Unity Computing Account Maintenance - Procedures for Student Accounts

Authority: Vice Chancellor for Information Technology
History: First issued in 1993; Last updated May 11, 2015
Scope: All NC State students

Description of service

All registered NC State students automatically receive University computing accounts. At a minimum, students receive Unity computing accounts, which provide access to the resources in the campus-wide academic computing realm and many other computing and online resources.  Unity computing account privileges include:

Students may have access to additional computing resources provided by the colleges and programs in which they are enrolled.

Groups eligible for service

All registered NC State students

Types of use

Academic and personal

Duration of service

New student accounts are automatically generated before New Student Orientation and are fully activated before the beginning of the semester. Accounts remain active as long as students are registered at the university, unless the account holder violates NC State policies, regulations, and rulesThis link will open in a new window governing computing and network services. Account creation, activation and deactivation are explained in detail, below.


A portion of students' Educational Technology fees goes toward maintaining computing accounts for students.

Rules of use

All NC State computer and network resources are governed by Administrative Regulations - Computer UseThis link will open in a new window. University computing account holders are responsible for reading and abiding by these and all other published Regulations and RulesThis link will open in a new window governing specific computing and network services. Failure to abide by these rules and regulations may result in loss of account privileges.

Use of University computing accounts by anyone other than the account holder is strictly prohibited.

Account holders are responsible for the activities performed under their account.

Account holders are responsible for changing their account passwords and keeping them secure.

Additional service procedures and restrictions:



Login IDs (userids/unityid) and passwords
Unity userids are generated automatically, based on the account holder's first and middle initials and up to the first six letters of the last name. For example, Joe R. Johnson's userid would be jrjohnso. If there is no middle name, the userid would consist of the first initial and the first six letters of the last name. For example, Jane Johnson's userid would be jjohnso. In cases where a userid in this form has already been assigned, numbers are added to the end of the userid. For example, Jan R. Johnson's userid may be jrjohns3.

The password which is initially assigned to a University computing account is automatically generated from the last four digits of the account holder's Campus ID number plus the month and day (mmdd) of his or her birthday. For example, if a new student's Campus ID is 000001234 and his or her birthday is July 28, the initial password assigned would be 12340728.

Changing passwords and userids
For security reasons, account holders are required to change their passwords as soon as they are assigned accounts. Passwords should be changed at least once a semester. Account holders should change their passwords on the Web with the Unity Password Change Tool.

Unlike passwords, Unity IDs remain the same throughout the account holder's affiliation with the university. Because many systems on campus depend upon Unity IDs, OIT will not change a user’s Unity ID, even if an account owner's university records reflect an official name change due to  marriage, divorce, or some other reason. If extreme circumstances require a Unity ID change, a student must seek approval from one of the following entities: Registration and Records (Registrar or Associate Registrar), GLBT Center (Director), Women’s Center (Director), or the Dean's Office of your affiliated major. The approver must send any request for a Unity ID change to accounts@ncsu.edu on the student's behalf. The request must include the following information: current Unity ID, proposed new Unity ID, all components of the employee’s name (e.g., prefix, first name, middle name, last name, suffix), and a general explanation of the extreme circumstances for the change.  Please note that proposed new Unity ID may or may not be used as the actual new Unity ID.

Due to the many systems on campus that depend on Unity IDs to provide users access to systems and services, it is strongly recommended that students with approved rename requests wait until the end of a semester to make the change. If a student’s Unity ID changes, but a system or service is not updated to reflect that change, the student might not be able to access a system or service she or he heavily depends on for an indefinite period of time. For example, Moodle will not be accessible until day 2 of the account rename.

Email addresses
Google Apps @ NC StateThis link will open in a new window is now the official student email provider for NC State. Student email addresses take the form of userid@ncsu.edu. Email addresses for students are published in the campus directory unless Registration and Records receives notice of a request for a Privacy Block. Students can make these changes online through MyPack Portal.This link will open in a new window

Mail forwarding  
Students who wish to forward their university email account mail should visit Google's Forwarding mail to another email account automaticallyThis link will open in a new window procedure. 

Account creation, deactivation and deletion
As stated above, Unity student computing accounts are automatically generated before New Student Orientation and are fully activated before the beginning of the semester.

Student accounts are deactivated on census day (the last day of drop-add) of the first semester that a student is not registered. When an account is deactivated, no one will be able to log in with that userid or have access to files stored under it. (See notes below on "Extended access for newly graduated students.")

Accounts are deleted one year after account deactivation.

For example, if a student is not registered by census day of the spring semester his or her account will be deactivated. If that student is also not registered by the following fall semester's census day, the account will be deleted. Summer is not considered a separate semester for this purpose.

Account access for students during summer break
NC State students who do not take classes during the summer but who pre-register for fall semester classes will continue to have computing privileges throughout the summer. This means that students who are pre-registered for the fall will continue to be able to use the workstations in Unity labs, check email, telnet to campus servers and to transfer files to and from your Unity file space using FTP software via the University's server, ftp.ncsu.edu. Web pages on the www4.ncsu.edu server will also remain accessible via the Internet during the summer.

However, students who are not pre-registered for the fall semester will lose their Unity account access.

This procedure applies to Unity accounts for graduate and undergraduate students registered for both spring and fall classes. There are no extra fees.

Account access for Life-Long Education (LLE) students
Like other NC State students, students enrolled through the Life-Long Education program, including Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) and Undergraduate Studies (UGS), automatically receive Unity computing accounts. LLE student accounts are generated when the student is enrolled with Registration and Records.

Account access for students in Study Abroad programs
Students enrolled in an NC State Study AbroadThis link will open in a new window program which includes being registered in an NC State course (e.g., ISE 900 or ISE 910) and paying tuition and fees will continue to have full access to their Unity computing accounts. Account access for Students enrolled through Life-Long Education (LLE) may be delayed several weeks, however. See information about LLE students listed above.

Students enrolled in study abroad programs they have arranged on their own typically do not have Unity account access because they are not enrolled at NC State and are not paying NC State tuition or fees.

Account access for Co-op students
Co-op students who are registered as NC State students through the Co-op officeThis link will open in a new window will maintain normal access to their Unity computing accounts

Extended access for newly graduated students
Google Apps. Beginning with the spring 2010 graduates, the university began offering extended access to Google Apps for Education accounts. As long as the student continues to use the account and the university offers this service, the full Google Apps suite of services will remain enabled for these graduates.

Access to campus-based file space and other services will remain active for four months after graduation. This policy is being offered as a courtesy to help the many students who use Web resumes as part of their job search and career planning strategies. While recent graduates will not be able to log in to public workstations in campus computing facilities (such as Unity labs), after graduation they will be able to access email and file space remotely. Web pages on the www4.ncsu.edu server will remain accessible via the Internet while accounts are active.

MyPack Portal. Former students are still allowed to log in to the MyPack Portal Self-Service page to access their student information. This access remains until the account is deleted from the system.  


To learn more about Unity computing accounts see oit.ncsu.edu.