Skip to main content

URLs and Domains

Everything you need to know about your website's URL.

Free Service Level

Websites created at the Free service level are considered personal websites. Options for URLs at this level are limited.

At this time, all websites at this level have a URL of the form [something].wordpress.ncsu.edu.

When registering your website, you may enter anything you want for the “slug” of your URL—that is, the [something] given above. The following restrictions apply:

  1. Only one website may use a given slug. Slugs are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
  2. Your slug may not misrepresent your website or generate confusion with another campus unit.
  3. Offensive or problematic words and phrases are not allowed.

OIT may temporarily suspend or remove a website that violates (2) or (3).

If you wish to change the slug of your website, please open a support ticket.

Third-Level Domains

Third-level domains are domains of the form [something].ncsu.edu. They may be used at the Standard and Custom service levels. You are responsible for requesting permission for your third-level domain.

NC State has implemented a Third-Level URL Naming Standard for campus. This rule states the definition of a third-level URL, the criteria by which units may be eligible for a third-level domain, and the process required to request one.

In general only top-level college sites, major centers and business units, and recognizable services will be granted a third-level domain. Third-level domains must be:

  • unambiguous, specific and descriptive.
  • generally recognized as a word (e.g., news) or a common abbreviation (e.g., aa for Academic Affairs).
  • reasonably unique to the services offered and not likely to represent services offered by any other NC State unit.
  • unlikely to conflict with other current or future Third-level URL requests for websites, services, programs or systems.
  • unlikely to be confused with another university unit; e.g., ed.ncsu.edu might be confused with the College of Education.
  • unlikely to be misspelled in ways that would result in confusion with another Third-level URL.
  • free from existing or potential copyright or trademark infringements.
  • aligned with the university‚Äôs current or anticipated strategic initiatives or objectives.

All requests must be reviewed by the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology (VCIT) and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications (AVCC) or their designees. They will also make final decisions on all requests for exceptions and appeals. Requests are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Because Third-level URLs are highly important, submitters should plan on an extended review cycle. A response to a request should be expected within 10 business days, but additional time may be required to work with the requestor to identify a Third-level URL that both meets their needs and complies with this naming standard.

Please review the full Third-Level Naming Standard for complete information on these requirements.

Fourth-Level Domains

Fourth-level domains are domains of the form [something].[collegeorunit].ncsu.edu. They may be used at the Standard and Custom service levels. You are responsible for requesting permission for your fourth-level domain.

All fourth-level domains must branch off of an existing third-level domain. For example:

  • webpublishing.oit.ncsu.edu is a valid fourth-level domain, because oit.ncsu.edu is a third-level domain that exists.
  • webpublishing.infotech.ncsu.edu is not a valid fourth-level domain, because infotech.ncsu.edu is not a third-level domain in use at NC State.

In order to use a fourth-level domain, you must have permission from the unit that owns the associated third-level domain. You will typically request permission from that unit’s IT team or communications team (or both).

Prior to launching your website, we will require documentation from the unit that owns the associated third-level domain granting you permission to use the fourth-level domain you are requesting.

Other NCSU.edu URL Situations

Subdirectory URLs are of the form [collegeorunit].ncsu.edu/[something]. They may be used at the Custom service level. You are responsible for requesting permission for your subdirectory URL.

The following restrictions apply:

All subdirectory URLs must branch off of an existing third- or fourth-level domain. For example:

  • oit.ncsu.edu/webpublishing is a valid subdirectory URL, because oit.ncsu.edu is a third-level domain that exists.
  • infotech.ncsu.edu/webpublishing is not a valid subdirectory URL, because infotech.ncsu.edu is not a third-level domain in use at NC State.

You must have permission from the unit that owns the associated third- or fourth-level domain. You will typically request permission from that unit’s IT team or communications team (or both).

Additionally, entire domain must be hosted in the Web Publishing service. For example:

  • If oit.ncsu.edu and all oit.ncsu.edu/[something] subdirectory websites are hosted in Web Publishing, then you may request a subdirectory URL.
  • If oit.ncsu.edu or other oit.ncsu.edu/[something] subdirectory websites are hosted in some service other than Web Publishing, then you may not use a subdirectory URL.
  • If oit.ncsu.edu and all oit.ncsu.edu/[something] subdirectory websites are hosted in Web Publishing but [something-else].oit.ncsu.edu is not hosted in Web Publishing, then you may request a subdirectory URL. The [something-else] fourth-level URL is a separate domain.

If you’re not sure whether a domain is hosted in Web Publishing, reach out to that unit’s IT team for guidance.

Prior to launching your website, we will require documentation from the unit that owns the associated domain granting you permission to use the subdirectory URL you are requesting.

Non-NCSU.edu Domains

Non-NCSU.edu domains are second-level domains such as [something].com, [something].net, or [something].org. They may be used at the Custom service level. You are responsible for managing your non-NCSU.edu domain and registering it with NC State.

Domains outside of ncsu.edu may be purchased and hosted at NC State. However, before you purchase such a domain, we strongly encourage you to consult with the appropriate IT and communications personnel in your unit and related units in order to avoid unforeseen issues arising from the use of that domain.

In order to use a non-NCSU.edu domain, you must:

  1. Complete the DNS request form, and indicate that your website will be hosted in the Web Publishing service maintained by OIT. This is required to connect your domain to Web Publishing. Once your request is approved, you will receive information you will use when registering your domain.
  2. Purchase and register your domain. Network Solutions is NC State’s preferred domain registration service.
  3. Forward the registration acknowledgment to network@ncsu.edu.
  4. Follow the instructions given by ComTech for setting up the domain to point to campus nameservers.

See Network Registration for more details.

All such domains must be used for legitimate university-related activities and must be approved by NC State University.

URL Alternatives

If you are not granted permission to use your desired URL, we encourage you to work with the appropriate approvers to identify a compromise choice. We will not launch a website with a URL that has not been approved.

Additionally, you may consider using a Go Link to create a custom URL.