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Use “alumnus” whether referring to a male or female SVA graduate. Use “alumni” for the plural. Avoid using “alum(s)” or “grad(s).”

SVA alumni are identified by a parenthetical that includes their degree type, class year and program name—e.g., “Sarah Sze (MFA 1997 Fine Arts).”

When an alumnus has more than one degree from the College, the degrees are listed in reverse chronological order and separated with a semicolon—e.g., “Dan Halm (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 1994 Illustration).

Board of Directors
Capitalize “Board of Directors” or “the Board” only when referring to the SVA Board of Directors.

Capitalize when referring to the former SVA academic award.

The head of an academic department at SVA is referred to as a “chair,” rather than “chairman,” “chairperson,” or “chairwoman.” The word “chairman” is only used when referring to Acting Chairman Milton Glaser.

Capitalize when referring to SVA (e.g., “the College was founded in 1947”). Avoid referring to SVA as a “school” or “university.”

Continuing Education
Capitalize only when referring to the Division of Continuing Education at SVA.

course adjustment period
Use this term instead of “drop/add period.”

course work
“Course work” is two words.

dean’s list
Lowercase “dean’s list.”

When referring generally to a degree type, use lowercase:

  • associate’s degree
  • bachelor’s degree
  • master’s degree
  • doctoral degree

Capitalize the specific names and acronyms of academic degrees:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA)
  • Master of Arts degree (MA)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT)
  • Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA)
  • Master of Professional Studies degree (MPS)

Some degree abbreviations use lowercase letters, such as “B.Arch.,” “PhD” or “M.Ed.” For questions on these, consult the Chicago Manual.

When referred to specifically, SVA degree names are capitalized and preceded by the degree type (e.g., “an MFA Art Practice degree”). When referred to generically, or when referring to a degree awarded by another institution, degree fields are lowercased (e.g., “she is pursuing an art practice degree”).

When writing an SVA department’s name, if space allows, include the degree it awards (e.g., “the BFA Interior Design Department” instead of “the Interior Design Department”).

early consideration, early decision
These terms are neither capitalized nor hyphenated.

events, programs, series (SVA)
Capitalize the names of commonly held college events (e.g., Commencement, Open House, Orientation) only when the event is occurring at SVA.

Examples of other SVA events, programs and series include:

  • Accepted Students Day
  • Art for Kids program
  • Filmmakers Dialogue
  • i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration lecture series
  • Information Session
  • International Students Program
  • Internship for Credit Program
  • The Masters Series
  • Open House
  • Pre-College Program
  • Portfolio Day/portfolio days—capitalize when referring to a specific event (e.g., “BFA Fine Arts Portfolio Day”), lowercase when plural (e.g., “SVA will host several portfolio days”).
  • SVA Destinations
  • SVA Speakers Bureau

SVA style is to use the term “faculty member”—rather than “teacher,” “instructor,” “lecturer” or “professor.”

foundation year
Lowercase “foundation year.” Hyphenate it when using it adjectivally (e.g., “foundation-year courses”).

ID, alumni and student
Only capitalize the “ID” when writing “alumni ID” or “student ID.”

main building
Do not use this term in reference to any SVA building.

The College’s internal website.

Capitalize only when it is part of the name of a specific scholarship (e.g., “Fulbright Scholarship”).

School of Visual Arts/SVA

The College’s name is “School of Visual Arts,” but a “the” should be added in running text (e.g., “Brad is attending the School of Visual Arts”). When using “SVA,” “the” is unnecessary (e.g., “Brad is attending SVA”).

Avoid using the possessive apostrophe with “School of Visual Arts” and “SVA” (e.g., “SVA’s BFA Fine Arts Department” should be rephrased as “the BFA Fine Arts Department at SVA”).

Do not capitalize specific semesters (e.g., “fall 2013 semester,” “spring 2014 semester”).

In running text, SVA students may be identified by their degree program (e.g., “MFA Design student Anna Grant . . .”). Do not include a student’s projected year of graduation.

Use “first-year,” “second-year,” “third-year” or “fourth-year” when indicating an SVA student’s seniority, as opposed to “freshman,” “sophomore,” “junior” or “senior.”

SVA Alumni Society
The SVA alumni organization’s full name is “SVA Alumni Society.”

The College’s email and text-message alert system.

The College’s email and cloud-computing service.

SVA Theatre
Note the British spelling of “theatre.” When not referring to the SVA Theatre, use the American spelling, “theater.”

Use “symposiums,” not “symposia,” for the plural of “symposium.”

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587