Email Address Requirements

Members of the campus community all have responsibilities in regards to the use of campus emails. Here you will find information about those responsibilities.

Effective August 1, 2004


At the University of Wisconsin-Madison there is an increasing need for fast and efficient communication with currently enrolled students and applicants to conduct official business at the university. Students communicate extensively through email.

Each student is issued a UW-Madison NetID and email account for use throughout the time the student is enrolled for classes at the University. New users are responsible for activating their account from the My NetID link in My UW-Madison portal. Accordingly, email is an available mechanism for formal communication by the university with students. If a student or applicant chooses to forward their mail to another email address, the primary campus email address remains the destination for most official university correspondence.

Email Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 establishes rules under which the university must operate to protect the privacy of student information. Since email is the officially recognized vehicle used to communicate official information from the university to the student, it is important that any information sent be shared only between the party sending the information and the student. Use of an email account that provides us with a great level of assurance that it is indeed the student to whom we are communicating with allows the university to communicate with that student in a way that protects their rights and insures that we are communicating to the student.

We have a high level of confidence that email messages sent within the university arrive at their destination and show up in the inbox of the recipient. We are less confident that email sent outside the university actually arrives and can be read by the individual. The vagaries of the Internet, spam filters, lack of storage space, etc. are all factors which decrease our confidence that email will arrive as expected.

Sending email over the campus backbone gives us a high level of confidence that email will not be read by someone for whom it was not intended.

Email address custodian

Office of the Registrar in cooperation with SIS Campus Community Committee

Email service provider

Division of Information Technology (DoIT) for email assigned and maintained

Preferred Email

All students are responsible for activating their NetID and their email account. The university assigned student email account shall be the university’s preferred means of communication with all students attending the UW-Madison. Students are responsible for all information sent to them via their university assigned email account. If a student chooses to forward their university email account, they are responsible for all information, including attachments, sent to any other email account.

Forwarding of email

Students who choose to have their email forwarded to a private email address outside the official university network address will be doing so at their own risk. The university is not responsible for any difficulties that may occur in the proper or timely transmission or access of email forwarded to any unofficial email address, and any such problems will not absolve students of their responsibility to know and comply with the content of official communications sent to students’ official UW-Madison email address.


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Undergraduate applicants who have been admitted to the university may activate and use a university email account if they wish to do so. At the point the applicant has been accepted to the university and paid their enrollment deposit, their university email address will be loaded into the student database. The applicant can then indicate, in MyUW Madison, that this campus email address is the email address that they want the university to use when sending email to them. Once the applicant has indicated that this email account is their preferred account, they are expected to monitor it for correspondence regarding their admission and forthcoming enrollment.


Students are expected to check their campus email account on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with university-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications are time-critical. Students should be aware that their email addresses will be available to faculty on class roster(s) available through My UW-Madison.


The Office of the Registrar will respond to unique student requests and will promote the use of email communication for official correspondence. The Registrar’s Office will maintain the email address as part of the student record in the student database, known as SIS.


Faculty and staff are encouraged to post student attachments to a web page and refer to that site within the email rather than include an attachment to each student email. Email addresses should be used for institutional/educational purposes only.


Having a preferred email that is a campus email address will help to ensure that all students will be able to comply with course requirements communicated to them by email from their course instructors. Student email addresses will be available on class rosters. These email addresses must be used for institutional/educational purposes only. Faculty should exercise caution about including sensitive data, such as grades, in an email. Faculty should be familiar with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Learn@UW may provide its own course management-related email. This allows faculty the option of communicating with students through the regular student email or the course management system. Both are provided by DoIT.


The Division of Information Technology will provide email service, maintain the appropriate use policy and other related information technology policies. DoIT will communicate, as appropriate, to students and to campus about email services and policies.