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As a general rule, avoid most abbreviations in university publications.

All-Capital Abbreviations

All-capital abbreviations do not take periods except when referring to nations, states, cities or persons. Academic degrees, however, should be abbreviated with periods with no spaces in between.

Example: The dean is Joan Jones, Ph.D. (Avoid using Ph.D. — or use per AP Style as noted — when possible. The use of doctorate is preferred in news content.)

Lowercase Abbreviations

Abbreviations consisting of lowercase letters usually take periods with no spaces in between.

Example: a.m., p.m., c.o.d. 


Spell out the name of an organization on first reference. Do not follow an organization's name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it.

Example: The Career Development Center received a grant from the Western College Placement Association to study the current job market. The CDC will begin research as soon as the WCPA funds are received.

Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton is the preferred second reference when abbreviating California State University, Fullerton. Avoid using CSUF when its meaning may be either unfamiliar to the reader or when its use might be confused with the CSU campus in Fresno. Do not use Cal State and Fullerton independently when referring to the university. Do not use Fullerton State. It is preferable to avoid abbreviations of schools, programs and organizations except in tables, headlines and other situations where space is limited.

Example: The Student Health and Counseling Center at California State University, Fullerton, received a grant from the American Medical Association to study student attitudes on health care. The center will begin its research as soon as the association submits the funds. The university is grateful for the recognition and support of such a prestigious organization.