Washington University in St. Louis is the official name of this institution and used on first reference in news releases and formal communication.
Usually, the university is acceptable in all subsequent references to Washington University in St. Louis. However, there are times when Washington University must be used to avoid confusion, particularly in copy that mentions other universities.
Washington University also should be used within the context of certain entities that incorporate Washington University as part of their official names: St. Louis Hillel at Washington University; Washington University Dance Theatre; Washington University Medical Center, Washington University Opera; The Women’s Society of Washington University; etc.
In sports copy, the university’s athletic nickname, the Bears, may be used.
WashU is the unofficial name of Washington University, correctly written with a capital W and capital U, with no space between Wash and U and without periods. For serious or formal communications, use the official name “Washington University” or “the university” on second reference. “WashU” can be used, however, in quotes of formal stories. It is also OK to use in internal communications and social media.
WUSTL is no longer acceptable in headlines or in text. Do not use WU, Washington or Washington U. in copy unless it’s in a quotation.