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Preferred/Chosen Name

The University at Buffalo recognizes that students may choose to use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. The university will use a student’s preferred/chosen name, when possible, unless the student’s legal name is required by law. For identity verification purposes, students must use their legal last name.

In some instances, the university is required to use a student’s legal first name. This includes, but is not limited to, the following official records and reports:

Currently, preferred/chosen names appear in the following systems:

The university is working to expand the use of preferred/chosen names across its systems. We will continue to update these lists as modifications are made.

Communications from UB offices may use either legal or preferred/chosen names. Chosen names may be used in UB news releases about student achievements, published on UB websites and shared with hometown media outlets.

Members of the University at Buffalo student community have the option to provide a preferred/chosen name to be used across some university systems. Preferred/chosen names that are provided to the university are considered directory information. Therefore, the University at Buffalo and the Office of the Registrar cannot be held responsible for the release of preferred/chosen name information.

Communications from UB offices may use either legal or preferred/chosen names. It will also appear on correspondence sent to your home address. If you do not wish for others to know about your chosen name, you may wish to speak with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion about alternatives to entering a preferred/chosen name.

Diplomas – It is recommended that the diploma name match your official, legal name, however a preferred/chosen name may be considered. Please refer to diploma name guidance for more information.

Students who change their legal name may update their legal name of record through the Office of the Registrar using the Student Change of Name form. A legal name change will not impact students’ ability to select a preferred/chosen name.

If a student experiences an issue related to faculty or staff misuse of their preferred/chosen name or if they experience discrimination, they should contact UB’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Please refer to the Preferred/Chosen Name Guidance page for additional information on preferred/chosen name usage and the official university policy related to preferred/chosen names.

The university reserves the right to review all preferred/chosen name changes. 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 Student Conduct and Advocacy.

*Students can elect to be removed from the Online Directory by submitting the Request for Directory and Information Release/Non-Release form.

Last updated: September 26, 2023 7:44 am EST