Updating User Identity and Account Information | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Updating User Identity and Account Information

Preferred/Chosen Name 

Students, faculty, and staff can refer to themselves by a “preferred/chosen name” other than their legal given or first and/or middle name. A preferred/chosen name can be used in the course of University business and education. Only your first and/or middle name may be replaced by a preferred/chosen name; your last/family name must remain the same as the full legal last name in the University records system.

There may be circumstances in which a preferred/chosen name cannot be used, such as:

  • when the use of the legal name is required by University business or legal need.
  • when University information systems, databases, and processes require the display of the legal name.

Where there are educational, employment, security or other interests, such as government or legal requirements, you should be prepared to disclose your legal name to university officials.

Your preferred/chosen name displays in the following systems:

  • Student Information System (PeopleSoft)
    Note: Your given/legal first name may continue to appear on some pages in PeopleSoft. For more guidance for students, please refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website. For a list of pages where an instructor or staff member’s preferred/chosen name displays, please see the “PeopleSoft Preferred/Chosen Name Page List for Faculty and Staff.
  • Find People (find.pitt.edu)
  • Learning Management System (Canvas)
  • Pitt Email (Outlook)
    Note: If your Preferred/Chosen Name does not display in Pitt Email (Outlook) within 48 hours, contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk for assistance at 412 624-HELP [4357].

Students: For additional information, please refer to the Preferred/Chosen Name Guidance from the Office of the University Registrar.

Change Your Preferred/Chosen Name

To change your preferred/chosen name:

  1. Log in to accounts.pitt.edu.
  2. Next to Set Preferred/Chosen Name, click Yes
  3. Enter your preferred first and middle (optional) name, then click Update Contact Information

    Note: If you have both your display name and preferred name set, Outlook (Exchange) will use the display name.

Personal Gender Pronouns

You can specify your personal gender pronouns (such as they/them/theirs, she/her/hers, or he/him/his) and display them in the University's Learning Management System (Canvas) in two ways:

  1. You can specify your pronouns directly in Canvas.
  2. You can use a separate service called NameCoach that integrates with Canvas.

Both systems operate independently, so changing your pronoun in one will not affect the pronouns you have specified in the other.

  Canvas NameCoach
What pronoun options are available? He/Him, She/Her, They/Them, Xi/Xer, Zi/Zer, She/They, They/She, He/They, They/He, None Free-form text field
Where do pronouns display? On the following Canvas pages: Inbox, Discussions, User Navigation Menu, User Profile, User Settings, Act as User, Assignment Creation Menu, Assignment Peer Review, Comment Fields, Course Sections Lists, Student Context Card, SpeedGrader, and People Pages (Account, Course, and Group). On the "NameCoach Roster" page in Canvas, provided the instructor has enabled the NameCoach feature in Canvas.

Specify Pronouns Using NameCoach

  1. Vsit My Pitt (my.pitt.edu), then search for and click the NameCoach task.

  2. If prompted, log in to Pitt Passport with your University Computing Account username and password.

  3. If you have never recorded your name before, type your personal gender pronouns into the Personal Gender Pronoun field and click Submit at the bottom of the page.

Note: If you have recorded your name before, click the Edit this recording button, then enter your personal gender pronouns and click Submit.


Specify Pronouns Using Canvas

  1. Log in to Canvas.

  2. Click Account, then click Settings.

  3. Click Edit Settings on the right-hand side of the screen.

  4. Select your pronouns under the Pronoun drop-down menu.

  5. Click Update Settings.      

Display Name

Display Names only appear in Pitt Email (Outlook). They are primarily used to update the names of conference rooms and other resources. Display Names were also used in the past to update the names of individuals in Pitt Email (Outlook) before the Preferred/Chosen Name option became available. If you set your Display Name in the past, it will override your Preferred/Chosen Name in Pitt Email (Outlook).

Change Your Display Name

Faculty and staff who would like to change their Display Name should contact their Responsibility Center Account Administrator


You can use a nickname in order to identify yourself with a name you are known by.

Once your nickname has been changed, it will only be reflected in Find People at The University of Pittsburgh (find.pitt.edu).

An example might include “Alex” for the formal first name of “Alexander”.

Change Your Nickname

To change your nickname:

  1. Log in to accounts.pitt.edu.
  2. Next to Nickname, enter your nickname.  
  3. Click Update Contact Information

Campus Office Number, Campus Mailing Address, Listed Phone Numbers and Office Location

If you want to change your campus office phone number or your campus mailing address for physical mail, you must contact your department’s personnel administrator.

You can add additional phone numbers (Fax, Cell, and Pager) as well as a physical office location that is different from your mailing location.

Your campus office number, campus mailing address for physical mail, phone number(s) and physical office location (if provided) will be published to all University of Pittsburgh directory services.

Change Your Listed Phone Numbers (Fax, Cell, and Pager) and Office Location

To change listed phone numbers (Fax, Cell, and Pager) and office location:

  1. Log in to accounts.pitt.edu.
  2. Locate the phone number and physical office location sections and add your information.
  3. Click Update Contact Information.

Advertised Email

You can change the advertised email address for your account.

An advertised email address is displayed when someone searches for you on Find People (find.pitt.edu).

Change Your Advertised Email

To change the advertised email address that displays on Find People:

  1. Log in to accounts.pitt.edu.
  2. Update the address in the Advertised Email field. 
  3. Click Update Contact Information.

Email Alias

An alias is simply an additional email address that people can use to send email messages to you at Pitt.

You can add an email alias to your My Pitt Email address to personalize it. Setting an email alias will not change how you receive your University email. All email—whether it is sent to your email alias or to your official University email address—will be delivered to the same place you read it today.

Students, faculty, and staff can add up to two email aliases at My Pitt.

Change Your Email Alias

To change your email alias:

  1. Log in to accounts.pitt.edu.
  2. Click Email & Messaging and select Set Email Preferences.  
  3. Enter your alias in the Create New Email Address field. 
  4. Select whether you want to use it as your "From" address, and whether you want it to appear as your advertised email address in Find People (find.pitt.edu).
  5. When you are finished, click Create Email Alias.