Change Your Name
Table of contents:
Submit Legal Name Change
Legal Name Change Procedures
Policy on Name Changes on University Records
In the interest of accuracy, validity, and legality, it is important that all official records compiled at the University are consistent. Student records are maintained in the name given by the student on the Application for Admission form. If, in your initial application, you used a shortened version of your legal name (Sue for Susan, Ginny for Virginia, Tom for Thomas, Mike for Michael, Chris for Christopher, etc.), or, if you neglected to include a middle initial and you would like to have your diploma printed in your legal name, you must complete a “Change of Student Demographic Data” Form prior to applying for graduation.
Students may change their names by filing the University’s “Change of Student Demographic Data” Form with their college registrar. This form also serves as an affidavit that the new name will be used without the intent to defraud or commit criminal activity.
Some internal records, such as microfilm and microfiche, cannot be changed, and the University is not responsible for the use of different names on this type of record. The college registrar will change all other records.
Students are responsible for supplying the University with correct information. The University is not responsible for delays or errors resulting from incorrect information provided by the student.
The University requires that students use only one name at a time. A fee will be charged if a new diploma or I.D. card is issued or if any other unusual expense is required to change the name.
A “Change of Student Demographic Data” Form must be submitted to change the name on University records. The University will cross-reference all former students’ names.
Submit Chosen/Preferred Name
Policy on Chosen/Preferred Name Submissions
Rutgers University recognizes that members of the university community use names other than their legal names. The university seeks to promote the comfort and safety of students, staff, or faculty members who wish to be identified by a name other than their legal name by instituting a chosen/preferred name procedure.
You, as the student, can determine the chosen/preferred first name that you want to be known by within Rutgers’ systems. However, inappropriate use of the chosen/preferred name policy (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for denying the request.
Examples of when students might elect to use a chosen or preferred name include:
- You have chosen a name that reflects your gender identity.
- You are an international student who prefers to use a specific name while studying in the United States
- You prefer to be called by a nickname instead of your legal name (e.g., “Jackie” instead of “Jacqueline”)
Chosen/Preferred Names FAQs
Q: What is a Chosen or Preferred name?
A: A preferred or chosen name is a name a student wishes to be known by in the University community that is different from a student’s legal name.
Q: How do I set a chosen/preferred name?
A: Students may set a chosen/preferred name through the form above. Employees can do so by updating their chosen/preferred name here.
Q: Who can set a chosen/preferred name?
A: All current students and faculty/staff members can set a chosen/preferred name.
Q: Can I use my chosen/preferred name for everything at Rutgers?
A: No. Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require the use of the legal name, such as for payroll records and student transcripts.
Q: How long will it take for my chosen/preferred name to change?
A: Please allow for at least 2 business days for your chosen/preferred name to appear in University systems
Q: What is the difference between directory listing name and Chosen/Preferred name?
A: Directory listing name is mainly displayed along with your legal name in people search https://search.rutgers.edu/. For example, if your legal first name is Robert, but you save a directory listing as Bob, then your directory listing will show both your legal name Robert Smith and your directory listing name (Bob Smith) on the search result. However, your Chosen/Preferred name will display in most places where your legal name would otherwise be shown. If your legal first name is Robert, but you set a Chosen Name as Bob, then your directory listing in people search and other systems, such as MyRutgers, Canvas, etc., will show Bob Smith. Your original legal name will not be displayed.
Q: Where will my chosen/preferred name be displayed?
A: The student’s chosen/preferred name will be used in all university communications except where the use of the legal name is required by university business or legal need.
The student’s chosen/preferred name will be displayed in electronic course management systems, class rosters, housing rosters, and student ID cards.
Q: My preferred/chosen name request has been processed, but I am still seeing my legal name in Canvas. How can I fix that?
A: Users can update all instances of their names in Canvas themselves under Account > Settings > Edit Settings. If one navigates to Profile and updates the name there, they can’t update all the instances.
Q: Where will my legal name be displayed?
A: Transcripts, enrollment verifications, financial aid records, student accounts, health insurance documents, payroll documents, eDiplomas
Q: Can I enter a chosen/preferred last name?
A: No. University business and systems require that your last name is your legal last name. If you would like to change it, then go above…
Q: What are gender pronouns?
A: Gender pronouns are the words you use when you are not referring to someone by name.
Common gender pronouns include: she/her/hers, he/him/his, and they/them/theirs – but this is not a comprehensive list.
You can’t assume that you know someone’s gender pronouns just by looking at them. It is a best practice to invite students to share the pronouns they would like you to use after sharing your own.
How to use gender pronouns in a sentence:
- “SHE went to class.”
- “That’s THEIR textbook.”
- “I handed the assignment to HIM.”
Q: How do I change my legal name in New Jersey?
A: The process to change legal names varies by state and by country.
- For New Jersey residents, please reference the NJ Courts Name Change Guide to change your legal name.
- For non-New Jersey residents, please refer to your home state or home country’s laws.
If you have recently changed your name legally and would like to update your name in ALL Rutgers systems, please proceed back to the top of this page.