Change your personal information

It is your responsibility to maintain up-to-date contact information so that UBC can contact you with important information and updates. There are several ways to change contact information such as email, postal addresses and name changes at the University.

Contact information change

You can change your contact information (such as an email or postal address) in any of the following ways:

If you know your SSC log-in:

Online:

Log in to the Student Service Centre (SSC), Navigate to Personal Info > Contact Summary

If you do not know your SSC log-in:

In person:

Visit the Enrolment Services Advising Centre in Brock Hall.

Email:

Send a request through AskMe. Make sure you include your student number.

Telephone:

Call Enrolment Services at 604.822.9836 or 1.877.272.1422.

Mail:

Send your new contact information to Enrolment Services. Make sure to include your student number and signature.

Preferred name changes

At UBC, students are primarily known to staff and professors by their preferred or chosen name. Students should indicate a preferred name only if they want staff and faculty to refer to them by a name that is different from their legal name.

What is a preferred or chosen name?

A preferred or chosen name is a name that you commonly use that is different from your legal name – it is about what you want to be called, not what other people prefer to call you.

While we use the phrase “preferred name”, for many people, this is not just a preference: it is the only name they use and it is essential to their identity. It is especially important for transgender and non-binary students whose university experience and wellbeing are negatively impacted when their preferred or chosen name is not used.

Inappropriate use of a preferred name such as 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
  • UBCcard (if requested)
  • Canvas
  • Student Information System
  • Student Information Services Centre (so staff see your preferred name)
  • Faculty Service Centre (so faculty see your preferred name)
  • Student Housing Online Service Centre
  • UBC Recreation
  • Counselling Services
  • Student Health Services (except in places where MSP requires use of your legal name)

Students may still see their legal name in some online systems and communications due to the complexity of UBC’s information systems and the inability of some systems to share information. UBC is working to create a more unified experience that would only display legal given name when legally required.

Documents that require a legal name at UBC include:

  • Official letters (including but not limited to: admission, enrolment, and award letters, student loans)
  • Tax forms
  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas and graduation book
  • Residence contracts

Update your preferred name

The earlier you update your preferred name, the more likely you will experience the consistent use of your preferred first name by professors, TAs, Enrolment Services Advisors, Academic Advisors, etc.

  1. Log in to the Student Services Centre (SSC)
  2. Navigate to Personal Info > Contact Summary > Name

You should do this even if you provided your preferred name when applying to UBC.

Update your UBCcard

Your preferred name can be displayed in lieu of the legal name on your UBCcard.

  1. If needed, update your preferred name. Please wait 48 hours for the change to appear on the system
  2. 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.

Possible impact of using a preferred name

While UBC allows students to indicate their preferred name without changing their legal name, it’s important to think about the possible impact of this practice:

  • Official documents are often used to verify one’s identity when applying for work, or additional education. Some employers, licensing bodies, or other educational institutions may question the use of a preferred name in daily or informal correspondence. This discrepancy happens when institutions rely on legal names to be used consistently.
  • If someone is using a preferred name consistently, this may cause some confusion in situations where official documents have to be provided. For example, employers might be confused about a UBC student portfolio that uses a preferred name while the transcripts use a legal name.

If the option is available to you, having a name legally changed is the best way to avoid confusion and ensure that someone is consistently addressed using the name that best reflects how they want to be known on campus and beyond. You can apply to change your legal name through the government of British Columbia.

Changing the name on your diploma

Read about options to change the name on your diploma the Changing the name on your diploma page.

Please note that there is a deadline to submit name change requests for graduation.

Aboriginal self-identification

UBC has a number of unique programs and services for Aboriginal students, including scholarships and bursaries. Aboriginal self-identification helps UBC assign and manage these programs and services. 

You can self-identify as an Aboriginal student when you apply to UBC or you can self-identify on the Student Service Centre (SSC). Go to "Personal Information" to update your student profile.

Sex¹ designation change

Sex1 designation change

Currently only two sex designation options, M or F, are available within UBC’s Student Information System, and are collected and recorded for statistical purposes only. University records require one of these binary choices for statistical purposes and to comply with provincial reporting requirements. This information is not disclosed on transcripts or diplomas.

  1. You can request a change of sex designation by downloading the form below and submitting it to your Enrolment Services Advisor. If you don't have an advisor, you can email questions@askme.ubc.ca or come to Enrolment Services in Brock Hall.
  2. If you live in a UBC-managed residence, you must contact Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) separately to update your housing record.

Implications for changing sex designation

While UBC allow students to change their sex designation from M to F or from F to M, it’s important to be aware of the implications of this change:

Housing

You can explore options for housing accommodations with a Student Housing professional to find the best fit for your specific needs. You can contact Student Housing and Hospitality Service (SHHS) at information@housing.ubc.ca.

Student Records and Student Card

Class lists often include sex designation and your most recent photo taken for your student card. Changing your sex designation may not align with your gender identity and/or expression. Student cards are often used to verify identity at examinations and other University services. Find out more about updating your Student ID photo.  


1For the purposes of university records and statistical analysis, sex is referred to as male or female as assigned at birth.

Resources