University Style Guide

University Names

We use California State University, Chico and Chico State.

Formal Name

California State University, Chico

The formal name should be used on first reference, with limited exception. This name should always include the comma when used in written communication and should not include other elements such as a dash, bullet, or other decorative divider. In rare circumstances, the comma may be omitted for design purposes.

The formal name and voice are best used on materials that are institutional in nature, formal documents such as administrative correspondence, or anything that will be distributed nationally or internationally.

Appropriate uses for the formal name might include, but are not limited to: diplomas, awards, signage, social contracts, marketing collateral, proposals, or presentations to prospective donors or other educational institutions.

Common Name

Chico State

"Chico State" is the most common and frequently used nickname for the University. This name has been affectionately used by students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the local community for decades. It evokes a specific sense of place and is an emotive component of our identity.

It is appropriate for everyone to use but is most effective for communications with audiences that are familiar with the University. It should be used instead of CSU, Chico.

History of Names

Chico State has had a succession of names in its long history, and you may be able to date an alum by the name they use when referring to the University, which has been known by the following names:

  • Northern Branch State Normal School of California (1887–1921)
  • Chico State Teachers College (1921–1935)
  • Chico State College (1935–1972)
  • California State University, Chico (1972–today)
Unacceptable Names

The following name variations for the University should NEVER be used:

  • CSUC
  • CSU Chico
  • CSU-Chico
  • CSU•Chico
  • Cal State Chico
  • Chico University
  • Chico State University
  • University of Chico
  • California State University at Chico

Why are they not allowed? The examples above don’t follow University guidelines, are inaccurate or confusing, or create a negative connotation.