Frequently Asked Questions (NetID)



What is a University NetID?

A University NetID is an automatically-assigned, unique electronic identifier for each community member at Georgetown. Having a NetID does not automatically grant access to all computer systems or services. In many cases, it is still necessary to apply for access to a given system or service after the NetID has been created.



Who is eligible for NetID services?

NetIDs are automatically assigned to all individuals who are active in the University's core business systems for employees, students, alumni, associates and GUH employees. Volunteers, contractors and other people not paid through Payroll can also have a NetIDs. Different services will be available to each person, depending on their affiliation with the University.



How are University NetIDs created?

New NetIDs are generated at several points throughout the day. NetIDs are created using the person's initials as entered in the core business system, along with a number to distinguish the NetID. Individuals who were part of the Georgetown community in 1998 when the system was created, retain their Novell e-mail usernames as their NetID.


Why does Georgetown have a NetID system?

Centralized identity management ensures that a given NetID is not assigned to more than one person. Automatic creation shortens the time required to create user accounts.


Why is my NetID in the form of initials and numbers?

Georgetown's NetIDs are used not only for e-mail, but as usernames to log in to a variety of computer applications. The fundamental characteristics of a NetIDs are that the NetID is unique, automatically-generated, and easier to remember than a random user name.


Can I change my NetID?

NetIDs are only changed in the small number of cases where a typographical error in the spelling of a person's name has occurred or the NetID spells an offensive word. Changing a NetID requires a great deal of coordination, effort, and care to ensure that a person's access is not unduly interrupted and that the change is properly reflected through all systems which use NetIDs.

At this time, it is not possible to select your own NetID.


What are the requirements for NetID Passwords?

NetID Passwords must have the following characteristics:

  • Be at least eight characters in length
  • Contain at least one uppercase or lowercase alphabetic character
  • Contain at least one number
  • Contain at least one punctuation or symbol character
(! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + | ~ - = \ ` { } [ ] : " ; ' < > ? , . / , etc.)
  • Not be derived from a dictionary word or simple pattern such as abcdefgh



Why are Strong NetID Passwords Required?

Passwords are used to control access to Georgetown University systems, networks, applications, accounts, and data. A compromised password not only puts your email and files at risk, but may also expose sensitive University data and systems. With your NetID password, someone could not only send email that appeared to come from you, but they could view your salary information, bank account numbers for those using direct deposit, or post grades in MyAccess.

One of the most common methods that attackers use to guess passwords is known as a brute force attack. In a brute force attack, the attacker systematically tries possible passwords, often with the assistance of a dictionary file or wordlist, until he manages to break into an account. By choosing passwords that are hard for an attacker to guess, you will significantly improve the security of your computer and data. For tips on selecting good passwords and keeping them secure, please the UIS Security Office's Password Guideline page.


Why must my NetID password be so complicated?

Georgetown has a single complexity standard regardless of a person's affiliation with the University. Using their NetID and password, faculty members post grades, students register for courses and submit academic work, and employees check their payroll and benefits information. The activities Alumni engage in are arguably less sensitive, but no mechanism exists to vary the requirements.


What if I have more than one NetID?

NetIDs are created for every person active in any of the core business systems--GMS (human resources), Banner and Destiny (the student systems), the alumni database, the Sponsored University Associate (SUA) system and the GUH HR system. Second, and even third, NetIDs are created when multiple records appear in different core business systems. These multiple occurrences are the result of differing ID numbers, missing data or data entry errors. The process of getting back to only one active NetID starts with correcting the situation in the core business systems that created the multiple NetIDs. Please write the UIS Service Center,, with the NetIDs you are aware of, the NetID you wish to keep, and the 9-digit GOCard number starting with 8 that appears on your physical GOCard for an evaluation of the specifics of your NetID situation and direction on your next steps.


Downsides of multiple NetIDs

People who have two NetIDs suffer a range of problems:

  • The e-mail address they are using does not appear in the GeorgetownGoogle address book.
  • They must use the second NetID to log into Blackboard and GMS.
  • They could lack access to the building they work in, or the dorm they live in, or access to Yates or dining halls and a variety of other problems could occur in attempting to use their GOCard. If they have multiple ID numbers in the core systems, then they will only receive the privileges associated with the ID number/affiliation upon which their card is based.

The list goes on and on. We encourage you to take the necessary steps to have your NetIDs consolidated.