Domain Name Guidelines

The subdomain names under are generally limited to MSU major administrative units (MSU). Other subdomain names may be assigned with the prior approval of MSU Information Technology Services.

Subdomain names are NOT automatically issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Subdomain Priorities for

In cases where a unit code could apply to more than one campus unit, the following priorities will be used:

  • Existing use: Once assigned, a domain name will not be reassigned to another unit without the approval of the current unit and adequate time to implement any necessary changes.
  • Colleges: Preference will be given to the course catalog designation for college courses, if applicable.
  • Academic departments: Preference will be given to the course catalog designation for department courses, if applicable. The course catalog designations will be reserved for the department even if not currently in use.
  • Other major administrative units (MAUs): Non-academic units may be assigned any code which does not conflict with codes used or reserved for academic units.

Subdomains may also be assigned as follows, with prior approval (not an exhaustive list):

  • Interdepartmental projects: A project or unit name or code may be assigned to a project group which spans multiple departments.
  • Key campus services: A service which is used by a broad range of the campus population may merit an subdomain. In such cases, the name will be reviewed for suitability and appropriateness for the service within the scope and mission of the university as a whole.
  • Descriptive names: A unit may be granted a longer, more descriptive name to complement its shorter unit code, particularly for mail and web server naming.

Subdomains generally should NOT be:

  • General or generic names: Overly general or generic names are likely to be rejected. Other general names or terms will be limited to the most appropriate service or unit to which the name would generally be associated within the university.
  • Individual names: Names of current faculty, staff, or student members of the MSU community are NOT acceptable for subdomains under Names of individuals may only be used at the top level when referring to a campus unit or building that has been formally named after an individual. Names of individuals may be acceptable at the unit (department) level. Contact your unit’s IP network administrator for verification.
  • Some variants of existing domains: Some variants of existing domain names, such as adding a numeric suffix (e.g., or a test domain ( are generally not acceptable. These needs are better handled by alternate domain names under the existing subdomain (e.g.,, Other variants of existing subdomain names will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Student organization names: Student organizations may opt to use an alternate top-level domain (e.g., .org). Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) will be permitted to register a domain name under in the format of, where organization is the organization’s registered name or an acceptable abbreviation.

How to Request an Subdomain

Use the DNS services request option to request an subdomain. The request form should include:

  • The desired domain name,
  • A brief explanation of the desired name, and
  • The name of the sponsoring unit or individuals at MSU.

The domain name and supporting information will be reviewed and approved or rejected in accordance with these Domain Name Guidelines.

Once the domain name has been approved, you can submit requests for domain name records ending in the approved subdomain.

Domains Other than

In general, domain names for all computer systems, devices, and services at Michigan State University will be assigned under the subdomain name. MSU recognizes that certain situations are best addressed by using domain names other than

It is not necessary to register all domains with MSU IT and its name servers, and outside registrations will be acceptable as long as the associated program or project is officially supported by a unit within Michigan State University.

Examples of alternate domains (not an exhaustive list):

  • Inter-institutional programs or projects: This would include a program or project which is sponsored by multiple institutions, or which is sponsored by an individual or unit at MSU but whose scope is wider than MSU. In general, an .org domain would be appropriate.
  • Inter-institutional publications or journals
  • MSU-sponsored commercial activities: Campus activities of a commercial nature (e.g., Breslin Center) may best be listed under a separate .com domain.

If a domain outside of is used, it is up to the sponsoring individual and/or unit to obtain the domain name from one of the established Internet domain name registrars and to arrange directly for the billing of the associated registration fees. MSU IT will not be responsible for payment of these fees or for ensuring that the registration is kept current.

Examples of alternate domains that are NOT consistent with the functions of MSU:

  • Commercial names unrelated to MSU: Commercial names or other organizational names where no official MSU sponsorship applies, are not permitted on systems owned by or operated at Michigan State University, without express prior approval.