UBC recognizes that many members of its community use first names other than their legal names originally provided to the University to identify themselves. A preferred first name is a name that you commonly use that is different from your legal first name.
Inappropriate use of the preferred first name procedure including attempts to avoid a legal obligation via misrepresentation, or the use of inappropriate language, will result in the denial and/or reversal of the request and can be disciplined through either Academic or Non-Academic Misconduct.
Use of a preferred first name
UBC uses a student’s preferred name in the following places:
- Class lists (beside your given name)
- University-related systems (e.g. Connect)
- Various on-campus services
Your preferred name will appear instead of your legal name in university-related systems and documents (e.g. Connect), except where the use of the legal name is required by University business or legal need.
Documents that require a legal name at UBC include:
- Official letters
To update your preferred name:
You can contact your ESP at any time to add or update your preferred first name. The earlier you update your preferred first name at the start of a new academic term, the more likely you will experience the consistent use of your preferred first name by professors, TAs, ESPs, Academic Advisors, etc.
You should do this even if you provided your preferred name when applying to UBC.
To update your UBC card
As of May 1 2017, the preferred first name can be displayed in lieu of the legal first name on UBCcards.
- If needed, update your preferred name. Please wait 48 hours for the change to appear on the system
- Visit the UBC Access Desk in the UBC bookstore and request a card renewal with your preferred name
There is no charge to get a new UBCcard with your preferred name on the card. For more information go to UBC Access Desk.
Implications of changing your preferred name
While UBC allows students to indicate their preferred first names without changing their legal names, it’s important to be aware of the implications of this change:
- Future employers, licensing bodies, or other educational institutions may require proof that your transcripts and diplomas are your legitimate academic records. This can also be the case if you are applying for additional education or graduate programs elsewhere.
- Official documents are often used to verify your identity and rely on consistency in name. Generally, employers and institutions that require the above documents will see your legal name, not your preferred name, which may cause confusion about the authenticity of your identity. We recommend that you change your name legally.
You can apply to change your legal name through the government of British Columbia.