@caltech.edu Alias Service

To request an @caltech.edu alias or change an existing one, submit a request at https://help.caltech.edu (request type IMSS > Email & Calendar > Alias Request Form.)

An email alias is simply a forwarding email address. Here is an example:

  • My name is John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.
  • I requested the access.caltech username jjjs, because I wanted a short, easy to remember username to log in with.
  • However, I want a more exact email address, or one that is longer than the eight-character username length limit, which conveys exactly who I am (my coworker Jessica Jelane Smith is using jjs@caltech.edu as her email address, and we keep getting messages intended for the other!).
  • Most of my friends and research associates call me JJJ.
  • I submit a Caltech Help request, explaining that my email address is jjjs@caltech.edu and requesting the alias j.j.j.schmidt@caltech.edu. The alias administrators send back confirmation that the alias has been set up for me.
  • I then have my business cards printed with J.J.J.Schmidt@caltech.edu, and tell all of my associates that that is my correct email address.
  • I also update my Personnel Information with Caltech's Human Resources department and Directory Services via access.caltech, so they update the Online Personnel Directory with that email address.
  • I tell Jessica about this wonderful alias service thing, and she requests and receives an alias jessica.jelane.smith@caltech.edu.
  • She updates her business cards and the Online Directory with her new alias address, and we stop getting misdirected messages which were intended for the other person!

Note: aliases are not case-sensitive (jessica.jelane.smith@caltech.edu is the same as Jessica.Jelane.Smith@caltech.edu).

In our example, email sent to:

  • jjjs@caltech.edu
  • j.j.j.schmidt@caltech.edu and
  • J.J.J.Schmidt@caltech.edu

will all reach John at his jjjs@caltech.edu account, and email sent to

  • jjs@caltech.edu
  • jessica.jelane.smith@caltech.edu and
  • Jessica.Jelane.Smith@caltech.edu

will all reach Jessica at her jjs@caltech.edu account.

Also, some students have requested their usernames based on their first names or a nickname, and then at graduation, they realize that they might have wanted a more professional-seeming address to use on their resumes. In many cases, they then request their firstname.lastname@caltech.edu as an alias to their access.caltech account.