To Capitalize or Not to Capitalize
fall semester, spring semester, summer session, intersession:
The word commencement is lowercased, as is the word semester
- Do not capitalize when referring to the time of the academic year.
- Use summer session when you're referring to the time of academic year.
- When you're referring to the sessions themselves
(the six- and eight-week sessions) use Summer Sessions (capitalized), as that is the name for Penn State's summer programs.
- spring commencement
- fall commencement
Fields of Study, Penn State Programs
Do not capitalize names of fields of study. Capitalize the names of majors or minors, when used as specific programs offered at Penn State.
Do not capitalize the words major, minor, option, or program. Capitalize the program name if appropriate.
- He was studying history at Penn State.
- Penn State offers a History major.
- The college offers the Aerospace Engineering major.
- The Nursing program has undergone changes.
When referring to specific degree programs at Penn State, capitalize the program name but not the degree:
- Penn State offers a master of engineering degree program in Engineering Science (specific reference to a degree).
- The master of engineering degree in Environmental Engineering is a highly competitive degree program (specific reference to a degree).
- He hopes to earn his master of engineering degree in engineering science next May (general reference to a degree).
For specific options that are part of specific Penn State programs, capitalize the name of the option, but not the word option:
- Actuarial Mathematics option
- Athletic Training option
This follows the same logic as University style does for programs or majors specific to Penn State:
- Music major
- Biology program.
Remember that a field of study is not capitalized: