Chosen & Preferred Name Resources

Towson University is committed to an inclusive campus community, learn more about the Chosen / Preferred Name Resources available to you.

TU is making best efforts to implement Chosen / Preferred Names into its systems and applications. Please contact  with any issues or questions during this pilot stage.

As of September 30, 2019, current students, faculty, and staff may submit a Chosen / Preferred Name request.

These are the steps in the process:

  1. The process is initiated by current students, faculty and staff by submitting a Chosen / Preferred Name Change FormPlease contact  if you experience any issues. The individual filling out the form will be prompted to fill in their Chosen / Preferred Name as they would like it to appear in the systems and applications that currently support Chosen / Preferred Names, and where a Legal Name is not required. Requests will be considered by Inclusion & Institutional Equity.
  2. Individual requestor is notified by TU of approval (or non-approval) decision. Once the Chosen / Preferred Name Change Form is submitted, it will be considered and approved if found to be appropriate. The requestor will be notified of an approval decision within 3-5 business days, through their TU email address. In the event that a request is not approved, notes should be provided regarding why the request was not approved. After reviewing the notes, an individual may resubmit Chosen / Preferred Name Change Form with changes.
  3. Integration of the approved Chosen / Preferred Name into TU systems. The Chosen / Preferred Name should be integrated into the following systems and application within approximately 48 hours of notification of approval:
    1. PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and PeopleSoft Human Capital Management pages for example: Class and Grade Roster, Personal Data and Information Summary. Additional PeopleSoft page updates will be made over time.
    2. Blackboard
    3. Office 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and faculty / staff email)
    4. Google (student email)
    5. OneCard System
    6. Other Applications
  4. OneCard update by the individual requestor. To update a OneCard with a Chosen / Preferred Name Change, individuals should visit Auxiliary Services Business Office after the 48 hour waiting period described above has concluded. There is no fee for one Chosen / Preferred Name change, but the old OneCard will need to be turned in. Charges may apply for additional Chosen / Preferred Name changes on the OneCard.
  5. Other systems get updated manually by TU application owners. There are some systems that do not auto-synchronize with Office of Technology- managed systems. For those systems, an email will be sent to the application manager requesting a manual update to the system. TU will make best efforts to make these updates in a timely manner.

September 2019 - February 2020. Timeline is approximate and subject to change. Some integration may occur ahead of schedule.

  1. TU will review the data intake processes. For instance, it will review how best to integrate Chosen / Preferred Names for employment and admissions applications. These procedures will be updated once the intake data processes are finalized.
  2. TU will continue to work on data integration solutions for additional applications and systems, including:
    1. Handshake (student employment)
    2. Marching Orders (commencement)
    3. Phonebook (directory)
    4. RMS (Mercury - HRL)
    5. Fusion (Campus Rec)
    6. EAB (advising)
    7. TU Mobile App / Mobile Experience

February 2020 and August 2020: TU will continue efforts to utilize Chosen / Preferred Names where possible.

  1. TU will continue to work on data integration solutions for additional applications and systems, including:
    1. Campus Labs (course evaluation, involved@TU)
    2. TK20 (College of Education)
    3. Symplicity / Advocate (Student Conduct, Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity)
  2. TU will work to improve integration on additional third-party applications identified or requested by the Chosen / Preferred Name Committee and approved by OTS Project Team. Feedback regarding any issues with specific systems or applications can be sent to OIIEnamechange@towson.edu

Some Areas Where a Legal Name is Required

A Chosen / Preferred Name does not constitute a change to an individual’s Legal Name. TU is obligated to use the Legal Name for certain purposes. TU will use a Chosen / Preferred Name when feasible and make good faith efforts to update reports, documents, and systems appropriately. Nonetheless, TU cannot guarantee an individual’s Chosen / Preferred Name will necessarily be used in every instance or in a fashion entirely consistent with an individual’s expectation. Legal Names are required to be used on the following:

  1. Transcripts
  2. Financial Aid
  3. Payroll
  4. Financials (for example 1098T Federal forms, billing, refund checks, non-payment communications, payment plans contracts, and collection letters)
  5. And any other instances where a Legal Name is required by law or University Policy

Other name change processes

Legal Name

A Chosen / Preferred Name does not constitute a change to an individual's Legal Name. For information regarding the Legal Name change process in Maryland please click here. helpful guide (PDF) with links to the documents you will need to submit. Please note that each state has its own procedures for Legal Name changes, so if you reside outside of the state of Maryland, please contact the state in which you reside.

Students should still submit requests through the Registrar’s Office using their Change of Name form (PDF). Faculty / staff should still follow HR’s process for current employees through PeopleSoft Self Service. Questions about legal name changes should be directed to those associated offices.  

NetID and email address

An individual's NetlD and email address will not automatically be changed when a Chosen / Preferred Name is approved. To update a NetlD or email address after the Chose / Preferred Name change has been approved, submit a TechHelp service request or call 410-704-5151.

Housing information: contact Housing and Residence Life at

Alumni: contact University Advancement at .

Commencement

For students that would like their chosen / preferred name to be used for commencement activities (name card, screen projection & program) and to appear on their diploma, they must apply for graduation and have their Chosen / Preferred Name Change approved by the following dates:

  • Spring Graduation/Spring Ceremonies: March 1
  • Summer Graduation/Winter Ceremonies: August 1
  • Fall Graduation/Winter Ceremonies: October 1

Anyone that does not apply for graduation and / or have a completed name change approved by these deadlines, will still have the opportunity to update their chosen / preferred name for their diploma. The chosen / preferred name must be updated in the system by the last day of their graduating term to guarantee it can be printed on their diploma. Please note this exception to the deadline only refers to the diploma.

Students updating their name after the deadlines above, will automatically have their legal name appear in the commencement program and on the commencement registration form as it is listed om their PeopleSoft account. Students will have the option to enter a preferred name in the Commencement Registration process, but this preference will only be used for the ceremonies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by a “Chosen / Preferred Name” and “Legal Name”?
  • A “Chosen / Preferred Name” is the name that an individual identifies themselves as for general use, other than their “Legal Name”. A “Primary Name” is an inclusive term that includes both “Chosen Name” and “Preferred Name”. Please note, that in PeopleSoft “Primary” denotes one’s Legal Name opposed to the broader definition above.
  • A “Legal Name” is a name as it appears on government issued identity documents, such as passport, state issued identification card or driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, etc.
Where will my Legal Name continue to be used?

Unless specified, a Legal Name is the default name that will appear in Towson University related documents and systems. If a Chosen / Preferred name is approved, a Legal Name will still appear on Official Transcripts, Financial Aid, Payroll, Student Financials, and any other instances where a Legal Name is required by law or University Policy.

May I specify a Chosen / Preferred last name?
Yes! Your Chosen / Preferred Name can be updated for your prefix, first name, middle name, last name, suffix, and as a mononym.
What happens if I leave my middle name blank when submitting a Chosen / Preferred name?
Middle names are not required. If no middle name is filled out, no middle name will be used when a Chosen / Preferred name appears.
How do I change my Legal Name on TU records?
First, legally change your name in your county, state, or country of residence (If a legal resident of Maryland please visit Maryland Courts). Students should submit requests through the Registrar’s Office using their Change of Name form (PDF). Faculty / staff should still follow HR’s process for current employees through PeopleSoft Self Service. Questions about legal name changes should be directed to those associated offices.
What should I do once I receive my legal name change?
Once your name has been changed through the Registrar’s Office or Human Resources, you must then contact the Office of Technology Services to have your name changed for university NetID and to receive a new email address, if one is required. You can reach Office of Technology Services at 410-704-5151.
Do I have to provide a Chosen / Preferred Name?
Chosen/Preferred Names are not required. In cases where there is no Chosen / Preferred Name listed, a legal name will be used as the default for university documents and systems.
Can I select anything as a Chosen / Preferred Name?
Mostly. Though most names will be approved, names that contain special and non-English characters (at this time) other than A-Z, hyphen (-), space ( ), and apostrophe ('), are explicit or offensive in nature, identifiers submitted to avoid a legal obligation, or to misrepresent oneself will not be approved. If you believe your Chosen / Preferred Name has been denied unfairly, please contact  or 410-704-0203.
Will my university NetID and email address change to match my Chosen / Preferred Name?
Once approved, Chosen / Preferred Name will appear as your display/hover-over name; however, your university NetID and email address will not change (i.e. Ryan Smith whose legal name is John Smith will still have an email address of jsmith@towson.edu or jsmith123@students.towson.edu). To update your email address, please contact the Office of Technology Services.
How do I get a new OneCard with my Chosen / Preferred Name?
Once your Chosen / Preferred Name is approved, please allow 48 hours for the change to go through, after which time you can go to the OneCard Office to ask for a new OneCard. Your first, new OneCard will be issued for free when you surrender your old OneCard.
What if a university staff member or faculty refuses to use my Chosen / Preferred Name?
If you believe you are being discriminated against based on your identity, please contact the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity at  or 410-704-0203.
What if I encounter a system or application that does not accommodate my Chosen / Preferred Name?
If your Chosen / Preferred Name is not listed in a system or application that is repeatedly visible to the public or yourself, please email the location to . As additional systems and applications are identified, Inclusion & Institutional Equity will work with the Office of Technology Services to resolve the issues, when possible.
What name will appear on my diploma, transcripts, and be read at commencement?
Official transcripts will show your Legal Name. You will be able to select which name you want on your diploma and for the Commencement ceremony (legal or Chosen / Preferred Name).
How often can I change my Chosen / Preferred Name?
Once a Chosen / Preferred Name form is submitted, another submission cannot be requested until the prior submission is approved or denied. You may update your Chosen / Preferred Name, as necessary and within reason.
How do I change my gender marker?
Individuals wishing to change their sex / gender marker may do so after providing legal documentation of a gender / sex marker change. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office at 410-704-2701 and faculty and staff should contact Human Resources at 410-704-2162.
If I am an alumnus / a with a Chosen / Preferred Name, will I automatically receive a new diploma with my Chosen / Preferred Name?
No. To receive an updated diploma with your Chosen / Preferred Name you must contact the Registrar’s Office.
Will my Chosen / Preferred Name appear on my Housing and Residence Hall information and door tags?
Your Chosen / Preferred Name will only be updated in Housing and Residence Halls after you contact Housing & Residence Life (HRL) at , otherwise your Legal Name will appear. HRL can also help you change your name after move in, as necessary.