Add a field for Pronouns to the Profile Page

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

In addition to many institutions allowing for preferred names of students, staff and faculty, there is an upcoming need to address preferred pronouns.


When addressing the preferred name options in the LMS, please allow for LMS users to indicate their preferred pronouns.









For more information, see Google or Wikipedia's article on gender-specific and gender-neutral pronouns.


Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18) 

Community Contributor

I agree. "It's hard" is not a great excuse. All kinds of code on Canvas is hard, but they get it done. "Will faculty look at it?" is also not a reason to not do it. There are a plethora of features I never use on Canvas, but I wouldn't advocate their removal, because someone uses it. I don't know know about your students, but I know mine don't usually fill in the bio or social media blanks, but there they are. 

Community Novice

Hi  @Renee_Carney , is it possible to prioritize this feature idea to shift it from radar to action?  It is getting some new traction lately.  Thanks!

Community Novice

jennifer_stevens‌, would you be able to provide any guidance that I could share with our IT and Registrar departments about how to input real names instead of legal dead names into Canvas?  We use Jenzabar and have a "preferred name" category, but I don't think that has been transferring easily over into Canvas when class lists are created.


Community Contributor

Unfortunately, I don't think I have any actionable insights for you: it depends heavily on each SIS and integration.

What used to happen for us as a Banner school using Luminis Message Broker was that once the name was updated in the "Prefname" field in Banner, the Third Party ID was updated in Banner, and the name was changed in Active Directory the name update was sent to Canvas via the message broker.

We've since moved away from using the LMB, and wrote our own custom integration. We chose to populate the "first_name" field via Canvas and leave students free to continue to customize their "short_name" (SIS Import Format Documentation - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation ).

Good luck!

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

I'd like to share a proposed simple solution for this and get your take on it.

A drop down to the Profile page with the following options:

  • Unspecified
  • He/Him/His
  • She/Her/Hers
  • They/Them/Theirs
  • Text Entry

The Text Entry field would be tied to the setting for editing the name field on the Profile page and would only be available if that permission was set to allow editing.

I would also anticipate that this field would be visible to anyone with the rights to see the Profile page.

What do you all think of this proposal?

Community Novice

Nice solution for a "Pronouns" box in the Profile page, Christi - thanks!

I hope we will see a rollout of something like this in the near future.

Perhaps the default could be "unspecified."

Best to all,



Community Contributor

Hi Christi,

This sounds like a good idea! I would advocate for the pronoun to be visible on the People page, as well. 

Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.


This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Community Novice

Absolutely. This is pretty important actually. Framing it as "preferred" makes it feel like others are doing you a favor when they respect it. It should be presented as a fact.

Community Member

Another take... How about an definable "Prefix" and "Suffix" field.  I'm a military school, and we need a place for Grade/Rank and Service.  For example:

Sample Prefixes:





Lt Col



Sample Suffixes:

USAF (United States Air Force)

USN (United States Navy)

USA (United States Army)


ideally, for our case, the prefix column would tie off the suffix column (because each Service abbreviates their ranks differently).