You may have noticed that some people have rather cryptic e-mail addresses like while other people have easy to type and easy to remember addresses like In this example, the jhs127 is this person's user id and JSmith is this person's alias. Sending mail to either of these addresses results in the same person receiving your mail. By using an alias you may make your own e-mail address easier for others to use.

Before attempting to submit an alias you should first decide what you would like to use for your alias. Since each alias in the Penn State system must be unique you should have several options prepared. In the example above, let's assume that the users name is Jamie H. Smith. Many of Jamie's friends use the nickname 'Smitty' and other friends use 'JJ'. Jamie may submit any of the following aliases and still have made e-mail addressing easier than jhs127: JSmith; JHSmith, SmithJ, SmithJH, Smitty, JJSmith, JamieS, Jamie1, Jamie2, etc. Jamie needs so many options because other people at Penn State may have already claimed some of these aliases for themselves. For example, James Smith may be using JSmith, and Judy Smith may have already claimed SmithJ.

NOTE: You should consider an alias to be a long-term identity. Once you alert your friends and colleagues to send your mail to it will become a part of their memory and/or address books. If you later change your alias to SmithJH, then e-mail sent to will either be returned to the sender as undeliverable, or delivered to the next person who claims 'SmittySomething' as their alias.

Once you have a few aliases in mind, you are ready to submit your alias.

Connect to WORK.PSU.EDU and Change Your Alias

  1. Go to the web page, , and login with your PSU UserID and password.
  2. In the Other Directory Information section, click Add/Change Other Directory Information. Note: There are many fields in your Phone Book Entry that you may change. Note: The alias must be unique. This means that it may not be an alias used by someone else, and it cannot be a part of a name or nickname that someone else has (such as a first name or last name by itself). It also cannot be an Access Account userid assigned to a person or reserved for system or service (for example, helpdesk or security). You may not choose an alias that adheres to the format of a potential Access Account userid, whether or not the userid is assigned or not. If you attempt to use an alias that is not unique, the Directory will not process the change.
  3. In the Alternate E-mail ID field, enter your first choice alias.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the display and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Your change will be submitted and you will return to the original screen when done. Note: If your choice for an alias is already in use you will be notified that " A value you chosen for your Alternate E-mail Id already exists. Please try a different value. " Click the Back button on your browser. Enter another alias and click the Save Changes button again. Repeat until the alias is accepted.
  6. You can add a Second Alternate E-mail ID and a Third Alternate E-mail ID if desired.
  7. When finished, click the Back button on your browser button to return to the Welcome page of WORK.PSU.EDU.
  8. Click Logout. Close the bowser window.