See Titles for rules about professional and academic titles.

Names, Associations, Conferences, and Official Policies

As a rule, official names are capitalized. Unofficial or shortened names are not. This applies to offices, buildings, departments and programs, as well as to committees and boards, symposia, conferences, course titles, forms, applications, and so on. For example, the Board of Trustees is shortened to the board. The Residential Life Committee becomes the committee. The Department of French—the French department; Middlebury College Museum of Art—the museum; the Common Application for Admission—admission application.

Exceptions: Exceptions may sometimes be made to avoid confusion or because the shortened, generic term has become a proper name in its own right.

References to Middlebury College, when shortened, are always capped—College; Language Schools when shortened is Schools; Chinese School when shortened is School, which applies to the other Language Schools as well; Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey when shortened is the Institute.

Names of official policies, such as Institutional Diversity and Undergraduate Honor System, should be capitalized. However, when the concept is being discussed, use the lowercase. Middlebury College is strongly committed to promoting diversity on campus. A strict honor system is enforced at the College.

In running text, lowercase a the that precedes a name:

The Underhill Foundation"
When you visit the Underhill Foundation, please check their address.



Capitalize holidays, ceremonies, and recurring observances:

Winter Carnival; Thanksgiving; Commencement;
Baccalaureate; Convocation; Midyear Celebration

Do not capitalize seasons and academic periods:
winter term; fall admission; summer break



Capitalize the letters used for grades and grade names. Do not place quotation marks around grades.

A, B, C, D, F, Pass, Incomplete. Grade of B. Grades of B or Bs




  1. The first and last word, no matter what part of speech they are


  1. Articles (a, an, the)
  2. Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor)
  3. All prepositions (through, on, in, to,) except when they are used adverbially (Look Up) or adjectivally (the On Button) or when part of a Latin expression used adjectivally (In Vitro)
  4. The to in infinitives.
  5. Part of proper names that would normally be lowercased, ex. “van” or “de”
  6. The second part of a species name (Homo sapiens)



What I’ve Been Thinking Of
Peter van Dyke’s Drive through the Countryside
Helping Homo sapiens to Survive
The Science of In Vitro Fertilization Form


Headlines with hyphenated words: Cap both elements. The only exception is if the subsequent element is an article (a, an, the), coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, for, nor), preposition (through, on, in, to, etc.)—or the modifiers flat, sharp, and natural.

Self-Sustaining Economics
F-sharp Concerto

Concerto in F-Sharp

Full-Time Jobs

Twenty-Fifth Street Headquarters


Headlines with a prefix: This is basically one word, not two, so the second element is not capped unless it is a proper noun or proper adjective.

Anti-intellectual Attitudes on the Increase
Non-Christian Organization Donates Books


Original Quotes

When quoting original material, use the capitalization system of the original, even if it does not conform to College style.

As the soldier explained 100 years ago, “We have forgiven Men and Little Children who did not know what to expect from our Party.”

Exception: when a quote is used as an integral part of a sentence, the initial cap in the original may be dropped.

He still believes that “we have forgiven Men and Little Children.”