Johns Hopkins University Style Guide


These guidelines were compiled by editors in the Office of Communications to encourage consistency and correct usage of terms across the many publications produced by JHU offices. The guidelines draw from the 56th edition of The Associated Press Stylebook and the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. Written from a Johns Hopkins point of view, the guidelines are intended to complement AP and CMOS and, when those sources disagree, to choose between them. For points not addressed in the university guidelines, AP is the preferred source. For points not listed in AP, use the dictionary it recommends: Webster’s New World College Dictionary. When the dictionary gives two spellings, use the first one; when the dictionary and AP give different spellings, use AP’s.

A number of individual JHU publications have their own style guidelines, more detailed and directed to handling specialized content. Johns Hopkins Medicine, for example, has posted its Branding Guidelines. The guidelines below will supplement those already existing and contribute to the effort to bring overall consistency to university publications.

Names: Johns Hopkins University and its divisions

The Johns Hopkins University / The Johns Hopkins Hospital

The preferred shortened name for Johns Hopkins University is Johns Hopkins. Although we discourage the use of Hopkins alone, it is sometimes acceptable, for example, when Johns Hopkins appears repeatedly. The acronym JHU can be used as a shortened form in informal or internal communications.

Capitalize “The” as part of the Hopkins name only when the name stands alone, as in a program or invitation. In running copy, do not capitalize “the”; either lowercase it or leave it out. Ronald J. Daniels is president of the Johns Hopkins University (or of Johns Hopkins University).

To refer to two entities, for example the university and health system, name both of them:

The Johns Hopkins University and Health System, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. Avoid such terms as Johns Hopkins Institutions, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and Homewood Schools.

On second reference, lowercase university, hospital, and health system when they replace the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System.

Johns Hopkins Health System

This term refers to a legal entity. It comprises the Johns Hopkins Health System Corp., Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Johns Hopkins Employer Health Programs, Howard County General Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, and Suburban Hospital. (The School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC, and the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group are not part of the Johns Hopkins Health System. They are, however, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine.)

Johns Hopkins Medicine: This term does not refer to a legal entity. It should be used when referring collectively to the following: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Health System Corp., the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Johns Hopkins Employer Health Programs, Johns Hopkins HealthCare, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group and subsidiaries, Johns Hopkins Medicine International, Howard County General Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, and Suburban Hospital.

Names of divisions

Except for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the names of all the university’s divisions are preceded by Johns Hopkins University, e.g., the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. As a shortened form, it is also correct to leave out University in this usage: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. University is always omitted with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Johns Hopkins University comprises nine degree-granting, or academic, divisions and the Applied Physics Laboratory. The list below gives the formal name of each division, followed by acceptable shortened forms.

The Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Krieger School, the School of Arts and Sciences, Arts and Sciences, KSAS.

The Johns Hopkins University G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering

Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, the Whiting School, the School of Engineering, Engineering, WSE.

The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School (never the School of Business or the W.P. Carey School of Business, which is at Arizona State University), Carey School, Carey. The acronym CBS may be used for brevity on second reference but not in marketing, advertising, or social media. It should not be used to shorten the name of a functional unit within the school, e.g., CBS Human Resources, CBS Communications.

The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University

Peabody Institute, Peabody. It has two parts, the Conservatory and the Preparatory. The phrase “of Music” is not attached to the Peabody name. Avoid using Institute without Peabody because used alone Institute would be lowercase.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS. In addition to its home in Washington, D.C., it has two campuses abroad: in Italy, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Europe; in China, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, whose full name is the Johns Hopkins University–Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. Shortened names for these campuses are SAIS Europe (or SAIS Europe in Bologna when specifically designating location) and the HNC.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Johns Hopkins School of Education, Education, SOE.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Medicine, SOM.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Nursing, SON.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Bloomberg School, School of Public Health, BSPH.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

APL, the Laboratory, the Lab.

Style guidelines


abbreviations and acronyms
Do not follow an organization’s full name with an acronym in parentheses. If an acronym would not be clear without this arrangement, do not use it. Using the acronym soon after the full name will usually make the connection clear. For example: Use massive open online course on first reference and MOOC shortly thereafter. An alternative is to use or: The School of Public Health offers a variety of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Some acronyms, like CEO, NPR/NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN, and OB-GYN, CPR, DNA, FBI, are so familiar that they can be used on first reference.

Among the frequently used acronyms for Johns Hopkins programs, centers, and departments are APL (Applied Physics Laboratory), BLC (Brody Learning Commons) CCP (Center for Communication Programs), CSOS (Center for Social Organization of Schools), CTY (Center for Talented Youth), EP (Engineering for Professionals), E2SHI (Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute), IBBS (Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences), ICE (Institute for Cell Engineering), INBT (Institute for NanoBioTechnology), MSEL (Milton S. Eisenhower Library), JHOC (Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center). Also used frequently is STScI for Space Telescope Science Institute, a science center located on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus and operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. See also Names: Johns Hopkins University and its divisions, above.

academic and administrative titles
Titles that follow a name are lowercased; the exceptions are named professorships and deanships, which are capped even when they follow a name.

When a formal title precedes a name, capitalize it but lowercase words that modify the title: Professor Kit Bowen, chemistry Professor Kit Bowen, Associate Professor Benjamin Dodson, former Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody, English Department Chair Douglas Mao, Vice President Branville Bard Jr. Do not use the title “Dr.” before anyone’s name.

With lowercase titles that follow names, the capitalization of the discipline or department is determined by the usage:

professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences (lowercase psychiatry and behavioral sciences because you’re talking about the academic discipline, not a department);

research professor in Physics and Astronomy at the Krieger School (capitalize Physics and Astronomy because you’re talking about the department, not the discipline);

director of African Studies at SAIS (capitalize African Studies because you’re talking about a program, not a discipline).

academic degrees Omit periods (MD, PhD) but avoid abbreviations when possible: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology. Capitalize the formal name of a degree (Master of Arts) but lowercase the discipline (Master of Arts in history) and the informal name (master’s degree in history). With the exception of copy about Johns Hopkins alumni, do not follow a person’s name with academic degrees. See also: Affiliations.

academic departments Capitalize both the formal name of the department and the flip-flopped name: Department of History, History Department. Also capitalize the shortened form for a department (a joint appointment in History and Art History). In most cases, use the formal name unless it becomes too cumbersome. In plural constructions, lowercase departments of and capitalize the discipline: the departments of History and Political Science or the History and Political Science departments. (Note, however, the use of lowercase when the discipline, not the department, is intended: John Smith is studying history and political science.)

accent marks Some words, such as premiere, are listed without an accent in AP and with an accent in Webster’s New World College Dictionary; follow AP. See also foreign words.

adviser Not advisor.

African American Do not hyphenate either the noun or the adjective. This rule applies to all terms of dual heritage: Asian American, Mexican American. See race-related coverage.

ages Always use figures.

Agora Institute See SNF Agora Institute.

aka Abbreviation for also known as.

alphabetization of surnames Hyphenated surnames should be alphabetized by the first element: Susan Brown-Smith. With compound surnames that are not hyphenated, alphabetization depends on usage. If Jane Jones Alexander is regularly called “Jones Alexander” on second reference, alphabetize by “J.” If she prefers to be known as “Alexander,” alphabetize by “A.”

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae, alum All these forms are acceptable: alumnus, alumni for men; alumna, alumnae for women; or alum, alums if a gender-neutral term is desired.

ampersand Use only when the ampersand is part of the formal name of a department, division, company, etc.: U.S. News & World Report, Evergreen Museum & Library, Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins, Benefits & Worklife. Do not use an ampersand to avoid the repetition of and, as in, the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering are based at Homewood. Instead, spell “and”: the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

Anne M. Pinkard Building, School of Nursing



archives The Milton S. Eisenhower Library has two named archives: the Ferdinand Hamburger Jr. Archives and the Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection; the School of Medicine’s archives are the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Although Archives is plural, each collection mentioned here takes a singular verb.

Arellano Theater

Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality

Arthur Friedheim Library



Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins   


the Beach

Berman Institute of Bioethics An academic center supported by BSPH, SOM, SON, and KSAS. Full name is Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics; an acceptable shortened name is the Berman Institute.

bestseller, bestselling

big data

Big Ten The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team became an affiliate member of this NCAA Division I conference on July 1, 2014, and began play in 2015. Johns Hopkins must always be referred to as an affiliate member.

blogs Titles of named blogs should be italicized. Titles of blog entries should be in quotation marks.

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor BDP acceptable on second reference.

Blue Jays Use the plural, even as an adjective: a Blue Jays lacrosse fan, a Blue Jays uniform. But: Bob Smith is proud to be a Blue Jay.

board of trustees Lowercase: Johns Hopkins University board of trustees.

British spellings Use a British spelling only when it appears in the formal name: Program in Theatre Arts and Studies, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. If the word with the British spelling is mentioned elsewhere in the paragraph or story and is not part of a formal name, use the American spelling, despite the inconsistency.

Bufano Sculpture Garden

Bunting Blaustein Cancer Research Building Full name is The Bunting Family and Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Family Cancer Research Building. Do not capitalize The in running copy.

Bunting Meyerhoff Interfaith and Community Service Center


campus Lowercase: Homewood campus, East Baltimore campus, Mount Washington campus, Keswick campus. Exception: Montgomery County Campus.

canceled, canceling

cancer center Formal name is the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Shortened name is Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. When used alone, cancer center is lowercase (like university and hospital).

capitalization on second reference Words like university, hospital, institute, department, center should not be capped on second reference. Exceptions: the Conservatory, the Preparatory, the Press, the Laboratory/the Lab (for APL), the Academy (an institute for advanced study for retired Krieger School of Arts and Sciences professors).

Carnegie Institution for Science

catalog, cataloging Not catalogue, cataloguing.


Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Johns Hopkins

Center for Communication Programs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Takes a singular verb; CDC is the acronym.

child care

The Children’s Center Full name is the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center.

Civil and Systems Engineering, Department of New name for Department of Civil Engineering.

colloquium, colloquia

Class of 2024 Capitalize Class.

colon Capitalize the first word after a colon in a headline or if it’s a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence.

comma Use a serial comma (i.e., before and in a series): the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health. If a serial comma does not appear in a proper name (Department of Family, Population and Reproductive Health), don’t add it.

Commencement Capitalize when referring to the university’s end-of-year ceremonies. Also cap Commencement Day.

company, companies If a company uses either word at the end of its name, abbreviate as Co. or Cos. in most cases.

composition titles Permissible changes to titles are discussed in CMOS 8.165. For capitalization style, follow AP and cap the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. For guidelines on italicizing titles of musical works, follow CMOS. Operas, oratorios, tone poems, and other long compositions are italicized and given standard title capitalization (CMOS 8.194). If an instrumental work is known by its generic name (symphony, concerto, quartet, etc.), it should not be italicized or put in quotation marks (Beethoven’sNinth Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem). Descriptive titles (e.g., Beethoven’s symphonies Pastoral and Eroica) are italicized.

An official album title is italicized (CMOS 8.197).

Songs and other shorter musical compositions are set in roman and enclosed in quotation marks (CMOS 8.194).

Books and periodicals are italicized and capitalized headline-style (CMOS 8.159, 8.168).

Movies, television and radio programs, and series are italicized. A single episode in a television or radio series is set in roman and enclosed in quotation marks (CMOS 8.189).

Video games, including franchises, are treated like movies and italicized.

Website titles are set in roman; titled sections of a website are in quotation marks. Titles of podcasts and podcast series are set in italics. Blog titles are usually italicized, and blog posts use roman and quotation marks (CMOS 8.191–92).

Cordish Lacrosse Center


corporation Abbreviate when a name ends with “Corporation” (Johns Hopkins Health System Corp.); spell elsewhere (the Corporation for Public Broadcasting).

course titles Do not italicize course titles or use quotation marks around them.

course work


cross section

CT scan


data Takes a singular verb and pronouns in general copy: Data has been collected from many countries. In scientific and academic writing, plural verbs and pronouns are preferred.

dates, times, years Use figures for days of the month, without nd, rd, st, th: April 2, not April 2nd. Do not use the year when referring to the month and day within a current year. When the day and the month are both mentioned, use commas around the year (Dec. 7, 1941, is the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor). No commas are needed with a month and year (October 2014).

day care

Decker Gardens Bordered by the Greenhouse, Nichols House, and the Johns Hopkins Club.


dimensions Use figures for the numbers and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc.

disabilities Refer to the updated entry in the 56th edition of the AP Stylebook. A summary of the updates can be found on the National Center on Disability Journalism’s website.


Eager Park The neighborhood near the East Baltimore campus that is named for the 5.5-acre park at its center. See EBDI.

earth Generally lowercase but capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet. She is down-to-earth. How does the pattern apply to Mars, Jupiter, Earth, the sun, and the moon? The astronauts looked down on the Earth from space. He hopes to move heaven and earth. Thomas Haine is a professor of Earth and planetary sciences.

EBDI East Baltimore Development Initiative is a name no longer in use. The redeveloped tract of land north of the East Baltimore campus is now called Eager Park.          

editor-in-chief Capitalize the nouns when this title precedes a name and always use hyphens. Other examples are artist-in-residence and surgeon-in-chief.

elder care

email In print copy, if it is necessary to break an email address or a URL, do so at the end of a line. Such a break should be made between elements if at all possible: after a colon or a double slash; before or after an equal sign or an ampersand; or before a single slash, a period, or any other punctuation or symbols. To avoid confusion, an address that contains a hyphen should never be broken at the hyphen, nor should a hyphen be added to break an email address or URL. If a particularly long element must be broken to avoid a loose line, it should be broken between syllables according to the guidelines offered above (CMOS 7.46).

em dash Most often used in pairs to set off a phrase: More than 1,000 members of the university community—deans, trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni—helped refine the plan.

en dash Used with inclusive numbers (pages 8–10, the years 2012–13) and in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements is compound: a Nobel Prize–winning astrophysicist, the Johns Hopkins–led study. An abbreviated compound, such as U.S., is treated as a single word and therefore uses a hyphen, rather than an en dash, in compounds. A single word or prefix should be joined to a hyphenated compound by another hyphen rather than an en dash; if the result is awkward, reword (CMOS 6.80): a two-thirds-full auditorium; better, an auditorium that was two-thirds full.

Engineering for Professionals EP on second reference.

entitled “Titled,” not “entitled,” for titles of books, movies, etc.

Environmental Health and Engineering, Department of Formed in 2016 from the merger of the Department of Geography and Engineering in the Whiting School and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Epic The name of the electronic medical record software used by health care providers at Johns Hopkins. It is not an acronym.

euro, euros

European Union Spell on first reference, then use EU (no periods).

Evergreen Museum & Library Use singular  verb.

exhibitions Italicize titles of exhibitions.


Fell’s Point

fiscal year AP uses fiscal 2022, but alternative terms can be used: FY21, FY 2022, fiscal year 2022

flexible spending account (FSA)

-fold No hyphen: twofold, fourfold, hundredfold.

follow-up (noun, adjective), follow up (verb)

foreign words Italicize foreign words only if they are italicized in Webster’s New World College Dictionary or not listed there. See also accent marks.

Friends of the Libraries Use singular verbs and pronouns.

from … to When from introduces a range, the word to must complete it: The seminar is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Using a hyphen instead of to is incorrect in this construction.

frontline/front line One word when used as an adjective, two words when used as a noun.

full time (adverb), full-time (adjective)

fundraiser, fundraising




gender-neutral language Helpful techniques for achieving gender-neutral language are listed in CMOS 5.255 and in AP under gender.

When referring to a nonspecific person (e.g., one, everyone, a student), use they/them/their as well as the phrase he or she sparingly, and only when you can’t find a work-around for the sentence. CMOS 5.255 suggests several methods to rewrite sentences to achieve gender-neutral language, including omitting the pronoun, repeating the noun, or using an article instead of a pronoun. 

Instead of: Everyone has his or her own opinion about the controversial book or Everyone has their own opinion about the controversial book, rewrite to: Everyone has an opinion about the controversial book.

Instead of: A student must consult with his adviser prior to Commencement or A student must consult with their adviser prior to Commencement, rewrite to: All students must consult with their advisers prior to Commencement or A student/adviser meeting is required prior to Commencement.

However, when referencing a specific person who does not identify as a male or female, they, them, or their may be used as the person’s pronoun, particularly if the person is referenced several times in a story and writing around the pronoun would be awkward. Note that this rule differs from AP’s suggestion to use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or to otherwise reword the sentence whenever possible. It is advisable to explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun.

Instead of: Sam Smith is best known for his hit song “Stay With Me,” rewrite to: Sam Smith, who uses they/them/their pronouns, is best known for their hit song “Stay With Me.” This option is ideal if Sam Smith is referenced several times in the story. Subsequent references to Sam Smith may then use they, them, or their. Also acceptable: Sam Smith is best known for the hit song “Stay With Me.” This option is ideal if this is the only reference to Sam Smith.

Here are some gender language issues that are likely to come up in Hopkins publications:

  • Chairman and chairwoman are acceptable when they refer to specific people; otherwise use chair.       
  • Use first-year student instead of freshman.       
  • Do not use made-up words like s/he.
  • For Latinx, see entry below.

gender-affirming surgery, gender affirmation surgery

Genetic Medicine, Department of Formerly Institute of Genetic Medicine.

George Peabody Library Part of the Sheridan Libraries, though located adjacent to the Peabody Institute. Always include “George” in the name to avoid a reader’s assuming that this library is part of the Peabody Institute.

–goer One word: concertgoer, moviegoer, picnicgoer.

grade, grader Usually no hyphen—first grader, first grade student. Exception: With two ordinal numbers, use a hyphen to avoid confusion: He was the second fourth-grader to finish the project.

Grand Rounds

Greater Baltimore

Gyn/Ob The letters are abbreviations, not acronyms.



headlines Upper- and lowercase headline styles are both acceptable. For lowercase style, follow AP, headlines; for uppercase, see CMOS 8:159. A few points: In uppercase style, caitalize prepositions of four or more letters. Enclose in single quotation marks titles and other words that are normally italicized. Also use single quotes in callouts. If the typeis all caps, follow that style with all letters MCDONALD, not McDONALD. Designers have free rein in headlines of features and do not need to follow these rules.

health care Two words unless spelled as one word in the official title of an organization, bill, etc. e.g., Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare. Do not hyphenate as an adjective.

Henderson-Hopkins School Formal name is Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School. It’s a contract school, not a charter school.

high-deductible health plan (HDHP)

HIPAA An acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Avoid using the term, if possible; use instead, “privacy laws” or “the federal law restricting release of medical information.” If HIPAA is used in a quote, explain it.

historic, historical Precede with a, not an


Homewood Schools Avoid using this term to refer to the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. Better to name the two schools.

honorary degrees All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree is honorary. Do not use “Dr.” before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary.

hourlong, hourslong

hyphen Both AP and Chicago prefer a spare hyphenation style. If no suitable example or analogy can be found in either stylebook (AP Punctuation section, under “hyphen” and CMOS 7.89) or in the dictionary, hyphenate only if doing so will aid readability.
Hyphenate and a half only if used as a compound adjective: one and a half inches, a one-and-a-half-inch margin.
Hyphenate well combinations before a noun but not after: He is a well-regarded scholar. He is well regarded.
Do not hyphenate then as an adjective: then President Barack Obama.
Do not hyphenate dollar amount: She signed a 10-year, $250 million contract.
Do not hyphenate certain words, even when used as adjectives: high school class, health care law, child care provider.
Do not hyphenate very and adverbs ending in –ly (a highly regarded author, a very good student).


incorporated Abbreviate and capitalize as Inc. when used as a part of a corporate name. Do not set off with commas: Time Warner Inc. announced its new plan. Often Inc. does not have to be included when the company is mentioned in running copy.

initials If an entire name is abbreviated (e.g., MLK, JFK), omit spaces and periods (CMOS 10.12). When an individual uses initials instead of a first name (e.g., H.L. Mencken, J.K. Rowling), use periods with no space between the initials. Use a single initial (e.g., J. Jones) only when it is the individual’s preference or a first name cannot be learned.


Intersession Capitalize when referring to the JHU academic term during winter break.

Institute for Health and Social Policy Part of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; formerly, the Institute for Policy Studies in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

italics In addition to the italicized items listed above in composition titles and paintings, statues, and such, named blogs, ships and other vessels (but not abbreviations such as USS or HMS), exhibitions, and symposium series need to be italicized. Names of space programs, e.g., Project Apollo and New Frontiers, are capitalized but not italicized; names of specific spacecraft, e.g., New Horizons and Parker Solar Probe, are italicized.



JHU Forums on Race in America Use a plural verb and pronouns or add the word “series” and use a singular verb.

Johns Hopkins at Green Spring Station, Johns Hopkins at Eastern, Johns Hopkins at Keswick, Johns Hopkins at Mt. Washington

Johns Hopkins Health System SeeNames: Johns Hopkins University and its divisions, at the front of these guidelines.

Johns Hopkins Institutions The use of this term is discouraged. Instead, name the schools or divisions separately: The Johns Hopkins University and Health System, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine.  

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions The use of this term is discouraged. It is sometimes used to refer collectively to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Johns Hopkins University divisions See Names: Johns Hopkins University and its divisions, at the front of these guidelines.

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center This is the official name of the university’s building in Washington, D.C., at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. is also an acceptable first reference; Hopkins Bloomberg Center is acceptable on second reference. (In visual expressions that include the JHU logo, Bloomberg Center may be used to avoid visual redundancy).

Johns Hopkins University president’s name President Daniels can be referred to as either Ronald J. Daniels or Ron Daniels, depending on the formality of the context: At the annual Lighting of the Quads, President Ron Daniels pulled the ceremonial switch, illuminating thousands of twinkling lights throughout the Homewood campus.

Johns Hopkins University/Johns Hopkins Hospital In running copy, the university and hospital do not need to retain the capitalized The traditionally used with their formal names. In stand-alone copy, however, it is often appropriate to keep the capitalized The. When used as shortened forms of JHU and JHH, university and hospital should not be capitalized. The preferred shortened name of the university and hospital is Johns Hopkins rather than Hopkins.

joint versus separate possession When two nouns “possess” the same thing, they are considered a unit, and only the second element takes the possessive form: Donald J. Leopold and Lytton John Musselman’s Wildflowers of the Adirondacks was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2020. (The book was co-authored by Leopold and Musselman.) When two nouns possess different things, both take the possessive form: Jane Merritt’s and Sharon Ann Murphy’s books are also available from Hopkins Press (Chicago 7.23).

Jr., Sr. Abbreviate junior and senior only with full names of persons or animals. Do not use commas around Jr. or Sr.: Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration. In named professorships and endowed deanships, however, retain the commas if they are used.


Koch Cancer Research Building


Latinx Limit to quotations, names of organizations, or descriptions of individuals who request it and indicate that it’s being used at the request of the person described. Otherwise, use Latino/Latinos for men, Latina/Latinas for women. Hispanic/Hispanics is an alternative. See more under race-related coverage.




-like Hyphenate only if the letter L would be tripled or if the main word is a proper noun: The Homewood campus has 140 parklike acres.

Live Near Your Work program

login, logon, logoff Use closed as a noun, open as a verb: This is a secure login page; you need a password to log in.





-making/-maker Some words forming compounds with “maker/making” are spelled solid: policymaking, filmmaker, drugmaker.Hyphenate in both noun and adjective forms compounds that are not listed in AP or Webster’s, such as decision-maker, decision-making.

Malone Hall

manikin Correct spelling for medical figure (not mannequin).

MICA Acceptable on first reference instead of Maryland Institute College of Art.

Mason Hall Admissions and visitors center at Homewood.

Materials Science and Engineering

Mattin Center

McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine

medical campus Don’t use this term; use East Baltimore campus instead.


Messenger spacecraft Not MESSENGER.

Mind/Brain Institute Full name is Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.

Mount Vernon

Mt. Washington Conference Center

movie titles See composition titles.

museums Evergreen Museum & Library, Homewood Museum. The term Johns Hopkins University Museums refers only to the historic house museums, Homewood and Evergreen. The Archaeological Museum is part of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

myChoices, myLearning, myStrength, mySupport Lowercase “my” except when starting a sentence, when it is capped: MySupport helped me in the past. I frequently go to mySupport programs for help.


named deanships Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering; James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums.

named departments Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (KSAS), Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy (KSAS), W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (JHSPH), Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience (SOM), Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science (SOM). We seldom use the name of the department in stories.

named professorships Capitalize named professorships: Lawrence Principe is the Drew Professor of the Humanities. Note that one holds a chair or a professorship: Natalia Trayanova holds the Murray B. Sachs Professorship in Biomedical Engineering. It is also acceptable to say that Trayanova is the Murray B. Sachs Professor. For a complete list, go to the university’s official directory, the Named Professorship, Deanships, and Directorships website at

names with unusual capitalization Names of companies, organizations, or magazines that use all caps in their logos and letterhead may follow an upper- and lowercase style: Time magazine, not TIME; the Rand Corp., not the RAND Corp.; Jhpiego, not JHPIEGO. Names like eBay, iTunes, and iPod do not need their initial letters capped at the beginning of a sentence. Names with caps in the middle should retain those caps: GlaxoSmithKline, Institute for NanoBioTechnology.

NIH No need to use “the” before the acronym.

NIH institutes, offices, and centers For a list of the institutes, go to .

the News-Letter Shortened form for The Johns Hopkins News-Letter.

Newton H. White Jr. Athletic Center

NGO Nongovernmental organization. Spell out at first use, then use acronym (do not place acronym in parentheses at first use). Per AP, use NGO sparingly.

No. 1 AP style uses the abbreviation with a figure to indicate position or rank.

Nobel laureate See AP under Nobel Prize, Nobel Prizes for a full discussion.

non- In general, no hyphen in forming a compound where non means not, even if the second word doubles the consonant: nonnuclear, nonnegotiable. Hyphenate if the second word has a special meaning or is a proper noun, e.g., non-Euclidian geometry, and if the prefixprecedes a compound: non-meat-eating students.

nonprofit (n. and adj.)

nonsexist language See gender neutral language.

numerals Follow AP style:

Ages: Always use numerals.

Grades: Follow AP rules for ordinal numbers (e.g., fifth grade, 12th grade).

Scores (games, sports): Always use numerals.

Time: Use a comma to separate hours and minutes: Susan Brown Smith completed the race in 3 hours, 45 minutes (not 3 hours and 45 minutes).

Dimensions, formulas, speeds: Always use numerals: He is 5 feet, 6 inches tall. He drove 4 miles.


Office of Multicultural Affairs  

orthopedics Orthopedics is the first dictionary spelling. Use the second spelling, orthopaedics, only when it is part of a proper noun: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Lee Riley III is an orthopedist.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University Formerly the Evergreen Society.


page numbers Write out page and use figures: Business guru Norm Augustine (interviewed in “Storms in the Economic Forecast,” page 16) offers a prescription for enhancing U.S competitiveness.

paintings, statues, and such Titles of paintings, drawings, photographs, statues, and other works of art are italicized, whether the titles are original, added by someone other than the artist, or translated. The names of works of antiquity (whose creators are often unknown) are usually set in roman (see CMOS 8.198).

the Parkway The theater’s full name is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway, often shortened to the Parkway or SNF Parkway.

Peabody Institute Peabody Institute comprises two divisions: the Conservatory and the Preparatory. Conservatory and Preparatory retain their initial caps because the schools are known by those names. Avoid using Institute without Peabody because used alone Institute would be lowercase.

Peace Corps The term returned Peace Corps volunteers is often abbreviated as RPCVs on second reference.

permissible changes Use discretion in correcting grammatical mistakes in quoted copy. Do make the correction if the mistake might be embarrassing to the speaker and the correction doesn’t change the tone of the quote. If, however, the proposed change is not consistent with the tone of the passage quoted, don’t make it. In titles of works or names of organizations, incorrectly capitalized prepositions can be lowercased: Vision to Learn, Teach for America.

percent Use the % sign with a number instead of writing the word “percent.” If there is an “of” phrase, the words after “of” determine whether the verb is singular or plural. The story reported that 50% of Baltimoreans were concerned about the symphony. The story reported that 50% of the crowd was rowdy.

plural of Latin nouns Use the form that Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists first: curricula, symposiums.

possession See joint versus separate possession.

possessives Three examples to note in Johns Hopkins usage: campus’s, SAIS’, and Johns Hopkins’. See AP possessives for a complete discussion.

postdoctoral, postdoc

pre- Generally, do not hyphenate words beginning with the prefix pre-, even when the second syllable starts with “e”: preempt, preeminent, preestablish. Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary, hyphenating if not included there or if the next syllable is a proper noun: pre-Commencement celebrations.

premiere/premier Premiere (no accent, per AP) can function as a noun meaning first performance, as an adjective meaning the lead or first performer, or as a verb meaning to give a first performance. Premier is either an adjective or a noun: As an adjective, it means chief, key, first in importance. This discovery is of premier importance to people with ALS. As a noun, it is used for the title of the prime minister of certain countries.

preventive, not preventative

principal investigator Lowercase.



quads on Homewood campus The upper and lower quads should be referred to by their proper names: Keyser Quadrangle or Keyser Quad (upper quad), Wyman Quadrangle or Wyman Quad (lower quad), Decker Quadrangle or Decker Quad (south quad).


race-related coverage, excerpted from The Associated Press Stylebook 2019

  • African American No hyphen (a change in 2019 for this and other dual heritage terms). Acceptable for an American Black person of African descent. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. Americans of Caribbean heritage, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean American. Follow a person’s preference.
  • dual heritage No hyphen (a change in 2019 from previous style) for terms such as African American, Asian American, Italian American, and Filipino American, used when relevant to refer to an American person’s heritage.
  • Black, white Capitalize Black as an adjective in a racial, ethnic, or cultural sense: Black people, Black culture, Black literature, Black studies, Black  colleges. Capitalizing Black recognizes that language has evolved, along with the understanding that especially in the United States, the term reflects a shared identity and culture rather than a skin color alone. Since white people generally do not share a common history and heritage, white stays lowercase.
  • brown Avoid this broad and imprecise term in racial, ethnic, or cultural references unless as part of a direct quotation. Interpretations of what the term includes vary widely.
  • Caucasian Avoid as a synonym for white, unless in a quotation.
  • Latino, Latina Latino is often the preferred noun or adjective for a person from, or whose ancestors were from, a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. Latina is the feminine form. For the plural, some prefer the recently coined gender-neutral term Latinx, which should be confined to quotations, names of organizations, or descriptions of individuals who request it and should be accompanied by a short explanation. Hernandez prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx. For groups of females, use the plural Latinas; for groups of males or of mixed gender, use the plural LatinosHispanics is also generally acceptable for those in the U.S. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, or Mexican American.
  • Hispanic A person from—or whose ancestors were from—a Spanish-speaking land or culture. Latino, Latina, and Latinx are sometimes preferred. Follow the person’s preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rica, or Mexican American.
  • American Indians, Native Americans Both are acceptable terms in general references for those in the U.S. when referring to two or more people of different tribal affiliations. For individuals, use the name of the tribe; if that information is not immediately available, try to obtain it. He is a Navajo commissioner. She is a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Some tribes and tribal nations use member; others use citizen. If in doubt, use citizen. In Alaska, the Indigenous groups are collectively known as Alaska Natives.
    • First Nation is the preferred term for native tribes in Canada.
    • Indian is used to describe the peoples and cultures of the South Asian nation of India. Do not use the term as a shorthand for American Indians.
  • Orient, Oriental Do not use when referring to East Asian nations and their peoples. Asian is the acceptable term for an inhabitant of those regions.
  • Indigenous (adj.) Capitalize this term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place. Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of Indigenous relations in Australia. Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples represent some 62% of the population.

Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation and Well-Being

Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion In other uses, road map is two words.

room numbers The room number follows the building: Gilman 148.  If “room” is used, cap it: Gilman, Room 119.

row house


Schafler Auditorium Located in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy.

Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins Part of Eager Park. In running copy, “and” can be substituted for the plus sign.

service centers Capitalize: Sponsored Projects, Accounts Payable, Fixed Assets, Payroll.

Shaffer Auditorium Located in Shaffer Hall, Homewood campus.

Sheikh Zayed Tower Acceptable even on first reference for Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower. 

Sheridan Libraries They encompass the Brody Learning Commons, the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and its collections at the Albert D. Hutzler Reading Room (“the Hut”) in Gilman Hall, the John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen, and the George Peabody Library at Mount Vernon Place. Use a plural verb and pronouns with Sheridan Libraries. Hyphenate the different floors, called Levels, of MSEL: Level-M, Level-A, etc.

shuttle Cap shuttle in this usage: Homewood-JHMI Shuttle.


Smokler Center for Jewish Life in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building Hopkins Hillel is located here.

SNF Agora Institute A joint venture of the university and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the institute was founded in 2017 to promote civic engagement globally and to strengthen the ability to communicate among people holding different beliefs. The formal name is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

Social Security

Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

Sr. See Jr., Sr.

startup, start up One word as a noun or adjective; two words as a verb.       

state abbreviations In running copy, spell out the names of states.

STEM Acceptable on first reference for science, technology, engineering, and math, but spell out the full phrase shortly afterward.

Stieff Building

Stony Run

St. Paul Street


Student Conduct Code


symposiums Italicize titles of symposiums and put in roman and quotes the individual lectures within them. Note that the first spelling of the plural in Webster’s New World College Dictionary is symposiums; symposia is the second spelling.


television program titles See composition titles, above.

Ten by Twenty

The In running copy, do not capitalize “the” even if it is part of the formal title of a company, division, or university: the Writing Seminars, the Johns Hopkins University. Exception: The full name of newspapers, magazines, and books retains the capitalized “the”: The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, The New York Times, The New Yorker. The shortened name of newspapers, though, keeps “the” lowercase: the Times, the News-Letter. When names stand alone, as in a program or invitation, “the” would be capped: The Johns Hopkins University, The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center.

theater Use the British spelling, Theatre, only when it appears in the formal name: Theatre Arts and Studies Program, John Astin Theatre in the Merrick Barn, Dunbar Baldwin Hughes Theatre Company, Senator Theatre. The Charles Theater formerly used the British spelling but has switched to the American one.


times Usually come before days and dates (Commencement began at 6 p.m. on May 22 at Homewood Field.) Don’t use “00” with times: 7 o’clock, not 7:00 o’clock. Use “midnight” and “noon” instead of 12 a.m./p.m. If it is necessary to locate the time zone, use ET, rather than “EST” or “EDT”: 7 a.m. ET.

titled Not entitled when referring to books, plays, etc.: Brian Deer’s new book is titled The Doctor Who Fooled the World.

type 2 diabetes


Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory building

underway One word in all uses.

universities’ names In running copy, lowercase The even if it’s part of the formal name of a university: the Ohio State University. (See also The, above.) When the name of a university includes a location, follow the practice of that school. If the university uses a comma and the name occurs midsentence, put commas both before and after the location: The University of California, Berkeley, is a public research university. If the university uses neither commas nor at, follow that practice: University of Colorado Boulder. Exception: If the university uses a hyphen, change it to an en dash because one of the elements will be compound: University of Wisconsin–Madison.

URL Although it is not wrong to include the phrases http:// and www when giving URLs in text, it is not necessary to do so unless you are linking the URL. In that case, http:// and www are typicallyneeded.

U.S. in headlines Use periods; an exception to AP style.


verbs, singular or plural Some Johns Hopkins entities with plural names take singular verbs, others plural ones. Some examples: The Friends of the Libraries is holding a meeting. The Sheridan Libraries host the annual Edible Book Festival. Two agencies that appear frequently in JHU publications are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Both take a singular verb when either the formal name or the acronym is used.

vice president Use for, not of, as the preposition: vice president for communications, vice president for human resources. However, if the division uses “of,” don’t change it: Inez Stewart is the senior vice president of human resources for Johns Hopkins Medicine.


wait list

web, website Lowercase in all uses. Do not italicize or put in quotes the names of websites.

Weinberg Building Full name, which should be used on first reference, is Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building.

-wide No hyphen: universitywide, campuswide

Wilmer Eye Institute



Writing Seminars Formal name is The Writing Seminars, but in running copy lowercase “The.” See entry for the, above.


year-end Hyphenate when referring to the end of the fiscal year.

Young Investigators’ Day

Updated June 2022