Name & Gender Change Procedures

Changing Legal Name

Legal names can be changed at SDSU with the proper documentation; a state issued driver's license and an original signed Social Security card reflecting the new name. Processing for name changes is done within the Office of the Registrar by filling out a SDSU Change of Legal Name card and supplying the stated documents above.

If you are not a United States citizen, you must show a valid passport and photo ID reflecting the new legal name.

Once the name change has been processed, notify your instructors of your name change to avoid grading discrepancies. You will only need to do this if you are changing your name mid-semester.

Your new and former names will appear on your SDSU transcript. In cases where there is a desire to not display the previous name, a request in writing for the removal of the previous name may be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Setting a Chosen First Name

Students who have enrolled at San Diego State University under their legal name have the option to set a chosen first name. The updated first name will appear within certain areas of the university's student record systems. This chosen first name does not refer to the use of a "nickname." SDSU does not allow the use of "nicknames" on student records.

To register for this type of first name at the university, students should complete a Chosen Name Change form and submit in person to the Office of the Registrar. Once the update has been made, a new SDSU ID card can be reissued by providing the SDSU Card Office with a Replacement ID Card form that is supplied by the Office of the Registrar when processing the Chosen Name Change form.

Currently the following offices are uploading the data to show the chosen first name within their systems. While this data is available to all, it will take time for every office and or database on campus to utilize the data to reflect an updated chosen first name due to the logistics of not all campus systems being connected.

A student's chosen first name will be reflected in the following areas:

  • Faculty Class Rosters – within the SDSU WebPortal
  • Faculty Grade Rosters – within the SDSU WebPortal
  • Blackboard rosters
  • Blackboard homeroom rosters
  • RedID Card
  • Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Student Life and Leadership
  • Library (effective summer 2019)
  • Option for diplomas and Commencement programs starting with the fall 2020 graduation (December graduation)

All other documents/records such as official transcripts, diplomas (unless chosen name is selected at time of graduation application to display on diploma), directory information, etc. will reflect the student's legal name. If the student would like to change their chosen first name to a legal name, the process cited above for changing legal name should be followed. For additional information, undergraduate students may visit the Graduation Frequently Asked Questions website and graduate students may visit the Graduate Affairs Graduation Information website.

Once the chosen name has been updated, notify your instructors of this change to avoid grading discrepancies. You will only need to do this if you are changing your name mid-semester.

Updating Gender Marker

Students enrolled at SDSU under their assigned or legal sex at birth may update their gender marker in the student records system to reflect their gender identity. Students should complete a Declaration of Gender Designation Change form and submit it in person to the Office of the Registrar. This change can coincide with the process of updating one's name on their university student record. Gender markers can be updated to male, female or nonbinary.

Note: Please be advised that updating your name and/or gender marker in the university's student records is not the same as legally updating your name and/or gender markers. You may be required to provide proof of your legal name and/or identity for employment or government purposes, such as obtaining a passport.

Contact Information

San Diego State University, Office of the Registrar strives to provide a safe, comfortable and non-discriminatory university experience for students whose gender identity and/or gender expression does not conform to their assigned legal sex at birth and wish to request changes to some university records to reflect their gender identity and/or gender expression. For questions or concerns regarding the preferred name or sex/gender processes, please contact Anne Guanciale in the Pride Center at (619) 594-0734.