Do You Capitalize The Word "Psychology" When Writing? (2023)

Perhaps you've taken a course in college or are writing a paper that includes the word "psychology" in it, describing the science that studies human behavior (and cognitive processing). Still, you want to know in which cases one is supposed to capitalize the word. This article will explore the cases where it is proper to capitalize the word "psychology."

According to the general rules of English grammar, all academic subjects such as astronomy, psychology, history, social studies, and math are not written in capital letters unless they are proper nouns.

As with most things in life, there are exceptions to these rules. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about the capitalization of the word, examples, and more.

Do You Capitalize The Word "Psychology" When Writing? (1)

Exceptions In Capitalization

When capitalizing, there are exceptions, these include:

  • If they are a language (English, Swedish, Chinese, Mongolian, Swahili, Italian).
  • If they are a culture (Aztec, Latin, American, Maya, Hindi, Malay, Singaporean, Japanese).
  • If they are a religion (Christian, Buddhism, Muslim, Judaism).

For example:

  • Dani's and Carmen's favorite language is Portuguese, although speaking it is unusual for them.
  • I feel prepared for my next English morning lesson; I reviewed all of yesterday's notes.
  • Chinese, of course, is considered a top language for commercial activities.

In the above examples, the terms are used as language and class subjects. It is appropriate to capitalize these words since they are already official languages, but they could also refer to academic subjects.

For example:

  • I fell in love with the Malay relaxed yet productive way of living.
  • Japanese discipline has shocked more than one individual; their precision is incredible!
  • Latin culture is known for hosting big meals and motivating dancing.

These examples refer to a specific culture that belongs to a particular country. Therefore, one should write them in capital letters.

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For example:

  • Christianity is among the main religions worldwide.
  • I've heard the "enlightened" state; it is part of what Buddhism prophesies.
  • Judaism is represented by a crossed star symbol inside a circle; colors like gold, black, blue, orange, and purple are mostly used to identify the religion rapidly.

According to the general rules of English grammar, all academic subjects such as astronomy, psychology, history, social studies, and math are not written in capital letters unless they are a language (English, Swedish, Chinese, Mongolian, Swahili, Italian), culture (Aztec, Latin, American, Maya, Hindi, Malaysian, Singaporean, Japanese), or religion (Christian, Buddhism, Muslim, Judaism).

Capitalizing the term "Psychology"

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychology is the branch of science that studies the mind, how it works, and how it affects behavior and emotions. The study of psychology supports itself by statistics and experiences that explain how human beings interact. These statistics and symptoms are found in the Diagnostic & Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Although the term "psychology" refers to a science field – a branch of studies that deals with human cognitive processing, it is referred to as an overall noun and a common one, so it is written in lowercase.

Examples

  • Aaron disagrees with his brother's idea of studying psychology.
  • Meredith decided to apply inverse psychology when training her puppy.
  • Whenever there is a group of people, one can identify psychology principles in action.

However, just like any other grammar rule, when capitalizing, there are exceptions. In the following sections, we discuss edge cases. These are occasions where one should write the term "psychology" in capital letters.

Whenever writing essays, articles, homework, letters, emails, it is best to understand that there are style references that establish those words that one must write in capital letters and under which circumstances.

These guide references like APA, MLA, AP have had changes in time. Before starting a written work, make sure you are up to date with those changes; they could be additions or rules that have become obsolete.

Exceptions Edge Cases

Listed below are the occasions where one is supposed to capitalize subjects in academic contexts. Overall there are four prominent edge cases. If you want to deliver a good quality paper, take into account these exceptions, as well as their possible updates.

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  1. A) When the sentence refers to a specific academic unit title, you should capitalize the word "psychology."

Examples:

  • School of Psychology
  • Department of Psychology and Culture Sciences
  • Psychology Committee
  • Educational Psychology Seminary

On the other hand, when academic studies work as nouns, they are not supposed to be uppercased. The reason for this is that the noun takes the role of describing rather than directly addressing or granting a title to someone. In these cases, the term should be in lowercase.

For example:

  • He is an English minor, while his sister is a psychology major.
  • Dr. Elliot is the best option to enroll with for the psychology seminar on building A.
  • Paige told me she would learn twenty major psychology principles by the end of summer.
  • You can pick up your report from the psychology office.

"The psychology office" doesn't include the institution where the office belongs to or its location, nor the country. Since it lacks specificity, it is considered a common noun.

Furthermore, the writer must not capitalize fields of study, minors, or majors unless they are written next to a proper noun. For example, if the term "psychology" appears in a sentence as a college course, the writer should capitalize it. The reason for this is due to the specificity of the study class.

For example:

  • Arantza, Matthew, and Tai will enroll in Psychology 102 next semester.
  • Mr. McAllister has uploaded the lesson for our Systemic Bias and Psychology course.
  • Awesome! There's space for one more student in Psychology and Living Interactions – 02.
  • Georgina and Toulouse are visitors to our Human Consciousness and Psychology class.
  • Sadly, Adelaide failed her Introduction to Psychology pop quiz.

Alternatively, suppose the term appears in the sentence as a generic noun. In that case, the writer should not write it in uppercase since it would be the same as referring to any place, thing, or idea – general words without an identifier.

The following are other examples where the term "psychology" is used as a common noun:

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  • I didn't know about the possibilities our college office in Canada offers for studying psychology.
  • Her whole family took courses in psychology to polish their career skills.
  • Jen took a test that revealed her active listening would make her an excellent teacher in psychology.
  • Both her aunt and best friend decided to register for next month's psychology education congress.
  • Dani and Andre received materials for their monthly psychology workshop.

The word "psychology" should also be capitalized if it appears on awards of completion, certificates, or diplomas.

Do You Capitalize The Word "Psychology" When Writing? (2)

Additional Exceptions

The below listed are other exceptions where the term "psychology" should be in capital letters.

  1. A) When the term "psychology" appears on a diploma or certificate

Examples:

  • Eliza Berringer just finished her Master's in Psychology.
  • Junior Mattel excelled in his Honours Bachelor in Psychology.
  • Last year our group won an award in First Aid Psychology.
  • Victoria Then appeared in a newspaper article for winning first place in the international Mind Games Psychology Contest.
  1. B) When the term is in a list of official degree titles

For example:

  • The Department of Applied Humanities offers these degrees: Doctorate in General Psychology, Senior Psychology Associate, and Bachelor of Psychology.
  • Her academia has enabled these degrees for those interested in taking them: Educational Psychology Educator, Master's in Communicative Psychology, Doctorate in Distance Learning, and Psychology.
  • Boston College announced their scholarship for the following degrees: Professor in Cultural Psychology, Psychology Major Associate, and Psychology Bachelor of Science.

The examples at the top describe titles that people and interested students would want to achieve. In an academic context, a person must invest extra time and effort to earn labels that will later benefit the chosen professional career. These titles would enhance any curriculum.

  1. C) At the beginning of a sentence

This edge case responds to the English rule once learned in first grade, where one should write all words at the beginning of any complete thought in capital letters.

The following are examples where the term "psychology" introduces a written thought.

  • Psychology tries to establish patterns of behavior, but cases vary from person to person.
  • Psychology was my first choice as a major, but I later went for interior design.
  • Psychology and reflexive principles have been in public debates lately.
  • Psychology has helped my aunt, as she has assisted therapy.

Conclusion

"Psychology" is the name used to describe the science that deals with human behavior and its interactions with emotions. As a general rule, the term should not be capitalized. However, it is important to note that there are exceptions for capitalizing "psychology."

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These are: for specific academic unit titles, at the beginning of a sentence, when the term appears on a diploma or certificate, and when it appears on a list of official degrees.

If you are writing materials of various types that include the term, make sure you keep up with the style and grammar guidelines the English language has. Since these serve as a reference, some terms could be altered, removed, or added to these rules.

The result of remembering these capitalization principles is that your material will have correct word punctuation. If it's homework, those authorized to grade it will positively review it. But also, the readers will get to know the rules by seeing the writer apply them.

Do You Capitalize The Word "Psychology" When Writing? (3)

Shawn Manaher

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Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

FAQs

Do you capitalize the word psychology? ›

Also, names of school subjects (math, algebra, geology, psychology) are not capitalized, with the exception of the names of languages (French, English). Names of courses are capitalized (Algebra 201, Math 001).

Should psychology be capitalized as a major? ›

Except for languages such as English and Spanish, the names of academic disciplines, majors, and minors are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized. Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Engineering.

What words do you capitalize in writing? ›

1. Capitals signal the start of a new sentence. This is a stable rule in our written language: Whenever you begin a sentence capitalize the first letter of the first word. This includes capitalizing the first word or a direct quotation when it's a full sentence, even if it appears within another sentence.

Does psychologist need a capital P? ›

This guidance is the same as in the 6th edition.
...
Proper Nouns.
CapitalizeDo not capitalize
Prozac, Humalogfluoxetine, insulin lispro
President Washingtonpresident, vice president, chief executive officer, executive director, manager
Dr. Iyengarpsychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker
Dr. Kelloggphysician, doctor
4 more rows

Do you capitalize the name of a field of study? ›

Except for languages, such as English, French and Japanese, the names of academic disciplines, majors, minors, programs and courses of study are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized.

Should subjects be Capitalised UK? ›

Capitalise the name of a subject when it is used as part of a course title, but not if it is used in other contexts. Also capitalise the subject name when referring to the faculty or department which teaches it. While studying economics, she focused on the theories of Adam Smith.

Should professions be Capitalised? ›

To summarize the capitalization of job titles, you should always capitalize the job title when it comes immediately before the person's name, in a formal context, in a direct address, in a resume heading, or as part of a signature line.

What three words should be capitalized? ›

There are three main types of words that need to be capitalized: (1) the first word of a sentence, (2) titles of books and other works, and (3) proper nouns and adjectives.

Do you capitalize the names of theories? ›

For a law or theory named after its originator, capitalize the proper noun, but do not capitalize the name of the law or theory, whether it is used together with the name or alone: Hubble's law. Euclid's theorem. Einstein's theory of relativity.

What words are not capitalized in titles? ›

List of Words Not Capitalized in Titles
  • Articles (a, an, the)
  • Short words (fewer than 4 letters)
  • Prepositions (at, by, to, etc.)
  • Coordinating Conjunctions (and, but, for)
31 May 2021

What are the 5 rules of capitalization? ›

English capitalization rules
  • Capitalize the first word of a sentence. ...
  • Capitalize names and other proper nouns. ...
  • Don't capitalize after a colon (usually) ...
  • Capitalize the first word of a quote (sometimes) ...
  • Capitalize days, months, and holidays, but not seasons. ...
  • Capitalize most words in titles.
30 Sept 2022

Should the word be capitalized in a title? ›

According to the AP rules for composition titles, to is capitalized when it is part of an infinitive. This is explicitly mentioned in the AP Stylebook. The preposition to is still lowercased though.

Which nouns should be capitalized? ›

Proper nouns refer to a specific person, place, or thing and are always capitalized. Common nouns refer to a general concept or thing and are only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

Do you capitalize child psychology? ›

When you are talking about the name of a specific class or course, such as Math 241 or Chemistry 100, always capitalize it. Capitalize course titles such as History of the French Revolution and Childhood Psychology. The following example sentences show when to capitalize a school subject, and when not to.

Do you capitalize Bachelor's degree in psychology? ›

In text, academic degrees when used in a general sense are not capitalized. (That campus offers bachelor's and master's degrees.) You can also use "bachelor's" and "master's" on its own, but do not capitalize. (Example: She said she hoped to earn her master's by next spring.)

Should job titles be capitalized in an essay? ›

Only capitalize a job title or position when it precedes the name of the job holder.

Should social science be capitalized? ›

For example, science, social studies, and math do not need to be capitalized, but German and Spanish do because languages are proper nouns. When you are naming a specific class or course, such as Science 241 or Math 100, always capitalize it.

Do you capitalize bachelor of science? ›

Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Social Work. General references, such as bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, are not capitalized. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2008.

Is sociology capitalized? ›

Capitalize words like “sociology” and “history” when they are used as titles of specific courses; do not capitalize these words when they name a field of study.

When should a word be capitalised? ›

In English, a capital letter is used for the first word of a sentence and for all proper nouns (words that name a specific person, place, organization, or thing). In some cases, capitalization is also required for the first word in a quotation and the first word after a colon.

Do you Capitalise every word in a title UK? ›

Capitalise the first word of the title and all words within the title except articles (a/an/the), prepositions (to/on/for etc) and conjunctions (but/and/or etc).

How do you spell capitalized in UK? ›

capitalise ​Definitions and Synonyms

This is the British English definition of capitalise.

What words should always be capitalized in titles? ›

According to most style guides, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are capitalized in titles of books, articles, and songs. You'd also capitalize the first word and (according to most guides) the last word of a title, regardless of what part of speech they are.

Are job titles proper nouns? ›

Typically, job titles that come before names are capitalized (unless there is punctuation separating the title from the name). In these cases, the job title functions as part of a proper noun formed by the title and name: President Biden has won the election.

Should job titles be capitalized in cover letters? ›

When drafting your cover letter, capitalizing the title of the role you're applying to is optional. Whether you capitalize or not, though, be consistent. Some candidates choose to follow certain guidelines that may recommend that you mention the role using lowercase.

What are the 20 rules of capitalization? ›

20 Rules of Capitalization
  • The first letter of a sentence. ...
  • The letter I.
  • Titles. ...
  • The names of people. ...
  • Gods, religious figures and holy works should be capitalized, although when describing a group of gods you need only capitalize the region or name of the pantheon and not the non-specific use of the word gods.
25 Aug 2013

What words are lowercase in a title? ›

Lowercase only minor words that are three letters or fewer in a title or heading (except the first word in a title or subtitle or the first word after a colon, em dash, or end punctuation in a heading): short conjunctions (e.g., “and,” “as,” “but,” “for,” “if,” “nor,” “or,” “so,” “yet”) articles (“a,” “an,” “the”)

Which sentence is written and capitalized correctly? ›

The sentence (b) is written and capitalized correctly.

A sentence must start with a capital letter and end with a full-stop. There is no word in the English dictionary called 'gotta'. It is an incorrect word to be used in a sentence. The correct form is "got to be", meaning, ought to do something.

Do you put subjects in capital letters? ›

When you are talking about a school subject in a general way, you do not need to capitalize it unless it is the name of a language. For example, math and chemistry do not need to be capitalized, but French and Spanish do need to be capitalized because they are proper nouns.

Do you capitalize bachelors degree in psychology? ›

In text, academic degrees when used in a general sense are not capitalized. (That campus offers bachelor's and master's degrees.) You can also use "bachelor's" and "master's" on its own, but do not capitalize. (Example: She said she hoped to earn her master's by next spring.)

What words are not capitalized in titles? ›

List of Words Not Capitalized in Titles
  • Articles (a, an, the)
  • Short words (fewer than 4 letters)
  • Prepositions (at, by, to, etc.)
  • Coordinating Conjunctions (and, but, for)
31 May 2021

When should the word be capitalized? ›

In English, a capital letter is used for the first word of a sentence and for all proper nouns (words that name a specific person, place, organization, or thing). In some cases, capitalization is also required for the first word in a quotation and the first word after a colon.

What are the 5 rules of capitalization? ›

English capitalization rules
  • Capitalize the first word of a sentence. ...
  • Capitalize names and other proper nouns. ...
  • Don't capitalize after a colon (usually) ...
  • Capitalize the first word of a quote (sometimes) ...
  • Capitalize days, months, and holidays, but not seasons. ...
  • Capitalize most words in titles.
30 Sept 2022

What are the 11 rules of capitalization? ›

11 Common Capitalization Rules
  • First Word of a Sentence. ...
  • Names, Proper Nouns, and Titles of People. ...
  • Words After Colons. ...
  • First Words of a Quote. ...
  • Days, Months, and Holidays (Not Seasons) ...
  • Books, Movies and Other Titles (Most Words) ...
  • Cities, Countries, Nationalities, Languages. ...
  • Time Periods and Events.

Should subject names be Capitalised UK? ›

Capitalise the name of a subject when it is used as part of a course title, but not if it is used in other contexts. Also capitalise the subject name when referring to the faculty or department which teaches it. While studying economics, she focused on the theories of Adam Smith.

Is science capitalized as a subject? ›

The word "science" is the name of a subject. It is not capitalized.

Should biology have a capital letter? ›

Academic Degrees and Capitalization

"English" is capitalized because it is derived from a proper noun (England), and biology is lowercased because it is not derived from a proper noun. Degree names from common nouns are lowercased.

What three words should be capitalized? ›

There are three main types of words that need to be capitalized: (1) the first word of a sentence, (2) titles of books and other works, and (3) proper nouns and adjectives.

Do you capitalize the name of a form? ›

It makes sense to capitalize the phrase Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return because you want users to know the exact, official title of that specific form. It could confuse users to capitalize income taxes or income tax forms, because those phrases could refer to any number of possible forms.

Is sociology capitalized? ›

Capitalize words like “sociology” and “history” when they are used as titles of specific courses; do not capitalize these words when they name a field of study.

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