As a student, you will be able to designate a preferred name, which is:
- A name that you can designate to be used on certain University-related records or documents in place of your legal name.
- A name that you wish to be known or identified by in the classroom (and elsewhere on campus).
- Different from your legal name. See “How do I use a preferred name” section below for more information.
As long as the use of this preferred name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, UC Berkeley acknowledges that a “preferred name” may be used where possible on certain University records.
If you have other questions about the policy, or would like to talk with someone to find out if designating a preferred name would meet your needs, please Open a Case at Cal Student Central.
How Do I…?
- Designate a Preferred Name
You may designate a preferred name via CalCentral. Your preferred name is the name you would like to be referred to in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. It is different than your legal name, which will still be used for financial aid, diplomas, transcripts, payroll documents, and other documents.
You may designate a first and/or middle preferred name. Your legal last name (surname) will remain unchanged and will be included in your preferred name.
Preferred names are limited to alphabetical characters, a hyphen (-) and a space. Generally, you can set a preferred name to any name, but UC Berkeley reserves the right to delete a preferred name if it is used inappropriately, such as misrepresentation or fraud; such usage will also subject the student to disciplinary action in accordance with University policy.
- Use a Preferred Name
Initially preferred names will be used on course rosters and waitlists for use by instructors and departments, and in the campus directory. Preferred names also will be used on the Cal 1 Card and CalCentral.
Preferred names will not be used in cases where the legal name is required, including — but not limited to — financial aid documents, official transcripts, diplomas, payroll records, and federal immigration documents. In some cases, if you use a preferred name, it might be necessary to clarify that your preferred name is different from your legal name.
Also, as the campus is engaged in several projects involving student information systems, some systems may not be able to accommodate the preferred name until a later period.
- Remove My Preferred Name
If you have designated a preferred name and later decide that you would prefer to use your legal name on all student records, go to the Preferred Name page in CalCentral and follow the instructions.
- Change (or Correct) My Legal Name
You may change your legal name on University records by completing and submitting one of the following petitions, including supporting documentation, to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students pursuing degree (both active and inactive): Petition for Name Change
- Students already awarded a degree: Petition for Name Change After Awarding of Degree
Please be prepared to present official documentation that your name was legally changed.
The turnaround time for changes to your name is up to five business days.