The University, the School, and Other Entities

This page is part of our Editorial Style Guide.

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The University and sub-brands

Upon first reference to the University, use “UC San Francisco.” Upon subsequent references to the University, use “UCSF.” On About pages or when explicitly explaining organizational relationship, spell out “University of California, San Francisco.”

When referring to sub-brands of the University, use “UCSF” followed by the sub-brand. Example: “UCSF School of Nursing.”

The School

Upon first reference, use “UCSF School of Pharmacy.” Upon subsequent references, use “School.” (In an exception to UCSF Style, we capitalize “School” in secondary references.)


  • During her 14 years as dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, she championed the basic sciences and united the School in its efforts to transform the curriculum.
  • Grants to School researchers in NIH fiscal year 2012 totaled $31.7 million.


First reference is the full name, such as “the Department of Clinical Pharmacy.” Subsequent reference to departments will be “the department.”

  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Department of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences

Upon first reference to BTS

Use “the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.” This wording was agreed upon when the department was created.

CORRECT: Desai is chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.

INCORRECT: Desai is chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering.

Programs, centers, and labs

First reference to entities is spelled out, such as “Small Molecule Discovery Center.” If there is a subsequent reference and the entity uses an acronym, add the acronym in parens after the first reference. Subsequent references use the acronym only or a shortened version: SMDC or “the center.”

First reference to a lab itself in the copy may say something like “In the UC San Francisco lab of Tejal Desai, PhD, research focuses on... ” Subsequent references to the lab should be “the Desai Lab” (capitalize “Lab”).

CORRECT: Research in the Desai Lab is translational.

INCORRECT: Research in Desai Lab is translational.

EXCEPTION: Omit the article “the” when referring to people in the lab, such as: “Desai Lab researchers are working on...”

Affiliated entities

UCSF-affiliated institutions, e.g., Gladstone Institutes, ZSFGH, SFVAMC

Spell out first use, then use its abbreviation. See UCSF Style, Part 2, General Editorial Guidelines. Refer to the institution’s affiliation with UCSF.

Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI)

See Quantitative Biosciences Institute.

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