Stanford.EDU Name Assignment Policy

Policy Statement

Stanford University owns the Stanford.EDU Internet domain and governs its use to benefit the academic, research, communication and other University activities and interests. The University has the right to protect the use of its name in all situations. For these reasons, the University has established this policy, which is administered by University Communications in its sole discretion upon consultation with other interested parties. This policy applies to all three-part Internet host names within the Stanford.EDU domain in the form <name> (“Names”), whether assigned as a vanity URL for an existing website via the Virtual Host Service or through NetDB.

Name assignments via Virtual Host Service

Names assigned via the Virtual Host Service which are mapped to an existing Stanford website will be granted only for:

  • The recognized title of a University unit or University-recognized student organization.
  • A University-wide service.

Each unit, group or service is entitled to one virtual host name, which closely and unambiguously matches its recognized title.

The Virtual Host service is available only to departments, research groups, and university-recognized student organizations. Virtual URLs can not be linked to an individual’s personal web page.

Effective April 10, 2020, name assignments for websites focused on the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and/or the disease COVID-19 will only be granted with specific, written approval by University Communications. In evaluating any request of this type, University Communications will consult with the organization’s vice president, dean, vice provost, or their designate. Name assignments that are general (e.g., are expressly reserved for institutional use. This subject-matter-specific policy will remain in effect until further notice.

An exception to this policy may be granted at the University’s sole discretion, provided that:

  • Use of the requested Name does not conflict with any University policy or practice, whether or not in writing;
  • The requested Name is not likely to be ambiguous if used without unit identification;
  • The requestor has permission of all relevant stakeholders to use the Name; and
  • Use of the requested Name does not conflict with any University interest, as determined by the Office of University Communications;

Exceptions are granted by the Office of University Communications, in consultation with relevant stakeholders in each situation, including Student Affairs, the General Counsel and Trademarks and Licensing.

The Virtual Host Service has other technical and procedural restrictions beyond these naming criteria. Please see for more information.

Name assignments via NetDB and other campus host registration systems

Names assigned using NetDB or other campus host registration for the purpose of hosting a website or other publicly accessible Internet service should (i) be consistent with all Stanford policies and practices; (ii) reflect the name of the organization or activity using the Name, (iii) not be ambiguous, and (iv) not conflict with any University interest. A Name that is not clearly tied to the name of the organization or that could be easily conflict with other University programs, services, priorities or interests should be avoided.

Names assigned via NetDB and other host registration systems on campus, such as Stanford Network Self-Registration (SNSR) are also subject to the policies and requirements of those systems.

Revocation of a Stanford.EDU Name

The University reserves the right to revoke any previously assigned Name at any time if it conflicts with this policy or other University policies, priorities or interests.

If a Name is deemed by University Communications to be in conflict with this policy, University Communications will send a Notice of Revocation to the owner of the Name, who will have 10 business days to appeal the decision.

An appeal may be made via email to:
John Stafford, Assistant Vice President, Digital Strategy, .

The appeal should include the following information:

  • The Name in question;
  • Reasons why use of the Name should not be revoked;
  • If the Notice of Revocation is based on potential conflicts with other University stakeholders, a statement by these stakeholders that use of the Name by appellant is acceptable to them;
  • Any other information that supports the appeal;

The Office of University Communications will inform the requester of the decision and any other relevant information within 10 business days.

Questions & Requests

If you have any questions about whether a Name complies with these polices or about the appeal process for revocation of a Name, please contact the Assistant Vice President, Digital Strategy at .

Request a new vanity URL subdomain.

Related Policies

Admin Guide 1.5.4 – Ownership and Use of Stanford Name and Trademarks

Admin Guide 6.2.1 – Computer and Network Usage Policy