Changing your name on your student record

Legal name changes

If your legal name is on UBC’s official records (e.g., transcripts, diplomas, or student card) and you wish to be known by a different name, you can make this request through the following ways below.

To have your name changed on your diploma after graduation, you’ll be required to order a replacement diploma.

Ways to change your name

Bring your documents in person

Bring your legal document and UBCcard (student ID) to the Enrolment Services Advising Centre in Brock Hall.

Submit your documents online

Contact your Enrolment Services Advisor for a legal name change and they will follow up with a secure link that you can use to upload your legal documents online.

To find your advisor’s contact information, log into your Student Services Centre (SSC) and select “UBC Contacts” under Personal Info.

Graduate, postgraduate, and all other students can contact submitting the name change request and documents securely through the online form.

Please do not email copies of your documents directly to Enrolment Services.

Send your information by mail

Send the following to Enrolment Services:

  • A photocopy of the legal document verifying your name change
  • Your student number
  • Your current name at the University
  • The name you wish to change it to at the University

Mailing Address:

Enrolment Services Advising Centre
Brock Hall
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Documents that require your legal name at UBC

You’ll need your legal name listed for the documents below:

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

Changing your legal name on your diploma

Find out how you can change your legal name on your diploma. There is a deadline to submit name change requests before graduation.

Preferred or chosen name changes

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 what you want to be called.

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. Read more about names and their impact at UBC.

Updating your preferred or chosen name

Inappropriate use of a preferred or chosen 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 Academic or Non-Academic Misconduct.

The earlier you update your preferred or chosen name, the more likely you will experience the consistent use of your preferred or chosen first name by professors, Teaching Assistants, Enrolment Services Advisors, Academic Advisors, and more.

  1. Log into your Student Services Centre (SSC).
  2. Select “Contact Summary” from Personal Info.
  3. Select the “Name” tab, where you will see examples of how your name will be used for UBC records.
  4. Update your “Preferred Name”.

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

Use of a preferred or chosen first name

Places where UBC uses a student’s preferred name

  • Class lists
  • UBCcard (if requested)
  • Canvas
  • Student Information System
  • Student Information Services Centre (so staff can see your preferred or chosen name)
  • Faculty Service Centre (so faculty can see your preferred or chosen 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 names when legally required.

Possible impact of using a preferred or chosen name

While UBC allows students to indicate their preferred or chosen 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 or chosen 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 or chosen 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 or chosen name while the transcripts use a legal name.

Update your UBCcard

Your preferred or chosen name can be displayed in place of the legal name on your UBCcard.

  1. If needed, update your preferred name on the Student Services Centre (SSC). Please wait 48 hours for the change to appear on the system.
  2. Contact the UBC Access Desk in the UBC bookstore and request a card renewal with your preferred or chosen name.

There is no charge to get a new UBCcard with your preferred or chosen name on the card. Find more information about UBCcard renewals under Name and Status Changes.

Citizenship Update

If you become a Permanent Resident during your time at UBC, please update your status at the Enrolment Services Advising Centre in Brock Hall.

You will need to bring one of the following:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a government-issued photo ID 
  • Your Permanent Resident Card

You can read more information about how your tuition may be impacted on the UBC Calendar.

Changes to citizenship status can impact a student's iMED health coverage. Please contact International Student Advising if you have questions related to your health insurance.

Indigenous self-identification

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

As an Indigenous student, you can self-identify when you apply to UBC, or through your Student Service Centre (SSC). Go to "Personal Information" to update your student profile.

Additional resources

  • Student Demographic Data Project
    Learn how UBC collects demographic data from students to better inform equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
  • Vital Statistics Agency
    The Vital Statistics Agency provides information on how to legally change your name in British Columbia.

If you have questions

If you're an undergraduate student, please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor directly. To find your advisor’s contact information, log into your Student Service Centre (SSC) and select “UBC Contacts” under Personal Info.

Graduate, postgraduate, and all other students can contact an Enrolment Services Advisor by calling 604 822 9836 or submitting a question through the online form.