Faculty, staff, and students are eligible for a FREE email account through the university. Students can request an account through MyUI. Faculty and staff can request an account through the ITS Help Desk.

What is an alias?

Your university email alias is the address you should always use when sharing your email address.  The alias address is typically your first and last names, separated by a hyphen, and followed by "@uiowa.edu" (e.g., jane-doe@uiowa.edu).  All university-wide and departmental mass mailings are sent to your alias address, so you must have a valid routing address in order to receive the mailings.  Your email alias always remains the same, even if you change your email to a different email provider like Google or Yahoo. 

What is a routing address?

Your University email address, also referred to as your email alias (firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu) is actually a pointer to your real email account, sometimes referred to as your routing email address. A Hawkmail routing address is in the form of: HawkID@iowa.uiowa.edu (e.g., jdoe@iowa.uiowa.edu). Why have the two email “addresses”? Having two provides some advantages. One advantage is that by using your official University email address (firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu), recipients of your email will be able to tell who you are and that you are affiliated with The University of Iowa.

Another advantage is that your published University email address (firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu) will rarely, if ever, change. This allows you to change your “real” email account behind the scenes as often as you need. You can give out your assigned University email address to others and never have to tell anyone to change their address book if you change email account providers. For example, when you leave the University, you will still have your University email address (firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu), but you can route it to another email account (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) and continue to receive email sent to your University e-mail address.

Mail sent to the alias addresses of the individuals in the examples below will be delivered to each person's preferred routing address.

Examples of the alias and routing address working together:

Alias E-mail Address Routing E-mail Address
jane-adams@uiowa.edu jadams@iowa.uiowa.edu
chris-jones@uiowa.edu chrisjones@gmail.com
mark-jensen@uiowa.edu markjensen@mchsi.com
pat-smith@uiowa.edu pasmith@hotmail.com
john-clark@uiowa.edu jclark@aol.com
mary-clark@uiowa.edu maryc@yahoo.com

Office 365 Users Only:  Changing/Adding your forwarding address

Office 365 users can only forward their email to another email provider (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc…).  This will not close your O365 mailbox.  You need to follow the instructions on how to forward your email to another email account 

Hawkmail Users Only:  Changing your routing address


If you have a University Hawkmail account, and you choose to change your routing address from your Hawkmail account (hawkid@iowa.uiowa.edu) to another account (e.g., gmail), this will close your Hawkmail account and forward all new email to the email routing address account(e.g. gmail). You will still be able to retain your UI email address (firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu) for receiving e-mail, and all new e-mail will be forwarded to the e-mail account you specify in your routing address. However, you won’t have a way to send email from your UI e-mail address. Be aware that when the Hawkmail account is closed, any existing email, calendar items, contacts, notes and tasks on the Hawkmail Exchange Server will be deleted. Please check your Hawkmail account to manually forward any email or other items you wish to keep prior to changing your routing address thus closing your Hawkmail account.

To change your routing address

If you already have a non-university email account and would like to continue to use your Hotmail, AOL, or another account, then you should register your existing account as your "routing" address either in MyUI (students) or via HR Self-Service (faculty & staff).

Additional Information for Gmail Users

Note:  This only applies for "Iowa" Hawkmail users.  The Healthcare Exchange system does not allow POP access, so this process will not work.

A second option exists for Gmail users. Gmail provides an option to “fetch” email from other accounts, and setting up your Gmail in this way would allow you to retrieve your Hawkmail through Gmail. You would keep your Hawkmail account and keep your University email routing address pointing to your Hawkmail routing address (HawkID@iowa.uiowa.edu).

Please note that the processes referred to below are provided and maintained by Gmail, not the University of Iowa.

ITS can assist with questions about Hawkmail POP settings, but beyond the general settings, any issues with Gmail would need to be addressed by Gmail. Other web mail clients may provide this functionality as well.  Information and instructions for setting up Gmail’s “fetch” service can be found here.

The following Hawkmail POP settings should be used for “fetching” Hawkmail in Gmail  (i.e., this only moves mail in the Inbox, not mail in subfolders):

  • Email Address:  your University e-mail address (usually firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu)

  • Username: your HawkID

  • Password: your HawkID password
    Note: Gmail’s fetch program saves your HawkID password.  When you change your HawkID password, you will need to change it in these Gmail settings as well to continue receiving your University email

  • POP Server: email.uiowa.edu

  • Port: 995

  • Check the Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail options

Article number: 
Last updated: 
June 1, 2016