J School/RJI Editorial Style Home

  • Academic Degrees: If mention of degrees is necessary, the preferred form is to avoid abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as Jon Doe, who has a bachelor’s degree in History.
    • Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s, master’s.
    • Use such abbreviations as BA, MA and PhD only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome.
    • The exception: When identifying MU alumni in a profile or story about them, use this form, set off by commas, after the person’s name: Bill Doe, BS ’95, and Sally Ray, MA ’04. When they have multiple degrees from different years, use this form: Sally Ray, BS ’78, MS ’81. For multiple degrees in the same year, use this form: Bill Doe, BA, BJ ’92.
    • When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas: Bill Doe, PhD, spoke to the class.
    • Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow the name with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference, as in Bill Doe, MD.
    • Do not capitalize degrees unless abbreviated: Bill Doe, MA ’95, serves as president of his local Optimist Club or Bill Doe received a master’s degree in journalism from XYZ College.
    • See MU style guide degree abbreviations.
  • AdZou
    • One word; always capitalize A and Z.
    • On first reference, follow with: the School’s fully-integrated strategic communication agency.
      • Not: ADZOU or Adzou or Ad Zou