Academic subjects

Academic subjects or disciplines should be written in lower case, except for languages or ethnicities, which are capitalized.

  • She is taking courses in mathematics and psychology, but her major is English.
  • The geography class took a field trip as part of its research.
  • He took an introductory Spanish course and a linguistics course.

If you are writing about a specific department using the official name, capitalize the name of the department or research centre and use the full title for the first reference. On second and subsequent references, use the short version of the proper name also capitalized or the common noun element lower cased.

  • The Department of Sociology received nine significant grants. It was the highest number ever presented to Sociology within a single semester.

(See the Capitalizing Academic Subjects and Capitalizing Departments and Administrative Units sections.)