Name Change and Privacy in JHU Computer Systems

Many transgender people use a name that is not their legal name. At times, this may be called a “chosen name,” “preferred name,” a “nickname,” or a “name-in-use.” Many cisgender people also use chosen names, such as a middle name, an Americanized name, or some other chosen name. One way to show respect for anyone is to consistently use the name that person prefers. While there are some circumstances that require a legal name (e.g. official transcripts, background checks), most communication should use chosen names.

The University supports all of the members of its community in using their chosen or preferred name where possible. Read the university statement on this topic on the OIE website.

Learn about where your name shows up, who can see it, and how you can alter your preferences in the many components of the university’s online systems. This system is still incomplete, so please contact us if you experience challenges!

Name-in-Use Changes

Changing Your Name

Visit the Homewood registrar’s website for information about the support for chosen name in various computer systems as well as steps to take when you are ready to specify your chosen name.

Other Dimensions to Consider

Communicate your chosen name to faculty and classmates.

Chosen first names from SIS will show up on rosters, replacing your legal name. Faculty will not see your legal name on their rosters for class.

Emails can be particularly useful in communicating to professors that previously knew you by a different name. Adapted from a guide written by Ohio University.

General things to Include

  • State chosen name and pronoun
  • Brief explanation if you would like (“I identify as trans, which means _____ to me.”).
  • Explain how public you wish to be: “I prefer for no one to know about my trans status” or “I would be willing to talk about being trans as it related to class discussion” (depending on class and personal preference).
  • Thank them for being understanding.
  • Say they can email you if they have questions.
  • Provide your contact information.
  • Provide them with relevant websites and the contact information for LGBTQ Life for more information.

Sample Email

Dear Professor ___________,

I am a student in your (insert class name here). I am getting in contact with you to let you know that I identify as (insert identity here). My name will probably show up on your roster as (insert legal name here), but I would prefer to go by (insert chosen name here) and (insert preferred pronouns) pronouns. I will be putting (insert chosen name here) on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me that in class. If you have any questions for me regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email address is (insert email address here) and my phone number is (insert phone number here). You may also wish to contact GSR (410-516-2542) if you have further questions.

Thank you very much for your understanding,

(Your name)

Change the privacy of your myJHU profile.

Follow these steps to hide some or part of your identity from the JHU directory. Please note that JHU students cannot change their ID photo online. In order to change your ID photo, you must visit the J Card Office, located in Garland Hall, in person to take a new ID photo and receive a new J Card. Your new photo will then appear in the myJHU myProfile.

Step 1: Go to and login

Step 2: Click on your JHED in the upper right corner and click on “myProfile.” A list of information will appear.

Step 3: Find where it says “Chosen Full Name” and select “No One” if you wish to hide your full name. Update your privacy preferences for all other sections. If your default email is listed as different from the email you would like to use, select your default email preference.

Other Computer Systems

There are many computer systems throughout the university. If you change your chosen name, some computer systems will update quickly and others will take several months to be updated. Others may not update at all. If you have any questions about any aspect of this, please contact us to discuss your situation.

  • Counseling Center (Homewood): When you call to make an appointment, and when you fill out the intake form, you will have the opportunity to enter a chosen name. You can also tell your counselor directly if you wish to use a particular name.
  • Mail Room (Homewood students who live on campus): Homewood Campus Residence Hall Mail Rooms will use your preferred name from SIS. However, you may want to update your photo and the label on your mailbox.
  • Student Employment: Student Employment uses your legal name for processing paychecks. If you pick up your paycheck in person rather than using direct deposit, you will need to use an ID that has your legal name.

Legal Name Changes

Once you have completed a legal name change you will want to share this information so that we can update systems accordingly.

After a legal name change, you may also wish to change your JHED login id.

To update your legal name:


Please work with your department administrator, department HR manager, or divisional/school-level HR leader. You will need to submit proof of name change (typically a social security card bearing your new legal name) and then your administrator/HR manager will perform the necessary actions to update your legal name in SAP/payroll, which will then pass it along to other downstream systems.


Please use the SEAM online form. Select “Records and Registration” and then “Update my student information” from the list of topics. This contains information on how to update your biographical information including legal name.

International students should ensure that their name on their visa certificate is changed first.