Titles and ranks 

Words for the titles and ranks of people are lowercased when they are used in a general sense or refer to the position held rather than the person.

Exemple correcte The principal academic and administrative officer of a university in this country is the rector.


They are capitalised when they are used directly before a name, as a form of address or as a substitute for the name of the holder of the title.

Exemple correcte In 2011, Rector Alabart was re-elected for a second four-year term of office.

Exemple correcte Only last week, Rector, you stated that there would be no further cuts in the departmental budget.

Exemple correcte Last week the Rector gave a speech to the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.


When titles are used in apposition to a name, they do not form part of the name and are, therefore, lowercased.

Exemple correcte Dr Alabart, rector of the University, was first elected in 2007.


The general guideline, then, is that if the title or rank is a reference to a specific person and the person’s name could be used instead without affecting factual or grammatical accuracy, then a capital letter should be used.

In titles that are hyphenated compounds it used to be standard practice to capitalise only the first part of the compound. Nowadays, however, the tendency is to capitalise both parts if the compound refers to a specific person.

Exemple correcte The Vice-Rector for Academic Policy described the new reforms to the Governing Council.

Exemple correcte The vice-rector for academic policy is responsible for making large-scale changes to degree programmes.


The title is lowercased in the second example above because it is a reference to the position of vice-rector, not to a particular person.
Darrera actualització: 14-11-2017
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Recommended citation:
«Titles and ranks» [en línia]. A: Criteris de la Universitat de Barcelona (CUB). Style Guide. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. Serveis Lingüístics. <https://www.ub.edu/cub/criteri.php?id=2340> [consulta: 10 maig 2021].