Titles and Degrees

Academic Titles

Capitalize when preceding names. Lowercase when standing alone or following names, except for named professorships.


  • The ceremony is in honor of President Barbara R. Snyder.
  • The president was seen often on campus.
  • Barbara R. Snyder, president of the university, was seen often on campus.
  • He is the dean of student affairs.
  • She is the Herbert Henry Dow Professor of Science and Engineering.

AP Style also recommends that on first reference, you should use a person's full name. Also, avoid using long titles before names.

Clinical Titles

For professors who have clinical appointments at affiliated medical centers, include primary clinical appointments along with university titles.

Example: The lead author was Philip Fastenau, PhD, professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and director of neuropsychology with the Neurological Institute of University Hospitals in Cleveland.

Courtesy Titles

Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc.).

Titles of Works

Titles of publications and compositions should be set in italics and should have the principal words capitalized. Articles (a, an or the), prepositions and conjunctions should be capitalized only when they are the first or last words in a title. This guideline applies to books, magazines, newspapers, movies, TV shows, operas, plays, poems, albums, speeches and works of art.

Titles within titles, such as the title of an article in a magazine, should be set in quotation marks. Follow the same rules for capitalizing.

Note: This guideline diverges from AP style.


  • Of Mice and Men
  • The Week
  • Spartacus
  • CBS Evening News with Katie Couric
  • Angels in America
  • The Raven
  • The Dark Side of the Moon
  • His article "Genetic Modifiers of Lung Disease in Cystic Fibrosis" appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine.
More from AP Style

Also italicize:

  • Names of periodicals and musical compositions (longer than a song).
  • Unfamiliar foreign words
    Example: She said she would be dining with her caro sposo.
  • Names of court cases
    Example: People v. Smith
  • Names of ships
    Example: The U.S.S. Midway

Do not italicize familiar, often-used foreign words or phrases, including such Latin phrases as cum laude, alma mater, ad hoc, amicus curiae, ad lib, in vivo, in vitro, etc. When in doubt, check the dictionary.