Language & Mechanics

The Haas School uses Associated Press (AP) style as a baseline standard for all language and mechanics usage.

Exceptions to AP Style

Follow AP style in all cases except when it contradicts the information listed below.

Alumni, Alumnus, Etc.

  • Alumnus refers to a male only. The male plural is alumni.
  • Alumna refers to a female only. The female plural is alumnae.
  • Groups consisting of male and female graduates are referred to as alumni.
  • Alum may be used for colloquial purposes.

Dean Rich Lyons is an alumnus of the Haas School's undergraduate program. He is among the many alumni who now work or teach at the school.

Serial Comma

We use the serial comma: a comma before the last item in a series. For example:

The Haas community consists of faculty, students, and staff.

Degree Abbreviations

We do not use periods when abbreviating degrees. For example:


Also note that the “h” in PhD is not capitalized.

Berkeley Haas Degrees and Graduation Years

When identifying Berkeley Haas alumni, use the abbreviated degree followed by the two-digit graduation year with no punctuation.

Mike Smith, MBA 11 | June Chang, BS 14 | Melissa Clark, EMBA 14

The references for degrees conferred by our programs are:

  • BS - Haas Undergraduate Program
  • MBA - Full-time Berkeley MBA and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program
  • EMBA - Berkeley MBA for Executives Program
  • BCEMBA - Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program (closed in 2013)
  • MFE - Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering Program
  • PhD - Berkeley Haas PhD Program

UC Berkeley Degrees and Graduation Years

When identifying graduates of other UC Berkeley degree programs, include the field of the non-business degree in parentheses. If the person was also a graduate of a Berkeley Haas degree program, list that reference first.

Melissa Clark, EMBA 14, MS 09 (Engineering)


Follow AP style when abbreviating states. However, in many cases, you should spell out the entire state name.

Web Addresses

When a web address contains “www,” it is not necessary to include the “http://.” You may also omit the “www” (optional). |

If you'd like, you may include “http://” with addresses that do not contain “www” (optional).

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