Index > Student Academic Policies > Chosen Name Policy

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 and applied 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, your chosen name appears on the class roster, grading roster, and program evaluation in WebAdvisor, as well as the My RISD student directory. This includes systems you may have given parents/guardians access to e.g., RISD bucks, etc.

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 that better represents your gender identity

The Chosen Name Policy applies only to first name. For legal first name and/or last name changes, refer to the college policy on legal 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 electronic Chosen Name Request form.

For alumni, please contact to update your preferred name.