Primary Name

The University of Colorado classifies a student’s legal name as their primary name, which is associated with official records and accounts. Generally, offices that work with federal regulations, insurance companies, financial institutions and law enforcement are required to use your primary name. 

Your primary name appears in official university systems and records, including but not limited to:
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Enrollment and degree verifications
  • Billing and financial aid records, including the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF)
  • Insurance records (Wardenburg Health Services)
  • Housing contracts
  • Buff OneCard
  • Military and veterans services
  • Passport names for international students
  • Most student screens in Campus Solutions (CU-SIS)

Complete a Student Biodemographical Information Update Form and provide supporting legal documentation to the Office of the Registrar. Documented proof of a legal name change (i.e., marriage license, divorce decree, etc.) can include your driver's license, military ID, birth certificate or court documentation that provides proof of the name change.


Complete the Student Biodemographical Information Update Form

Preferred Name

As we strive to be an inclusive community, CU Boulder recognizes that students may wish to be identified by a name other than their primary (legal) name. Students may designate a preferred first and/or middle name with the university. A preferred name may be a nickname, middle name, professional name, anglicized name or name more closely associated with a student's gender identity.

Where technically and legally feasible, preferred names are displayed instead of primary (legal) names in university systems and records, and are used to identify students in the classroom and other places on campus. Your primary name may be required for official documented business needs (e.g., financial aid, tax forms, health insurance records, etc.). Systems that rely on data stored in enterprise systems should be updated regularly to reflect the most current name information.

After designating a preferred name in MyCUInfo, your preferred name automatically appears in the following university systems and records without additional action:
  • Class and grade rosters (used by faculty)
  • Advisee rosters (used by advisors; this also displays primary name)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Degree audits
  • Student Center in MyCUInfo
  • Learning management systems (Desire2Learn)
  • Housing (StarRez system)
  • Wardenburg Health Services

  1. Log in to MyCUInfo.
  2. Click to expand the Profiles and Settings menu on the right side of the page.
  3. Click Manage Profile and Privacy.
  4. In the pop-up menu, click Names.
  5. To expand the preferred name panel, click Preferred.
  6. If you haven't set a preferred name yet, click Add a new name; if you've already set a preferred name, click Edit to modify it or Delete to remove it.

No documentation is required to designate a preferred name. Last names may only be updated through the official primary name change process with supporting legal documentation.

The university reserves the right to remove any preferred name that is deemed to be inappropriate, derogatory or misrepresentative (e.g., student is attempting to avoid legal obligations or confuse their identity with that of another). Students may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct or by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.

Diploma Name

When you apply to graduate, you can set a unique diploma name that will appear on your diploma and in the commencement program. If a diploma name is not provided, the Office of the Registrar will use your primary name.

Additional University Systems

The following university systems and records require additional steps to update your preferred or primary name.

  • Email
    • Display Name: To change the name displayed in the "from" line of email messages, see OIT's Choose a Display Name page.
    • Alias: To request an update to your email alias (the part of your email address before @), contact OIT at or 303-735-HELP.
  • Campus Directory (online student lookup): The campus directory publishes the display name from the Identity Management system; see Choose a Display Name.
  • Buff OneCard: All Buff OneCards are issued with your primary name. If you've submitted a primary or preferred name change, you may bring your current card to the Buff OneCard office in the Center for Community and purchase a replacement card for $5.

Contact the Office of the Registrar for instructions on updating your primary or preferred name for university systems and processes not listed here.