UMD Email Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


In this article

About UMD email

What is institutional email?

Institutional email is the UMD email system/platform provided and maintained by the Division of Information Technology and enabled by Google Workspace for Education. UMD email account addresses take the form of DirectoryID@umd.edu.

What are some of the features and benefits of the UMD email system?

UMD email provides UMD personnel with:

How do I activate a UMD email account?

UMD email accounts are provisioned automatically for UMD personnel and graduate students as part of the Directory ID activation process. If you have not already, you may activate your account by visiting identity.umd.edu and selecting Activate Account. Read Activate your Directory ID and Account Services for full instructions.

For how long will I have access to UMD email?

Access to UMD email is determined by the status of your Directory account.

Following voluntary separation from the university, a former faculty or staff member's Directory account access is terminated after 30 days, but there are exceptions to the 30-day rule as outlined in the Overview of Account Terminations for Faculty and Staff.

Graduate student accounts follow the life-cycle described in Overview of Account Terminations for Students.

UMD email account holders should be aware that supervisors and/or university officials reserve the right to suspend access to, transfer or remove content from, and/or obtain full access to an account at any time. Action shall be taken by designated staff in the Division of IT on requests submitted from appropriate officials based on the University of Maryland Policy on Institutional Data Management. Per these requests, accounts will be suspended immediately regardless of other grace periods described in this document. Additionally, accounts may be suspended immediately at any time when necessary to protect university IT systems or to prevent a severe adverse impact on UMD’s mission, safety, finances or reputation.

What is the difference between the UMD Gmail and any other personal email accounts (including TERPmail)?

There are significant differences in the agreement language and the data collected between a typical consumer Gmail and the UMD Google Workspace for Education accounts. Therefore, automatically forwarding emails and documents from an approved system to another email account/platform (e.g., @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.) is prohibited. This practice greatly elevates the risks of sharing information that is protected as confidential by federal and/or state law or the university’s contractual obligations

My email is user@dept.umd.edu. Will my email address change?

DIT-operated official email servers can handle email addresses of this form (including if your department username is different than your Directory ID) for both inbound and outbound email. However, it is up to your department head and dean to determine if they wish to continue using email addresses of this form or use this as an opportunity to migrate to DirectoryID@umd.edu as your only email address.

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Institutional email standard

What is the IT standard related to the use of email at UMD?

The IT Standard Institutional Email sets forth requirements related to using email to conduct university business. The standard requires UMD personnel to use an email system that is approved by the Division of IT while performing work on behalf of the university.

What is included on the IT standard about institutional email?

In summary, the standard includes important requirements and best practices:

  1. All email sent by UMD personnel related to UMD business must be sent using an approved UMD institutional email system.
  2. Automatically forwarding UMD emails and documents to a non-UMD email account is prohibited.
  3. The institutional UMD email system is the one provided and maintained by the Division of IT (DirectoryID@umd.edu). Any additional email systems must be approved by the Division of IT via the waiver process.
  4. Email should NOT be used to transmit information deemed as High (Level 3) or Restricted (Level 4).
  5. UMD email shall not be used for private gains or personal matters.
  6. An approved email system should be set as the default outbound address when UMD email is enabled on multiple devices, including mobile phones.

The standard also establishes June 30, 2020 as the deadline to transition all users currently using legacy platforms (that is, those not managed by DIT) to an approved institutional email system. A unit that has unique statutory or contract requirements that cannot be met by the institutional email system should submit a waiver form explaining, in detail, how conformance with the standard would be non-compliant with federal or state laws.

I have been using my personal email address for UMD business, what should I do?

It is important that as soon as possible you start using a UMD email address when conducted UMD business. All faculty and staff already have a umd.edu email address. You should start using it now. If you have a legacy department or college email address, you may continue to use that one until your unit’s email is consolidated into DIT operated email system.

What impact does the institutional email requirement have on email lists?

The standard is focused on individuals sending and receiving email not their transmission through email lists. As a result, units may continue to operate email list servers. However, the administrator of each list must verify that all recipients of a given email list are official institutional email addresses if the list is used to conduct university business (i.e., a faculty list that is used to discuss departmental matters would be university business).

What about emails sent through the ELMS-Canvas platform?

ELMS-Canvas and its integrated tools require us to have institutional legal agreements in place. Therefore, we are allowed to transmit data with a risk level of Moderate (Level 2) as defined by the IT-2 University of Maryland’s Data Classification Standard.

What are “private gains and personal matters”?

“Private gains” State personnel are not permitted to use their State employment for private gain (money and other tangible benefits) . These are a benefit or advantage that relates to an individual person rather than a business, group, or organization. These benefits or advantages may violate the University of Maryland Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.

The "private gains" clause is a shortened version of part of the campus Acceptable Use policy which prohibits "using University IT resources for commercial or profit-making purposes or to represent the interests of groups unaffiliated with the University or unassociated with the normal professional activities of faculty, staff or students without written authorization from the University."

“Personal matters” are non-UMD matters, not related to an individual's employment with UMD. These are things that relate to an individual person rather than to the university, such as social media accounts, financial transactions, or personal correspondence.

Why does UMD need an IT standard about institutional email?

This standard is necessary for the university to meet the requirements of the USM IT Security Standards and the UMD Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources. The use of institutional email is subject to federal, state and local legal, regulatory and statutory requirements, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the state of Maryland’s public records laws. Noncompliance with these laws and regulations could result in a loss of federal funding, as well as civil and criminal penalties, and/or have a severe adverse impact on UMD’s mission, safety, finances or reputation.

What happens if one does not comply with the IT standard about institutional email?

Failure to comply with this security standard constitutes a direct violation of the UMD Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.

Why is this a standard and not a university policy?

Email is one of many critical systems used to conduct university business and this standard is considered an implementation of the wider UMD Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.

What is considered university business?

University business is the work performed on behalf of the university by its personnel (including faculty, staff, student employees and other persons whose conduct falls under university operations), whether or not such persons receive compensation for performing this work.

What is an approved UMD email system?

Approved email systems are the institutional email system (UMD email) and any administrative, academic or programmatic unit’s email system that has received a waiver. Systems other than UMD email are not necessarily supported by the Division of IT and if you have questions, you may contact the local IT staff assigned to your academic, administrative or programmatic unit.

How do I know if an application, browser extension or software is approved to conduct university business?

Please work with your local IT staff to determine whether it's the right choice for your team. If so, ask them to start the risk assessment process. If you are unable to identify a local IT staff member, please contact itsupport@umd.edu. The review process includes all third-party vendor applications that have already been reviewed by IT for security, accessibility and acceptable terms of use.

What if I need to use software or an application that is not yet approved by UMD?

Please work with your local IT staff to determine whether it’s the right choice for your team. If so, ask them to start the risk assessment process. If you are unable to identify a local IT staff member, please contact itsupport@umd.edu.

Please note that the review process does not imply that any third-party technology tool will be centrally funded. If funding is required, the source must be identified to start the review process.

Why must software and applications be reviewed by UMD?

If you are planning to use a tool to conduct any university business (i.e., for administrative, teaching and learning or research purposes), it must be reviewed if it meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Involves agreement/contract (including a “click-through” agreement where you accept the terms of use) with a service provider (with or without associated costs) who creates a network-accessible service on behalf of UMD to collect, transmit or process any institutional data.
  2. Requires that a third-party process payment card information on behalf of UMD.
  3. Involves transferring any institutional data (ex., individual’s name, ID numbers, emails, etc.) from a university-owned system to a third-party system, including cloud and software as a service solutions.
  4. Requires a third-party system to collect or process any institutional data that will later be transmitted for use by UMD.
  5. Will be used by students as a part of coursework and it collects and/or stores personally identifiable information, including intellectual property (e.g. student essays or programming assignments) or grades.
  6. Involves making a copy of documents or materials containing any of the data elements described above (i.e., institutional, financial or student data).

Only authorized officers are permitted to sign a contract or agreements (with or without costs associated with) on behalf of the university. All documents must be reviewed by the Procurement Office and the Office of General Counsel. Please do not sign any document on behalf of your unit or on behalf of the university.

Do I need to request a review to integrate a free third-party technology tool or web browser extension on my email?

Yes. In general, these require “click-through” agreements where you accept the terms of use, such as a web-browser extension. Free software or applications include terms and agreements in which individuals “accidentally” authorize a service provider to mine institutional data which may be subject to additional protections.

I have student employees. What should I do to get them accounts on an approved system?

Faculty and staff may sponsor UMD Google accounts for student employees.

I am a student employee on campus. Can I use a UMD mail account?

Undergraduate and graduate students employed by the university MUST use a UMD email account to conduct university business. Faculty and staff may sponsor UMD Google accounts for student employees.

TERPmail is an email account provided to all students (graduate and undergraduate). It is the institutional medium for communicating academic and official information with students. It is also used to maintain a long life business relationship between the institution and students. All students and accepted applicants may set up a TERPmail address (DirectoryID@terpmail.umd.edu). Upon graduation, activated TERPmail accounts remain active indefinitely. If students do not graduate, accounts will be suspended and deleted per the Overview of Account Terminations for Students.

I have unique business requirements that cannot be met by UMD email, can I get a waiver?

A unit that has unique business requirements that cannot be met by the institutional email must submit a waiver form explaining, in detail, how conformance with this standard would be noncompliant with federal or state laws. Waivers must be requested by a unit head responsible for overseeing the administrative, academic, or programmatic unit and approved by the respective Dean or Vice President. Waivers to this security standard may be granted for up to 3 years’ duration (with the option for renewal). Consistent with the university’s UMD Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources, these waivers may be revoked at any time by the vice president/chief information officer.

I am an affiliate working with UMD for a short amount of time. Does this standard apply to me?

Yes, the standard applies to all people performing work for the university.

My unit uses its own email system. I also have a UMD email account, but I have not used it. Should I start using my UMD email account now?

Please contact your local IT staff to find out your unit’s plan to transition to UMD email. If you are unable to identify a local IT staff member, please contact itsupport@umd.edu.

How should students comply with the standard?

Student employees should ensure that university business is conducted within a UMD email account. UMD email accounts may be sponsored by faculty and staff. It is recommended that student employee supervisors sponsor Google Workspace for Education accounts for their students and inform students to ensure their email address in the PHR system is set to DirectoryID@umd.edu.

When students are no longer employed, supervisors may request to have sponsorship removed via the Service Desk. Once the account is removed, students should visit Testudo and set their email address to DirectoryID@terpmail.umd.edu.

What happens to the student employee accounts and data when employment is terminated?

Students with Sponsored UMD email accounts will retain the account as long as the sponsorship (active PHR appointment) remains active and the student’s Directory ID is active. Sponsored accounts last for six months from creation.

Students who work in positions that automatically provision UMD email accounts are subject to the normal termination timeline for faculty, staff and affiliates (that is, access lasts for 30 days past the termination date).

Where can I find information about my unit’s plans to transition to UMD email?

Please contact your local IT staff to find out your unit’s plan to transition to UMD email. If you are unable to identify a local IT staff member, please contact itsupport@umd.edu.

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Using UMD email

What type of information should never be transmitted by email?

Email is an inherently insecure medium for transmitting private or confidential information. Email should NOT be used to transmit data with a risk level of High (Level 3) or Restricted (Level 4) as defined by the IT-2 University of Maryland Data Classification Standard. Individuals may transmit data with a risk level  of Moderate (Level  2). Individuals must be extra careful to ensure that they don't violate FERPA rules related to student records and privacy.

Is it possible to forward my voicemail to my email?

Yes, it is possible to forward your voicemail to your email account. However, voicemail, like all email, is subject to Maryland public records law requests.

Can I automatically forward my UMD email to a different email account?

Automatically forwarding UMD emails and documents to a non-UMD email account is prohibited. It is considered a direct violation of the UMD Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources. The Division of IT will be communicating with individuals who forward their email to a non-UMD account. In the near future, the DIT will disable the ability of individuals to forward their email outside UMD approved email systems.

Can I use my UMD email account for personal matters?

UMD email accounts are considered university IT resources. The UMD Acceptable Use Policy precludes “using University IT resources for commercial or profit-making purposes or to represent the interests of groups unaffiliated with the University or unassociated with the normal professional activities of faculty, staff or students without written authorization from the University.” Incidental personal communication is acceptable. However, employees are strongly encouraged to use a separate, non-UMD email system for personal matters.

Can I use my UMD email account to connect with social network accounts to conduct university business, for example for teaching and research purposes?

As state employees, you may use your UMD email account to connect with social networks to conduct university business. However, because the use of digital media for student communications and interactions isn't specifically covered by FERPA, instructors must be extra careful to ensure that they don't violate FERPA rules related to student records and privacy. This EDUCAUSE article may help clarify some of your questions related to this matter.

Can I use my UMD email account to access free software to conduct university business?

As state employees, it is not recommended to use your UMD email account to log into third party systems, web applications or web browser add-ons that are not approved by the Division of IT security team. Free software and applications available on the web are rarely free--the cost is that the company may mine institutional data which may be subject to additional legal protections. Therefore, these freely available tools must be reviewed for IT security, accessibility, and acceptable terms of use.

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What do I need to do?

Faculty, staff, student employees and affiliates already using UMD email

First, double-check that you are using your UMD email account as your default outbound email. Visit your UMD email in a web browser, go to Settings, and select the Accounts tab. The Send Mail As section will list your default From: account. You can change it to your UMD account if it is not already selected.

If you are using native email or third party email apps on your desktop or mobile device, you will need to locate specific instructions in the provider’s support resources. The Service Desk may be able to help in some cases on a best effort basis.

Next, review the institutional email standard for acceptable types of data in email. Then, sponsor Google Workspace accounts for any student employees you may supervise.

Faculty and staff using a personal email account

Make sure your UMD email is active (read Activate your Directory ID and Account Services for full instructions). Then, update your email address in ARES/PHR to DirectoryID@umd.edu as soon as possible.

Faculty, staff, affiliates and student employees using departmental email

Wait for instructions from your local IT. Make sure your UMD email is active (read Activate your Directory ID and Account Services for full instructions).

You may set your email to DirectoryID@umd.edu in ARES proactively if you wish, but it cannot be changed after you do this. For complete instructions, read Update Contact Information in ARES/PHR.

Affiliates using a personal email account

Contact your local HR representative to ensure that your PHR record provides you with a UMD email account, and that your email address is set to DirectoryID@umd.edu.

Once you confirm your email record with your local HR representative, make sure your UMD email is active (read Activate your Directory ID and Account Services for full instructions).

Students who are not conducting university business

You do not need to make any changes at this time.

Students who are conducting university business, including student employees

You will need to work with supervisor to obtain a sponsored Google Workspace account. Once you have a sponsored account, you will need to update your email address in ARES/PHR to DirectoryID@umd.edu.

Optionally, you can set up personal notification preferences in ELMS-Canvas to your TERPmail or personal email account.

After you are no longer an employee, you should request to have your sponsorship removed. Set your email address in Testudo back to DirectoryID@terpmail.umd.edu.

I am a graduate student (or postdoc), when I leave can I make a copy of my email and take it with me?

Yes, as long as it does not contain confidential information, such as student data covered by FERPA.

For this reason, you should review your email before taking it with you to make sure it is appropriate to take. If you are unsure if it is appropriate to take a specific email with you, ask your advisor or supervisor for guidance.

DIT recommends using folders or tags to keep your email organized by topic (e.g., teaching, grants, dissertation). This will make it easier to find things while you are a student and greatly ease exporting appropriate email when you graduate.

Google provides a number of tools to export email and other data. Find the method that works for you: Importing and Exporting Data from Gmail, Calendar and Contacts.

I am a graduate student (or postdoc), when I leave will I still be able to receive email to my @umd.edu address?

If you do not complete a degree at UMD, you will have access to your UMD Gmail account for one year after you leave your program, after which all access will be disabled.

If you do complete a degree at UMD, you will have access for one year, after which your UMD Gmail account will be disabled. You will have access to TERPmail for life. To continue receiving email at your @umd.edu address, you can update your email address in Testudo to your TERPmail email account (we plan to automate this step soon). TERPmail may be auto-forwarded to a non-UMD account because it is not used for official campus business.

I am a graduate student (or postdoc), when I leave will I still be able to send email from my @umd.edu address?

You will be able to use your UMD Gmail account for a year, after which the account will be disabled. You can transition to your TERPmail account which is available for life. To continue receiving email at your @umd.edu address, you can update your email address in Testudo to your TERPmail email account (we plan to automate this step soon). After moving to TERPmail, your email will come from @terpmail.umd.edu to indicate to recipients that you are not a current employee or graduate student at UMD.

I received an email that doesn't contain confidential or FERPA data, may I forward it to a non-UMD account?

Yes, you may forward it to your personal account or to a colleague elsewhere, if appropriate. You are prohibited from automatically forwarding email without reviewing it for FERPA or confidential information.

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Support for email

What email clients and web browsers are compatible with UMD email?

The university recommends using Chrome to access UMD email, however Google Workspace for Education is compatible with a number of browsers. While DIT does not provide help configuring them, other email clients (including those on smartphones) may be used.

Is there an easy way for me to move my personal email out of my UMD Google account?

There are several methods of exporting personal or non-business data from a UMD Google account including forwarding smaller amounts or mail to your personal email account or using Google Takeout to export messages.

Can I access UMD email using multiple devices, including a mobile device?

University personnel may enable a UMD email account on multiple devices including mobile phones. To prevent accidental use of personal email addresses, it is strongly recommended that an approved email system is used as the default outbound setting on devices.

How can I send and receive university email through my UMD email account?

Access your UMD email account by signing in. If you have multiple Google accounts, you can ensure that you are using your UMD email account via the profile image. You can also review UMD email features in Email at University of Maryland.

How do I ensure my @umd.edu account is my default outbound setting?

It is recommended that you use the Google Gmail app on your mobile device for the best experience. The app lets you easily switch between multiple Google accounts. If you are using the Gmail app on your mobile device and viewing your UMD email account, your default Send Mail As setting will be your DirectoryID@umd.edu account, unless you have added additional accounts and changed the setting.

To view your default send-as account, visit your UMD email in a web browser, go to Settings, and select the Accounts tab. The Send Mail As section will list your default From: account, and allow you to change to your UMD account if not already selected.

If you are using native email or third party email apps, you will need to locate specific instructions in the provider’s support resources. The Service Desk may be able to help in some cases on a best effort basis.

Who can I contact for technical assistance with UMD email and TERPmail?

For assistance with troubleshooting and technical support, contact the Service Desk.

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