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Preferred Name Policy

What is a Preferred Name?
A preferred name is a name that you choose to be called that is different from your legal name. Stony Brook University allows you do this by setting a preferred name through your SOLAR account. When you select a preferred name, it will appear instead of your legal name on some university related records and documents. These include class rosters, class photo rosters, final grade rosters, and Blackboard. Your legal name will appear on all other University records and documents.

What is Stony Brook University’s Preferred Names Policy?

It is the policy of the University to provide all members of our community with the opportunity to use a chosen or preferred name that is different from their legal name, where possible. In some instances, the University is obliged to use a person's legal name and cannot use a chosen or preferred name. Such instances include but are not limited to: employment and payroll records, health insurance records, billing records, financial aid documents, reimbursements, travel and purchasing authorizations, official transcripts, diplomas, etc. 

The University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately, including but not limited to: for the purpose of misrepresentation, to be disruptive, or to attempt to avoid a legal obligation. 

The preferred name will be limited to appearing on the Class Roster, Class Photo Roster, Final Grade Roster, and Blackboard.

Student's legal name will remain unchanged in all other University-related systems. Students who wish to change their legal name can obtain the needed form on the Forms page of the Registrar's website.

Who Can Set a Preferred Name?
Preferred names are set using SOLAR. Therefore, you as a Stony Brook University student can set, change, and/or delete your preferred name.

How Do I Set My Preferred Name?

You may set your preferred name by logging into your SOLAR account. Under Security and Personal Data, select Names. Click the edit button next to the Preferred Name type. Update your First name as you wish. When finished click the SAVE button.

Preferred Names FAQ:

Can anyone update my preferred name?
No. Only you as the student with access to your SOLAR account can update your preferred name.

How do I set my preferred name?
Log into SOLAR and go to Security and Personal Data, then Names and select the edit button next to the Preferred Name type. When finished updating click the SAVE button.

Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?
You may set your preferred name to whatever you would like. However, the University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if determined inappropriate.

Can I use my preferred name for everything at the University?
No. Your preferred name can only be used and will only appear on the Class Roster, Photo Roster, Final Grade Roster and in Blackboard. On all other University records and documents, your legal name will appear.

How do I correct or change my legal name at the University?


  • Complete Name Change Form found under the General section of the  Forms page on the Registrar's website and submit it to the Registrar’s Office with appropriate and required documentation.


  • Contact Human Resource Services at:

    390 Administration Building

    Tel: 631-632-6161

    Fax: 631-632-6168