Name Policy and Use

Preferred First Name

Yale University recognizes that students may wish to use a preferred first name rather than their legal first name to identify themselves. The University supports students in this choice. Any student may designate a preferred first name regardless of whether they have legally changed their name.

How to Add, Change, or Delete a Preferred First Name

To indicate your preferred first name, login to the Yale Hub, click on the “Personal Data” menu, and select “My Preferred Name.” Your full name and your preferred first name, if you already have a preferred first name on record, will be displayed. You may edit an existing preferred first name, enter a new preferred first name, or delete the existing preferred first name.

For some applications, changes to the preferred first name will display immediately. For others, changes may take longer to appear.

Use of Legal or Preferred First Name

Preferred First Name: Places where preferred first name will be used include:

  • Online directory
  • Learning management systems
  • Advising systems
  • Yale Hub
  • Degree Audit 
  • Other academic systems internal to the campus

Legal Name: Places where legal name will be used include:

  • Student accounts and bills
  • Student employment and paychecks
  • Financial aid documents and refund checks
  • Enrollment and degree verification certificates
  • Official transcripts

Legal Name or Preferred First Name: Places where either preferred first name (if saved in Yale Hub) or legal name can be used are:

Legal Name Changes

Students currently attending Yale College or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences who have changed their legal name can have their academic record updated by bringing one of the three following categories of documents to the University Registrar’s Office at 246 Church St., 3rd floor:

  • Government issued photo ID with the new name
  • Social Security Card with new name and a government issued photo ID
  • Legal name change documentation in English or certified translation and a government issue photo ID

Note: Professional school students who are changing their legal name should contact their school’s registrar.


University policy allows students to indicate a preferred first name different from their legal first name on their diploma. Students should communicate directly with their registrar regarding this change.


NameCoach gives students the ability to record their name in their own voice as they want it spoken. Located under the Personal Data tab in Yale Hub, participation in NameCoach is entirely voluntary and only needs to be done once. After a recording is created, an audible icon will become visible next to a student name in the online directory and in any system, that adopts NameCoach, such as faculty rosters in Canvas. 

Additionally, NameCoach gives students the option to add a phonetic spelling of their name and to display the pronouns they prefer to use.