In general, do not use periods for nonacademic-degree acronyms:


Proper names of entities are spelled out in full on first reference. If the entity will be mentioned again later in the same story, run its acronym in parentheses with the first reference: Susan Smith is a chief developer of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. The National Science Board (NSB) will hold a meeting in November. Washington University and Emory University are members of the University Athletic Association (UAA).

Use acronyms only for entities that frequently shorten their names on second reference. Do not create acronyms solely to save a few words.

For certain entities and terms that are particularly familiar to the university community, there is no need for a parenthetical reference before using an acronym on subsequent references. These entities and terms include, but are not limited to (listed here as they should appear in first reference, and then in subsequent references):

grade-point average; GPA

National Institutes of Health (NIH)  always include NIH, even in absence of second reference)

Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences; PAD

In general, follow AP style regarding what acronyms should and should not be used on first reference.

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