Name change

There are a few different options when considering your name in Mosaic and other University systems and records.  Consider where and how you would like your name displayed as well as if you have government supporting documentation for the new name.  Please find your options below.  These options are outlined for McMaster Continuing Education students, undergraduate students and alumni.  Graduate students and alumni are invited to visit the School of Graduate Studies website for more information about name changes.   

It is important to note that ANY changes to your primary name in Mosaic will be reflected on your official academic record, transcripts, certificates, and degrees. Changing your name to something other than your formal legal name may result in issues with the authentication of your credentials and transcripts. This could impact job applications, student loans (OSAP/bank loans), taxes (T2202), professional licensing bodies (e.g., engineering, medicine, nursing etc.), as well as applications to other educational institutions (e.g., graduate school applications, universities transfers). The responsibility lies with the student or graduate to resolve any issues resulting from a name change

At McMaster, the primary name is the legal name.  An individual’s ‘full name’ is their whole, legal name. It includes their full first name (given name), middle name(s) or initial(s) if any, and their full last name (surname). The legal name is the name on your immigration documents, passport, or birth certificate.  

To make a primary name change in Mosaic, government supporting documentation such as a name change certificate is required.  Your primary name is used on all official university documentation and records (diploma, transcripts, tax forms, etc.) and is displayed on all systems unless a preferred name is added via Mosaic. 

How to Request a Primary Name Change:  

*Please note that email requests for primary name changes will not be processed. 

The primary name in Mosaic will be used on your official student record and documents (diploma, transcript, tax forms, letters etc.).  If you require an edit or correction to the spelling of your name following the primary name change process: 

How to Request an Edit to your Primary Name:  

To request an edit or correction to your primary name indicated in Mosaic, please download and complete the Name Change Form and submit a Mosaic Service Request* with the form and required supporting documentation.  

*Please note that email requests for legal name changes will not be processed.

While the phrase “preferred name” is used below and on Mosaic, for many people, this is not just a preference: it is the only name they use, and it is essential to their identity. 

You can add a preferred name, for example a nickname, English language name, or use a middle name as a first name.  You may want to go by a new name all together.  Your choice!  Please follow the instructions below to add a new name in Mosaic. 

How to add or edit your preferred name in Mosaic: 

  1. Log into the Mosaic Student Centre and add your preferred name in the Names section. 
  2. Contact UTS to request your preferred name in Microsoft Office 365. * 
  3. Update Zoom (if applicable) 

Please note that the preferred name will only be reflected on the following: 

  • Mosaic Student Centre 
  • Class List 
  • Avenue to Learn  

And not in the following: 

  • Grading list and exam roster 
  • The active directory for Microsoft 365 (Outlook email, Teams etc.) * 
  • Other systems and platforms outside of Mosaic 
  • University official documents and records (transcript, diploma, letters etc.) 
  • In your OSAP or government student aid portal 
  • Zoom 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 17  directs all levels of government to enable residential school survivors and their families to reclaim and use the name that is part of their heritage and culture on various identity documents. To reclaim your traditional family name on your McMaster University student record you can request a primary name change.  

Send an email to the Associate Registrar, Student Services at with your request to update your student record to reflect your traditional name. Please attach a copy of your status card and student id number in your email. You will receive a response outlining the next steps within 3-5 business days.  

Gender diverse students and alumni can request a change to the primary name on their student record, McMaster systems and official documents without government supporting documentation by following the process listed below:  

Send an email to the Associate Registrar, Student Services at with your request to change your primary name to reflect your desired name. You will receive a response outlining the next steps within 3-5 business days. Please include your student id number in your email. 

Please note that your privacy is respected throughout this process.  You will not be asked to disclose the reason for this type of name/gender marker change.  The Associate Registrar can assist by cross-referencing your identity for the completion of government forms, such as OSAP, as required.  

The McMaster student record and Microsoft 365 applications can be edited separately.  A change to the student record is required to change the display name in Avenue2Learn.   Please contact UTS directly if you only need to update your first name in Microsoft Office 365 (Teams, email etc.).   

Graduates who require a reprint of their McMaster parchment to reflect the name change should follow these two steps: 

  1. Submit a Service Request in Mosaic to request a name change 
  2. Once your name is updated in the Mosaic Student Centre, submit an order in Parchment for a diploma replacement 

Please contact University Technology Services (UTS) if you would like to change the name associated with your Outlook email, in Teams or another Microsoft product used by McMaster University.  You can update your first name in the active directory to a preferred name without legal documentation.  To change your name in Zoom, please follow these instructions. 


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