Name Policy and Use

Students can update their addresses, phone numbers personal emails, and other personal information by logging into the Student Information System (SIS).

Preferred First Name

Yale University recognizes that students may wish to use a preferred first name rather than their legal first name to identify themselves. The University supports students in this choice. Any student may designate a preferred first name regardless of whether they have legally changed their name.

How to Add, Change, or Delete a Preferred First Name

To indicate your preferred first name, login to the Student Information System (SIS), click on the “Personal Data” menu, and select “My Preferred Name.” Your full name and your preferred first name, if you already have a preferred first name on record, will be displayed. You may edit an existing preferred first name, enter a new preferred first name, or delete the existing preferred first name.

For some applications, changes to the preferred first name will display immediately. For others, changes may take longer to appear.

Legal Name

Students cannot update their legal name on SIS if they have an official name change. Students currently attending the Yale School of Nursing should notify YSN Registrar’s Office ( with their request and provide a legal proof of the name change (see examples listed below). The YSN Registrar’s Office can then update the student’s record accordingly.

  • Government issued photo ID with the new name
  • Social Security Card with new name and a government issued photo ID
  • Legal name change documentation in English or certified translation and a government issue photo ID
Places where legal name will be used include:
  • Student accounts and bills
  • Student employment and paychecks
  • Financial aid documents and refund checks
  • Enrollment and degree verification certificates
  • Official transcripts
Places where either preferred first or legal name can be used are:


University policy allows students to indicate a preferred first name different from their legal first name on their certificate or diploma. Students should communicate directly with YSN registrar ‘s office regarding this change.


NameCoach gives students the ability to record their name in their own voice as they want it spoken. This feature is located under the Personal Data tab in SIS.

Participation in NameCoach is entirely voluntary and only needs to be done once. After a recording is created, an audible icon will become visible next to a student name in the online directory and in any system, that adopts NameCoach, such as faculty rosters in Canvas. 

Additionally, NameCoach gives students the option to add a phonetic spelling of their name and to display the pronouns they prefer to use.