Your name is your choice. Beginning October 21, 2021, Montana State University will offer a chosen name service to students who wish to use a “Chosen Name” throughout their education.
The Chosen Name Service allows members of the Montana State University community to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves in times and places where a legal name is not required.
Montana State University campuses will use an approved chosen name by current students, faculty, and staff, in its databases, mailings, and in academic and professional settings in accordance with these terms and conditions. In systems that require a legal name, we will use that name instead.
Montana State University recognizes that some members of the campus community use names other than their legal names (“chosen names”) to identify themselves. The goal of these terms and conditions is to create a consistent name experience across University systems and use of one’s chosen name.
Permissible Use of Chosen Names
Except for prohibited uses of chosen names, members of the University community are provided the opportunity to use a chosen name to identify themselves. A chosen name may consist of a first name, middle name, and/or last name. It is solely the responsibility of individuals using a chosen name to communicate the name change to individuals internal and external to the University as necessary.
Prohibited Use of Chosen Name
Chosen names shall not be used for the purpose of misrepresentation, avoiding legal obligations, or otherwise in any manner that violates University policies or federal, state, or local laws. Chosen names that are not administratively possible to implement, including, without limitation, symbols or images, are prohibited. The University reserves the right to deny or remove any chosen name without prior notice to the individual due to misuse or abuse, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligations, the use of obscene content or language which otherwise violates campus policies, or names that will disrupt the academic or work environment of the University.
Display of Chosen Names
In recognition that the University is a dynamic and changing environment, it is difficult to accurately indicate all locations that chosen name will be displayed. The University will make reasonable efforts to display chosen name where appropriate and in accordance with these terms and conditions. The chosen name will appear in many internal locations, including but not limited to the following:
- Student or Employee ID Card (optional)
- Campus Directory
- Student and Employee Information System
- Learning Management System
- Degree Planning System
- Class lists
- Grade Roster
- University Email
- Many University communications
- Student and employee profiles
Display of Legal Names
The legal name must be used in the following places, as legally or operationally required:
- Background Checks
- Degree Verification
- Employment Verification
- Enrollment Verification
- Federal and State Agency Reporting
- Financial Aid
- Human Resources Benefit and Retirement Information
- Official Academic Transcript
- Paycheck and W2
- SEVIS (Immigration status reporting)
- Student Accounts
- Student Employment
Student and Employee ID Cards
Once the Chosen Name change has been processed, students or employees may optionally visit the ID card office to obtain a new ID card displaying their chosen name. Normal replacement fees will apply.
Note: Students or employees who choose to replace their ID card with one displaying their chosen first name are advised that the ID card with the chosen name shall not be used for employment verification or other uses requiring proof of legal identity.
Individuals who elect a chosen name will have their University email address updated with their chosen name.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student’s name, including one’s chosen name, may be disclosed to the public as “directory information” unless the student opts not to permit such disclosure.
To Whom Does This Service Apply
Students, Faculty, Staff
Please follow the links below for more information.