Abbreviations and Acronyms

Universities – Queen’s and Others

Use Queen’s University on first reference. On second reference, use Queen’s or “the university” (lowercase).

Refer to other universities using full names on first reference and the acronym (if available) on second reference.

  • The University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Western University
  • University of Toronto (U of T)

When referring to several universities, use the Universities of Toronto, Ottawa, and Alberta; but Carleton University, McGill University, and Dalhousie University.

For a full list of official Canadian university names, visit the Universities Canada website.

Queen’s Entities

Don’t assume the reader is familiar with campus life. Avoid acronyms and, if referring to a specific unit or group on campus, include an explanation if necessary.

When referring to Queen’s groups, centres, societies, or other entities, on first reference use the full name followed by the acronym in parentheses. On subsequent references, use the acronym with no periods.

  • Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
  • Alma Mater Society (AMS)
  • Student Academic Success Services (SASS)

Do not abbreviate department to dept. (unless absolutely necessary due to space concerns).


Do not abbreviate Professor to Prof. Professor is capitalized when it appears before the person’s name. Do not abbreviate assistant, associate, or emeritus when referring to a professor. Dr. can be used after the first reference to the individual:

  • John Smith (Biology) on first reference; Dr. Smith on second and subsequent references
  • There are some instances – such as in advertisements or magazine spreads – when using Dr. on first reference is necessary and appropriate. Writers and editors should use their discretion.

Do not include periods in title abbreviations that appear in uppercase only

  • VP, CEO, COO

Geography – Provinces, Territories, Streets and Roads

Provinces and territories

Provinces and territories should be spelled out in full in general writing. Queen's printed stationery and addresses on marketing and communications applications should also not include abbreviations.

It is important however, for envelope and package mailing addresses to follow the Canada Post guidelines for abbreviation of provinces and territories:

  • AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Streets and Roads

Words such as Street, Avenue, Place, Road, Square, Boulevard, Terrace, Drive, and Court are spelled out in general writing and when preceded only by the name of the street, road, etc. Abbreviate when writing the full address.

Abbreviate Place as Pl. and Road as Rd. Do not abbreviate Square, Terrace, Drive, and Court.

  • The street is cordoned off for the festival.
  • Brock Street, Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, Portsmouth Avenue


  • 322 Brock St., 910 Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd., 48 Portsmouth Ave.

Please refer to the printed stationery brand resources for guidance on addresses in branded applications and marketing materials, which differs from the general writing style.

Dates and Times


Spell out the first nine as words; use digits for 10 and above.

  • the fourth century, the 19th century (do not use superscript)


Spell out decades (twenties, thirties, eighties, etc.) when the century is clear. When using numerals, do not use an apostrophe before the “s.” An apostrophe precedes the shortened numerical form of the decade.

  • 1940s, the forties, the mid-1940s


Abbreviate the following months: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.

Spell out all months when they stand alone or with a year alone.

  • January, January 2002, but Jan. 14, 2002


Do not abbreviate days of the week unless they appear in tables. In that case, Sun., Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Sat.


Show dates with the month first, date second and year third

  • Nov. 17, 2006


Do not include periods in am and pm with a space after the number.

  • 9 am (not 9 a.m. or 9:00 a.m.), 6:30 pm
  • 1–5 pm; not 1 pm – 5 pm, but 11 am – 2 pm
  • use noon and midnight (not 12 am or 12 pm) to avoid confusion


When writing dates, do not use the ordinal form

  • June 7; not June 7th

Range of Dates

For periods of time in years, write the numbers out with an en dash (slightly longer than a hyphen) between

  • 2004–2007 or 1995–1998
  • For academic years, the form 2013–14 is acceptable.

Range of Times

Use “from” and “to” when writing a range of times in running copy but an en dash in short notes (often at the end of a news story about an event)

  • The conference went from 9 am to noon.
  • Reception, 8–10 pm

See Punctuation for more information on en/em dashes.


Metric Abbreviations

Use lowercase with no periods for metric measurements abbreviations. The exception is litres – it takes a capital letter (L) to avoid confusion with the numeral 1. Use one space between the numeral and the abbreviation.

  • 30 km, 550 ml, 6 L

Imperial Abbreviations

Use lowercase to abbreviate imperial measurements, with a period at the end of each unit

  • in., ft., sq. ft.


Use the capital letter C for Celsius. No period and one space between the temperature and abbreviation. The degree symbol º is not necessary when indicating temperature.

  • 20 C, -12 C

Square Measures

Square measures can be written with or without the superscript

  • 12 sq. m, or 12 m²

Ex., eg., i.e.

Avoid abbreviations when indicating an example. Write “for example.” If it's absolutely necessary to use an abbreviation, use "i.e."

Academic Degrees

Queen’s follows a "no period" style for degree abbreviations (BA, Artsci, MSc, PhD, MEd).

See Degrees for a full list of degree citations.