Editorial Style Guide

Last Revised: September 2019

This style guide was developed by the 鶹ýAV Office of Communications. Its aim is to ensure accuracy, consistency, and clarity in USM communications.


When speaking of the 鶹ýAV as a whole, the "鶹ýAV" should be used in its entirety upon first reference. Any of the following are acceptable for subsequent references:

  • university system;
  • USM;
  • the system.

Unacceptable references to the system as a whole include: University of Maryland; the University; UM; and the University of Maryland System.

Notes: "The" is not part of the official name of the system, and therefore should not appear as part of the name in stand-alone headers or titles or be capitalized when the system name appears in running text.

While USM is comprised of institutions, do not refer to the system itself as an institution.


Acceptable references to the 鶹ýAV Office include:

  • 鶹ýAV Office;
  • University System Office;
  • System Office;
  • USM Office.

Unacceptable references to the USM Office include: Central Administration; the acronym "USMO" (unless it is first spelled out as “鶹ýAV Office”); Headquarters or "USMH" (within USM, “USMH” refers to the 鶹ýAV at Hagerstown); and 鶹ýAV - Office.

Notes: The USM Office is a "unit" of the 鶹ýAV. It should not be referred to as an institution or a component; nor should it be counted as one of the 12 USM institutions.

The USM Office comprises several offices: Office of the Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Administration and Finance, Office of Advancement, Office of Communications, Office of Economic Development, Office of Internal Audit, Office of Advancement, and Office of Government Relations.

The 鶹ýAV comprises 12 institutions, three regional higher education centers, and one system office. Names may be listed in either founding-date or alphabetical order, depending on the intended purpose and audience. Founding-date order is usually reserved for official state documents, while alphabetical order is more appropriate for public reference.

Generally, the word "campus" refers to the physical site of an institution. Writers may, however, refer to USM’s degree-granting institutions as campuses for brevity's sake. In these cases, care should be taken to represent USM campuses as distinct institutions.

Acceptable references to any of the 12 members of the system include "institution" and "member institution."

The Universities at Shady Grove and the 鶹ýAV at Hagerstown should be referred to as the USM's regional higher education centers. They should not be described or listed as one of USM's institutions.

Upon second reference and thereafter, the Universities at Shady Grove may be referred to as USG; do not refer to it as "Shady Grove." The 鶹ýAV at Hagerstown may be abbreviated and referred to as USMH.

When referring to one of USM’s institutions, the institution's full name should be used on first reference; acronyms may be used in subsequent references. Note the proper use of commas in the full names of the institutions.

The institutions of the 鶹ýAV, in founding-date order, are:

Degree-Granting Institutions

1807 University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)

1856 University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)

1865 Bowie State University (BSU)

1866 Towson University (TU)

1886 University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

1898 Frostburg State University (FSU)

1900 Coppin State University (CSU)

1925 Salisbury University (SU)

1925 University of Baltimore (UB)

1947 University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

1966 University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Research Center

1925 University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)

Following is the list of the USM institutions in alphabetical order:

Degree-Granting Institutions

Bowie State University (BSU)

Coppin State University (CSU)

Frostburg State University (FSU)

Salisbury University (SU)

Towson University (TU)

University of Baltimore (UB)

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)

University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

Research Center

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)

Notes: While the state legislature allows both the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park to use the name "University of Maryland," for the sake of clarity, we urge communicators to avoid using "University of Maryland" on a stand-alone basis. When referring to one of the professional schools at UMB, use "University of Maryland" and the name of the school (e.g. University of Maryland School of Law).

Do not refer to UMB as the "Baltimore City campus," which implies that it is part of another USM institution. UMB is one of USM’s 12 distinct institutions.

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a private, not-for-profit medical system that comprises University of Maryland Medical Center, Kernan Hospital, University Specialty Hospital, Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center (formerly North Arundel Hospital), and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. UMMS has a close working relationship with the University of Maryland School of Medicine; University of Maryland Medical Center is on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and all of its staff physicians are on the faculty of the Medical School.


Use the following language on all published materials that describe USM programs or services available to the public:

The 鶹ýAV is an equal opportunity organization with respect to both education and employment. USM’s policies, programs, and activities are in conformance with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on non-discrimination regarding race, color, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, and handicap.

The following short version may also be used:

鶹ýAV is an equal opportunity organization.

Submit questions, comments, and feedback to usmnews@usmd.edu.