University of Michigan Domain Names
The Domain Name System (DNS) is an internet service that translates domain names (such as umich.edu) into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.
Since domain names are an integral part of a URL, it is difficult and costly to change them once assigned. Changing or re-purposing the established domain name will negatively affect the individuals expecting to find the original web content there and will break any existing links directing users to that URL.
As a result, it is vital to the university community that all domain name requests follow the U-M DNS policy. This policy helps ensure that links to U-M websites are consistently valid and logically organized, and increases the likelihood that subdomains U-M anticipates needing in the future will be available.
DNS Standards Within the umich.edu Domain
- First-level subdomains in the umich.edu domain
- The U-M Regents officially recognize the names of schools, colleges, institutes, and units through the assignment of an organizational code within the Standard Practice Guide of the university.
- The proposed name should generally reflect accepted practices used by the internet-at-large and provided by sites internationally, including www and file transfer protocol (FTP). For more information on FTP, see the datatracker FTP document.
- The proposed name should be neither ambiguous nor likely to become ambiguous if used as a first-level name without other department or unit qualification (e.g., psych.umich.edu is ambiguous, as it could be used by Psychiatry in Michigan Medicine or Psychology in LSA).
- The proposed name should not be subject to change frequently. Changes would be better dealt with at a local level (e.g., coeconference2020.umich.edu would change every year).
- The proposed name should not be a reserved entry (e.g., MX for a mail exchange server). You will be notified if it is.
- Unit administrator approval: The placement of the proposed name as the first-level subdomain within umich.edu should have the explicit approval of the unit administrator of the school, college, institute, or unit to which the name would be associated.
- Exceptions for first-level subdomains within the umich.edu domain may be allowed in the following situations:
- The proposed name will be used by many individuals representing an array of units and/or organizations either within or outside the university (e.g., plannedgiving.umich.edu, which is a site for people to donate to the university from their estate).
- The proposed name is the name of a service and not the name of a department or other organizational unit. For example:
- Request from a group covering multiple disciplines – College of Engineering, Michigan Medicine, and LSA.
- Request from a group of faculty representing different disciplines.
- The proposed name is for a universitywide service or function intrinsic to the running of the institution that is not easily identified with a single department or unit, or it is for a service that is being offered primarily to people or groups that are outside the university and who are not likely to be familiar with the details of the university’s internal organizational structure (e.g., michiganradio.umich.edu).
- The proposed name represents an initiative that has a significant, nationally, or internationally recognized academic or research value or societal impact.
- Additional guidelines for proposing domain names:
- The request is for the production service, not for a website that will be used only for testing or development.
- The request is for a permanent website. An example of a temporary site would be a one-time conference.
- The proposed name reflects the purpose of the requested domain.
- The proposed name is not:
- A commonly used word, either inside or outside of the university.
- An acronym.
- The request should not be for sub-zoning an existing exception (e.g., adding “name” in front of “exception.umich.edu” to create "name.exception.umich.edu").
- All exceptions granted to an established subdomain will be assigned an alias. This will allow users to determine the unit to which a particular service is affiliated, even though the affiliated unit does not appear in the exception name.
Submitting a Request
Request approval usually takes about two weeks. This is the time required for the U-M Hostmaster to check the request against the Standard Practice Guide, as well as technical and university branding guidelines, and to collaborate with requesters on alternatives if that approach becomes necessary.
DNS Standards Outside the umich.edu Domain
Domain names outside umich.edu may be allowed, and may be required if all the following conditions are present:
- The proposed name will be used by many individuals from many different organizations outside the university.
- The proposed name is not likely to be confused with the name of a U-M department or unit.
- The proposed name signifies an organization or venture, commercial or noncommercial, that is not explicitly part of the university.
- The proposed name has either primary or secondary name service provided by umich.edu hosts and has the name server listed by the umich.edu name (e.g., activeu.org, icle.org).
- The placement of the proposed name outside the umich.edu has the explicit approval of the dean or top-level director of the school, college, institute, or unit to which the name would otherwise be associated.
Responsibility for implementing this policy rests with the DNS support group within Information and Technology Services (ITS). To contact the DNS support group, send an email to [email protected].
Schools, colleges, and units may make changes to their own subdomains (e.g., adding “aero” to “engin.umich.edu” to become aero.engin.umich.edu) by contacting the corresponding unit’s IT department.
Submitting a External Domain Request
Request approval usually takes two business days or less. To contact the Domain Registration Team, send an email to [email protected].