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Preferred/Chosen Name Guidance

What is a preferred/chosen name?

A preferred/chosen name is any name a student chooses to use other than their legal name. For example, a student may wish to shorten their first name (e.g. Steven to Steve) or to be referred to by their middle name or a nickname.

Why is it important for students to have the option to use a preferred/chosen name?

The University at Buffalo is committed to promoting a campus community welcoming of a diverse faculty, staff and student body. UB recognizes that using a preferred/chosen name may be beneficial to a student’s experience at the university. We encourage students to use the preferred/chosen first and middle name fields in the HUB Student Center if they wish to be known as anything other than their legal name.

Who can enter a preferred/chosen name?

Students can enter their preferred/chosen name in the HUB Student Center. Students who do not have access to their student center may contact the Office of the Registrar for assistance with entering a preferred/chosen name.

If I fill in a preferred/chosen name, will it appear in all UB systems?

At this time, certain system and legal limitations prevent us from displaying a student’s preferred/chosen name on all systems used by students, faculty and staff.

We are currently working on system improvements which will display preferred/chosen names across more UB systems.

It is important to note that while UB takes great care in where preferred/chosen names display and when a preferred/chosen name is used, human and system error may occur, causing the incorrect name to display.

While the university is looking to expand where student preferred/chosen names will appear, in some instances, the university is required to use a student’s legal first name. A current list of systems where a preferred/chosen name will appear can be found on the Office of the Registrar Preferred/Chosen Name webpage.

When will the preferred/chosen name(s) I select take effect?

While a student’s preferred/chosen name will appear in their Student Center and class rosters as soon as the name is saved, it will take one to two (1-2) business day to appear on other systems, including UBlearns. Preferred/chosen names will display on grade rosters when grade rosters are generated.

What if I want to enter a name that is very different from my legal name?

Students may change their first and middle name to a name of their choice*. For identity verification purposes, students may not change their last name.

What if I chose not to select a preferred/chosen name?

Students are not required to enter a preferred/chosen name. If a student does not enter preferred/chosen name information, their legal name will continue to appear on all systems.

If I select a preferred/chosen name, can I change my mind later?

Yes. There is no limitation to the amount of times you can change your name.

How many times am I allowed to change my preferred/chosen name?

There is no limitation to the amount of times you can change your name*.

What if my legal name changes?

If your legal name changes, please submit the Student Change of Name form and supporting documentation to the Office of the Registrar so we can update your legal name on record. Legally changing your name will not prevent you from entering or changing a preferred/chosen name.

Will my preferred/chosen name display if I am a student who also has a faculty, GA, TA or other appointment with the university?

At this time, individuals who are both students and also have an appointment with the university will only see their student name change. Students experiencing difficulty with their faculty, TA or GA name through Human Resources should contact UB’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for resources and assistance.

What if faculty/staff do not refer to me by my preferred/chosen name?

Students who experience problems or discrimination related to their preferred/chosen first name may contact UB’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for resources and assistance.

Who should I contact if I have more questions about the Preferred/Chosen Name Policy?

For additional information on the Preferred Name Policy, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 716-645-5698 or at

*The Student Code of Conduct prohibits individuals from using lewd, indecent or discriminatory names. Students who change their name in violation of university policies and/or the Student Code of Conduct will be notified via their UB email address and the name(s) will be removed. Students who repeat this violation will be referred to Judicial Affairs.

Last updated: September 12, 2023 9:25 am EST