- General information
- Preferred first name vs. legal name
- To add a preferred first name
- To change your McGill email alias
- Fixing accents or punctuation
- Correcting/changing your legal name
At McGill, a student is registered under their legal name as it appears on their legal documents, such as a birth certificate or study permit, that have been provided to the University. This name will be used on documents such as an official transcript and diploma.
Your preferred first name is a name by which you are normally addressed, and is different than your legal first name. The Preferred First Name Procedure enables students to use an alternate preferred first name for certain purposes while studying at McGill.
Students who wish to use a Preferred First Name should enter this information into Minerva (see instructions in 'To add a preferred first name' tab) as soon as possible in order to ensure that their preferred first name is used as widely as possible.
Preferred first name vs. legal name
The preferred first name will appear on:
- McGill ID cards
- Minerva Class lists
- Student Advising Transcripts
- Display Name in Outlook and Office 365
- McGill email alias (see instructions in 'To change your McGill email alias' tab)
The student’s legal name appears on:
- Official university transcripts
- Reports to government
- Letters of attestation
- Diplomas and certificates
- Tuition fee e-bills
- Tax receipts
It is important to note that making a request to use a preferred first name at McGill does not change a student’s legal name in the McGill student record or records with government authorities.
If for serious reasons (e.g. transgender student whose legal name does not reflect their gender identity) you require further accommodation with the use of your preferred first name, please contact heidi.emami [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Preferred%20first%20name%20accommodation) (Heidi Emami), heidi.emami [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Preferred%20first%20name%20accommodation) (Associate Registrar), Management of Academic Records and Examinations.
You can provide a preferred first name on your application for admission or, once admitted, on Minerva, under the Personal Menu. From the Personal Menu, select Name Change and then add your preferred first name in the preferred first name field.
To add a preferred first name
- Log into Minerva
- Select the Personal Menu
- Click Name Change
Note: At the moment, McGill employees and staff cannot indicate a preferred first name.
To change your McGill email alias
Students can request that their preferred first name be part of their McGill e-mail address by submitting a change to NCS via the REGGIE tool.
To do this:
- Click Change Account Information from the REGGIE homepage
- Select McGill Email Address
- Enter your McGill username and password & click Next
- Select the let me request something option beside Replace Chosen McGill email address
- Click Change or Request McGill Email Address and follow the rest of the instructions
Fixing accents or punctuation
Minor changes to your name can be done by clicking Name Change in Minerva under the Personal Menu.
Correcting/changing your legal name
In order to correct or change the legal name on your student record (including adding a prefix/title, such as Mr., Ms., or Dr.), you must:
- Complete a Personal Data Change form (sections A&B) located on the Forms page
- Provide us with a copy of the appropriate legal document with the correct name (if we don't already have a copy)
=> The list of acceptable documents is listed in the Calendar under the Legal Name section
- Submit the completed form and copy of the legal document by email attachment (PDF or TIFF format) to legaldocumentation [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Personal%20Data%20Change)
Note: McGill employees seeking to change their legal name must do so via Human Resources.
What is a preferred first name?
The University recognizes that as a community, many of its members use first names other than their legal first names to identify themselves. A preferred first name is a name that you commonly use that is different from your legal first name.
A transgender student has the legal first name “Jennica” but prefers to be called “Jay”. This student’s preferred first name is “Jay”.
A student, with the full legal name “Robert Jamal Hayes” might actually go by their legal middle name “Jamal” and not their legal first name, “Robert”. This student’s preferred first name is “Jamal.”
Dilini Aruliah goes by her first name, “Dilini”. This student does not have a preferred first name that is different from her legal name.
No, entering a preferred first name is optional. Enter a name in the Preferred First Name field only if you commonly use a first name that is different from your legal first name.
Prospective students applying to study at McGill may enter their preferred first name on their application form.
Once admitted, students may indicate their preferred first name on Minerva, under the Personal Menu. From the Personal Menu, select Name Change and you will be able to add/modify your preferred first name under this field.
Yes, you can delete or modify your preferred first name. Go to Minerva, and select the Personal Menu. From the Personal Menu, select Name Change, and delete/modify your preferred first name in the Preferred First Name field. Keep in mind that barring special permission, you can change your preferred first name only once in an academic year.
Please wait 24 hours after entering your preferred first name into Minerva before requesting a new McGill ID card. This ensures that our information systems will be updated with your preferred first name so that a new ID card can be issued. After this step, you may follow regular procedures as outlined on the following website: http://www.mcgill.ca/student-records/id/.
Students are free to determine the preferred first name that they want to be known by in the university's information systems, as long as they act in good faith. Inappropriate use of the preferred first name procedure, including attempts to avoid a legal obligation via misrepresentation, or the use of inappropriate language, will result in the denial and/or reversal of the request.
At the moment, McGill employees and staff cannot indicate a preferred first name.
They can, however, change their legal name and title with Human Resources.
Since 2009, McGill students have been able to indicate their preferred first name in Minerva and have it appear on class lists in parentheses next to the legal name.
Effective Summer 2013, the preferred first name will be used in lieu of the legal first name on McGill ID cards, on class lists, and on other unofficial university documents.
The University acknowledges that a preferred first name can and should be used wherever possible in the course of university business and education. Therefore, McGill will gradually phase in the expanded use of the preferred name instead of the legal name, except where the use of the legal name is required by the University for a business or legal need.
Effective Summer 2013, your preferred first name will be used on your Student ID card and on Minerva class lists of the courses in which you are enrolled. Your preferred first name will also appear on your Student Advising transcripts. Your legal first name will be used in all other places.
You can enter your preferred first name into Minerva at any time. However, keep in mind that the earlier you enter your preferred first name into Minerva at the start of a new academic term, the more likely you will experience the consistent use of your preferred first name by professors, Academic Advisors, etc. For example, some professors may print off a class list after the Add/Drop period has passed, then use it for the remainder of the semester. Changes made to your preferred first name after Add/Drop period would not be picked up by the professor in this case.
Students can create an email alias by following the instructions available here: http://kb.mcgill.ca/#tab:homeTab:crumb:7:artId:1113 and by doing so, ensure that their preferred first name displays on email notes instead of their legal first name.
This will change the way their email address is displayed when using McGill email. However, students will still need to use their legal first name in its original, standard (not alias) firstname.lastname email format when signing into MyCourses, MyMcGill, and Minerva. For now, the legal name (in its standard firstname.lastname form) will display within MyCourses instead of the email alias.
There is a relatively complex technical reason for this, and the University is working to introduce changes that will, if successfully implemented, result in the preferred first name being used in all the systems mentioned and will also be displayed within MyCourses.
A student who requires more widespread use of their preferred first name for serious reasons (for example, a transgender student whose legal name does not reflect their gender identity) may contact Enrolment Services to seek individual accommodation. Please contact heidi.emami [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Preferred%20first%20name%20accommodation) (Heidi Emami), Assistant Registrar to make an appointment.
Note that general questions about the preferred first name policy should be directed towards Service Point.
Address and Emergency Contact Information
To view/update your permanent and mailing addresses and phone numbers (McGill employees must do so via Human Resources):
- Log into Minerva
- Select the Personal Menu
- Click Addresses and Phones
- Select either "Mailing" or "Permanent" from the Type of Address to Insert drop down menu (note: neither an “Alternate Student Billing” nor a “Business/Organization” address constitutes an active address, and hence will not be considered valid).
- The “Until This Date” field is not mandatory; if you are unsure of the end date for your address, please leave this field empty.
- Make sure to click "Submit" when entering changes or selecting a "Type of Address to Insert".
- Per Quebec tax regulations, you must have a valid and active mailing address on record in order for you to have access to your Revenu Québec and Revenue Canada tax slips. It is extremely important for you to complete this information in Minerva as soon as possible.
Emergency Contact Info
It’s important for McGill to have contact info for you in the case of an emergency, so please be sure to complete the Emergency Contact section found under the Personal Menu in Minerva.
Updating your Social Insurance Number
If this is your first time providing McGill with your Social Insurance Number (SIN) for a scholarship or working on campus:
- Log into Minerva
- Select the Personal Menu
- Select Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Enter your SIN in the text box
If you need to update or make changes to your SIN:
Students: Email a PDF copy of your SIN to legaldocumentation [at] mcgill.ca (subject: %5BNEW%20SIN%5D) from your McGill email address with the subject line: [NEW SIN]. Please also include your 9-digit McGill ID number with your email.
Staff and students employed by the university: Contact Human Resources to have your information updated.