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SUNet IDs in Detail


The SUNet ID is an account name that identifies you, uniquely and permanently, as a member of the Stanford community. It is recorded in Stanford business systems and is visible to university employees. It's what you'll use to log into most secure online services. Your SUNet ID and password supply your online credentials; your access to specific online services is determined by your eligibility and authority.

Ownership of a SUNet ID is governed by university policy as expressed in Administrative Guide 64.

Choosing a SUNet ID

Your SUNet ID is:

  • permanently assigned to you. Once you've claimed a SUNet ID, it will never be reassigned. You cannot easily change your SUNet ID.
  • not private. You can control whether it is displayed in Stanford's online directory and you can create an alias to use as your email address, but your actual SUNet ID will remain visible in university business systems and reports and may be requested as an identifier by university staff.
  • not anonymous. Your SUNet ID is directly associated with you, unlike a social network ID or email address that may mask your identity.

As your relationship with Stanford changes — through graduation, employment, retirement, etc. — the status of your SUNet ID will change from active to inactive and back, but your SUNet ID itself does not change.

This means that a great many SUNet IDs are reserved but not currently active. In addition, StanfordYou allows you to create two SUNet ID aliases to use as alternate email/web addresses. Once an alias becomes inactive, it is reserved for at least two years, during which time it can be re-used only by its original owner.

As a result, you may be required to select a SUNet ID that is not your first choice, even though the one you want may not be currently in use.

Don't let your frustration with not getting the SUNet ID you want lead you to select one you'll later regret. Choose one you'll be confident to say aloud to your manager, professor, or colleagues.

We understand that you cannot foresee life changes that may make your SUNet ID inappropriate after the fact. Therefore, in extremely rare cases a request to change a SUNet ID may be approved. Changing a SUNet ID requires substantial effort from several different campus offices, and can result in disruption of your services during the transition.


The following table lists the Stanford online services to which your SUNet ID may give you access (depending on your eligibility). Services are grouped into "full" and "base" packages.

Services full base
SUNet ID (login ID)
An identifier that, combined with a password, uniquely and securely identifies you when you log into Stanford network services.
+ + + +
directory listing in StanfordWho
Your directory listing can appear in the Stanford online directory. You can maintain your contact information, and control what appears in the directory, using StanfordYou.
+ + + +
email service
An email address and mailbox on Stanford's mail servers; email aliases, forwarding and auto-reply services; web-based access to your email.
+   +  
Web service
A URL and space for your personal web site on Stanford's web servers.
+   +  
VPN access
Secure remote connectivity to Stanford's networks.
+ + + +
wireless network access
Use of the University's wireless network while on campus.
+ + + +
AFS storage space
5 GB personal storage space on Stanford's networked file system.
+   +  
email list service
Create, post to, and subscribe to email lists.
+   +  
free or discounted software
Purchase education-priced software and hardware, and Stanford-licensed software at deeply discounted prices.


Once you have a SUNet ID and password, you may be eligible for a package of Stanford online services that includes email, AFS, and web hosting. Services may be turned on or off as your eligibility changes.

There are two types of eligibility for SUNet services:

  • University-eligible: you automatically receive services because of your status at the university
  • Sponsored: an authorized university employee has agreed to extend services to you for a fixed period of time
    See the Sponsorship service page for more information.

Service "packages" are defined as:

  • Base
  • Full (sponsored) = base services plus:
    • email service
    • Web service
    • AFS storage space
    • email list service
  • Full (University-eligible) = all above services plus:
    • free or discounted software

If you have a SUNet ID, but are neither University-eligible for services nor sponsored for a service package, your SUNet ID is considered inactive and can't be used for anything.

Base services

The base service level means that you have an entry in the Stanford directory (StanfordWho) and can be recognized and identified by your SUNet ID and password. Individual services may grant you access based on your identity. At a minimum, you can:

  • login to Axess (recent alumni only)
  • login to StanfordYou to maintain your contact information for your directory listing
  • login via WebLogin to any protected web site to which your SUNet ID has been given specific access via a workgroup or access control list

Examples of some of the things you can (and cannot) do with a base-level SUNet ID:

  • Recent alumni (for five years after graduation) can log into to request a transcript or change their address. No sponsorship required.
  • If your SUNet ID has been granted access to a secure Stanford website, you'll be able to log into that website via your browser. Sponsorship may be required, if you're not otherwise eligible for base service.
  • You cannot maintain your own Stanford website or FTP files to any Stanford website, regardless of the access control lists for that website.
  • If someone grants a temporary employee authority to do tasks in Oracle Financial Systems, that person will be able to to log into Oracle Financials. No sponsorship required.
  • If someone grants a regular employee authority to do tasks in Oracle Financial Systems after that person leaves Stanford (rare, but possible), that person will be able to to log into Oracle Financials until that authority expires. Sponsorship required.


A person with a SUNet ID can be assigned authority to do specific tasks in Stanford's business systems. This authority is independent of that person's eligibility for other online services.

For example, a temporary staff person who is eligible only for a base-level SUNet ID might be granted authority to do some registration tasks in PeopleSoft Student Administration. That temp staffer would not have Stanford email or other services that come with a full SUNet ID, but would be able to log into PeopleSoft SA to do their work.

For more information about authority and how it is managed at Stanford, see the Authority Manager page.

Service activation

If you are on campus and are University-eligible for a full-service SUNet ID, your services — including email — will be activated within four to six hours of sponsorship.

Otherwise, activation of services may take longer, from a few days to several months.

  • Contingent students. Base services will be active as soon as you get your SUNet ID. Full services will be activated within 24 hours of your official acceptance of Stanford's admittance offer.
  • Graduate students. Base services will be active as soon as you get your SUNet ID. Full services for all incoming graduate students are activated on a date determined by the Registrar each year; this date typically falls in late summer.
  • Individuals requiring sponsorship. No services can be activated until your SUNet ID is sponsored by Stanford faculty or staff. Contact your departmental administrator to request sponsorship. The service level selected by the sponsor will be activated within four to six hours of sponsorship (if sponsorship begins immediately), or at midnight on a future date specified by the sponsor.
Last modified December 9, 2015