and the Sen. Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Research Study.

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When referring to all of South Dakota State University, use university, not campus.

collective nouns

The collective nouns "faculty," "staff" and "Jackrabbits" are singular nouns. If you wish to use plural construction use "faculty members" or "members of the faculty."


  • The faculty is represented by Faculty Senate.
  • The College of Nursing's faculty members are dedicated researchers.

When using the proper name of a college, capitalize it. When using only the general term college or using college as a second reference, lowercase it.


  • The College of Nursing's office is located in Wagner Hall.
  • The college graduates 64 students each year.
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Education and Human Sciences
College of Engineering (see Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering)
College of Natural Sciences
College of Nursing
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
College of Nursing locations

On first reference, use as ... College of Nursing's Aberdeen site; College of Nursing's Rapid City site; College of Nursing's Sioux Falls site.

The Collegian

Official name of the student-run, independent newspaper

composition titles

see composition titles in the AP Stylebook

Coughlin-Alumni Stadium

Former home of the Jackrabbits' football team. The stadium opened in 1962. Following the 2015 season, the main grandstand of Coughlin–Alumni Stadium was torn down to make way for completion of Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Second reference: Coughlin-Alumni

course names

Capitalize, but don't use quotation marks: Mathematics 101; History of Journalism. Same goes for course sections: Education 495, Section 1; Political Science 456, Section 80.

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Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium

The home of the South Dakota State University football team. The facility was completed in the fall 2016.

Second reference: Dykhouse Stadium.


when using an em-dash, it's word—word (yes, no spaces)


Use figures, and spell out "inches," "feet" and "yards" for depth, height, length and width. Hyphenate dimensions when used as adjectives before nouns: Dixie is 6 feet 1 inch tall. The tunnel is 8 feet long. The 5-foot, 7-inch center is the shortest player on the court.

Distinguished professor

Capitalize. Example, Distinguished Professor Kendra Kattelmann

Division of Research and Economic Development
Division of Student Affairs
donor designations

Many buildings and rooms are named for donors. Use the full name on first reference.


  • The Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering - first reference
  • Lohr College of Engineering - second reference
  • Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College - first reference
  • Fishback Honors College - second reference
  • Cal Vaudrey Conference Room - first reference

Use residence hall.

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Ellipsis (punctuation)

Spaces around an ellipsis, e.g., "This is important … so we're moving fast."


one word, no hyphen


Preferred usage – place emeritus after a formal title.

  • Provost Emerita Carol Peterson
  • President Emeritus David Chicoine
Enrollment Services Center

Building which houses the Office of Admissions, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship and the Office of Records and Registration


SDSU Location - Jacks Esports Lounge; in a sentence it should be spelled esports

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fundraising, fundraiser

All one word with no hyphen

Financial aid office

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship is the official name

Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College

It's the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College on first reference; Fishback Honors College on second. See donor designations.

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handicapped parking

Handicapped parking is no longer considered appropriate terminology. Use accessible parking.

health care

If used as a compound modifier, it's health-care facility or health-care professional. Or use healthcare if it's the proper program or facility name, The Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program.

Hobo Day

Not Hobo Days

Hobo Week

It's Honors Hall but the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College. Capitalize if using class name Honors Chemistry 101.

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Jack the Jackrabbit

The mascot is officially named Jack the Jackrabbit. It's never Jack Rabbit.


See collective noun.

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Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering

It's the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering on first reference; Lohr College of Engineering on second reference. See donor designations.

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Are lowercase except for languages

McCrory Gardens

McCrory Gardens has more than 25 acres of formal display gardens and 45 acres of arboretum featuring hundreds of different flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses in harmonious settings to display, educate and further the development of new varieties.

McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center

Yes, it's visitor center, not visitors

Morrill Hall

Home of the university administration; formerly known as Administration Building

military titles

See AP for reference


Abbreviate January, February, August, September, October, November and December when used with a specific date: Jan. 3, 2005. Don't abbreviate when used with only a year, and don't separate the two with a comma or "of": January 2005. Spell out March, April, May, June and July.

more than, over

While both are now accepted by AP, more than is preferred

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nondegree-seeking student
nontraditional student
noon, midnight

Use noon or midnight, not 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.

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Office of the President

Second reference: the office or the president's office. The office is in Morrill Hall and is the top administrative unit at the university.

Office of the Provost
on-campus, off-campus

Use a hyphen when acting as a modifier. Do not use a hyphen when acting as two words.

online, offline

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President's Home

The official name of the structure where the university president lives. It was completed in 2017.

The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band

The Pride on second reference

Prairie Repertory Theatre

A summer theater program that holds performances in Brookings. It used to also hold performances in Brandon.


The titles of specific programs are capitalized. Titles of academic programs are not capitalized, but capitalize words that are proper nouns. Avoid abbreviations of programs.

  • Developing Scholars Program, Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program
  • history program, English program, American ethnic studies program

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residence hall

preferred term

room numbers

Communications Center, Room 105

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Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex

Use full name on first reference; S-JAC on second.
The Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex is a multipurpose indoor competition and training facility located just north of Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. The project, which cost an estimated $32 million, completed construction in fall 2014. The facility includes an eight-lane, 300-meter track and 100 yards of soy-based synthetic turf, along with space for sports medicine, athletic training, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, observation rooms and office facilities.

South Dakota Board of Regents


South Dakota State University

Second reference: South Dakota State
State is also acceptable on second reference for an on-campus or in-state audience or for publications directed at alumni.
Lowercase university when used alone.
Do not use SD-State University or S.D. State or S.D. State University.

South Dakota State University Agricultural Experiment Station
South Dakota State University Foundation
state names

Per AP, the names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base. No state name is necessary if it is the same as the dateline. This also applies to newspapers cited in a story.

State University Theatre

During the academic year, students have the opportunity to participate in four main stage shows either onstage or behind the scenes.

Students' Association

Use SA on second reference. The Students’ Association is a student government organization which advocates for students and aims to positively impact the SDState community. SA is composed of student representatives based on the college in which their major falls.

Summit League

Officially known as The Summit League, per the league headquarters. South Dakota State University is a member of The Summit League in 18 sports.

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Professor Letcher uses a 3D printer in classes. Used to be 3-D but AP recently revised,

telephone numbers

Use 605-688-xxxx. Do not use periods as in 123.555.1212.

theater, theatre

Following AP style, use theater unless named. Example, Fishback Theatre.


Don't use "Dr." before the name unless the person is a doctor of dental surgery, medicine, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine or veterinary medicine.

titles, II

Uppercase official titles that precede name, e.g., President Barry Dunn or Professor Bill Gibbons. But not descriptive titles: professor of communications Lyle Olson. Lowercase after the name: Rich Reid, associate dean.
Exceptions, before and after name: distinguished professors (see topic) and holders of endowed chairs or professorships. (Nadim Wehbe, John M. Hanson Professor in Structural and Construction Engineering).


Yes, the T is capitalized.

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Use university lowercase.

University Student Union

It is not The Union; lowercase union if used alone.


similar to citywide or campuswide

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one word

West Hall

daylong, weeklong and yearlong are all one word

World War II Memorial
West River Nursing

Former name of what is now known as the College of Nursing's Rapid City site. It has three locations, one on Mount Rushmore Road, which houses the Native American Nursing Education Center, one on 1011 11th St. and at the Black Hills State-Rapid City location.

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Use for the radiation particles themselves as well as the photographic process.


Don't use this abbreviation for Christmas

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