Chosen Name Policy

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is committed to a genuine inclusion of all. RISD recognizes that any member of our community may choose a name to identify themselves that differs from their legal name. RISD's Chosen Name Policy strives to accommodate this self-identification.

The use of a chosen first name will be recognized across as many RISD systems as possible, wherever legal name is not required by law and as long as it is not used for the purposes of misrepresentation or fraud. At present (April 2017), your chosen name appears on the class roster, grading roster, and program evaluation in WebAdvisor.

A community member may want to utilize the Chosen Name Policy for the following reasons:

  • A middle name instead of first name
  • An abbreviated name (Rob instead of Robert, Lizzie instead of Elizabeth)
  • An Anglicized name (Wendy instead of Haiyan)
  • A name to which you are in the process of legally changing
  • A name that better represents your gender identity

The Chosen Name Policy (as of April 2017) applies only to first name. For legal first name and/or last name changes, refer to the college policy on official name changes. For F-1 or J-1 visa status, the first and last legal name must be used on all immigration documents including, but not limited to I-20s and DS-2019s.

To add a Chosen Name, complete the Change of Name form available on the Registrar website. Your email display name can be changed to your Chosen Name by contacting Information Technology Services at

Please note that we are in the process of updating and streamlining the Chosen Name Policy and procedure.