University Identity


Georgia State University

Our national and international identity hinges on the words “Georgia State.” Do not use the acronym “GSU.” Beyond our community of  “insiders” this acronym is not well or universally recognized and outside of  Georgia (and even within Georgia) may be confused with other institutions.

GSU may be used on social media and within athletics.


The Georgia State University logo is a unit composed of two parts:

  • the university name in specially modified type treatments (logotype)
  • a graphic mark (flame)

The two parts of the logo — the mark and logotype — are always used together. Neither the mark nor the logotype may be manipulated or changed.

The graphic mark is an abstract representation of the letters G and S. But  the function of this mark is not that it can be read as the school’s initials, but  that it is a strong visual symbol that is easily recognized, remembered and  associated with Georgia State University.

Further symbolism may be read into the mark. There is a flame-like aspect  that can be seen as symbolizing both the traditional flame of knowledge as  well as the mythical phoenix, the symbol of the post-Civil War resurrection  of the city of Atlanta.

The Georgia State University logo is a registered trademark protected by  federal law and should always have the registered trademark symbol ® with it.

Employees of the university can download the logo from the university’s  digital asset library. For more details,  contact Ellen Powell, 404-413-1352, or Renata Irving, 404-413-1363, in Public  Relations and Marketing Communications.

Univeristy Logo Parts

Academic Degrees

Spell out and use the lower case: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree,doctor’s degree or doctorate.

You can receive a doctorate OR your doctor’s degree, but NOT your  doctoral degree.

Abbreviate degrees and be sure to use periods after all the letters: B.A.,M.S., Ph.D., M.S.I.A., B.F.A. (with the exception of MBA).

Right: He received a master’s degree in education.
Right: She received her master of science degree in biology.
Right: We awarded 99 doctor’s, 150 master’s and 900 bachelor’s degrees.
Right: She has an M.S. degree in technical writing.
Right: He earned a bachelor of music.
Wrong: He earned a bachelor’s of anthropology.

Do not precede a name with a title of an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for that degree.

Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of a person who  holds a doctor of medicine degree.

Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold other types of degrees, including those who hold honorary degrees only. References to  honorary degrees must specify the degree was honorary.

Right: Carl V. Patton, Ph.D., was president of Georgia State  University from 1992-2008.
Right: Carl V. Patton was president of Georgia State University from 1992-2008.
Wrong: Dr. Carl V. Patton, Ph.D., was president of Georgia State  University from 1992-2008.

The last name may be used with no title at all, which is often preferable to  maintain consistency.


Generally, it’s fine to use acronyms if you feel they’re commonly recognized  or if it helps avoid repetition. But always spell out the full name, title  or phrase the first time you refer to it in text, followed immediately by  the acronym in parentheses. Then use the acronym for each and every  subsequent use. It is not necessary to note the acronym in parentheses if  there is only one reference.

Right: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the grant to the research group. The NIH funded only three such centers in the nation.
Right: The College of Education received a science, technology,engineering and math (STEM) grant.
Wrong: The five-year research project is funded by the National Institute  on Aging of the NIH.


These rules apply to addresses within body copy, not to addresses on envelopes.

Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd., Rd., Dr. and St. only when you can include  a numbered address.

Right: Send mail to 405 W. 25th St.
Right: Our office is on 25th Street.

Spell out all street names and use lower case when you’re referring to more  than one in a phrase.

Right: The park is at Courtland and Gilmer streets.
Wrong: The park is at Courtland and Gilmer Sts.

Company Names

Follow their lead. Use Co. or Cos. or Inc. or Ltd. if it appears that way in the  formal title of the organization.

When you refer to a company without its formal title, use the term “company,”not “co.”

Always spell out the word “company” in theatrical organizations.

For possessives: Ford Motor Co.’s profits.

Never use a comma before Inc. or Ltd. (Follow the company’s lead about other  punctuation and the use of “&” or “and.”)


In most non-academic writing, contractions make your text easier to read, conveying a more conversational tone. Unless a more formalized construction helps emphasize the meaning of a sentence or phrase, use contractions and use them consistently.

You’ll notice we’ve used contractions consistently in this publication, except  for points of emphasis, as in “do not” instead of “don’t.”

Georgia State University

Do not use the abbreviation “GSU.” The idea is to proclaim the university’s  name, not obscure it. Some of your readers may use the term “GSU”  themselves, but why minimize the recognition impact of the name Georgia  State University?

The correct reference is to use “Georgia State University” the first time you refer to the title of the university in text. Upon second reference and  thereafter, use “university.” When writing for internal audiences familiar with  the university, it is acceptable to refer to the university as GSU/Georgia State.

Right: Georgia State is in Atlanta. The university was  started in 1913.

Use lower case when using “the university” as a reference. The Associated  Press style guide suggests using lower case when making a second reference  to “the university.”


Use title case in all headlines, which means capitalize the first word and all  major words.


The preferred form for Ph.D. is to say a person holds a doctorate in (name  their field of specialty). Second best is to say doctor’s degree.

Postal Abbreviations

Do not use postal abbreviations in your text. See States and Regions for preferred abbreviations of states

Right: He’s from Macon, Ga.
Wrong: He’s from Macon, GA.


When used before an individual’s name, precede it with “the.”

Right: The Rev. Miller will speak at the assembly.
Right: The Reverend Miller will speak.
Wrong: Rev. Miller will be there.
Wrong: The Rev. will be there.

States and Regions

Spell out the names of the 50 United States when they stand alone in text.

Right: Most students come from Georgia.
Wrong: We have 50 students from Fla.

Abbreviate, using AP, not postal rules, when citing a city and a state together. Some states must always be spelled out.

Ala. Ga. Maine Neb. Ohio Texas
Alaska Hawaii Md. Nev. Okla. Utah
Ariz. Idaho Mass. N.H. Ore. Vt.
Ark. Ill. Mich. N.J. Pa. Va.
Calif. Ind. Minn. N.M. R.I. Wash.
Colo. Iowa Miss. N.Y. S.C. W.Va.
Conn. Kan. Mo. N.C. S.D. Wis.
Del. Ky. Mont. N.D. Tenn. Wyo.
Fla. La.

Use Washington, D.C. Don’t abbreviate to D.C. or, worse, DC.

Right: The conference is in Macon, Ga.
Wrong: The conference is in Macon, GA.

Do not use states with these U.S. cities:

Atlanta Detroit Minneapolis Salt Lake City
Baltimore Honolulu New Orleans San Antonio
Boston Houston New York City San Diego
Chicago Indianapolis Oklahoma City San Francisco
Cincinnati Las Vegas Philadelphia Seattle
Cleveland Los Angeles Phoenix Washington
Dallas Miami Pittsburgh
Denver Milwaukee St. Louis

Always spell out a state name if it’s part of a title or name: The Georgia  Department of Education.

U.S./United States

We suggest using “United States” on first reference, rather than “U.S.,” “USA” or “America,” and be consistent with usage for the second reference  and thereafter. The key is to choose one option and use it consistently. It  can be confusing to jump from one to another.