Change of Name

All students currently enrolled are granted the opportunity to change their names on institutional records upon the production of legal evidence indicating their name change.  Submit the Change of Name form along with the appropriate documentation directly to the Registrar’s Office.

Once your name is changed it will be viewable on the student information system and WebAdvisor.

What type of document can be considered legal?

  • certified copy of marriage license, court order, or dissolution decree reflecting the name in full, or
  • current passport or other government issued official proof of identity (Driver’s License or State ID are acceptable)

Do I get a new email address when I change my name?

No, your email address will not automatically change.  If you are requesting to change your RISD email, you must contact the OIT Service Desk directly at

Do I get a new ID card when I change my name?

No, your ID card will not automatically change.  If you want a replacement ID card, Card Services charges a $5.00 replacement card fee.  Card Services will need notification from the Registrar’s Office that you have officially changed your name.

How do you handle International Student Records?

International students must use the same name on their records as on their documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and their passport.

The only exception is that any student can add a chosen name  (preferred first-name) which will be the first name used on campus (specifically for class rosters and program evaluations).  To request a chosen name (first-name) fill out the  Chosen Name section on the Change of Name Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.

Can I change my name if I don’t have legal documentation?

No.  Formal name changes without supporting legal documentation will not be accepted.  However, we do allow students to add a chosen name (preferred first-name) to use on campus for class rosters and program evaluations. A chosen name is not used for official academic record purposes.

How do you handle gender, Trans*(gender/genderqueer) changes?

A certified copy of a court order or documentation from a health professional that a gender change is underway is required if a change in gender and name is to be recorded on a student’s official record.

Chosen Name
Students that don’t have official documentation or are in transition can submit a chosen name, which will be the first name used on campus for rosters and program evaluations.  Legally, we cannot change the official first name. Legal birth names will be stored in the student information system for archival purposes.  Fill out the  Chosen Name section on the Change of Name Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. For more information on Chosen Name, click here.

Do you update former student records?

After a student graduates or separates from RISD, the student’s academic file is closed.  College records are historical documents and are not altered retrospectively.  Name changes, except in cases of adoption and legal gender change, are always applied from the time the change is made forward.  RISD will accept requests from RISD graduates for a change of name only if a certified copy of a court order is presented.

If I have graduated, can I get a new diploma with my new name?

If your name change request is accepted (you have already submitted the ‘Change of Name’ form along with your proper documentation to the Registrar’s Office), then a diploma may be reissued for a graduate whose name has legally changed.  Your old diploma must be returned and there is a fee of $50.00 to reprint a new diploma. The new diploma will indicate that the diploma has been reissued due to a name change. The official signature(s) on the diploma may not be the same as the signature(s) on the original.  Please be patient as the request will be sent to the printer and a new diploma may take up to a month to process.  To request a diploma to be re-issued, complete the Diploma Re-issue form.