Chosen Name Policy

St. John’s University recognizes that some students may prefer to identify themselves by a first name and/or middle name other than their legal name. For this reason beginning with the Fall 2018 semester, the University enabled students to use a chosen name where possible in the course of University business and education.

Students may request this service by completing a Chosen Name Change request form (PDF) in person in the Office of the Registrar or by emailing the completed form to [email protected]. The student’s chosen first name and/or middle name may be used in many University contexts, such as Canvas, class roster and ID cards. Please note the University is legally required to use student's legal name for official records, however, whenever reasonably possible a student’s chosen name will be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chosen name is a name a student wishes to be known by in the University community that is different from a student’s legal name.

St. John’s University policy covers chosen first name and/or middle name. Students who wish to change their legal name can obtain information from the Office of the Registrar.

A legal name is the name that appears on your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. social security card.

No. Use of a chosen name is optional.

  • Class Rosters
  • Diplomas*  
  • Digital Commemorative Book
  • Canvas
  • University ID cards
  • Grading Rosters
  • Email Address
  • Student Housing
  • Judicial Case Management

*You may list a chosen or legal first name to be printed on your diploma. Please be advised that in some situations, the name appearing on your diploma may need to match other legal documents you possess. If that is the case, you may need to have your legal name printed on your diploma.

  • Academic Certification
  • Transcripts
  • Financial Aid
  • Bursar’s Office/Billing Information 
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • Athletics Rosters
  • Department of Public Safety
  • International Students Documentation/SEVIS
  • Student Financial Services Documents
  • Federal Request for Information
  • Official Judicial Records


Once the Office of the Registrar has approved your chosen name, if you wish to have your name on your ID card changed you can do so at no cost in the Storm Card Office. Please allow 24 business hours after receiving notice that your name has been changed before going to the Storm Card Office.

Please note only your chosen first name and your legal last name will print on your ID card due to limited space.

Yes, once the Office of the Registrar has approved your chosen name, your email address will be changed at that time. It will take 24-48 business hours for this change to take effect. If you have an exam or assignment scheduled or due which requires on-line submission please submit this request after any assignments or exams are due. An IT service desk representative will email you when your email address has been changed. It is important that you fill in the alternate email address on the request form in order for us to contact you when the email conversion is completed.

Chosen names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. The University reserves the right to deny a chosen name if it is determined inappropriate or if it contains offensive language.