CSU Policy: Electronic Identity

Policy Title: Electronic Identity Category: Information Technology
Owner: Vice President for Information Technology Policy ID#: 4-1018-005
Academic Computing and Networking Services
Web: https://www.acns.colostate.edu/
Phone: 970-491-5133
Original Effective Date: 4/19/2001
Last Revision: 7/19/2019
Print Version: Click Here to Print


Colorado State University's Electronic Identity (eID) system facilitates a simplified and secure form of authentication and authorization across multiple university electronic systems and services. The purpose of this policy is to define the eID, require that all students, faculty and staff have one, and provide guidance as to how the eID is used at CSU.


All Colorado State University students, faculty, and staff must have an electronic identity (termed the eIdentity or the eID) to access many of the electronic services (eServices) on campus (such as RAMweb, all administrative IT systems, Canvas, e-mail, and more).


What is an eID? Why do I need one?

All eServices provided by Academic Computing and Networking Services (ACNS) and Information Systems (IS) require an eID to access. Many services provided by other departments on campus also require an eID for authentication. 

Your eID consists of a login name (eName) and password of your choice. Your eName must be unique, and your password must adhere to certain rules that make it difficult for someone else to guess. NOTE: Your eID will remain the same for your entire stay at CSU and cannot be changed. Please choose an appropriate eID eName with this in mind. 

Having an eID does not automatically grant access to specific computer systems or services; rather, access is defined and provided by the service provider or system administrator. In many cases, you will still need to apply for access to a system or service, even though you already have an eID.

How do I get an eID?

You can sign up for an eID on the Web at eid.colostate.edu.

Obtain an eID for someone else (Associates)

Associates of Colorado State University are individuals who are in some way affiliated with the university such that access to CSU’s network and computing resources is required. To provide an associate access to CSU’s online services, a departmental HR person must create the new hire or new concurrent assignment as an associate. The associate can register for an eID the day after the assignment is fully approved. For more information, see, “Associates” on the HR website.

What eServices require an eID?

Different services are available depending on whether you are a faculty member or a student. Some services that require an eID:

  • Electronic mail, or e-mail
  • CSU Google Apps for Education
  • Canvas Learning Management System access for online courses
  • Calendar (Exchange) accounts
  • Virtual Private Network, or VPN, for access from off campus
  • Access to RamWeb
  • Access to some computer labs on campus
  • Access to personal HR data via AAR portal
  • Access to the secure portal
  • Access to Duo two-factor authentication

Eligible for CSU eID:

The following groups are eligible for an eID:

  • Applicants: Applicants now are eligible for an eID, which is necessary to begin using some services at CSU even before enrolling in classes.
  • Students: All undergraduate, graduate and professional veterinary medicine students are required to have an eID and to provide a valid e-mail address. Students enrolled in noncredit courses are not eligible for an eID.
  • Faculty: Full-time and part-time faculty are required to have an eID.
  • Staff: Full-time and part-time staff are required to have an eID.
  • Post-Doctoral fellows, interns, residents and sponsored researchers: All are eligible for an eID if they have been entered into the Human Resource (HR) database. If they are not in HR they are considered the same as temporary employees and visitors (see next paragraph).
  • Retirees
  • Temporary employees, visitors: Temporary university employees may receive an eID at the request of the employing department. Visiting scholars may receive an eID at the request of the employing department. A departmental sponsor is required. These eIDs are limited to 12 months, but can be renewed.

Ineligible for CSU eID:

Colorado State University extends an eID for scholarship and university business purposes only, so some groups are excluded. These groups, including those referenced specifically below, should find commercial providers of similar services:

  • Spouses and family members of faculty, staff, students, retirees, or affiliates (With specific student approval, family members can use a social-SAML login, e.g. a Google or Facebook login, for accessing FAMweb, the online portal for students to designate trusted individuals to view selected education records of the student)
  • Alumni (Alumni can use a social-SAML login, e.g. a Google or Facebook login)
  • Visiting students
  • Commercial enterprises
  • Other universities, colleges, and community colleges, unless there is a working relationship with a specific individual at CSU, such as working on a joint research project
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Other non-affiliates.

Expiration time periods for CSU eID

The rules below apply only when a person has no other active affiliation with the University. If more than one rule applies, the eID will remain active for the longer period.

  • Applicants: eID expires 45 days after the application period.
  • Students: eID expires 365 days after the student's last class.
  • Faculty/Staff: eID expires 30 days after the employees separation from the University or the Appointment End Date (if applicable).
  • Post-Doctoral fellows, interns, residents and sponsored researchers: eID expires 30 days after University affiliation ends.
  • Retirees: Retirees keep their eID for life. 
  • Associates: eID expires 30 days after appointment ends.

However, if an individual is terminated for cause, the eID may be removed immediately at the discretion of the University.

Returning to the University and eID

If you were formerly affiliated with the Colorado State University community and are returning as a student, faculty or staff member and your eID has expired, you will need to re-register with the eIdentity system.

New to the University

New applicants for admission will receive instructions to create their eID from the Office of Admissions when appropriate.

The process for new faculty, staff and associates is as follows:

  • The new primary assignment is entered into the HR system by your departmental HR representative.
  • Overnight processing allows the eID system to see your new active assignment.
  • The next day you may go to eid.colostate.edu and complete the eID registration process.

Password changes

How do I change my e-mail password? Log in to the eID website (eid.colostate.edu) with your current eID and select "Change Password" from the navigation area. 

What if I have a Primary and a Secondary account? If I change my password on one, will the other change? No. Each account is treated separately. 

If I change my password on my primary eID account, where else is it changed? When you change the password on your eID, it will immediately change the password you use to log into your primary email account, Google Apps account, Canvas, some computer labs, modem pool, VPN, and other centrally-supported services.

E-mail addresses

My e-mail address recently changed, and I want the new address to show up in the University directory. Update your e-mail address at eid.colostate.edu - just click "Change E-mail Address". The change will appear in the CSU electronic directory within 24 hours.

Government Agencies

Agreements between Colorado State University and selected government agencies (e.g., USDA) allow certain government employees to have an eID and be listed in CSU's directories. You may change your e-mail address and password using the eid website.


Your eID is the login credential you will need for the Canvas Learning Management System. If you have a new eID, Canvas will recognize your new eID within 12 hours after eID registration. If you are taking noncredit courses, and you don't have an eID, the Division of Continuing Education will give you a username and password for Canvas.

Any change to your eID password will be recognized by Canvas almost immediately.

Student clubs and eID

Please contact the ACNS Help Desk, help@colostate.edu, 970-491-7276

Need Help?

Stop by the Help Desk at Morgan Library, or call 491-7276 if you need help getting an eID.


Effective April 19, 2001

Revision approved by Rick Miranda, Provost/Vice President on July 19, 2019




Print Version: Click Here to Print

csu ramhead logo

The CSU Policy Library is maintained by the Office of Policy and Compliance