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Capitalize Course Names In Essay

Words beginning a sentence:

Major words in titles that are included in the body of the paper:

  • In the book Modern Warfare, Clinger (1998) envisioned a world where ground troops are unnecessary.

This includes all words with four or more letters; all linking verbs; and the first word after a colon.

Major words in Level 1 and Level 2 headings:

  • See our web page on headings, and APA 3.03, for more information.

Proper nouns:

  • Few psychologists were more influential than Freud.

Do not, however, capitalize proper adjectives that have a common meaning as defined by Webster's Collegiate: Because her baby was already 14 lbs, her doctor insisted that she have a cesarean section.

Trade names:

  • My dog loves Purina Puppy Chow.

Names of specific university departments or courses:

  • I enrolled in Scholarly Writing 101
  • Glassner was the associate dean of the Department of Psychology, Iowa State University.

Do not, however, capitalize generic references to courses or departments: I failed my psychology course.

Nouns followed by numerals (see exception for common parts of books or tables, explained below):

  • On Day 2, the rats became more aggressive.
  • I visited my grandmother on Floor 3.

Exact titles of tests:

  • The students needed to take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test.

This does not apply to generic titles: The students needed to take the vocabulary test.

Do we capitalize school subjects such as math, biology, and chemistry? — Abdul, Saudi Arabia

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.


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.

  • I'm taking algebra this semester.
  • He had always hated biology and chemistry.
  • He decided to take two philosophy classes his senior year.
  • She studied psychology in college.
  • They had English together two years in a row.
  • He is hoping to take French next year.
  • She was really enjoying geometry.
  • She challenged herself by taking Physics 301.
  • His first year in college he took Philosophy of Language, Math 101, and Educational Psychology.


I hope this helps.