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Style: Degrees and Capitalization

Academic Degrees

The following are the correct ways to handle degrees:

  •  associate degree in journalism.

  • bachelor’s degree in physical education. Note, it is not a B.S. degree or Bachelor of Arts degree.
  •  master’s degree in comparative literature. The same thing applies as in the above. M.A, M.S. or master’s of art or science are all incorrect.
  •  a doctorate in math. Doctorate degree is redundant; Ph.D. is incorrect style.
  •  note in both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the first letters are lower case, and the possessive “s” follows an apostrophe.


City College

  • The correct Channels style for copy is City College, not SBCC.
  •  Use the full name, Santa Barbara City College, when writing about several community colleges and need the full name for identification.
  •  Use Santa Barbara City College or SBCC (no periods) for webheads.
  •  SBCC is okay for print headlines.

The Channels

  • When referring to this publication, use The Channels. “The” is a formal part of the name, and the “T” is capitalized.

Academic Departments

  • Use lowercase except for words that are proper nouns: history department, mathematics department, English department and Spanish department.

Disciplines and Majors

  • Use lowercase except for areas of study that are proper nouns and adjectives.
  • He is studying political science but wants to major in English literature.
  • She is a German major but spends most of her time with arts majors.


  • For specific courses, capitalize and spell out the discipline and use a figure. On first reference, include the full title of the course, capitalized, in quotation marks.
  • I’m taking Journalism 101, “Reporting and Writing, Part 1.”
  • After taking Art 101, “Understanding Art,” she decided to change her major.

Local Governing Bodies

First Reference Second Reference
The Board of Trustees ...the board or the trustees
The Associated Students Senate ...the senate or the student senate
The Academic Senate ...the senate or the faculty senate
The International Students Club ...the club
The Faculty Enrichment Committee ...the committee

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721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2018 Santa Barbara City College