Academics and Degrees

Business School degrees
Alumni with multiple Columbia University degrees

In running text, capitalize course titles when cited exactly:

  • Professor Smith’s course, Economic Analysis;

but

  • Professor Smith’s introductory course in economic analysis

Lowercase fields of study unless they are part of a title or department name, or where caps are necessary for clarity of meaning:

  • She chose finance as her area of focus.

However, when referencing an official Business School division, the name of the division, as well as the word ‘division’ should be capped.

  • Jane Smith is a new professor in the Finance Division.

Academic degrees are lowercased when used in running text.

  • Jane Smith earned her bachelor of science from Cornell University.
  • She also holds a master’s degree from Yale.

However, degree acronyms are capitalized (without periods).

  • Jane Smith holds a BS from Cornell University.

Majors should also be lowercased unless they form part of a department name or an official course name or are themselves proper nouns (e.g., English, Latin).

  • Jane Smith majored in finance.
  • John Smith majored in English.

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree.

The use of a comma between the name of an alumnus or alumna and the degree/year of graduation varies with the context:
          If the name appears in running text
          Vikram S. Pandit, PhD ’86, (a comma before and after the degree/year; check that the apostrophe is curling to the left)
          If the name appears in display type or in a list
          Vikram S. Pandit PhD ’86 (no comma between the name and the degree/year)

The apostrophe before a degree year is a right single close quote (it looks like a small 9)

  • Marilena Botoulos ’13

Do not use periods in any degree abbreviations.

  • BS, AB, MA, MBA, MPhil, PhD, EdD, LLB

Magna cum laude, summa cum laude, etc., are Latin terms in general English usage and should not be italicized.

Business School degrees

A Business School alumnus’s or alumna’s degree and year of graduation should be noted in the following manner:

  • Do not note when the degree is an MBA — simply include the class year:
    • Russell L. Carson ’67
  • Do not differentiate between MBA and EMBA degrees.
  • Do note if the Business School degree is an MS or PhD.
    • Jane Smith PhD ’99

If the name appears in running text include a comma before and after the degree and year only if the degree type is mentioned:

  • Vikram S. Pandit, PhD ’86, attended the event

but

  • Henry Kravis ’67 was honored at the Centennial Dinner

If the name appears in display type or in a list, do not use a comma between the name and the degree/year:

  • Vikram S. Pandit PhD ’86

Never orphan the year of graduation from the name:
          The Private Equity Program is led by
          Professor Laura Resnikoff
          ’76
          should be revised by rebreaking the line to:
          The Private Equity Program is led by
          Professor Laura Resnikoff ’76.
If simply rebreaking the line will not work, then rephrase.

Alumni with multiple Columbia University degrees

If the intended audience is primarily CBS alumni, students, or staff, (magazine, social media, newsletters, the website), the Business School degree is taken as understood. Other Columbia degrees come after in parentheses, with the graduate year first followed by the University’s abbreviations for individual schools.

  • Jane Smith ’10 (’08SEAS, ’10LAW)