Preferred Name

We recognize that for many LGBTQ+ individuals, the ability to use a preferred name is vital to one's sense of identity. Ohio State University encourages students and employees to utilize this policy if they have a name that they prefer over their legal name. Below is information on Ohio State's preferred name policy. This page also covers how to update the University following a legal name change and/or legal sex marker change. 

The Office of Institutional Equity provides guidance on use of chosen names and pronouns.

Preferred Name Policy

Students and employees can set a preferred name on In doing so, your preferred name will automatically be used within a variety of applications and systems across campus.

What is a Preferred Name?

A preferred name is a name someone prefers to go by in day-to-day life that differs from their full legal name, for example, a middle name, nickname, or chosen name. This option is important for many members of our community, including our LGBTQ+ students and employees, as well as many international students.

A preferred first name field and preferred last name field are available for you to specify a name, other than your legal first name, that you are known by. The university recognizes that many of its students and employees use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Inappropriate use of preferred names, including but not limited to misrepresentation, may be cause for revoking/denying the request.  Preferred name changes are not a substitution for legal name changes.

Changing your Preferred First Name Online 

  1. Log on to

  2. There will be a navigation bar on the left side of the page. Click My OSU Identity Information

  3. There will be a section labeled Preferred Names, type your preferred name in the box for Preferred First Name
  4. Click Submit

For additional assistance, visit the Knowledge Base for how to update your preferred name.

Preferred Name Usage

Systems and applications managed by the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation make it a priority to use the preferred first and last name provided by Ohio State community members whenever possible. Below is an overview of Ohio State's most used systems that will use your preferred name as listed on

  • Display Name

  • FindPeople

  • Ohio State App

  • University Email

  • Skype Address Book

  • Class rosters

  • Grade rosters

  • CarmenCanvas

  • CarmenZoom

  • Advising Reports and Advising Portals

  • BuckeyeLink

  • Official university correspondence Web Applications using single sign on display preferred names within the applications (e.g., SharePoint, Drupal, and WordPress).

For a complete list of websites, programs, and policies, the Administrative Resource Center has a resource that covers Preferred Name Usage.

Note: Across Ohio State, different digital systems are utilized for varying services, and not all of these platforms are integrated together. This means that your legal name may still show up in some places even though you have selected a preferred name. The Office of Technology and Digital Innovation is working hard to ensure preferred names are used whenever possible, but this endeavor is still a work in progress.

Preferred Name on BuckID

Once you set your preferred name, you can also request a new BuckID with your preferred name free of cost. Your legal name will still appear on diplomas, transcripts, enrollment verifications, and degree verifications. For more information about this process, please see the Frequently Asked Questions for use of a preferred name on BuckID.

Staff and Faculty

If you are an employee of the University (excluding student employees), you can set your preferred name on Workday.

  1. Log on to Workday

  2. Click the person icon at the top right of the Workday homepage to open your Profile page.

  3. Click on View Profile under your name.

  4. There will be a navigation bar on the left side of the page. Click on Personal

  5. Near the top of the page, there are tabs. Click Names

  6. There will be a section labeled Preferred Name, click Edit

  7. Type in your preferred name and make sure to uncheck the checkbox labeled Use Legal Name as a Preferred Name

  8. Click Submit and Done to save your changes.

For more information and resources, check out the Administrative Resource Center article on Personal Information Change.