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Here are some of the basics about the systems and processes that govern names and naming within our institution.

The University

Name choices begin with the institution itself: are we UCLA or the University of California Los Angeles?

We should always use the acronym UCLA. It’s short, memorable and distinctive, a trademark recognized worldwide. Sometimes there’s an advantage to complementing the campus logo with the full, formal name of the institution. Spelling out “University of California Los Angeles” reminds the reader that we’re part of the highly regarded University of California system. The full name may also be helpful for international audiences. But with few exceptions (regulations, legal contracts), “UCLA” should take precedence.

Campus Units

The UCLA Name Comes First

On a list of academic and administrative departments it makes sense not to repeat “UCLA” in every listing. But when a name stands alone, it should always start with UCLA: “UCLA Art History,” not “Art History at UCLA.”

While a few official names use “at UCLA” — primarily due to gift agreements — that’s generally a construction to avoid. “At UCLA” is geographical; it refers simply to location, and weakens the institutional identity.

Academic and administrative units have the right and responsibility to use the UCLA name not as a location, but as an integral part of identity.

Use Shortened Names, But Avoid Acronyms

Many of the academic units of the campus also use a shortened version of their full, formal names: “UCLA College of Letters and Science” becomes “the UCLA College,” and “UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science” becomes “UCLA Samueli School of Engineering” or, in certain contexts, “UCLA Samueli.”

Academic and administrative departments often drop category names like “department of” or “office of.” Our departmental logo system deliberately drops category designations to focus attention on the word or words that differentiate the unit from other units. (In a few cases, a category name may be needed for clarity. For instance, you can’t shorten “Office of the Chancellor” to “Chancellor.”)

Used consistently, these short names communicate directly and effectively. But avoid replacing long names with acronyms. “HSSEAS” is unpronounceable and opaque. Prospective students, faculty and donors should never be forced to decode internal jargon.

Formal Names

The formal names of academic departments and schools can be found in the UCLA General Catalog. It’s a good idea for major websites and publications to explicitly link the formal and marketing names. For instance, the website for the Luskin School of Public Affairs uses the “About” section to recap the school’s history and recognize the generosity of donors Meyer and Renee Luskin.

Registered Groups

Student groups and other campus organizations cannot represent themselves as speaking on behalf of UCLA. For that reason, there are limitations on naming and specific guidelines for the use of protected UCLA marks and assets.

“UCLA” and “University of California, Los Angeles” can only be used by registered campus groups as a geographical designation; e.g., “Student Group Name at UCLA.”

Learn more in the Brand Protection section of these guidelines


Website names — domain names — can be internal (within the domain) or external. For internal domain names, the UCLA identity is built in: or For external domain names, choose a domain name that incorporates the UCLA identity: is an excellent example. See UCLA Policy 411 for complete information.

Facilities, Units and Programs

Naming a building, facility, academic or research unit involves a formal process, since the right to name properties rests with the president of the University of California. See the Policy on Naming Properties. No college, school or department can add a donor’s name or change its formal name without approval. “Marketing names” are shortened versions of the formal name; no additions or substitutions are allowed.

While most naming rights were delegated by the Regents to the President, some authority was given to the chancellor of each campus. UCLA Policy 112 Streets and roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas, minor properties and single-campus programs can be re-named in honor of individuals or donors. Proposals must be submitted to the chancellor for review by the executive committee.