Skip to main content

Introduction to Domain Names at Cornell

This article applies to: DNS

Cornell's policy on Recording and Registration of Domain Names requires certain domain names (detailed below) to be registered or recorded in the Cornell Domain Name Registry. 

Domain names are the "dot" names, such as, that people use to identify resources on the Internet. Cornell's primary domain name is Units such as colleges, schools, and administrative departments have their own three-part domain names, such as or

When creating a new domain in a diverse university environment like Cornell's, most often it's important to include your college or department's name to help people associate a project or service with the unit that sponsors it. You can do this by choosing a four-part domain name of the form, which does not require approval from anyone outside your unit.

If your new service needs a name other than a four-part domain name, follow the steps below. The full approval process can take up to a month, so please allow extra time when rolling out a new online service that requires a new domain name.

I. Domain Names

Choose a Name: criteria for three-part domain names

Review these criteria carefully to choose a name likely to be approved.

The proposed name must be one of the following:

  1. The name of a recognized college, academic department, or administrative unit, such as or
  2. The name of a central university-wide service entirely contained in a single unit, such as
  3. An exception, which must meet ALL of the following criteria:
    1. Many people (5,000 or more) from different organizations within or outside the university will use the proposed name;
    2. The name is neither housed within nor easily identified with a single department or administrative unit;
    3. The proposed name is not ambiguous either because it is an acronym or it lacks unit identification.

B. Request Name: use the online forms

  1. Ask your unit head (Dean, Vice President, Vice Provost, or designated representative) to pre-approve the request
  2. Ask your network administrator to submit the Request New Domain form
  3. Your unit head will receive an e-mail request for approval, with a link to the Unit Head Affirms or Denies form
  4. You can check the Domain Request Status at any time during the approval process
  5. The unit head and network administrator will receive e-mail notification when the request is approved or denied. If approved, the new domain is ready to use. If denied, there is an appeals process.

View list of domains already registered

Steps to register or record a domain name

II. Other Domain Names

Which domain names must be registered or recorded?

  1. A domain name must be registered with Cornell if it
    1. is a three-part domain name that ends with, or
    2. is served by Cornell's domain name servers.
  2. A domain name must be recorded in Cornell's registry if it
    1. is purchased with university funds, or
    2. translates to a university-owned host.
    Examples of domain names to be registered or recorded

Four-part host names within an existing three-part domain ( do not need to be registered or recorded.

Was this page helpful?

Your feedback helps improve the site.