Unity Computing Account Maintenance – Procedures for Student Accounts

Authority: Vice Chancellor for Information Technology
History: First issued 1993; Last updated Jun 6, 2018
Scope: All NC State students

Description of service

All registered NC State students automatically receive university computing accounts. At a minimum, each student receives a Unity computing account, which provides 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

The account remains active as long as the student is registered at the university, unless the student violates NC State IT Rules Regulations and Procedures governing computing and network services.  See also Extended access for new graduates below.


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

Rules of use

Account activation, deactivation and deletion

  • Unity student computing accounts are automatically created before New Student Orientation.
  • They are fully activated before the beginning of the semester.
  • An account is deactivated on census day (i.e., the last day of drop-add) of the first semester that a student is not registered, unless the student is a new graduate. See Extended access for new graduates below.
  • No one will be able to log in to the deactivated account with that Unity ID or have access to files stored under it.
  • Accounts are deleted one year after account deactivation.
  • For example, if a student is not registered by census day of a spring semester, then his or her account will be deactivated. If that student is also not registered by the following fall semester’s census day, then the account will be deleted. Summer is not considered a separate semester for this purpose.

Unity ID and default password

  • The Unity ID (also called Unity userid, login ID) is generated automatically from the user’s name.
  • default password is based on the account holder’s birthdate and Campus ID number.
  • A secure password must be created immediately by the account holder whenever the account’s default password is active. See Unity Credentials for details.

Changing a password

  • Using the Password Change Form, Unity account holders must change their passwords at least once a year.
  • Some employees must change passwords more frequently.

Email address

  • G Suite is the official email provider for NC State.
  • An email address is in this format:
    where unityid is the Unity ID of the account holder
  • Student email addresses 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 the MyPack Portal.

Email forwarding

Students who wish to forward mail from their university email account should use Google’s procedure to automatically forward Gmail messages to another account.

Account access for students during summer break

NC State students who were registered for the spring semester and eligible for fall registration will continue to have account access.  During the summer, students can continue to do the following (no extra fees required):

  • Use workstations in the Unity labs
  • Check email
  • Access campus servers remotely
  • Transfer files to and from their Unity file space via the university’s server:  ftp.ncsu.edu

Students can register for the fall semester as early as the spring semester.

NOTE:  Those who do not register by the fall Census Date will lose access to their Unity accounts by the next day.

Account access for Life-Long Education (LLE) students

  • Students enrolled through the LLE program, including Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) and Undergraduate Studies (UGS), automatically receive Unity computing accounts.
  • An LLE student account is generated when the student is enrolled with Registration and Records.
  • Account access for LLE students may be delayed several weeks.

Account access for students in Study Abroad programs

  • Students enrolled in an NC State Study Abroad program that 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.
  • Students enrolled in study abroad programs that 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

NC State students who are registered in the Co-op Program will maintain normal access to their Unity computing accounts

Extended access for new graduates

  • Access to Google Workspace
  • In the spring of 2021, Google announced that it would discontinue unlimited storage for education institutions, which significantly impacted NC State Workspace users. Due to the new storage limitations, the decision was made to offer students the opportunity to retain an affiliation to NC State with an alumni email-only account.
    • Students will retain access to their NC State Google account (@ ncsu.edu) for six months after graduation.
    • OIT will contact each graduate with details and information about the new Alumni Email Service and how to proceed.
    • Former Graduates from May 2010 through Fall of 2021 are being contacted and offered the same Alumni Email Service.
  • Access to Other IT Services
    • For one month after graduation, new graduates will have access to:
      • campus-based file space and other services, eduroam and the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.
    • New graduates will not be able to log in to public workstations in campus computing facilities; e.g., Unity labs.
  • Access to MyPack Portal
    • New graduates are allowed to log in to the MyPack Portal Self-Service page to access their student information, but access to other items within the portal may change; e.g., ability to register for classes.
    • Access to the portal remains until the account is deleted from the system.

Additional information

To learn more about Unity computing accounts see Unity Credentials.