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Editorial Guidelines

Style and Usage

WesternU has developed some internal rules of usage for WesternU View and other publications. With some modifications, the University uses Associated Press style for its publications and website. Answers to some of the most common style questions are provided here.

Using these rules in typeset publications, such as brochures, ensures overall consistency and a professional look throughout the University. Note that style and usage for letters, forms and other printed material may differ.

If you have questions about style and usage, contact Public Affairs & Marketing,

Public Affairs & Marketing uses these rules and the Associated Press Stylebook as a reference guide. As with many institutions, some variance from the Associated Press Stylebook may apply.

Naming Standards

Capitalize the following as shown:

  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • When referring to WesternU, U should be uppercase (WesternU, never Westernu or Western U)
  • In second reference, capitalize University. When referring to WesternU, U should be uppercase.
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest on first reference, COMP-Northwest for subsequent references (never COMP-NW).
  • College of Health Sciences-Northwest on first reference, CHS-Northwest for subsequent references (never CHS-NW)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy-California on first reference, DPT-California for subsequent references (never DPT-CA)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy-Oregon on first reference, DPT-Oregon for subsequent references (never DPT-OR)
  • WesternU California and WesternU Oregon are appropriate uses for respective Pomona- and Lebanon-based colleges and programs as collectives. If the use of Lebanon and Pomona are used for directions/map purposes, leave the names of the city. Pomona campus, CHS-Northwest campus and COMP-Northwest campus are appropriate for specific properties.

Academic and Administrative Departments/Programs
Example: Department of Physical Therapy Education, Business Office, Public Affairs Department

Names of specialties should be lower case:
Example: Dr. Smith specializes in emergency medicine. Susan Smith, DO, is in family practice.

Alumnus—male singular Alumna—female singular
Alumnae—female plural Alumni—plural male or mixed

Class Years
Refer to students by their program and year of graduation.
Example: Susan Smith, PharmD ’00, or Susan Smith, DO ’99. Note that the apostrophe points to the left.

Academic/Medical Degrees
No periods
bachelor’s degree—lower case with apostrophe—or BA or BS
master’s degree—lower case with apostrophe—or MA or MS
doctorate—lower case—or PhD
MD (doctor of medicine)
DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine)
DPT (doctor of physical therapy)
MSPA (master of science in physician assistant studies)
MSHS (master of science in health sciences)
PharmD (doctor of pharmacy)
MSBPS (master of science in biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences)
DNP (doctor of nursing practice)
MSN/FNP (master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner)
MSN (master of science in nursing)
MSN-E (master of science in nursing entry program)
FNP (post-masters family nurse practitioner)
DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine)
DMD (doctor of dental medicine)
OD (doctor of optometry)
DPM (doctor of podiatric medicine)
MSMS (master of science in medical sciences)

Style and Usage

Typesetting items to look for
Spaces — In typesetting most professional publications, there should be one space between sentences, never two. Although two spaces is correct in letters or basic manuals, if typesetting for a brochure, program, or magazine that is to be printed by an outside printer, use single spacing between sentences.

Quote Marks — Use typesetter quote marks—the ones that look “curly” not the straight ones. (Straight ones are for inch marks.)

Make sure that the single quote before the year on an alum is facing like this (’89), not this (‘89). Just remember that the apostrophe goes toward the missing numerals.

Dashes — Use long dashes (called “em” dashes, look like this —), not two short (or “en,” look like this –) dashes.

Flush left preferred — In general, do not justify type. Although both the right and left columns will be even, the result will be “rivers” of white space running through the text, which looks unprofessional. In most cases, the publications will look more professional using flush left type (or in some cases, flush right or centered).

Spell check — Get in the habit of doing a spell check right before printing. This will help reduce mistakes made since the last spell check.


When mentioning accreditation by WASC, you must give WASC’s address and phone.
Example: The institution is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WASC)—985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100. Alameda, CA 94501. (510) 748-9001. Individual educational programs are accredited by their respective professional agencies.