Editorial Style Guide

Last Revised: September 2019

This style guide was developed by the ϡȱ Office of Communications. Its aim is to ensure accuracy, consistency, and clarity in ϡȱ communications.


When speaking of the ϡȱ as a whole, the "ϡȱ" should be used in its entirety upon first reference. Any of the following are acceptable for subsequent references:

  • university system;
  • ϡȱ;
  • the system.

Unacceptable references to the system as a whole include: University of ϡȱ; the University; UM; and the University of ϡȱ System.

Notes: "The" is not part of the official name of the system, and therefore should not appear as part of the name in stand-alone headers or titles or be capitalized when the system name appears in running text.

While ϡȱ is comprised of institutions, do not refer to the system itself as an institution.


Acceptable references to the ϡȱ Office include:

  • ϡȱ Office;
  • University System Office;
  • System Office;
  • ϡȱ Office.

Unacceptable references to the ϡȱ Office include: Central Administration; the acronym "ϡȱO" (unless it is first spelled out as “ϡȱ Office”); Headquarters or "ϡȱH" (within ϡȱ, “ϡȱH” refers to the ϡȱ at Hagerstown); and ϡȱ - Office.

Notes: The ϡȱ Office is a "unit" of the ϡȱ. It should not be referred to as an institution or a component; nor should it be counted as one of the 12 ϡȱ institutions.

The ϡȱ Office comprises several offices: Office of the Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Administration and Finance, Office of Advancement, Office of Communications, Office of Economic Development, Office of Internal Audit, Office of Advancement, and Office of Government Relations.

The ϡȱ comprises 12 institutions, three regional higher education centers, and one system office. Names may be listed in either founding-date or alphabetical order, depending on the intended purpose and audience. Founding-date order is usually reserved for official state documents, while alphabetical order is more appropriate for public reference.

Generally, the word "campus" refers to the physical site of an institution. Writers may, however, refer to ϡȱ’s degree-granting institutions as campuses for brevity's sake. In these cases, care should be taken to represent ϡȱ campuses as distinct institutions.

Acceptable references to any of the 12 members of the system include "institution" and "member institution."

The Universities at Shady Grove and the ϡȱ at Hagerstown should be referred to as the ϡȱ's regional higher education centers. They should not be described or listed as one of ϡȱ's institutions.

Upon second reference and thereafter, the Universities at Shady Grove may be referred to as USG; do not refer to it as "Shady Grove." The ϡȱ at Hagerstown may be abbreviated and referred to as ϡȱH.

When referring to one of ϡȱ’s institutions, the institution's full name should be used on first reference; acronyms may be used in subsequent references. Note the proper use of commas in the full names of the institutions.

The institutions of the ϡȱ, in founding-date order, are:

Degree-Granting Institutions

1807 University of ϡȱ, Baltimore (UMB)

1856 University of ϡȱ, College Park (UMCP)

1865 Bowie State University (BSU)

1866 Towson University (TU)

1886 University of ϡȱ Eastern Shore (UMES)

1898 Frostburg State University (FSU)

1900 Coppin State University (CSU)

1925 Salisbury University (SU)

1925 University of Baltimore (UB)

1947 University of ϡȱ Global Campus (UMGC)

1966 University of ϡȱ, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Research Center

1925 University of ϡȱ Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)

Following is the list of the ϡȱ institutions in alphabetical order:

Degree-Granting Institutions

Bowie State University (BSU)

Coppin State University (CSU)

Frostburg State University (FSU)

Salisbury University (SU)

Towson University (TU)

University of Baltimore (UB)

University of ϡȱ, Baltimore (UMB)

University of ϡȱ, Baltimore County (UMBC)

University of ϡȱ, College Park (UMCP)

University of ϡȱ Eastern Shore (UMES)

University of ϡȱ Global Campus (UMGC)

Research Center

University of ϡȱ Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)

Notes: While the state legislature allows both the University of ϡȱ, Baltimore and University of ϡȱ, College Park to use the name "University of ϡȱ," for the sake of clarity, we urge communicators to avoid using "University of ϡȱ" on a stand-alone basis. When referring to one of the professional schools at UMB, use "University of ϡȱ" and the name of the school (e.g. University of ϡȱ School of Law).

Do not refer to UMB as the "Baltimore City campus," which implies that it is part of another ϡȱ institution. UMB is one of ϡȱ’s 12 distinct institutions.

The University of ϡȱ Medical System (UMMS) is a private, not-for-profit medical system that comprises University of ϡȱ Medical Center, Kernan Hospital, University Specialty Hospital, ϡȱ General Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center (formerly North Arundel Hospital), and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. UMMS has a close working relationship with the University of ϡȱ School of Medicine; University of ϡȱ Medical Center is on the campus of the University of ϡȱ, Baltimore and all of its staff physicians are on the faculty of the Medical School.


Use the following language on all published materials that describe ϡȱ programs or services available to the public:

The ϡȱ is an equal opportunity organization with respect to both education and employment. ϡȱ’s policies, programs, and activities are in conformance with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on non-discrimination regarding race, color, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, and handicap.

The following short version may also be used:

ϡȱ is an equal opportunity organization.

Submit questions, comments, and feedback to usmnews@usmd.edu.