Current students have two options when requesting a name change:

  • Legal Name Change - updates both University and Business School systems. Surnames can be changed only with a legal name change
  • Preferred Columbia University Name Change - updates Business School systems, University ID Card, Student Services Online (SSOL), and the Public Directory (unless a FERPA information block has been requested)

Legal Name Change

If your name has been legally changed since you matriculated at Columbia University, your name will need to be updated in our systems. To do so, first complete a Name Change Affidavit with the University Registrar. Once the legal name change is confirmed in Student Services Online (SSOL), you must email ITG Student Support so that the change can be made to your lifetime ID and Student Directory listing.

Preferred Columbia University Name Change

Under Columbia’s Preferred Name Policy, any student may choose to identify a Preferred First and/or Middle Name in addition to the Legal Name. Students may request this service via the “Preferred Name” link found in SSOL. The student’s Preferred Name may be used in many University contexts, including SSOL, Courseworks and on ID Cards. For some other records, the University is legally required to use a student’s Legal Name. However, whenever reasonably possible, a student’s “Preferred Name” will be used.

If you have completed the Preferred Columbia University Name Change process above (as confirmed in SSOL) your preferred name will be fed into CBS's systems and will replace the name that currently appears in your CBS records.  Note: If you leave your middle name blank when entering a preferred name in SSOL, your middle name will also be removed in CBS’s systems. Your preferred name will be reflected in various CBS systems, including the CBS directory, Canvas, Course Match, COIN, CampusGroups, Community / Social Networking.  It  may take a few days for all systems to sync.

If you would like to have your lifetime ID reflect your preferred name, email ITG Student Support and they will do their best to match your request as close as possible.

Email Display Name

Currently, the name displayed in your email messages is controlled by a separate process. If you wish to update this name, please wait until your preferred name is reflected in CBS’s systems, then email your request to ITG Student Support.

Name Plates and Name Badges

You have the option to reorder a name plate or name badge once any of the above CBS system name changes have been processed. Students can place orders here.

Change Requests for Students with Long Lifetime IDs

Lifetime ID creation is an automated process intended to join the first letter of your legal first name and your full legal surname as they appear in our database. In some cases, this process may result in IDs that are long and unmanageable. Situations that may warrant a change to your lifetime ID include:

  • A legal surname the includes multiple names or characters (i.e.hyphens, diacritical marks, and/or spaces)
  • Unintentional inclusion of a middle name(s)

To request a revision to your lifetime ID, please email ITG Student Support.