You Now Can Set a Preferred Last Name

In response to requests from many across our community, we recently made system updates that allow you to maintain and display a preferred last name in several university systems (Carmen, Email, These systems can now synchronize and share your preferred last name your preferred last name beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Why Use a Preferred Last Name?

Ohio State welcomes diversity, and our new “preferred last name” feature accommodates employees and students who have multiple surnames or double-barreled surnames. We will continue to use legal names on all official academic and financial documentation (transcripts, Statement of Account, diploma, payroll, etc.). Individuals may choose to use this feature for different purposes, most commonly:

  • Cultural Reasons: In British, Hispanic and German traditions double surnames are common. Some people take on a double-surname because of marriage, inherit the names from their parents or receive a double-surname at birth to preserve a family name. Double surnames are also common after marriage, as some choose to maintain their family name while also taking on the last name of their spouse.
  • Professional Reasons: As professionals marry or divorce during the course of their career, some prefer to maintain a consistent professional identity. This ensure all published works and accomplishments are easy to track and confirm. If a professional chooses to change his or her legal name because of a change in marital status, their professional name can remain unchanged with this new feature.

EXAMPLE 1: Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler goes by Enrique Iglesias. Iglesias Iglesias Preysler is his legal surname. Iglesias is his preferred surname. Once he enters his preferred last name, many university systems will now list him as “Enrique Iglesias.”

EXAMPLE 2: Leia Organa, recently married and changed her legal name to Leia Solo. However, Leia has a long professional career, with many accomplishments identified by her former name Leia Organa. She can now choose Organa her preferred surname. Once she enters her preferred last name, many university systems will now list her as “Leia Organa.”

How do you change your PREFERRED last name?

To change your preferred last name visit and following these easy steps:

  • Log in to
  • Click on My OSU Identity Information
  • You can add, change or delete the value in the Preferred Last Name field (you can also change your Preferred First Name from this page by choosing the appropriate field.
  • You will receive an email confirming that you have made this change.

Once saved, your preferred last name will synchronize in many of our systems – including, email, Find People, Carmen and class rosters.

How do you change your PRIMARY LEGAL name?

Your primary name is your legal name and official name of record for your transcripts, Statement of Account, diploma, payroll, etc. If you need to change your primary name due to a legal name change or any other reason, complete the Change of Record Form: 


Need more help?

Visit our Knowledge Base for more information (KB#05855). If you have further questions about this transition, please contact the IT Service Desk by calling 614-688-4357 (HELP), by emailing, or by signing in online at