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Welcome to the Bloomberg School of Public Health


Calcutta (India)

See Kolkata. Unless referring to the name of a specific organization, use Kolkata.

Canceled, canceling

In keeping with AP style and American English, we prefer to spell "canceled" and "canceling" with one "l" each.

Capacity building

Two words, no hyphen.

Capitalization—Names of Johns Hopkins entities

In most cases, do not capitalize campus.

the Homewood campus
the East Baltimore campus
the Bayview Research Campus

Department names
Capitalize names of departments and offices even when the names are flip-flopped.

Department of Health Policy and Management
Department of Biostatistics
Office of Student Affairs, Student Affairs Office

Capitalize department when it refers to a particular entity.

The Department offers an MHS in genetic counseling. 

Do not capitalize department when it is preceded or followed by two or more proper nouns.

  • the departments of French and English
  • the Computer Science and Cognitive Science departments (NOTE: This rule applies generally, e.g., Harvard and Princeton universities, Wolman and McCoy halls, the Harvey and Nelson buildings)

Divisions of the University
Capitalize both long and shortened forms of proper nouns.

the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education
Professional Studies in Business and Education
the Peabody Conservatory of Music
Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Medicine

Capitalize University, School, Hospital, and Department, if these are used as shortened forms of the Johns Hopkins University, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Department of International Health, etc.

Endowed professorships
Capitalize named or endowed professorships (they are never called “endowed chairs”) both preceding and following a name, whether the name of the holder is attached or the full or abbreviated form is used.

Bernard Guyer, MD, Zanvyl Krieger Professor of Children’s Health
the Zanvyl Krieger Professor of Children’s Health
the Zanvyl Krieger Professorship in Children’s Health
the Krieger Professor of Children’s Health

Centers, institutes, schools, and departments
Capitalize these entities when they are named.

the Hopkins-Nanjing Center
the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Capitalize these entities if referring to a particular one.

The Center is holding an open house. 
The Department offers an MPH degree.
The School was deemed the no. 1 school of public health in the country.

School of Public Health—Official name
Our full name is Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. If this name is preceded by the in running text, do not capitalize the the.

First reference to the School in text or body copy will always be the full name. For second references, internal publications, or informal usage, use

the School of Public Health
the School

The and Johns Hopkins
Do not capitalize the when referring to the Johns Hopkins University or the Johns Hopkins Hospital in running copy unless it is in a legal context where the formal incorporated names are required.

The student attends the Johns Hopkins University.

With divisions, offices, and departments, do not capitalize the in running copy.

The lecture is at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
John Hollander is giving a reading for the Writing Seminars.
Grace Goodell is a professor in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
The student attends the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Captions for photos

Identify people in photos using the following guidelines: If the photo only shows a few people, insert (left), (center), (right) into the sentence, using parentheses. If many people, say (from left) or (front row, from left) , thereby establishing the direction for subsequent rows; this way, the direction need not repeated for every row. Avoid having these explanatory notes be part of the sentence.


In keeping with American English, we prefer catalog. We'll leave catalogue to the British.


Instead of spelling out the word, use numerals, as such:

Those rollerblades are straight out of the 20th century.

In compound adjectives
Hyphenate when the century is used in a compound adjective.

He has a weakness for 19th-century poetry.

Chair, chairman, chairwoman

Use "chair" whenever possible.

The chair of the board showed off his new shoes.
The department chair introduced her assistant.

Sexist language ("chairman" and "chairwoman") may be unavoidable when referring to specific titles at specific institutions. When deemed necessary, we will respect other institutions' use of sexist language.

Circumcision, female

See female genital mutilation.

Cleanup, clean up

When used as a noun, one word, no hyphen. (Used as a verb, two words.)

Cleanup strategies include novel diagnostic devices.
The EPA should clean up its Superfund sites.

Co- (prefix)

As a general rule, we try to eliminate use of the hyphen after the prefix co- ...


... except with words that begin with "o" or "a" ...


... and with "in" (this is a rejection of the Merriam-Webster rule).


Use your best judgment, and consult an American dictionary.


Capitalization after a colon
Capitalize the first letter after a colon only if the clause it begins forms a complete sentence. EXCEPTIONS: Where colons fall within titles of papers, articles, chapters, and books, the first word after a colon will always be capitalized. Colons will usually go outside of quotation marks.

The lecture's title was, "Whither Neurology: A worthwhile question?"

Space after a colon
Colons are followed by only a single space in typeset publications.

To introduce a list
Don’t use a colon to introduce a list unless your sentence contains as follows or the following.

The metals excluded were

The following people attended the conference:
     Jane Smith
     Mary White
     Marsha Green.


Omit the serial comma (i.e., the final comma before and, or, or nor) in a list of three or more items.

John, Henry and Paul

Jr., Sr., III
No comma before Jr., Sr., and III in people’s names, or before Inc., Ltd., and so forth, unless specified by the company.

William E. Snow Jr. is the treasurer of the university.
Stuart S. Janney III is a member of the board of trustees.
Gladco Inc. has gone under.

Commas with degrees and other qualifiers after a name
When they follow a person’s name, qualifiers such as PhD and CPA are preceded by a comma. A second comma follows the qualifier in running copy.

John Smith, MD, DrPH, addressed the group.

Commas with graduation dates after a name

Jane Smith, MPH ’75, associate professor, Epidemiology, said ...
John Smith, PhD ’75, MPH ’72, ...

Commas and quotation marks
Commas go inside quotation marks.

Complement, compliment   

complement something that fills up, completes, or makes perfect (Mirriam-Webster Online ); OR the thermolabile group of proteins in normal blood serum and plasma that in combination with antibodies causes the destruction especially of particulate antigens (as bacteria and foreign blood corpuscles)

compliment — (noun) an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; (verb) to pay a compliment to (Mirriam-Webster Online)

Compound modifiers—Hyphenation

If compound modifier follows noun or verb
Compounds should not be hyphenated if they follow the noun or verb they modify or if they consist of an adverb and an adjective: rapidly fading, highly visible (exceptions are in Webster’s).

If modifier precedes noun or verb
Use a hyphen between compound modifiers when they precede the noun or verb they modify, except when very is the first of a two-word compound modifier (e.g., a very strong child) or when an adverb starts with well or ends in -ly .

She directs their computer-assisted reference services.
BUT: Almost all of our services are computer assisted.
a 5-year-old child
BUT: Sophie is 5 years old.
first-year student
a general-education requirement
a heavy-ion physicist
frequently asked questions
well known author

EXCEPTION: If a modifier-noun pair is an especially familiar one, it is often unhyphenated when used to modify another noun.

high school students, not high-school students
public health laws, not public-health laws

When to hyphenate ethnic terms
Note that racial and ethnic terms are used both as nouns and as adjectives. Do not hyphenate these terms if they are used as a noun, but hyphenate them if they are used as an adjective.

The Asian-American students welcomed the seminar series. (adjective, hyphenate)
Asian Americans were concerned about the controversy. (noun, do not hyphenate)

Suspended hyphens
Use a suspended hyphen when a base word, such as year in the example below, or a suffix or prefix such as self, is doing double duty.

second- and third-year law students
self-initiated and -implemented projects

Use this construction even when the complete words, standing alone, would be closed up.

macro- and microeconomics

Numerals within compound adjectives
A hyphen is not necessary in a compound adjective that includes arabic numerals to represent dollars.

an $18 million building

Counseled, counseling

One "l" instead of two.


One word, no hyphen.

Courtesy titles (Dr., Prof., Ms., etc.)

The School does not make use of courtesy titles (Dr., Prof., etc.)

Thorunn Thorsdottir, PhD, assistant professor in Biostatistics, gave the lecture in Reykjavik. Arriving late, Thorsdottir apologized for the delay.

Exception: The use of courtesy titles is allowable in programs for special events.


The plural of criterion is criteria.


The plural of curriculum is curricula.

Curriculum vitae

The plural of curriculum vitae is curricula vitae. ("Curriculum vita" is incorrect.)

Council on Education for Public Health

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