• Abbreviations generally should not be used in text. However, commonly recognized abbreviations for government agencies and other organizations may be used after an initial spelled-out reference.  Some examples: Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship (ICES) and; and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Such abbreviations should later appear capitalized, unspaced and without periods:  MnSCU, ICES and CAS.

  • Metropolitan State University:  the only acceptable abbreviations are Metropolitan State and the university. Never use MSU, because it also can refer to Minnesota State University Moorhead or Minnesota State University, Mankato. In formal documents, reports, news releases or letters, use Metropolitan State University for the first reference; Metropolitan State or the university may be used after the spelled-out reference.

  • Use the title University of Minnesota when referring to that institution. When space is limited, the U of M may be used after an initial spelled-out reference.

  • Abbreviations of academic degrees should appear capitalized, unspaced and with periods: A.A., B.A., B.A.S., B.H.S.,  B.S.,  B.S.N.,  B.S.W.,  M.A.,  M.B.A., M.M.I.S., M.P.N.A., M.S., M.S.N. and Ph.D.

  • Titles before names may be abbreviated if the abbreviation is a common usage: Guest speaker was Gov. Tim Pawlenty. If abbreviated, the title should be capitalized. Do not abbreviate or capitalize titles after names: Guest speaker was Tim Pawlenty, governor.

  • Months — see Dates and Times.

  • Words forming part of an address (avenue, street, building) should not be abbreviated in formal text but may be abbreviated to save space in informal letters or publications, or in lists. Exceptions are words identifying directions-they may be abbreviated: N., E., SE, NE, SW, SE, except when they form part of a name (East River Road). See also: Location Names and Addresses.

  • United States may be abbreviated when used as an adjective: U.S. Post Office. Otherwise use United States or United States of America.

  • The abbreviations Jr., Sr., II, III and IV are used only with a complete name unless needed for clarity when, for example, both junior and senior are being discussed. Jr. and Sr. are preceded by a comma; II, III and IV are not.

  • Avoid the abbreviations i.e., etc., e.g. and similar abbreviations of Latin expressions.

  • Use the word 'and' instead of '&' symbol. The '&' symbol can only be used in navigiation if number of characters are limited.

  • Use alternatives: that is, and so on, such as, for example. More abbreviations:When the name of a state is used alone without a city reference, spell it out in both text and letters. When used with a city or other reference, the state name may be abbreviated, using narrative abbreviation form (see list below), not zip code form. In text, eight states are never abbreviated:  Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Use zip code abbreviations only when writing full addresses including the zip code (Saint Paul, MN 55106).

    • versus is acceptable as vs.;
    • miles per gallon is acceptable as mpg (no periods) as the second reference;
    • miles per hour is acceptable as mph (no periods) in all references;
    • mount: Spell out in all uses, including the names of communities and of mountains:  Mount Clemens, Mich.; Mount Everest.
    • Saint should be spelled out, Saint Paul (also Saint Lawrence, and Saint Louis) unless it is abbreviated as part of a name (University of St. Thomas);
    • words per minute is accepted as WPM (no periods);
    • grade point average can be GPA (no periods).

Abbreviations for state names in narrative copy and, in parentheses, zip code forms for mailing addresses.

Ala.

(AL)

La.

(LA)

Ohio

(OH)

Alaska

(AK)

Maine

(ME)

Okla.

(OK)

Ariz.

(AZ)

Md.

(MD)

Ore.

(OR)

Ark.

(AR)

Mass.

(MA)

Pa.

(PA)

Calif.

(CA)

Mich.

(MI)

R.I.

(RI)

Colo.

(CO)

Minn.

(MN)

S.C.

(SC)

Conn.

(CT)

Miss.

(MS)

S.D.

(SD)

Del.

(DE)

Mo.

(MO)

Tenn.

(TN)

Fla.

(FL)

Mont.

(MT)

Texas

(TX)

Ga.

(GA)

Neb.

(NE)

Utah

(UT)

Hawaii

(HI)

Nev.

(NV)

Vt.

(VT)

Idaho

(ID)

N.H.

(NH)

Va.

(VA)

Ill.

(IL)

N.J.

(NJ)

Wash.

(WA)

Ind.

(IN)

N.M.

(NM)

W.Va.

(WV)

Iowa

(IA)

N.Y.

(NY)

Wis.

(WI)

Kan.

(KS)

N.C.

(NC)

Wyo.

(WY)

Ky.

(KY)

N.D.

(ND)

D.C.

(DC)