Name Change Policy

All students currently enrolled are granted the opportunity to change their names on institutional records upon the production of legal evidence indicating their name change. Download the Change of Name form from the Registrar's website. The form, along with the appropriate documentation, should be submitted directly to the Registrar’s Office.

What type of documents can be considered legal?

  • Certified copy of marriage license, court order, or dissolution decree reflecting the name in full; or
  • Current passport or other government issued official proof of identity (Driver’s License or State ID are acceptable)

Do I get a new email address when I change my name?

No, your email address will not automatically change. If you are also requesting to change your RISD email, you must contact the IT Service Desk directly (

How do you handle International Student Records?

International students must use the same name on their records as on their documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and their passport. Students desiring to be called by an Anglicized first name (e.g. Ji Yun (Kathy) Kim), may designate this by utilizing the Chosen Name Policy.

How do you handle gender changes? Trans*(gender) students?

A certified copy of a court order or documentation from a health professional that a gender change is underway is required if a change in gender and name is to be recorded on a student’s record. However, in the course of most on-campus college business students may designate a campus in-use name without any documentation. Please view the Chosen Name Policy.

Do you update former student records?

After a student graduates or separates from RISD, the student’s academic file is closed. College records are historical documents and are not altered retrospectively. Name changes, except in cases of adoption and legal gender change, are always applied from the time the change is made forward. RISD will accept requests from RISD graduates for a change of name only if a certified copy of a court order is presented.

If I have graduated, can I get a new diploma with my new name?

If your name change request is accepted (you have already submitted the ‘Change of Name’ form along with your proper documentation to the Registrar’s Office), then a diploma may be reissued for a graduate whose name has legally changed. Your old diploma must be returned and there is a fee of $50.00 to reprint a new diploma. The new diploma will indicate that the diploma has been reissued due to a name change. The official signature(s) on the diploma may not be the same as the signature(s) on the original. Please be patient as the request will be sent to the printer and a new diploma may take up to a month to process. To request a diploma to be re-issued, submit a letter to the Office of the Registrar including the following information:

  • Name & Address to which the diploma should be mailed
  • Name under which graduate attended (and new name that it was legally changed to)
  • Current phone number and email
  • RISD ID number (if known)
  • Approximate graduation date
  • Degree and major
  • Your signature and the date
  • Enclosed check for $50 made out to Rhode Island School of Design