Name Policy

Below are some of the frequently asked questions around MSU’s name policy.

How do I change my name in the system?

You may establish or update your preferred name in STUINFO. Choose “Preferred Name” under the “Other” category on the STUINFO menu. Students may update or remove their preferred name via STUInfo or in person at the Office of the Registrar, Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 150.

When I change my name in the system, where will it show up?

The legal name will continue to be used for certain university records, documents, and business processes such as reporting, financial aid, official transcripts, and other records where use of legal name is required by law or university policy.

The preferred name will be displayed in parenthesis behind the legal first name across university systems, where possible. The preferred name will be displayed in systems such as Desire2Learn, STUINFO, Office of the Registrar Instructor systems, and MSU People Search. Additionally, if the individual lives in the dorm, the preferred name is the only name that comes up when checking things out from the service center desks.

New students who submit a preferred name on their application for admission will receive an ID card at the Academic Orientation Program with their preferred name. Students who have already been issued an MSU ID Card may request a card through the ID Office for a fee of $20. Requests should be made no less than one business day after updating the preferred name in STUINFO. The preferred name will print in the place of the legal first name on the front of the card. The legal first and last name will be printed on the back of the card.

Do I have control over where it shows up?

There is unfortunately no control over where the preferred name shows up. Although, your preferred name will show up on MSU People Search, something that an individual can do is request to not have information show up for them on MSU People Search.

What name will be on my diploma?

Students indicate their diploma name on the Michigan State University Application for Graduation. The student name listed on a diploma or certificate must match the legal name as it is recorded on the student’s official university record, with the following exceptions: option of first name or initial; option of middle name or initial; inclusion of former or maiden name(s); and inclusion of proper capitalization and accentuation of name.

Can I change it without having my legal name changed?

The university reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately, including but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation. But to change the name rather than have a preferred name the individual must have it legally changed.

Can I get another diploma after graduating if I have changed my name?

After graduating,  if a legal name change happens, the individual can come back, change the name legally in the MSU System, and order a new diploma.

My parents have/expect access to my university records like STUINFO. What can they see about my name, gender marker, or services I receive (e.g., scholarships, health services)?

It will show up behind your legal name with parenthesis. Any official things sent to you or your parents will have the legal name but logging into STUINFO, the legal name with prefered name next to it will show up.