Personal Identification Change

Current Student

(except NU Law and SCS students; see below)

Northwestern University policy states that a student's name in the student database must be identical to the name on their Social Security card. The Office of the Registrar will process a request for name change for students who are US citizens or permanent residents and who provide the appropriate documentation. Students who hold an F1 or J1 visa must contact the International Office to request a name change.

Filing Steps:

Present the following information to the Office of the Registrar:

  • Application for Change of Name (available at the Office of the Registrar)
  • Original Social Security card with new name
  • Copy of legal documentation confirming legal name change
  • Picture identification Once this documentation has been presented at the Office of the Registrar, please allow a minimum of 48 hours for the change to take effect.

Current Student, NU Law and SCS

University policy states that a student's name in the student database must be identical to the name on their Social Security card. NU Law and SCS students who are US citizens or permanent residents must contact their school registrar to request a name change: Northwestern University School of Law, Registration and Records Northwestern University, School of Continuing Studies, Office of the Registrar NU Law and SCS students who hold an F1 or J1 visa must contact the International Office to request a name change.

Former Students

The name under which you were enrolled must remain on your transcript, unless you re-enroll. Your official name at the time you left will always appear on your transcript.

Preferred Name

Current students (except for those in the Kellogg School of Management) can indicate a “preferred” first name, which is a name the student wishes to be commonly known as, if different from their legal first name. A student may change their preferred first and/or middle names using CAESAR. The student's preferred name will only be seen on Class Rosters, Grade Rosters, Course Management System (Blackboard), and the Online Directory.

Please Note

The “primary” name will continue to be the student's legal name and will continue to appear on transcript, the Wildcard, and any documentation involving financial aid or student accounts. Students must continue to use their primary names when conducting official University business. In addition, indicating a preferred name will not change a student's e-mail address that appears in the NU Online Directory. It is important to know that the primary name can only be changed by visiting the Office of the Registrar and requesting a formal name change (see above).

Trans/Gender Affirming Name Change Mobilization

(not affiliated with NU or the LGBT Resource Center)

The last Friday of every month

  • The Daley Center – Room 1202
  • 50 W. Washington
  • 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Phone/text: 773-272-1822
  • namechange@TJLP.org

During the Name Change Mobilization. Attorney and trained volunteers help transgender and gender non-conforming folks file petitions to change their names legally at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago FOR FREE. Volunteers then provide follow-up support services to accompany folks to their court dates and to help them navigate the subsequent name change processes at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Office, Department of Vital Records, etc.

Email & Account Name Change

NUIT has a system where if your legal name doesn't reflect your gender identity you can send in a request to have your student email address, as in the one that goes something like NameYear@u.northwestern.edu, officially changed to whatever you want them to. It is also possible to get your account name changed so well so as to avoid deadnaming. Send an email to consultant@northwestern.edu.

University Records Gender Identification

There is a form you can fill out to request your gender in the university records be listed as U for unknown, and you don't need to provide any official documents either, just fill out this form. And submit it to the registrar if you're a US resident, or the international office if you're an international student.