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Name and Gender Change

Legal Name Change 

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. 
To file for a name change, present the following information to the Office of the Registrar: 

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. 


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, Canvas, and the Online Directory.  

In addition, a student may indicate a preferred name for their library account. The chosen name will be used on all library communications and will appear when the student signs in to NUsearch. 

Please note that 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). 

To change the name listed in your student email address (i.e. or your email display name if you have not submitted an official name change request through the Registrar, send an email to NUIT at

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. 

Gender Change 

Current students who change gender on legal documents may request their University records be changed to reflect that by filing an application for change of demographic Information and providing government-issued documentation such as a driver’s license or passport displaying the new gender. 

Students who are in gender transition or no longer identify with their birth or legal gender may request their University records be changed to reflect a U or unknown gender, using the same form. No additional documentation is required for this request.