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Communications and Public Affairs


Nomenclature

Our nomenclature is our system of rules for how we refer to the university. It aligns with our visual identity, with naming conventions that correspond to each logo.

It is not always necessary to use the full, formal university name; our nomenclature defines how to refer to the university in various contexts. These standards apply to the Columbia campus. Our editorial standards offer additional guidance on how we refer to the other institutions within the university system. 

 

FIRST REFERENCE

University of South Carolina

The official name of the university is appropriate for most uses and is particularly well-suited to formal communications. With few exceptions — such as headlines and marketing copy where space is very limited — “University of South Carolina” should be used on first reference. Lowercase the “t” in “the” when referring to the University of South Carolina, and omit “the” when the name stands alone.

When to use:

  • First reference in stories and other long-form communications
  • Formal communications

 

SECOND REFERENCE

South Carolina

"South Carolina" is the primary name of the university and is appropriate for most circumstances. With this usage, we can make an explicit link between the university and the state it serves. When using South Carolina nomenclature, make sure the context of your writing clearly indicates that you are referring to the university and not to the state of South Carolina or its government.

When to use:

  • To emphasize and reinforce our positive impact on the state and its residents
  • Second or subsequent reference in stories and other written communications
  • Marketing materials or campaigns related to the university brand platform

 

ABBREVIATION

UofSC

"UofSC" continues to be the preferred nomenclature for social media and digital headlines. It is also the official abbreviation of the university. 

When to use:

  • In the headlines of stories and posts
  • In social media handles for university-affiliated accounts
  • In contexts where the formal and primary names are too long
  • In the above instances, use instead of "USC"

 

standard

 

"South Carolina" is the primary name of the university and can be used in most instances after first reference. Following are before and after examples demonstrating the use of South Carolina nomenclature.

 

X

Do This

Ranked in the top 1 percent of patent-producing universities in the world, South Carolina is the state’s top global university.

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Not That

Ranked in the top 1 percent of patent-producing universities in the world, USC is the state’s top global university.

 

X

Do This

Researchers at South Carolina are using nanotechnology in an effort to mitigate the effects of oil spills.

check mark

Not That

Researchers at USC are using nanotechnology in an effort to mitigate the effects of oil spills.

 

X

Do This

South Carolina is in the top 3 percent of universities nationally in graduating African-American students.

check mark

Not That

USC is in the top 3 percent of universities nationally in graduating African-American students.