Student Names


The Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures has approved the following statement of policy for accepting the names of students on admission and maintaining those names in the central student records database. This policy is effective September 1993. As of that date, all documents produced for external use, such as, transcripts, diplomas, and enrolment confirmations, shall state the full, legal names of students. In addition, internally produced degree lists should state the full, legal names of graduands.

Facts and Definitions Regarding Names

"A word or combination of words by which a person is designated, called, or known" Oxford Dictionary.

For a Canadian citizen, the name under which an individual is registered in a province. The quintessential legal name is the one assigned at birth. For non-Canadian citizens, the legal name is that name under which they are registered in Canada and which is found on their immigration documents or passport.

A legal name change can be obtained as outlined in the Province of Ontario Change of Name Act of 1986. Individuals who obtain a Change of Name Certificate as a result of this process are entitled to have any reference to their previous name deleted from their records.

Individuals can assume a name at any time as long as the assumption of that name is not for fraudulent purposes. Individuals who wish to have their records changed due to this type of name change should file a Statutory Declaration. While it may be desirable to do so, it is not mandatory to revise one's record to reflect such a change.

Individuals can alter their names as a result of cohabitation, marriage, separation, and divorce, without legal formalities.

The Change of Name Act allows for either "spouse" to assume the name of the other on marriage or cohabitation via a legal change of name. Hyphenated combination names are specifically provided for in the Act.

Students who would like to change their name as a result of separation or divorce:

  • If we have both the maiden name and the married name on file in our records, documentation is not required to change the name back to the maiden name. The maiden name will become the current name and the married name will be suppressed from printing anywhere. It will continue to be kept on file for our records
  • If we only have the married name on file and the student wishes to change his or her name, appropriate documentation, such as a birth certificate, will be required. Again, the married name will be suppressed and the maiden name added as the current name

Children's names can be changed informally upon adoption or formally under the Change of Name Act.

Anglicization of international names can be permitted in order to accommodate the individual's personal preference for a name that is convenient and serves a purpose locally. However, for graduation, the legal name is that name by which the person is legally recorded in Canada.

Statement of Policy

“As the university is committed to the integrity of its student records, each student is required to provide either on application for admission or on personal data forms required for registration, their complete, legal name. Any requests to change a name, by means of alteration, deletion, substitution or addition, must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.”

Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures

The policy statement should appear in university calendars or handbooks.

Administrative Procedures

The following administrative procedures/guidelines have been defined to support the policy statement. These guidelines should provide clear direction on major issues without creating an over-bureaucratic environment when minor changes need to be made.

The university is entitled to know with whom it is making a legal contract.

  1. All applications for admission and/or personal data forms completed for registration purposes by those not formally admitted to the institution must clearly request the legal name
  2. The legal name for Canadian citizens is defined as that name by which they were registered at birth or that name which the individual has assumed via change (i.e. marriage, official change of name)
  3. The legal name for those who are not Canadian citizens is that which is provided on passport and/or immigration documents
  4. In all instances the name provided should consist of a surname and at least one given name, in either of the official languages of Canada
  5. The application for admission and/or personal data forms should clearly outline the requirement for the legal name and the ramifications of failure to comply with the request for correct data in this regard

  1. Student Record System will reflect where possible, the complete legal name as provided by the applicant on admission or via personal data forms at registration, in either of the official languages of Canada. In some cases, a preferred name may be exhibited rather than a legal name, on internal university forms and lists. For further details contact the University Registrar
  2. The student record system should carry the current name of the student with cross-reference to all former names
  3. In those instances where more than one name is maintained on the system only the active name should appear on documents produced for external purposes

The record connects academic achievement with the person. The person is represented by the legal name. In some cases, a preferred name may be exhibited rather than a legal name, on internal university forms and lists.  For further details contact the University Registrar.

  1. Any requests while in-course to change all or part of a name by way of alteration, deletion, substitution or addition must be made in writing
  2. Requests for change as referred to in part 1 can be made by completing the online Name Change Form (PDF, 3.2 MB) or by providing a signed written request which provides the essential data required
  3. No request for change of name will be processed without appropriate documentation to substantiate the change. Appropriate documents are defined as follows:
    • Birth or baptismal certificate
    • Marriage/separation/divorce documents
    • Passport
    • Change of name certificate as issued by a court
    • A Statutory Declaration Form
  4. Statutory Declarations may be filed by those individuals who wish to assume a name but have no legal documentation supporting their usage of the new name. These Declarations must be completed and witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths, (generally lawyers and Notaries Public). There is no legal requirement to accommodate these changes but they will be processed and reflected in the student system if all requirements are properly satisfied
  5. On receipt of the appropriate request and supporting documentation the student record system will be revised to reflect the change in name, in either of the official languages of Canada:
    • Micro-formed records may be annotated to indicate the change of name where feasible
  6. In those instances where a Change of Name Certificate from the province is submitted the individual is legally entitled to have all reference to the previous name deleted from the record. In all other cases the individual is entitled to a notation that a name change has occurred. This does not necessarily imply the deletion of a previous name
  7. All requests for Change of Name and copies of the documentation supporting the change will be maintained in the Registrar's Office for seven years from the date of the change form

  1. The full legal name of potential graduates will be confirmed
  2. The name which is put forward to the Senate of the university and which appears on the diploma shall be consistent with the name in the student record system
  3. In those instances where an anglicized version of a name has been carried on a record during a course of studies, the confirmation of the full, legal name will serve to clarify the legal name of the student according to their immigration documents
  4. In those instances wherein the confirmation reflects a substantive change in name (i.e. addition or deletion of names, reordering of names, translation of names) proper documentation to substantiate the change must be submitted. (See 3.4)
  5. In those instances wherein the change of name for graduation addresses minor changes (i.e. addition of accents, punctuation) documentation may not be required for processing the request

  1. Former students may request a change of name to their records according to the same guidelines and procedures established for in-course students. (See Section 3.0)
  2. All such requests must be received in writing and supported by appropriate documentation
  3. In those instances wherein the individual has graduated the following procedures must be followed:
    • Any request for a new diploma in a new name should result in either the return of the original diploma or the filing of a signed statement by the individual that the original has been lost or destroyed
  4. All requests for name changes from former students will be maintained in the Registrar's Office for a period of seven years from the date of the change