UMass Boston

Change of Name


1. Primary Name/Legal Name on Record– A primary/legal name is the name that appears on legal documents, an individual’s passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card. It will be used by the university for financial aid purposes, bursar’s bills, transcripts and diplomas. This name should be used when completing forms for the university.

2. Chosen Name – A chosen name is a name an individual wishes to be known by, or identifies by, in the University community that is different from the individual’s official/legal Name. Your chosen name may be used in place of your primary name on your BeaconCard (first name only), and your university email (by request); as well as on class/grade rosters, and Blackboard.

Degree/Diploma Name

The name printed on the diploma will be your primary/legal name as listed in WISER.

Any changes to your primary/legal name must be made before the applied date of graduation.

Students can add a degree/diploma name in WISER however, the first and last name must match your primary/legal name.
For example: you can edit your degree/diploma name in the following ways (with or without the “Jr.”)
Legal name: Bobby Beckett Beacon, Jr.

  • Bobby B. Beacon
  • Bobby Beacon
  • B. Beckett Beacon
  • B. B. Beacon

To add/edit a degree/diploma name in WISER navigate to Personal Information->Names->Add a new name

Primary Name/Legal Name:

If you are updating your legal/primary name, please visit our Forms page and complete the Address/Name Change Request form. Please note that you will be required to provide supporting documentation to complete this form. Examples of supporting documentation are: an individual’s passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card. 

Chosen Names:

The University recognizes that many members of its community use a name other than their legal or official name first provided to the University (official/legal name) to identify themselves. Therefore, the university has established guidelines that allow students and employees to indicate their chosen names to the University community even if they have not changed their official/legal names.

Chosen Name Guidelines:

University of Massachusetts students may choose to identify themselves within the University community using a chosen name that differs from their official/legal name. A student’s chosen name will appear instead of the person’s official/legal name in select University-related systems and documents, provided that the chosen name is not being used for the purpose of misrepresentation. Chosen names that are not administratively possible to implement, including, without limitation, symbols or images, are prohibited. The University reserves the right to remove any chosen name without prior notice to the individual due to misuse or abuse of this chosen name policy, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligations, or the use of highly offensive or derogatory names.

The primary/legal name will continue to be used in all University-related systems and documents that require a verified legal name.


If you would like to add a chosen name in WISER you can do so through student self-service, click on the Personal Information icon->Names->Add a new name. 
Remember your legal/primary name will still remain in place until a legal name change has been completed.
Please note: If you work on campus you will need to follow the rules below for staff in addition to making the changes in Wiser.
Add a Chosen Name help video

Faculty and Staff:

For faculty and staff, contact Human Resources and request your name be changed in HR Direct. Once that is done, contact the IT Service Desk and request that your email address and display name be changed to match your HR record. For faculty who are known professionally under a different name, contact the IT Service Desk and request your name be changed based on your professional identity. Pending approval from HR, the systems group will make the change.

Chosen names can/will be used in the following systems and records:

  • Beacon ID card (First name chosen, Last name Legal)
  • UMass Boston email
  • Grade Rosters
  • Blackboard
  • Grant Additional Access – anyone you have given additional account access to will see your chosen name

Primary/Legal names will continue to be used for official University records, including but not limited to the following:

  • Legal Documents and Reports Produced by the University
  • Student Account Statement (Bills)
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Documents
  • Degree Audit reports
  • Transcripts, Diplomas, Graduation booklets
  • Enrollment and Degree Verifications
  • Student Employment Documents
  • Employment Verifications and documents
  • Federal and State Agency Reporting
  • Human Resources Benefit Information
  • SEVIS (Immigration status reporting)
  • Health Records
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other Payroll documents

Email Name Changes:

After you have completed the chosen name update in wiser/HR then you can request to have your email changed as well. To change your email or Beacon ID card to your chosen name please use this online form:  Email change request form

Some things to be aware of by changing your email to a chosen name:

  • We cannot confirm that you will get the requested email. There is a 20-character limit and we do not re-use email addresses.
  • Once the change has been made to your email address, it may take over 24 hours to synchronize across systems. Not all of our systems use chosen name.
  • Changing your email address will impact all services that require login with your username or email. Examples: Wiser, Blackboard, Degree Audit, Library, one drive etc…
  • If you use a university G-suite account you will lose access to that account. We suggest that you back up your data in a way that you can migrate it to your new G-suite account.
  • If you are an UMass Boston employee you might need to update your name in HR as well. 
  • For any questions, please visit the IT Help web page. 

Zoom Name:

Changing your name in WISER will not change your name on Zoom if your classes meet virtually. To permanently change your Zoom account name or add pronouns so they appear each time you login to a Zoom meeting, visit and click “My Account” to access your profile. If you wish, you can add your pronouns in parentheses to the “Last Name” field when editing your profile so they remain visible while you attend Zoom meetings.

All of Us

At UMass Boston, we encourage an inclusive campus community and environment. Celebrating diverse student identities -- whether it be personal, cultural, social, linguistic, racial, or sexual orientation -- is at the core of our institutional mission and vision. Through the Inclusive Identity Project, students can choose to securely enter their pronoun(s), chosen name, gender identity, and sexual orientation in the WISER student system.  Sponsored by Student Affairs, the Registrar's Office, and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, this project and the data collected will assist the University in designing, delivering, and promoting customized programs, services, and resources that support ALL students according to their individual needs and interests. Please visit the All of Us website to explore the inclusive resources provided by various departments and student organizations that might help you express your individual awesomeness.


Campus Center, 4th Floor
UMass Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125

Phone:  617.287.6200
Fax: 617.287.6242