Style Guide


It is important that all communication material created for the Price School of Public Policy, whether for the Web or in print, maintain a consistent style and form. This not only reinforces our brand identity, it also supports search and archiving functions.

Spelling and Word Usage
Grammar and Punctuation
File Type Designations
Additional Conventions
Page Templates

Spelling and Word Usage:

a.m.: not capitalized
Courses: use “Courses” rather than “Coursework” in titles
department: lower case when outside of title
E-mail: note the hyphen. This word should be capitalized at the beginning of a line. If it is used within a sentence, it should not be capitalized (e-mail).
“Healthcare”: one word in all USC Price copy, including course titles and descriptions. The only exception is if it is two words in the official name of an organization.
online: one word
p.m.: not capitalized
school: lower case when outside of title
Price School of Public Policy: written with capitalization and commas as stated
university: lower case when outside of title
Web site: capital W and two words.

Grammar and Punctuation:

Bullets: no initial capitalized letters after bullet; no ending punctuation after each bullet line
Curriculum section: bulleted lists of Dual Degree references should not contain commas within the listing (i.e., use “Masters of Arts in Economics”, rather than “Masters of Arts, Economics”).
Doctorates: list as “core” courses.
Lower level subset documents: no need to spell out titles ? use acronyms after initial title usage.
Minors: list as “required” courses
Serial comma: don’t use except in the name of the school and the undergraduate degree, or unless necessary for clarity and meaning
Titles: use lowercase (NOTE: Check with Kristi at USC Price; This seems to contradict actual convention.)

File Type Designations:

Adobe PDF file: (PDF)
Microsoft Word file: (Word)
Microsoft Excel file: (Excel)

Additional Conventions:

Course Titles: should come first with course numbers in parentheses following (ex:: The Urban Context for Policy and Planning (PPD 245). If course units must be included, place them at the end (ex: The Urban Context for Policy and Planning (PPD 245) ? 4 units (Note: The space before and after the en dash.).
Current Students Section: Neither “degree director” nor “student services advisor” need to be capped unless referring to a title
em dashes: leave spaces on either side if it is before the units in a course, for example, Blah Blah Course ? 4 units and we don’t everywhere else
Number Conventions: one through nine are spelled out; 10 and above are numerically stated.
Omniscient third person voice: don’t use “you” or “we/our”
Voice Tone and Language: kept professional


Contact Information:
Name, Title

Price School of Public Policy
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 111
(213) 740-7594
email address

If there is a fax, change to:
Name, Title
Price School of Public Policy
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 111
Tel: (213) 740-7594
Fax: xxxxxxxxxx
E-mail: xxxxxxxxxx
(If present) Web Address: xxxxxxxxxx

Links: are not bolded

General Information: There are 17 professional schools. Independent Health Professions is not counted among them.

Use the generic url for the USC Catalogue: