Updating Your Chosen Name & Pronouns


About the Policy
Updating Chosen Name & Pronouns
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Us
About the Policy

Effective Fall 2019, students and employees will be able to identify their chosen name and pronouns through Patriot Web. Chosen name and pronouns may be used in many areas, including on class rosters, blackboard, and other systems. However, there may be some areas that Mason is legally required to use a student's legal name or where system/application limitations may not use chosen name or pronouns.

For the purposes of this policy, pronouns will be limited to three options: he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs.

Mason recognizes that these three options may not capture the spectrum of possible gender identities and will expand on these options in the near future.

Learn more about how chosen name and pronouns will be used in Mason systems and communications.

Read the full policy here.

Updating Chosen Name & Pronouns

Students, faculty, and staff will are now able to update their chosen name, pronouns, and/or gender identity in Patriot Web.

Updates can be made by following the specific instructions below for both students and employees:

Identify your chosen name by following these instructions

Identify your  pronouns by following these instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Chosen Name & Pronouns FAQs

Creating an inclusive and welcoming community at Mason is linked to our strategic goals related to retention, sense of belonging, and degree completion as well and becoming a Well-Being University. Providing a means for students and employees to designate a chosen first name and pronouns that are visible in internal data systems is the right thing to do. It is particularly important for transgender and gender nonconforming members of our community as recently published research demonstrates the improved mental health outcomes for these students who are addressed by their chosen name

Not every system within the University will be updated nightly. To avoid confusion, we recommend only one change per semester. There is no formal limit. 

Chosen Name

We are phasing in chosen first name into our internal systems. Consult this page for which systems will include chosen name in January 2020 and which will be added over time. Most systems update nightly, but not all. The table also reflects how frequently the system receives updates from our Banner system.  

We are identifying systems internal to Mason that can receive chosen first name. Consult this page for a list of these systems, when they are scheduled to receive chosen name, and which systems are outside the scope of this policy. Legal name will appear on transcripts, financial aid documents, and health records, to name a few.

Students are able to identify their chosen first name by logging into Patriot Web and following these instructions.

Students: Yes, you may edit your email display name by following the “How do I update my  MasonLive display name?” instructions. It may take up to 24 hours for this change to be visible. Please contact the ITS Support Center if you have any questions concerning the instructions.

Employees: Providing a chosen name will not automatically affect your NetID or your email display name. If you wish to change the display name associated with your e-mail address, you need to request help from the ITS Support Center requesting that your display name be updated to reflect your chosen name.

Employees who want their chosen first name to appear on the telephone screens of the people they are calling (Caller ID) need to request a change to their display name via their department’s telecom coordinator. More details are in the ITS Knowledge Base.

To update your legal name, you will need to provide legal documentation to make the change in Mason systems and applications. A change of name will require the following:

  1. Original court order or document that indicates a marriage or name change.
  2. Government document (from the USCIS, State Department, etc.)

Some people elect to go by a name other than their legal first name. This chosen name could be a nickname, a middle name, or a personally selected name. For example, students, including international students, sometimes choose to adopt an English language nickname and transgender people often adopt a name consistent with their gender identity. Any member of the Mason community who wishes to use a chosen first name and pronouns may do so under this policy via Patriot Web.

No,  if you do not list a chosen first name, your legal first name will be used by all systems. 

NetIDs (the part of your e-mail address before the “@gmu.edu”) will not be changed upon the submission of a chosen name. NetIDs can be changed if an individual’s legal name changes, but at this time submission of a chosen name will not result in a revision to the assigned NetID.

Pronouns” are used by individuals to identify themselves and their gender identity/expression.


ResourceWeb Address
LGBTQ+ Resourceshttps://lgbtq.gmu.edu/
Compliance, Diversity and Ethics https://diversity.gmu.edu/
Human Resources and Payroll https://hr.gmu.edu
Office of the University Registrarhttps://registrar.gmu.edu

Contact Us

For more information on the Chosen Name and Pronouns policy, please complete the form below. If you HR related questions about the policy, please contact Jessica Cain, Human Resources Consultant at hrpolicy@gmu.edu.