A Network ID (or NetID) is a personal, unique identifier assigned to you. It consists of your initials followed by one or more numbers. You use it, along with a password, to obtain access to online services, such as email and administrative systems.
A password is required with your NetID to ensure that no one but you can access your confidential Cornell information. Your NetID and password also give you access to services that are exclusive to the Cornell community.
NetIDs are issued to members of the Cornell community and affiliates. A single individual can have only one NetID.
Members of the Cornell community are students, faculty, staff and alumni. The faculty and staff category includes full-time and part-time faculty; visiting faculty; professors emeriti; full-time, part-time, and temporary staff; and retirees who are receiving Cornell benefits. The student category includes part-time extramural students, summer session students, and distance learning students.
Note: Faculty, staff, and students at Weill Cornell Medical College can be issued a NetID if they need access to online services offered on the Ithaca campus. A NetID may be requested by emailing the IT Service Desk.
Affiliates are employees of institutions affiliated with Cornell University. These institutions are:
- Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
- Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy
- Cornell Alumni Federation (publishes Cornell Magazine)
- Cornell Compact
- Cornell United Religious Work
- Military Sciences and their officers (i.e., ROTC)
- Paleontological Research Institute
- Telluride Association
- U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Lab
Sponsored NetIDs are intended for use with contractors or other individuals who are not directly affiliated with Cornell but have a business purpose for needing access to Cornell services or systems. In order to obtain a sponsored NetID for such a person, please email the IT Service Desk with this information:
Subject: "Request for Sponsored NetID"
Body of email: include name of person being sponsored
Associates are graduates of the School of Hotel Administration's professional development programs. At the discretion of the Hotel School NetIDs are issued to these graduates after the conclusion of the January and summer programs.
New students receive their NetID and activation code beginning in early April. During the activation process, they are introduced to policies governing the use of Cornell’s computing resources. They also activate their Cornell email address, set their NetID password, and choose their password security questions.
Students who don't receive their NetID before they arrive on campus, or during registration, should visit the IT Service Desk, 119 Computing and Communications Center (CCC), or call 607 255-5500. The IT Service Desk walk-in hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, and call-in hours are from 6 am to 6 pm. Students must have a valid Cornell ID to get a NetID.
New faculty and staff receive their NetIDs as part of the employment process.
Yes -- in fact, you may already have one. Anyone who attended Cornell since 1990 should have a NetID. Also, Cornell began issuing NetIDs to all alumni in February 2007. You can check by searching for your name in the Cornell directory.
If you know your NetID but need an activation code to set your password, or if you have not been issued a NetID, please complete the request form provided by Alumni Affairs and Development.
Yes. Your NetID is a part of your permanent university record, and will never be assigned to another person.
No. NetIDs are only available to individuals directly affiliated with Cornell University. Unless your family members are independently associated with Cornell, we cannot offer them NetIDs.
Contact the IT Service Desk to begin the process. The Service Desk will let you know the options and what information you will need to provide. For contact information, visit it.cornell.edu/support/.
Your NetID was created from the initials of your name, as it appears in the university database, followed by a number. If you are a student, the database used is the University Registrar's Student Information System (SIS). If you are a staff or faculty member, the database used is the Human Resources System.
Your NetID may be changed only for the following reasons:
- Your NetID was created incorrectly (i.e., as a result of a data entry error made by the university).
- There is a personal safety issue related to the continued use of your NetID.
- Your legal name has been changed. A legal document must be produced with the request.
Requests may be submitted in writing, stating the reason for the change, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Having a Cornell NetID does not, in and of itself, give you access to information or services. It simply serves as an identifier that can be used to authorize your access to services you are entitled to use.
Even if you use your NetID for nothing else, students need it for Enrollment and Student Center, and faculty and staff need it for Employee Essentials. Faculty and staff, as well as affiliates, also need a NetID in order to maintain their individual listings in the Cornell University Telephone Directory and Cornell Electronic Directory.
Some information about you is automatically entered in these directories so that people can contact you. It is your responsibility to update this information, add optional information, or indicate if you want some information to remain unpublished.
You can use computers in the CIT's public computer labs and in many libraries. Several colleges and departments also run computer labs that may be available for your use. There are also Student Center kiosk computers at multiple locations.
Cornell ties what services you can access to the role or relationship that you have with the university. CIT works with the offices of record, sponsors, and service providers to adjust privileges when your role or relationship changes. Please remember that your access can be terminated with no notice for violations of the university policies on responsible use of computer systems. Therefore it is very important to know and understand these policies.
- Students who become alumni retain access to some services, such as Student Center, Who I Am, and Cmail. In addition, they are given access to services designed specifically for alumni.
- Students on an official leave of absence retain their NetIDs for up to 3 years.
Faculty and staff
- Faculty and staff on a leave of absence or on layoff status can retain full access for up to 12 months following the leave or layoff date.
- Faculty and staff on disability can retain full access for the length of the disability.
- Faculty and staff who retire and collect retirement benefits retain access to some services.
- Faculty and staff who leave the university lose their access as part of the termination process. They are notified by email at least two weeks before a scheduled deactivation. Email forwarding services are not currently available to former staff and faculty.
- Sponsored NetID holders lose their access when the sponsor has confirmed with CIT that the individual is no longer in need of services for performing work in support of Cornell’s mission. This will occur on the date specified on the application for duration of need, or in the course of the annual review process in the spring.
No. Your NetID is for your exclusive personal use. If someone has your NetID and password, he or she can look up and/or change personal and confidential information about you, including your benefits package, your tax information, your grades, your web page, your address, and your emergency contact information. He or she could read your email, and send email from your address pretending to be you. He or she could also commit computer crimes through your account, and you could be held responsible for any damages that result.
For those reasons and others, it is a violation of university policy to share your NetID and password with your family, your roommate, your supervisor, or your office's computer support staff. There is no reason for anyone else to know your password, despite what he or she tells you.
You are the only person who should ever use your NetID and password!
Likewise, you should never use anyone else's NetID and password, even if the owner says that it is okay!
Passwords are kept in an encrypted database, and cannot be looked up by anyone.
If you did not set up your password's security questions, you will need to request a new activation code so that you can reset your password. To make this request, visit the IT Service Desk in person, or mail or fax your request to that office. You will need to provide proof of identity -- your Cornell ID card or your valid government-issued photo ID card (such as a driver's license or passport), or a photocopy of one of these.
If you make your request by mail or fax, your NetID and an activation code to set your password will be mailed back to you within five (5) business days. Your NetID and activation code cannot be sent by email, telephone, or fax machine.
As soon as you have reset your password, you should consider setting up your password's security questions on the Manage Your NetID web page so that if you have trouble with your password again, you can set a new password yourself.
The address for the IT Service Desk is 119 Computing & Communications Center (CCC), Ithaca, NY 14853. The phone number is 607 255-5500.
Your NetID and password control access to highly confidential data, some of which requires protection mandated by federal legislation. Tools for cracking simple passwords are readily available, so it is essential that your NetID password be strong to prevent unauthorized individuals from discovering it.
Complex passwords are akin to deadbolt locks on a door. Just as deadbolt locks are far more effective than standard locks in preventing break-ins, so are complex passwords far superior to simple passwords in protecting access to your information.
In 2002, the university auditor recommended that CIT implement technical measures to ensure that users choose secure NetID passwords. The criteria for what constitutes a secure password were developed as a result, along with the web-based method for selecting a password.
Once you have a NetID and you have set a mail account using Who I Am, people can email you using the form NetID@cornell.edu. For example, if your NetID is ewe2, people can email you at email@example.com. This is how your electronic mail address is listed in the Cornell Electronic Directory.
The Cornell Optional Email Alias service allows eligible individuals to create a Cornell email address based on their name. (Who is eligible?) That new address will take the form of an alias plus "@cornell.edu" For example, firstname.lastname@example.org. The optional alias does not replace your NetID or your NetID@cornell.edu address. Email sent to the alias or to your NetID address is delivered to your NetID account.
If you have a legitimate need for a separate email address for a university department or registered student organization, you may apply for an Exchange Group Account (formerly known as a Special Mailbox).
No. An individual can have only one NetID. If you need a separate email address for a university department or a registered student organization, you may apply for an Exchange Group Account (formerly known as a Special Mailbox).
Yes. These links provide more information about safe computing practices, policies regarding the use of NetIDs and Cornell's compting services, and more.
Yes, the following are also in use:
- GuestID, which allows users who are not eligible for a NetID to access certain services.
- ApplicantID, which is assigned to Cornell applicants.
- WCMC CWID, the ID for Weill Cornell Medical College.
In addition, visitors from institutions that participate in eduroam can sign in to Cornell campus eduroam secure Wi-Fi using their home institution login and password.