Procedures for Preferred Name Change - Students

As a community that embraces inclusiveness and diversity, Fresno State recognizes that some students use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this preferred name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, we acknowledge that a “preferred name” can and should be used whenever possible in the course of University business and education.

A student may change their preferred first and/or middle names on MyFresnoState. The student's preferred name will be seen on class rosters, grade rosters, BlackBoard LMS, Bulldog Card (ID Card), Student Health Center, and in a limited number of other systems. Students must continue to use their primary names where a primary (legal) name is required.

It is important to know that the primary (legal) name can only be changed by completing a Student Information Update Form (PDF) with Admissions and Records..

Indicating a preferred name via MyFresnoState will not change a student's email address or the name used for student email. Students can change their email address or the name used for student email by submitting a ticket at the Student Help Center after updating their preferred name on MyFresnoState.

A student’s “primary” name will continue to be their legal name and will appear on their diploma, official and unofficial transcript, any documentation involving financial aid or student financial accounts, and anywhere a legal name is required.

Inappropriate use of the preferred name policy may result in a violation of the Student Conduct Code and be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

FAQ

1. What is a preferred name?

 A preferred name is a first and/or middle name by which someone wishes to be commonly known, if different from their legal first and/or middle name. Currently enrolled students can establish a preferred name by changing the first and/or middle names in their Student Center record.

2. Can I specify a preferred last name?

 No. Last names can be changed only as a result of a legal name change. You must file a Student Information Update Form (PDF) with Admissions and Records.

3. How do I set or update my preferred first and/or middle name?

 You can set or update your preferred first and/or middle name in Student Center:

  1. Log in to MyFresnoState
  2. Select Student Self Service
  3. Click Student Center (top left-hand corner)
  4. Expand the My Personal Information section on the Student Center screen, click the Names link
  5. Under 'Name Type' see Preferred and select Edit
  6. Enter your preferred First and/or Middle name
  7. Click Save

4. Can I set or change my preferred name to whatever I want?

 Students can set a preferred name that they want to be known by in University systems instead of their legal name, where such usage is currently supported. The University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is found to be used for misrepresentation or to evade legal obligations. Inappropriate use of a preferred name may be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

5. Will my preferred name be used for everything at the University?

 Your legal name will continue to be used anywhere a legal name is required - on your diploma, official and unofficial transcript, and any documentation involving financial aid or student financial accounts. Students must continue to use their primary (legal) name where a primary (legal) name is required.

6. Where will my preferred name be used by the University?

 It will take some time to get every system updated. The first priority is commonly used systems such as MyFresnoState, Blackboard, Student ID cards and the Student Health Center.

7. Can I change my email address to match my preferred name?

 

Yes. Students can change their email address, after updating their preferred name on MyFresnoState, by submitting a ticket at the Student Help Center. Work orders take approximately three (3) days to process.

 Changing your student email address will automatically change your Fresno State User Name. Conversely changing your Fresno State User Name will automatically change your email address.

8. May I request a Fresno State User Name that uses my preferred name?

 Please see response to question 7.

9. May I request a Fresno State ID card with my preferred name?

 Yes. Students who wish to have a new Bulldog ID card to reflect their preferred name change can obtain one at the Bulldog Card office after the student has made the change on the student portal. It takes on average 24 hours after the change has been made on the portal for records to officially update the preferred name in Blackboard/ID Works. Once it is updated, the Bulldog Card office can issue a new card at no cost, provided the student surrenders their current Bulldog ID card. Otherwise, they will be required to pay the Bulldog ID card replacement fee.

10. Am I required to provide and set a preferred name?

 No. Using a preferred name is entirely optional.

11. How long will it take for my preferred name to appear and be used by the University?

 Once you set your preferred name in the Student Center, it will automatically update the Class and Grade rosters. Please note that if faculty printed out the roster prior to your name change, the updated name may not be reflected. It may take a couple of days for the preferred name to appear in other systems, including student ID card. Question 5 has more information about limitations on the use of preferred names.

12. Do I need to change my password when I set a preferred name?

 No.

13. I still have questions regarding this policy. Who can I talk to?

 You may contact the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at 559.278.4435.

 For a PDF version of this page, please click here.