Example Student CSV: Formatting Reference Guide

Shelby Marter -

Use this article to explore the fields & formatting requirements for importing student data into Handshake.


  • For a downloadable CSV exampleclick here  - Use this to see the exact header requirements.
  • For instructions to import your first student file -  click here - The process involves accessing a tool call the Importer, determining which fields you'll import, and manually uploaded a CSV with the formatting specifications below.


Field Name Required? Field Description Type Example Values
email_address Yes

Basic identifier for each user in Handshake (i.e. same email cannot be tied to two student accounts). As a security measure, any .edu domain you import must belong to your institution.

String  alma.montgomery@joinhandshake.edu
username Yes

This serves as the “anchor” in imports so that other sensitive fields (such as email) can be updated around this value. Username MUST be a unique & unchanging value for each student.

Most schools will use a student’s school ID number, as this should NOT match any part of a student’s email_address, or their cardID (these fields are subject to change due to name changes, lost ID cards, etc).

String  S012345352
first_name Yes Student's first name String Alma
auth_identifier Yes

Required if using SSO. This checks against the returned attribute from SSO systems to authenticate. Students will not enter this value on login, this is a background identifier attribute. Auth_identifier must be unique to each student, yet CAN match a student's email_address value or username (or part of it), if necessary.

String amontgomery
school_year_name Yes

Reflects student's current school year. Must be one of the following (case sensitive): Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Masters, Doctorate, Postdoctoral Studies, Masters of Business Administration, Accelerated Masters, Alumni.

String  Junior


(Short Header: primary:cumulative_gpa)

Yes The students cumulative GPA. Must not be greater than 4.0  . Double 3.0


(Short Header: primary:major_names)

Yes Student's major(s). Use a semicolon (;) to separate multiple majors. This is the only field that can be used to populate majors in Handshake via import. String  Art History;Biology;Mathematics


(Short Header: primary:education_level_name)

Yes Reflects student education level. Must be one of the following (case sensitive): Associates, Certificate, Advanced Certificate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, Postdoctoral Studies, Non-Degree Seeking. String  Bachelors
card_id No Used for checking in students using a card swipe. This string must be contained in a card swipe output.  String  123123123
last_name No Student's last name. String Montgomery
middle_name No Student's middle name. String John
preferred_name No Student's preferred name. String Alma
ethnicity No Reflects ethnicity of the student. This is a custom field that can include any text you wish to upload. For best reporting results we suggest using the US Census designations of: Native American/Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Asian/Asian American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latino(a), White/Caucasian, Middle Eastern String  Native American/Alaskan Native 
gender No Reflects gender of the student: This is a custom field that can include any text you wish to upload String Female


(Short Header: primary:start_date)

No  The date the student started at the school  Date 2013-01-21 


(Short Header: primary:end_date)

No The date the student graduated or plans to graduate  Date 2019-05-13


(Short Header: primary:primary_major_name)


Indicates the student's single primary major and is ONLY used for First Destination Survey reporting. Must first populate "primary_education:major_names" to import this field.

String Art History


(Short Header: primary:minor_names)

No Student minor(s). Use a semicolon (;) to separate multiple minors  String Arts;Math


(Short Header: primary:college_name)

No Reflects college, school, or department the student belongs to. Only 1 college can be associated with each student.  String Ross School of Business
campus_name No

Use this to indicate a student's primary campus location. This field is only used for schools that have multiple campuses.

String Main
opt_cpt_eligible No Indicates if the student is eligible for OPT (Optional Practical Training) and CPT (Curricular Practical Training). Assigning TRUE will set the user to eligible, while FALSE will remove their eligibility. This is a case-sensitive boolean field. Boolean  TRUE
disabled No Indicates if the student profile is archived. Passing TRUE will archive the user, while passing FALSE will unarchive their profile.This is a case-sensitive boolean field. Boolean  TRUE
work_study_eligible No

Indicates if a student will see jobs that are posted as 'work study'. By assigning TRUE, this will set the user to eligible, while FALSE will remove their eligibility. Only students with TRUE will be able to see work study jobs. This is a case-sensitive boolean field.

Boolean TRUE
system_label_names No Semi-colon separated list of label names to apply to the user. Make an informed decision about the label types before bulk importing system labels labels. String  Honors;Commuter Student
mobile_number No Student's mobile number. Must be a valid domestic phone number (10 digits) with no spaces, dashes, or other special characters (can include an optional '+' at the beginning). String  5556667777
assigned_to_email_address No Email address of staff member the student is assigned to. Some schools use this to filter & coordinate internal workflows. String staff@exampleschool.edu 
athlete No Indicates if the student is an athlete. This is a case-sensitive boolean field. Boolean TRUE
first_generation No Indicates if the student is a first generation college student. This is a case-sensitive boolean field. Boolean TRUE
veteran No Indicates if the student is a veteran.This is a case-sensitive boolean field. Boolean TRUE


(Short Header: hometown_location:name)

No The address or location of a student's hometown. String San Francisco, California, USA
eu_gdpr_subject No This field is required if you want to be GDPR compliant. Passing TRUE indicates this student is a GDPR Subject. This is a case-sensitive boolean field. Boolean TRUE


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