What you need to know

Currently enrolled students can update the legal name and directory (formerly preferred) name in their student record. Your directory name is used in places such as class lists, your status of registration and grade reports, your student account, your MIT ID card, and the MIT Directory, which is available to the general public. Your legal name is used in places such as transcripts, tax forms, and visa documents.

Some key points to remember:

  • Changes typically appear within 24-48 hours in linked systems such as Canvas, Starrez, and WebSIS, and within DAPER.
  • Because not all systems are linked, you may need to take additional steps to update your name elsewhere, e.g., in your medical record at MIT Health.
  • Once you graduate, your record is frozen and we cannot make name changes except in very limited circumstances, such as a gender change.
  • The MIT Card Office policy is to publish your directory name on your MIT ID card. If you would like your legal name on your MIT ID card, you must specifically request it at the Atlas Service Center.

What you need to do


  • Go to WebSIS.
  • Click “For Students” followed by “Biographic and Emergency Records,” and “Name(s), Last School Attended, Birthdate, SSN, Citizenship.”
  • You may change your first, middle, or last name, and choose to use your full middle name or an initial.
  • Click “Submit.”
  • If, after 48 hours, you still see your legal name in an MIT system where you expect to see your directory name, please email giimit@mit.edu.


  • Email a completed Change of Legal Name Form to records@mit.edu including documentation of your old and new names, such as a scan of a certified copy of a court order, marriage certificate, or dissolution decree.
  • After receiving confirmation from the Registrar’s Office, go to WebSIS to confirm that your new name is displayed correctly.
    • Note that changes populate overnight to systems across MIT.