University Identity


Georgia State University

Our national and international identity hinges on the words “Georgia State University.” Do not use the initialism “GSU.” Beyond our community of insiders, this acronym is not well recognized and may be confused with other institutions.

We want to proclaim the university’s name, not obscure it. Some of your readers may use the term “GSU” themselves, but never risk minimizing the recognition or impact of the name “Georgia State University.” In general, use the full name “Georgia State University” the first time you refer to the university in text. Upon second reference and thereafter, use “Georgia State” or “university.” Per Associated Press (AP) style, use lowercase when using “the university” as a reference. When writing for internal audiences familiar with the university, you may refer to the university as “GSU.”

Right: Georgia State University is in Atlanta. The university was started in 1913.

“GSU” may be used on social media and within athletics.


The Georgia State University logo is a unit composed of two parts:

  • the university name in specially modified type treatments (logotype)
  • a graphic mark (flame)

The two parts of the logo — the mark and logotype — are always used together. Neither the mark nor the logotype may be manipulated or changed.

The graphic mark is an abstract representation of the letters “G” and “S.”
Its purpose is not to represent the school’s initials literally, but to function as a strong visual symbol that is easily recognized, remembered and associated with Georgia State University.

The mark supports further symbolism. For example, the flame-like aspect can represent both the traditional flame of knowledge as well as the mythical phoenix, the symbol of Atlanta’s post-Civil War rebirth.

The Georgia State University logo is a registered trademark protected by federal law and should always have the registered trademark symbol ® with it. Employees of the university can download the logo from the university’s  digital asset library. For more details, contact Renata Irving, creative director for Public Relations & Marketing Communications, at 404-413-1363 or

Univeristy Logo Parts

Academic Degrees

Spell out and use lowercase: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctor’s degree or doctorate.

You can receive a doctorate OR your doctor’s degree, but NOT your doctoral degree.

Abbreviate degrees, and be sure to use periods after all the letters: B.A., M.S., Ph.D., M.S.I.A., B.F.A., M.P.H., M.S.W. and so on (with the exception of MBA).

Right: Two years after earning an associate of arts degree through Perimeter College, he graduated from the Atlanta Campus with a bachelor’s degree in education.
Right: She received her master of science degree in biology.
Right: We awarded 99 doctor’s, 150 master’s and 900 bachelor’s degrees.
Right: She has an M.A. degree in technical writing.
Right: He earned a bachelor of music degree.
Wrong: He earned a bachelor’s of anthropology.

When listing alumni degrees, place the last two digits of the graduation year (preceded by an apostrophe) with the degree abbreviation in parentheses. List degrees in chronological order. It is important that the apostrophe point in the correct direction: down and to the left. Do not place a comma between the year and the degree.

Right: Former State Senator David Adelman (M.P.A. ’95) served as the
United States Ambassador to Singapore from 2010–13.
Right: Brian Egan (B.F.A. ’12) oversees programming at the Mammal Gallery, an arts and performance facility in south downtown.

If a person received more than one degree from Georgia State University, name each with its year of completion, and separate them with commas.

Right: Randy Patterson (B.B.A. ’98, MBA ’01) is vice president of human resources at Recall, a records management company.
Right: Joyce Mitchell (B.A. ’08, M.A. ’10)

Use “Dr.” in first reference as a formal title before the name of a person who holds a doctor of medicine degree (M.D.), doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) degree or any other terminal medical practice degree. While not preferred, you may also use “Dr.” in first reference to describe academic scholars with other types of doctorates. As always, maintain consistency throughout your materials.

Do not precede a name with a title of an academic degree (“Dr.”) and follow it with the abbreviation for that degree (“Ph.D.”).

Do not use “Dr.” before the names of individuals who hold honorary degrees only. References to honorary degrees must specify the degree was honorary.

Right: Dr. William Keeling directs the cardiothoracic surgery program at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Right: Carl V. Patton, Ph.D., was president of Georgia State University from 1992–2008.
Right: Carl V. Patton was president of Georgia State University from 1992–2008.
Right: Dr. Mark Becker will deliver the address.
Right: Dr. Wayne Erickson, the beloved Spenser scholar in the English Department, retired in 2010.
Wrong: Dr. Carl V. Patton, Ph.D., was president of Georgia State University from 1992–2008.

The last name may be used with no title at all, which is often preferable to maintain consistency.

Acronyms and Initialisms

An acronym is a series of letters taken from a set of words that is pronounced as a word (for example, “NATO” for the North American Trade Organization). An initialism is a set of initials taken from a set of words where each letter is pronounced separately (for example, “DEA” for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In general, you may use acronyms and initialisms if they are commonly recognized or help avoid repetition. However, always spell out the full name, title or phrase the first time you refer to it in text, followed immediately by the acronym or initialism in parentheses. You should then use the acronym or initialism for each and every subsequent use. If there is only one reference, spell out the full name and do not note the acronym or initialism in parentheses. For the sake of brevity, headlines may use unidentified acronyms, but make sure to spell out the full term upon first reference in text.

Right: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the grant to the research group. The NIH funded only three such centers in the nation.
Right: The College of Education & Human Development received a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grant.
Wrong: The five-year research project is funded by the National Institute on Aging of the NIH.

Addresses and Locations

While many cities use directional prefixes, Atlanta uses directional suffixes, and no city of Atlanta postal address is complete without one. For example, there is no such thing as “30 Courtland St.” or “75 Piedmont Ave.” or “55 Boulevard.”

In fact, there are two potential locations for each of these incomplete address: 30 Courtland St. NE and 30 Courtland St. SE, 75 Piedmont Ave. NE and 75 Piedmont Ave. SE, and so on. Each of these complete addresses is blocks away from its counterpart in the adjacent quadrant. In another example, Grant Street Southeast has no relation to Grant Street Southwest, and the two are miles away from each other. (Note: Do not abbreviate the directional suffix without a number, and do not punctuate abbreviations.)

Without the correct directional suffix, readers can and will end up lost trying to find locations in the wrong quadrant o the city, and the Post Office will either return mail to the sender or deliver mail to unintended recipients. Publishing addresses without directional suffixes is tantamount to telling readers to visit and send materials to places that do not exist. This rule applies to addresses in body copy and on envelopes and letterheads.

Right: The Parker H. Petit Science Center at 100 Piedmont Ave. SE is five blocks away from the University Commons at 141 Piedmont Ave. NE.
Right: The Welcome Center operates out of the first floor of Centennial Hall at 100 Auburn Ave. NE.
Wrong: 80 Forsyth St.
Wrong: 34 Peachtree Street
Wrong: 33 Gilmer St.

Spell out and capitalize formal street names, but use lowercase when you’re referring to more than one in a phrase or are using general, unspecified street words. Spell out and capitalize numbered streets First-Ninth.

Right: Peachtree Center Avenue used to be called Ivy Street.
Right: Enter Hurt Park at the corner of Courtland and Gilmer streets.
Right: Cobblestone streets surround the hotel.
Wrong: The university recently constructed new student housing at the corner of Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs Avenues.

Use the abbreviations “Ave.,” “Blvd.,” “Rd.,” “Dr.,” “St.” and so forth every time you can include a numbered address; never use them without a number.

Right: Send mail to 100 Auburn Ave. NE.
Right: The president lives on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Wrong: The city renamed Houston St., Butler St. and Forrest Ave. after local heros and civil rights leaders.


Georgia State University has seven campuses: Atlanta Campus, Alpharetta Campus, Buckhead Center, Clarkston Campus, Decatur Campus, Dunwoody Campus and Newton Campus.

Campus Buildings and Facilities

Proper names of buildings, such as “Piedmont Central,” should be capitalized. Special building projects, such as the “Creative Media Industries Institute,” should also be capitalized. Terms such as “north wing” and “new residence hall” should not be capitalized unless they are used in the title of the building.

Some parts of campus have confusing names. Make sure you refer to buildings and facilities correctly and consistently. We present here a few commonly misused building and facility names, but if you’re ever unsure, consult campus maps from the Facilities Management Services Division at for the latest, official information.

One Park Place
“One Park Place” is the name of the building; it isn’t the building’s mailing address. “1 Park Place SE” is the building’s mailing address; it isn’t the building’s name. “1 Park Place” is neither the name of the building nor its mailing address.

Right: Public Relations & Marketing Communications moved from One Park Place to Centennial Hall.
Right: Visit the School of Public Health at 1 Park Place SE.
Wrong: One Park Place
Atlanta, GA 30303

Speaker’s Auditorium
The auditorium in Student Center East has only one name.

Right: The talk will be held in the Speaker’s Auditorium
Wrong: The Speakers Auditorium is host to many of the university’s best attractions.
Wrong: The Speakers’ Auditorium seats 425 people.

University Bookstore Building
The University Bookstore has only one name and is found inside the University Bookstore Building(not Student Center West, which is immediately adjacent to it).

Right: University Bookstore
Wrong: GSU Campus Store


When referencing the floor of a building in body copy, follow standard AP rules for spelling out ordinal numbers under 10. (See “Numbers” under Dates, Numbers, and Time for more information.) In a mailing address, always use the numeral. Do not capitalize the word “floor” in either case.

Right: The board met on the ninth floor of Langdale Hall.
Right: The English Department moved to the 23rd floor of 25 Park Place.
Right: 100 Auburn Ave. NE
4th floor
Wrong: 34 Broad St. NW
Seventh floor


A room number is not a mailing address and should not be written like one. For example, “200 Sparks Hall” does not correspond to “200 Woodward Ave. SE,” and formatting them both the same way may lead to confusion, especially with readers unfamiliar with our campuses.

Instead, in body copy, place the room or suite location after the name of the building in lowercase without using a comma. In mailing addresses and headings of any kind, capitalize the room location and place it on the next line, or separate the building name and capitalized room name and number with a comma. Note that these rules apply best to rooms on the Atlanta Campus and Buckhead Center.

Right: For assistance, visit the Enrollment Services Center in Sparks Hall room 227.
Right: Aderhold Learning Center, Room 023
Right: Contact the Cooperative Education & Internship Office at Dahlberg Hall suite 134.
Right: New Student Orientation
Student Center East
55 Gilmer St. SE
Suite 304
Atlanta, GA 30303
Right: Centennial Hall
Suite 200
Wrong: 260 Student Center West, Sparks Hall 200
Wrong: Consult an adviser at the Office of Academic Assistance in Langdale Hall Suite 418.
Wrong: Consult an adviser at the Office of Academic Assistance in Langdale Hall, suite 418.

Names and Classifications

Georgia State’s centers, colleges, departments, divisions, institutes, offices, schools, and units do not adhere to a strict naming system, but here is a rough guide to help you use and understand the different words we use to talk about the university’s many components.

“Colleges” and “schools” can be synonymous (the College of law and School of Public Health are both technically colleges of equal authority and rank), where larger organizations with many academic departments tend to take the word “college” and smaller organizations tend to take the word “school.”

This is no strict rule, however, because schools can be housed within colleges or even other schools. The School of Music and the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design, for example, are part of the College of the Arts, and the School of Nursing is part of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions.

“Institutes” and “centers” often have similar purposes and engage in similar activities, but only institutes, such as the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, can offer degree programs. Centers, such as the Center for State & Local Finance, cannot. Note that institutes do not have to offer degree programs to be institutes; they have to be able to offer them.

“Division” can be particularly tricky. In general, “division” designates an administrative area or group of administrative departments (sometimes called “offices”) overseen by a vice president. Jerry Rackliffe is the senior vice president of the Division of Finance & Administration, which contains, in one example, the Department of Budget & Planning. Likewise, Douglas Covey is the vice president of the Division of Student Affairs, which contains the Office of Civic Engagement, among others.

At the same time, “divisions” can also refer to groupings of academic departments within colleges, such as the Natural & Computational Sciences Division of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences. The College of Education & Human Development even has a single department called a “division” (the Learning Technologies Division), and the Facilities Management Services Division is itself part of the Division of Finance & Administration. These examples are exceptions to the rule, however.

“Unit” is usually reserved for budgetary purposes (a “budget unit”) but can also be synonymous with “department,” whether academic (Department of English) or administrative (Campus Services).

Colleges and Schools

Georgia State University is composed of 10 colleges: the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions, College of the Arts, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Education & Human Development, College of Law, Honors College, Perimeter College, J. Mack Robinson College of Business and School of Public Health.

You may describe a college’s relationship to the university in three ways, depending on context and personal preference: “[the] [college] at Georgia State University” (with our without the definite article as appropriate), “Georgia State University’s [college]” or “the Georgia State University [college].” Never use slashes, colons, commas, or dashes.

Note: While all three methods are appropriate for every college, the preferred name for Perimeter College is “Georgia State University’s Perimeter College.”

Right: The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.
Right: Perimeter College at Georgia State University
Right: Georgia State University’s College of Arts & Sciences
Right: The Georgia State University School of Public Health

Three colleges in particular may go by abbreviated names, especially in internal communications: “the Andrew Young School,” “the Lewis School” and “Robinson.” You may use these abbreviations upon second reference.

At the same time, three colleges in particular may use initialisms, especially in internal communications: “CAS” for the College of Arts & Sciences, “AYS” or “AYSPS” for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and “CEHD” for the College of Education & Human Development. The context will determine if these are appropriate. If they will help you avoid clumsy repetition and save space, use them as long as you spell out the full name of the college upon first reference and immediately follow the full name by the acronym in parentheses. See Acronyms and Initialisms for more information.

Departments, Divisions and Offices

Capitalize the entire names of departments, divisions, and offices. While it is not always necessary to include the words “department,” “division” and “office,” capitalize them if you use them. Note also that, in most cases, you can place these words either before or after the proper name. Use lowercase for the words “department,” “division” and “office” when they stand alone.

Right: He works in the office of the Registrar.
Right: Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Right: Contact Financial Aid for more information.
Right: The Department of Astronomy hosts weekly viewing nights on university telescopes.
Right: The Budget & Planning Department is on the fourth floor of Sparks Hall.
Right: She’s been with the department for three years.
Right: Public Relations & Marketing Communications recently relocated to Centennial Hall.
Wrong: The division of Public Relations & Marketing Communications recently relocated to Centennial Hall.
Wrong: The Division will release its report.

Capitalize the field only when it refers to a specific department, division, or office. Otherwise, use lowercase.

Right: She’s trying to get more experience working in student affairs.
Right: Student Affairs oversees Recreational Services. (The university’s Division of Student Affairs oversees the Department of Recreational Services.)
Right: The Department of English redesigned its website.
Right: After majoring in physics, she became a physics professor.

Do not capitalize the names of departments, divisions and offices when they occur in a person’s title.

Right: The director of admissions is pleased with the number of applicants.
Right: Darryl Holloman is the associate vice president for student affairs
and dean of students.

Centers and Institutes

The formal names of centers, such as the Fiscal Research Center or the University Advisement Center, and institutes, such as the Confucius Institute, should be capitalized, but “center” and “institute” used alone should be in lowercase. Upon second reference, it is not necessary to use the complete proper name.

Right: The Institute of International Business hosts seminars.
Right: The institiute will welcome dozens of affiliates.
Right: The Student Recreation Center opened in 1996.
Right: The Andrew Young School is host to 12 major research centers.


In most non-academic writing, contractions convey a more conversational tone, making your text easier to read. Unless a more formal construction helps emphasize the meaning of a sentence or phrase, use contractions, and use them consistently.

You’ll notice we’ve used contractions frequently in this publication, except for points of emphasis, as in “do not” instead of “don’t.”


Use title case in all headlines, which means capitalize the first, last and all major words, excepting articles, and prepositions and conjunctions of three letters or fewer.


The preferred form for Ph.D. is to say a person holds a doctorate in the name of his or her field of specialty. Second best is to say “doctor’s degree.”


When used before an individual’s name, precede it with “the.”

Right: The Rev. Miller will speak at the assembly.
Right: The Reverend Miller will speak.
Wrong: Rev. Miller will be there.
Wrong: The Rev. Will be there.


Spell out the names of the 50 United States when they stand alone in text.

Right: Most students come from Georgia.
Wrong: We have 50 Students from Fla.

When referencing a city and a state together, do not use postal abbreviations in your text. Use the following AP abbreviations. Note that some states must always be spelled out.

Ala. Ga. Maine Neb. Ohio Texas
Alaska Hawaii Md. Nev. Okla. Utah
Ariz. Idaho Mass. N.H. Ore. Vt.
Ark. Ill. Mich. N.J. Pa. Va.
Calif. Ind. Minn. N.M. R.I. Wash.
Colo. Iowa Miss. N.Y. S.C. W.Va.
Conn. Kan. Mo. N.C. S.D. Wis.
Del. Ky. Mont. N.D. Tenn. Wyo.
Fla. La.

Use “Washington, D.C.” Don’t abbreviate to “D.C.” or, worse, “DC”.

Right: The conference is in Macon, Ga.
Wrong: The conference is in Macon, GA.

Do not use states with these U.S. cities:

Atlanta Detroit Minneapolis Salt Lake City
Baltimore Honolulu New Orleans San Antonio
Boston Houston New York City San Diego
Chicago Indianapolis Oklahoma City San Francisco
Cincinnati Las Vegas Philadelphia Seattle
Cleveland Los Angeles Phoenix Washington
Dallas Miami Pittsburgh
Denver Milwaukee St. Louis

Always spell out a state name if it’s part of a title or name, such as “The Georgia  Department of Education.”

For more information, see “City, State” in Punctuation Primer.

U.S./United States

“United State” is best, but frequent repetition or spatial constraints can necessitate “U.S.” on occasion. Avoid “USA” and “America,” and stay consistent.