Names & Student Identity

Your personal information such as names, pronouns and contact information are stored in Student Center. Learn where different types of names are used on campus and how to make changes to your personal information in Student Center.

Change your Personal Information

You can make changes to your personal information in your Student Center. 

  1. Find the Personal Information section.
  2. Select an option from the Other Profile Information menu. Click the double arrows.
  3. Select the pencil icon to edit existing information or use the Add New button.

See Student Center Help: How to Update your Personal Information for step-by-step instructions.

Name Types, Definitions & Campus Use

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are those that an individual chooses for themself and wants others to use when talking to or about them. You can enter your pronouns in Student Center. They will appear in class rosters and in Canvas. 

Chosen Name

Our names are an important part of our identity! 

Humboldt offers you the option to use a name other than your legal name to identify yourself. 

Student Center uses the term "preferred" for a chosen name. We know that the use of a name is not a preference and the use of the term "preferred" can feel inappropriate. We are working toward a system-wide switch to a more appropriate term. For clarity in instructions, we will use the term Preferred Name when referring to the specific on-screen steps in Student Center. 

Our campus uses chosen names in as many places as we can.

If you add a chosen (preferred) name in Student Center, that name will be used in:  

  • class rosters and faculty advising pages
  • Canvas and DARS
  • commencement ceremony and printed program

See Legal Name for the places that mandated its use. 

Legal Name 

In Student Center, a legal name is called the "Primary Name." The legal name will continue to be used internally in certain university records, documents, and business processes where use of legal name is required by law or university policy.

Cal Poly Humboldt uses legal (primary) names in:

  • transcripts and official university records
  • enrollment and degree verifications 
  • employment and payroll records 
  • Federal and State Agency Reporting
  • any other documentation involving financial aid, official student accounts, and/or student records, such as refund checks, tax documents, etc.
  • various financial aid programs which coordinate with government authorities such as the social security administration, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or federal/state education departments

Diploma Name 

By default, your diploma will print with your legal (primary) name. You may choose to set a diploma name in Student Center to specify a chosen name or style preference (middle initial, suffixes, etc.).

Important - Read the following before you set a diploma name to override your primary (legal) name.

Diploma Name Considerations

It is important to consider that certain circumstances may require using the diploma in conjunction with official transcripts (which use legal name), passport, or other documents for legal, immigration or employment purposes.

Licensure, credentialing and/or federal employment

Application for licensure, credentialing and/or federal employment/guidelines generally still require the use of the legal name. If you are in a program that leads to a credential, licensure or you are planning to go on to professional schools (eg. law, medicine, pharmacy) be aware that licensing requirements often necessitate the use of a legal name on all educational documents including diplomas (i.e. State Bar applications, federal employment applications). Using a different name may result in rejection, delay, or undue scrutiny, and/or require additional proof of identification. 

Study or work outside the U.S.

If you plan to live, study and work outside the U.S., consider printing your legal name on the diploma, or checking with officials in the country of interest. Although the university considers the diploma a ceremonial document, some countries may require using your diploma in conjunction with your official transcript for legal, immigration or employment purposes. Choosing to print your chosen name on the diploma may result in unforeseen complications due to the discrepancy if your diploma does not match your transcripts (which use legal name), passport, etc. 

Diploma Replacement

Limitations & Appropriate Use

The University reserves the right to deny or remove, with or without notice, any name or pronoun that is inappropriate or being used improperly (e.g., for fraud, misrepresentation or to evade legal obligations). A student who enters a name or pronoun in their Student Center that is inappropriate or for improper use may be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will be referred to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

Use the quick steps below or the step-by-step instructions in Student Center Help: How to update your personal information.

How to add a chosen name

  1. Click on the Student Center icon. (It’s the grad cap icon in myHumboldt)
  2. Click on the Names link under Personal Information.
  3. The Names tab will open. Click on Add a new name.
  4. Enter your name information
  5. Save.

How to add pronouns

  1. Click on the Student Center icon. (It’s the grad cap icon in myHumboldt)
  2. Find the Personal Information section.
  3. Select Pronouns from the  Other Profile Information dropdown
  4. Select your pronouns from the dropdown. If you don’t see yours, select Not Listed.
  5. Your selection will auto populate below. If you selected not listed, enter your pronouns in the fields.
  6. Save

Disclosure of Student Information

We take your privacy seriously. Read more about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).