MyUW Madison - Update Name in Use (Preferred Name)

UW-Madison Profile provides a central location for current UW-Madison students, employees, and affiliates to update the name they want to display across most campus applications and systems.

Campus systems of record at UW-Madison (such as the Student Information System (SIS) and the Human Resources System (HRS)) display your primary/legal name in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. You can update your Name in Use to have your name displayed in your preferred capitalization. 

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Access the Name in Use (Preferred Name) App

The MyUW Name in Use widget links to the new UW-Madison Profile application (
In Profile, you can see your campus Personal Information and Contact Information.

Image of a square tile with title Name in Use (Preferred Name) with the icon off of a person and bar at the bottom that says "Launch full app"

UW-Madison Profile is designed to display information to individuals with a valid NetID that have an active role at UW-Madison. At this time, users without an active role at UW-Madison (e.g., applicants, former employees) are not eligible to use Profile. Please contact Admissions, Human Resources, or whichever campus unit you are affiliated with to update your personal information.

If you believe you have an active role at UW-Madison (e.g. current student, employee, or affiliate) but you cannot access Profile, please contact the DoIT Help Desk: Get Help from DoIT.

Update Name in Use

  1. Navigate to the Personal Information tab.
  2. Under Name in Use, you will see your default legal name or current name in use. Click Edit to create or edit an existing name in use. 

    Name In Use field showing BUCKINGHAM U BADGER

    You can change or delete your first and middle names. You can only edit capitalization, spacing, apostrophes, periods, and hyphens in your last name.
    For more information and instructions on how to change your last name in use, see Last Name Policy.

  3. When you've updated the field, click Submit. Or, to remove your Name in Use and revert back to your default legal name, click Delete

     Updating Name In Use from BUCKINGHAM to Bucky

    After clicking Save, a "change pending" message will appear on the screen until the change or deletion has been completed. Changes may take up to 48 hours to be reflected in campus systems. 

Error Messages

You may only change capitalization, spacing, apostrophes, periods, and hyphens in your last name in use.

You will receive an error message if you attempt other changes to your last name in use. See the Last Name Policy for more information and instructions on how to change your last name in use.

Currently, the Name in Use application can only accept A-Z, a-z, spaces, single quotes, periods, and hyphens. If you attempt to enter your name in use with characters other than these, you will receive an error message. Some campus applications and reports that use your name in use are unable to handle other types of characters and will cause errors. While there is no workaround at this time, the MyUW team is actively working with our campus partners to allow you to enter your name exactly the way you want to be identified. 

When will I see my new Name in Use?

It may take up to 2 hours for your changes to appear in MyUW. Changes to other campus applications may take up to 48 hours, including the UW Directory and Office 365 email accounts.

If you have changed your legal name or name in use, you can automatically obtain a new email in the Wisc Account Administration site after your new name is reflected in UW records.

Policy and Restrictions of Name in Use

Last Name Policy

Your first and middle names in use can be different from your legal name. However, when updating your last name in use, only changes to capitalization, spacing, apostrophes or hyphens are allowed. Any other changes will result in an error message being displayed.

You must first change your legal last name in order to change your last Name in Use on campus. 

  1. Legal last name changes should first be completed through the Social Security Administration.
    1. Employees should then contact Human Resources.
    2. Students can then change their legal last name in Student Center.
  2. After changing your legal name, you may also request to change your NetID.
  3. Once your legal last name has changed and appears in the Name in Use app, you can proceed to edit your last name in use.

If you follow these steps and experience a problem, please contact the DoIT Help Desk: Get Help from DoIT.

Note: Your name in use does not automatically update after a legal name change. Visit UW-Madison Profile to edit your name in use after a legal name change. The last name will need to match your new legal last name


Your primary/legal name may still appear alongside your name in use in some places, such as transcripts or diplomas. If you have any concerns about your primary/legal name appearing, or if you would like to hide your legal name from the campus directory, please contact

Any name in use that would be generally considered to be an attempt at misrepresentation, fraud, or interpreted as offensive will be removed. Fraud and misrepresentation may also violate UW System Student Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures. 

For more details regarding student Name in Use on campus, please visit the Name in Use FAQ or contact the Office of the Registrar.


Employees can update their personal information using HRS Self Service.  Faculty and staff who professionally use a different last name than their legal name (e.g. after taking a partner's last name) may continue to do so as an exception to this policy. Please contact the DoIT Help Desk or see Name in Use - Faculty Exceptions to the Last Name Policy



Students can update their first and middle names in Profile.
Their legal name will still be displayed in some places unless they
legally change their name and update their record, per campus policy.

Name in Use and Legal name are different


Employees can update their first and middle names in Profile.
They can also request to change their last name if they do not
professionally use a new legal last name (e.g., after marriage, etc.).

Name in Use has a hyphenated last name for professional use while the legal last name is unhyphenated

Keywordsname in use preferred all caps all capital letters display module specauth special authorization update change set edit delete legal primary remove policy policies rule rules spouse different last first middle names capitals all caps capitalized pending nickname nick   Doc ID56644
OwnerBeth R.GroupUW-Madison Profile
Created2015-09-22 16:37:01Updated2024-04-29 10:28:29
SitesDoIT Help Desk, UW-Madison Profile
Feedback  245   55