UNF Style Guide Abbreviations

Academic degrees

Before throwing in a lot of academic degree abbreviations, consider the publication and its target audience. Will the target audience understand what the abbreviations mean? Are the abbreviations needed to get the message across? If mentioning degrees is necessary to establish someone's credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and instead use a phrase (John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology).


Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name - never after just a last name. When used after a name, set the academic abbreviation off by commas (Daniel Jones, Ph.D., spoke...) Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.

Wrong: Dr. Pam Jones, Ph.D.

Right: Dr. Pam Jones, a chemist


Use an apostrophe in a "bachelor's degree," a "master's degree," but there is no possessive in "Bachelor of Arts" or "Master of Science."


Some (but not all) of the degrees awarded by UNF or commonly found among its faculty include:



B.A. Bachelor of Arts
B.A.E. Bachelor of Arts in Education
B.B.A Bachelor of Business Administration
B.F.A Bachelor of Fine Arts
B.S. Bachelor of Science
B.S.H. Bachelor of Science in Health
B.S.N. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
D.B.A. Doctor of Business Administration
Ed.D. Doctor of Education
M.A. Master of Arts
M. Acc.  Master of Accountancy
M.B.A. Master of Business Administration (Because of the frequency of use, it can be used without periods in text.)
M.Ed. Master of Education
M.H.R.M. Master of Human Resource Management
M.P.A. Master of Public Administration
M.P.T. Master of Physical Therapy
M.S. Master of Science
M.S.H. Master of Science in Health
M.S.M.S Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences
Ph.D. (no space after periods) Doctor of Philosophy



Right: John Smith has a Ph.D. in astronomy.

Right: John Smith has a doctorate in astronomy.

Right: John Smith has a doctoral degree in astronomy.

Wrong: John Smith has a doctorate degree in astronomy

Wrong: John Smith has a Ph.D. degree in astronomy.

NOTE: The word "baccalaureate" means "bachelor's degree." Therefore, use of "degree" is redundant.

Wrong: Jones received a baccalaureate degree from UNF.

Florida Board of Governors

Use "Florida Board of Governors" on first reference. BOG can be used on second and subsequent references. The BOG was created by constitutional amendment in 2002 and met for the first time in January 2003. It coordinates the state system.

Grade point average

Do not hyphenate. Do not use periods in abbreviation and use all caps: GPA.


Abbreviate certain months if the date is included. Abbreviated months are Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out March, April, May, June and July.

Right: Jan. 6 is John's birthday.

Wrong: January 6 is John's birthday.

Do not abbreviate months when used alone or with a year only. Do not use a comma between the month and year.

Wrong: I traveled to England in Jan.

Right: I traveled to England in January.

Wrong: I traveled to England in January, 1992.

Right: I traveled to England in January 1992.

When using a complete date, put a comma after the year, unless it ends the sentence.

Right: He was born Jan. 1, 2001, in Jacksonville.

Wrong: He was born Jan. 1, 2001 in Jacksonville


Spell out the names of states when they stand alone. Abbreviate according to the style presented below when a state is listed with a city. Spell out Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Do not use postal codes for abbreviations. No state abbreviation is needed for Florida cities unless confusion would result. (Hollywood, Fla).


In addition, no state abbreviation is necessary for such well-known cities as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York City, and San Francisco.



Ala.   Md.   N.D.
Ariz.   Mass.   Okla.
Ark.   Mich.   Ore.
Calif.   Minn.   Pa.
Colo.   Miss.   R.I.
Conn.   Mo.   S.C.
Del.   Mont.   S.D.
Fla.   Neb.   Tenn.
Ga.   Nev.    Vt.
Ill.   N.H.    Va.
Ind.   N.J.    Wash.
Can.   N.M.    W.Va.
Ky.   N.Y.    Wis.
La.   N.C   Wyo.


Right: The sophomore came from Colorado.

Right: The sophomore came from Boulder, Colo.

Wrong: The sophomore came from Boulder, CO.

But, when listing the state in a mailing address, use the U.S. Post Office's abbreviation. (Florida's is FL.)

Right: For more information, write UNF at: 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville FL 32224

Wrong: For more information, write UNF at: 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Fla. 32224

Wrong: For more information, write UNF at: 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32224

UNF Board of Trustees

Spell out "University of North Florida Board of Trustees" on first reference. "Board of Trustees" or "BOT" is acceptable on second and subsequent references. The "UNF" is not necessary on subsequent references or if it appears in intra-campus publications.

UNF Colleges

On first reference, spell out the name of the college in its entirety. On second reference, use only the following abbreviations for the colleges at UNF.

Brooks College of Health — BCH

Coggin College of Business — CCB

College of Arts and Sciences — COAS

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction — CCEC

College of Education and Human Services — COEHS