Abbreviations

Information and usage were taken from a variety of sources, including The Chicago Manual of StyleThe Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, and a collection of U-M school and college style guides.

Overview

Abbreviations and acronyms should be restricted to situations where they enhance comprehension: e.g., when your copy refers repeatedly to a lengthy name or term that has a commonly accepted abbreviation. Be aware that familiarity with most abbreviations and acronyms is context sensitive and field dependent. Does NASA refer to the Native American Student Association or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration? Remember that shorthand familiar to specialists in a given field (or to longtime university employees) could confuse non-specialists, non-university readers and new employees.

U-M has a significant amount of acronyms. To find buildings or locations, please visit the acronym decoder.

Degrees

The general trend is to omit periods from abbreviations, including academic degrees.When the abbreviation of a degree might be unfamiliar to an audience, we recommend using a generic degree (such as BA, BS, MA, PhD, MBA) along with the subcategory spelled out, or spelling out the entire degree. When it’s clear from the context that the degree is a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate, you may omit the level of degree and just provide the field abbreviation in parentheses (see graduation year with degree).

Note: When spelling out degrees, use lowercase: bachelor of science, master of business administration, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate.

Abbreviations of UM-Ann Arbor degrees

Art & Design

Short Name Formal Name
B.F.A Bachelor of Fine Arts
B.F.A.Des Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design)
A.M. Master of Arts
M.F.A Master of Fine Arts
Architecture & Urban Planning

Short Name Formal Name
B.S. Bachelor of Science
M.Arch Master of Architecture
M.S. Master of Science
M.U.D. Master of Urban Design
M.U.P. Master of Urban Planning
Arch.D. Doctor of Architecture
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Business Administration

Short Name Formal Name
B.B.A. Bachelor of Business Administration
A.M. Master of Arts
M.Acc. Master of Accounting
M.B.A. Master of Business Administration
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Dentistry

Short Name Formal Name
M.S. Master of Science
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
D.D.S. Doctor of Dental Surgery
Dental Hygiene

Short Name Formal Name
B.S. Bachelor of Science
Cert.Dent. Certificate of Specialization in Dental Hygiene
Education

Short Name Formal Name
A.B.Ed. Bachelor of Arts Education
B.S.Ed. Bachelor of Science Education
A.M. Master of Arts
M.S. Master of Science
Ed.D. Doctor of Education
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Ed.S. Specialist in Education
Engineering

Short Name Formal Name
B.S. Bachelor of Science in Engineering
B.S.AOSS Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric, Oceanic & Space Science
B.S.E.Aero Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Aerospace Engineering
B.S.E.B.E. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Biomedical Engineering
B.S.E.C.S. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science
B.S.E.Ch E Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Chemical Engineering
B.S.E.Civ Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Civil Engineering
B.S.E.CivE B Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Civil & Environmental Engineering
B.S.E.Comp Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Engineering
B.S.E.E.P. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Engineering Physics
B.S.E.E.S. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Engineering Science
B.S.E.Elec Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Electrical Engineering
B.S.E.Env. Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences Engineering
B.S.E.ESSE Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Earth Systems Science
B.S.E.I.O. Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Engineering Operations
B.S.E.M.M. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mat & Met E
B.S.E.M.S. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Materials Sci & Engineering
B.S.E.Mech Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
B.S.E.Met Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Meteorology
B.S.E.N.E. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Nuclear Engineering
B.S.E.Nav Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
B.S.E.NERS Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences
B.S.Meteor Bachelor of Science in Meteorology
B.S.P.O. Bachelor of Science in Physical Oceanography
M. Eng. Master of Engineering
M.S. Master of Science
M.S.E. Master of Science in Engineering
D.Eng.Mfg. Doctor of Engineering in Manufacturing
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Aero.E. Aerospace Engineer
I.&Op.E. Industrial and Operations Engineer
Nav. Arch. Naval Architect
Nuc. E. Nuclear Engineer
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Cert.Adv.S. Certificate of Advanced Studies in Engineering
Information

A.M. Master of Arts
Short Name Formal Name
B.S. Bachelor of Science in Engineering
M.I.L.S. Master of Information and Library Studies
M.S.I. Master of Science in Information
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Kinesiology

Short Name Formal Name
A.B. Bachelor of Arts
B.S. Bachelor of Science
A.M. Master of Arts
M.S. Master of Science
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Law

Short Name Formal Name
LL.M. Master of Laws
M.C.L. Master of Comparative Law
S.J.D. Doctor of the Science of Law
J.D. Juris Doctor
Literature, Science, and the Arts

Short Name Formal Name
A.B. Bachelor of Arts
B.G.S. Bachelor in General Studies
B.S. Bachelor of Science
B.S.Chem Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
A.M. Master of Arts
M.F.A. Master of Fine Arts
M.S. Master of Science
M.M.P. Master of Museum Practice
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Prg.C. Certificate of Program Completion
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
LSA Residential College

Short Name Formal Name
A.B. Bachelor of Arts
B.S. Bachelor of Science
B.S.Chem. Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
Medicine

Short Name Formal Name
M.S. Master of Science
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
M.D. Doctor of Medicine
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Music, Theatre & Dance

Short Name Formal Name
B.D.A. Bachelor of Dance Arts
B.F.A. Bachelor of Fine Arts
B.Mus Bachelor of Music
B.Mus.A. Bachelor of Musical Arts
B.S. Bachelor of Science
B.T.A. Bachelor of Theatre Arts
BFA.Mus.Tht. B.F.A. (Music Theatre)
A.M. Master of Arts
M.F.A. Master of Fine Arts
M.Mus. Master of Music
A.Mus.D. Doctor of Musical Arts
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
S.M. Specialist in Music
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Natural Resources & Environment

Short Name Formal Name
B.S. Bachelor of Science
M.L.Arch. Master of Landscape Architecture
M.S. Master of Science
M.F. Master of Forestry
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Nursing

Short Name Formal Name
B.S.N. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
M.S. Master of Science
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Pharmacy

Short Name Formal Name
B.S. Bachelor of Science
M.S. Master of Science
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Pharm.D. Doctor of Pharmacy
Public Health

Short Name Formal Name
A.M. Master of Arts
M.H.S.A. Master of Health Services Administration
M.P.H. Master of Public Health
M.S. Master of Science
Dr.P.H. Doctor of Public Health
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Comp Certificate of Academic Competencies
Public Policy

Short Name Formal Name
M.P.A. Master of Public Administration
M.P.P. Master of Public Policy
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
A.B. Bachelor of Arts
Rackham

Short Name Formal Name
A.M. Master of Arts
M.R.P. Master of Regional Planning
M.S. Master of Science
M.S.E. Master of Science in Engineering
M.S.I. Master of Science in Information
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Cert.Grad. Certificate of Graduate Studies
Social Work

Short Name Formal Name
M.S.W. Master of Social Work
Cert.Comm. Certificate in Jewish Communal Service & Judaic St
Cert.Aging Certificate of Specialization in Aging
Cert.Mgt. Certificate of Management

Graduation year with degree

When including a graduation or expected graduation year with a degree, abbreviate the year with an apostrophe and include a space between the year and the degree. Be sure to use an apostrophe (’63) and not a single open quote mark (‘63).

  • Vijay Patel (BGS ’84) will return to U-M this fall as a first-year student at Michigan Law.
  • Ann McCarthy (BFA ’72, MBA ’80) will establish a scholarship for students majoring in fine arts.

Plurals of abbreviations and acronyms

Form the plurals of abbreviations and acronyms by adding ‘s’ alone (no apostrophe).

  • All of the department’s MAs, PhDs, and GSIs spent several hours at the seminar.

University of Michigan

For external audiences, spell out the complete name the first time you refer to it, unless the context and nature of the document require an abbreviation (e.g., in an advertisement). Note the use of hyphens in both the long and abbreviated forms.

  • the University of Michigan
  • the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (hyphen)
  • the University of Michigan-Dearborn (hyphen)
  • the University of Michigan-Flint (hyphen)

Unless it is the first word in a sentence or part of an official title, ‘the’ should not be capitalized in running text.

  • John attends the University of Michigan.
  • NOT John attends The University of Michigan.

Abbreviations for the University of Michigan and its campuses.

  • U-M (hyphen)
  • UM-Ann Arbor (hyphen)
  • UM-Dearborn (hyphen)
  • UM-Flint (hyphen)

Note the elimination of the hyphen from the abbreviated form when a campus designation is used: UM-Dearborn, NOT U-M-Dearborn. Although U-M is usually pronounced “U of M” when spoken, this abbreviation should not be used in written text.

Use of the article “the” is optional with the abbreviated form of the university name:

  • John attends the U-M.
  • John attends U-M.

Because it can cause confusion with the state of Michigan, avoid referring to U-M as “Michigan” unless the context is obvious. For example in this sentence: “Michigan donors can take advantage of a new tax law that allows deductions for charitable gift annuities,” is it the university or the state of Michigan that is being referenced?