Capitalize a formal title preceding a name, but lowercase a title when it follows a name:

  • We invited Associate Provost and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore.
  • Kenn Elmore is associate provost and dean of students.

When following this rule, arrange titles consistently in the text, either preceding or following the individual’s name.

  • University Provost Jean Morrison, Trustee Emerita Terry Andreas, and Senior Vice President Gary Nicksa will attend.
  • Attendees include Jean Morrison, University provost; Terry Andreas, trustee emerita; and Gary Nicksa, senior vice president.

Lowercase all titles when used without the name of the titleholder:

  • Submit your request to the provost.
  • The president will lead the procession.
  • The dean of students approved the poster.
  • The dean of the law school will attend.

Capitalize all named professorships:

  • Peter Paul Career Professor
  • William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor

Do not capitalize such words as “fellow” or “scholar” or “award winner” when referring to recipients of awards:

  • Guggenheim fellow
  • Fulbright scholar
  • Pulitzer Prize winner

In running text, lowercase words like “president,” “professor,” “dean,” “director,” and so on when they follow a name:

  • Robert A. Brown is the president of Boston University.
  • Stan Sclaroff was selected as dean of Arts & Sciences.
  • Send your request to the director of the program.

Capitalize a title in display text, such as in a printed event program or when the title appears under a name (as in a letter’s signature or on a list).


Write Emeritus, Emerita, Emeriti, and Emeritae in roman type and follow the rules of capitalization appropriate for the context. Place it at the end of the complete title without a comma or italics:

  • President Emeritus
  • Professor Emerita
  • Trustees Emeriti

Treat names consistently in text and lists. If possible, avoid the use of social titles (Mr. or Mrs.) or honorifics (Hon.) with names. Thus, in a list of donors or in naming those who attended an event, avoid using Dr. or Mr. or Ms. inconsistently with only a few names.

Social Titles and Honorifics

Social titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Dr. should generally be omitted. When an academic degree follows a name, such titles are always omitted:

  • Jane Smith, MD, not Dr. Jane Smith, MD
  • Robert Jones, PhD, not Dr. Robert Jones, PhD

Use Reverend and Honorable with “the” when titles are spelled out, but drop the “the” if using the abbreviations Rev. and Hon.

  • Rev. John Smith; the Reverend John Smith
  • Informally, Reverend Smith is acceptable.

In writing faculty titles, place the name of the school or college first:

  • John Doe, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English (not John Doe, a professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences)

Arrange titles consistently in the text, either preceding or following the individual’s name:

  • Arts & Sciences Dean Stan Sclaroff, Assistant Professor Jeffrey Allen, Trustee Emerita Terry Andreas, and Senior Vice President Gary Nicksa will attend.
  • Attendees included Stan Sclaroff, dean of Arts & Sciences; Jeffrey Allen, assistant professor of information systems; Terry Andreas, trustee emerita; and Gary Nicksa, senior vice president.

The word “faculty” can be used with either singular or plural verb agreement, depending on the intended meaning. When “faculty” means the teaching staff as a collective whole, it takes a singular verb:

  • The University faculty is committed to excellence in teaching.

When “faculty” is used to mean faculty members, it takes a plural verb:

  • CFA faculty led the seminar. Many faculty were present.