Biographical Information Updates

The Office of the Registrar requires specific documentation before a certain biographical information update can be processed. Students who wish to update their legal name, social security number, legal sex, and/or date of birth must provide the following:

  • Complete and submit a Biographical Information Update form
  • Photo Identification

  • Official documentation showing the previous to updated information (e.g., former name to new name) to verify the request. Acceptable documents include marriage license, divorce decree, court order such as name change or change of sex, certificate of naturalization, or birth certificate.

The Biographical Information Update form also covers a name-in-use request if you wish to go by a first name that is different from your legal first name. See the Name in Use section below for more information.

For students wishing to change or designate their ethnicity, gender identification, or pronouns, you will find steps below showing how you may change that information online yourself.

Biographical Information Update Process

  • Complete a Biographical Information Update form.
  • You will be routed to a landing page, click “Initiate Request”.
  • You can choose to review and sign your form. This will launch a DocuSign form which you need to complete the required fields and sign electronically. Your DocuSign form will also be emailed to your OSU email account so you can complete and sign it later.
  • Attach your photo identification and official documentation.

When the biographical information update is complete, a confirmation email will be sent from the Office of the Registrar. Please allow 5-7 business days for processing.

Former Students: If you are a former student and you no longer have access to your ONID account, you will need to contact the Office of the Registrar directly to request a biographical information update.

OSU employees: If you are or have ever been employed by the University (student employee, faculty or staff), changes must be made with Human Resources.


Students may opt to go by a name-in-use that is different from their legal first name. The name-in-use will change how your first name appears in the systems that are considered more public to student services, such as advising and in the classroom setting. These systems include Canvas, Web for Advisors, MyDegrees, the OSU directory, and class rosters.


  • You use your middle name or a shortened version of your first name instead of your legal first name.

Example: A person’s name is Nathan Daniel Jones, but that person is known professionally and academically as Daniel Jones.

Example: A person’s legal first name is Catherine, but that person is known professionally and academically as Cathy.

  • You are an international student who prefers to use a different name in the context of attending school in the United States.

Example: A person’s legal first name is Zheng, but that person is known professionally and academically as Sam.

  • You are using a name, different from your legal name, that you feel more aptly reflects your gender identity and/or gender expression.

Example: A person’s legal first name is Christine, but that person is known professionally and academically as Jackson.

Faculty, academic advisors, and most staff at the University should see your name-in-use change unless the business of the office requires your legal name for legal purposes. Some records and all legal documents, such as an official transcript or financial aid, require the use of a legal name, will display your legal name, and will not change to your preferred name. Business Affairs will continue to use your legal name.

For more information on restrictions to changing your name, please see the Name-in-Use policy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Legal name changes will update in all OSU administrative systems, including, but not limited to Canvas, MyDegrees, Online Services, class rosters, and transcripts. This will not, however, update your ONID user name.

If you need to have your ONID username updated, please see this guidance from the IS Service Desk.

To obtain a new ID card, you will need to visit or contact the ID center. You may incur a new card fee.

Your name-in-use will appear in most all OSU systems. Legal documents, such as a tax form or a transcript, require your legal name to appear. ** We are not able to guarantee every system will display your name-in-use name, as not all systems link to the main student information system. If you encounter issues, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

If you need to submit your request by mail, you may mail your notarized copies of your documents and current government-issued photo ID to the Office of the Registrar. You will need to contact the Office of the Registrar directly to request a biographical information update form.

Pronouns, Gender Identification, and Ethnicity

As a current student, you can select your pronouns, ethnicity, and gender identity in your MyProfile Dashboard as follows:

  • Log into MyOregonState.
  • Under the Resources tab, look for ‘My Profile

  • Under the Personal Details section, edit Personal Pronoun or Gender Identification

At this time, selecting your pronouns in your MyProfile will not show up in any class roster, student-facing information systems, or other readily visible place.

You can also select your pronouns to display in Canvas. Please see this how-to guide from Academic Technology.

To designate or change your ethnicity, go to MyProfile and scroll down to “Additional Details” and click the pencil icon to edit your ethnicity and race.