How to Access University Systems

What is the first thing I should I do to access my email & Wifi?

In order to access Howard University systems, RESET YOUR PASSWORD FIRST. The new password policy enacted on September 13 stats that your password must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Not contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters
  • Be at least fourteen (14) characters in length
  • Contain characters from three of the following four categories
  • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
  • English lowercase characters (a through z)
  • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
  • Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)
  • Complexity requirements are enforced when passwords are changed or created.

Please follow these password reset instructions to reset your password. Once completed you will be able to access HU Wifi and MS Tools including outlook. 

Encrypted & Personal Devices

If you know that your computer has encrypted files on them, DO NOT PLUG THEM IN. We will let you know where to take the encrypted devices shortly. The triage center in the UGL is not open today.

DO NOT BRING YOUR PERSONAL COMPUTER TO CAMPUS AND PLUG IN to our network. You will be provided a HU computer for you to use as soon as possible. You will be prompted when this device is ready.

To safeguard for anyone having an encrypted desktop or laptop that is plugged in, we have disabled your local area network. Any devices like printers and VOIP phones will not work. We will open LANs later this week.
If your desktop or laptop do not have WiFI accessibility, you will not be able to access Howard University’s network at this time.

If you are working remotely, please follow instructions included within on accessing the University’s apps.

Instructions on How to Conduct Self-Service Password Reset

With the distribution of new devices, there is an increase in demand for password resets. To assist in streamlining our support process, we have created a new inbox ONLY for password reset requests:

Step 1. From your Desktop, visit

User typing into a web browser.

Step 2. Enter your Howard University email in the first field (triangular box) when prompted. In the second field (triangular box), enter the letter/number combination and click NEXT.

The Microsoft Office Password Reset page displaying a captcha.

Step 3. Select Forgot my password and click NEXT. 

A page that says "get back into your account".

Step 4. Select a contact method (Call or Text) you would like for your verification code to be sent, verify your contact number. Click Text or Call. The system will text/call you with a six-digit code to your confirmed contact number. You will then be prompted to enter your verification code and click next. 

Entering a contact method on the "get back into your account" page

Step 5. Enter your new 14-16 character password.

Entering a new password

Step 6. You have successfully reset your password! You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your password was changed and that it will take a few minutes before you are allowed to use your new password to log in to your email.  

Confirmation of password reset

Step 7. You will now be prompted to enter your new password to access your Outlook/O365 Account. 

Entering new password

How to access University email

On September 12, all Howard University users with email credentials were logged out of their email, and their accounts were disabled. There are various security measures that we are taking prior to sharing email credentials with any faculty, staff, or student. This process will require your utmost patience, as not everyone will be granted access simultaneously. We already know this self-service works, as the pilot test was successful. Please read the instructions below and take the steps outlined to reset your email.

If you attempt the steps and still do not have access to your email or are unsuccessful in getting into your email, please try the instructions in the next two hours. It simply means that we did not unblock your email as yet. We have 15,000 users to unblock, and we are doing so after verifying each user. We are not disclosing the order in which users will get access to not to alert potential bad actors of our plan for security reasons. We cannot provide desktop service to people who lock themselves out of their emails because they have forgotten their password at this time, but we will stand up for that service shortly. We aim to get everyone who can conduct a self-service to do so. That is our priority at this time, customers who can help us execute this strategy by walking themselves through the steps.

We recognize that everyone will not be able to do self-service successfully. Still, the plan calls for a prioritization effort to get the majority of our faculty, staff, and students up and running.

A few ETS security measures are below

  • No Howard University faculty, staff, student, or contractor will be given Howard University email access unless they sign up for two-factor authentication.
  • A prompt to enter your user credentials vary depending on your device and the page you are using to authenticate.

Instructions for students on how to conduct self-service to regain access to your emails (PC users)

STEP 1 – Register

Use your credentials to sign-in to to begin the simple process of activating Self-Service Password Reset.

  • Click on “Add Method,” and a drop-down box will appear.
  • Select “Phone” from the drop-down box and click “Add.” Type in your cell phone number and select if you would like to receive a text code or phone call. Click “Next.”
  • The system will send a six-digit code to your cell phone via your preferred method (text or call).
  • Input the six-digit code on the website and click “Next.”
  • You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your device was registered successfully.
  • Exit the webpage and go to Step 2.

STEP 2 – When You Need to Reset Your Password, Do it Online 24/7

After registering your University account, reset your password at the following link:

  • To get back into your account, enter your email address and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • You will be prompted to enter the cell phone number you registered in STEP 1 – select “Text” or “Call” and click “Next.”
  • The system will send a six-digit code to your cell phone via your preferred method (text or call).
  • Input the six-digit code on the website and click “Next.”
  • You will be prompted to input a new password. Once you have selected a strong password, click “Next.” (To learn more about creating a strong password, please view this video from the Cybersecurity Alliance.)
  • You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your password has been reset and an email confirmation.
  • You can now sign in using your new password.

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Instructions for students on how to conduct self-service to regain access to your emails (Mac users)

Use your credentials to sign-in to begin the simple process of activating Self-Service Password Reset.

  • Click "Forgot My Password."
  • add your credentials; enter the characters in the picture in the box provided; click "Next."
  • Click "I forgot my password"; click next.
  • Choose "text my mobile phone."
  • Type in your cell phone number. Click “Next.”
  • The system will send a six-digit code to your cell phone.
  • Input the six-digit code on the website and click “Next.”
  • You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your password was changed and that it will take a few minutes before you are allowed to use your new password to log in to your email.

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Update on University Wifi

The University’s WiFi is fully operational. We are limiting the number of WiFi options to HU WiFi and HU Guest only. HU Admin has been disabled.

At this time, all students, faculty, and staff who need access to WiFi should access WiFi via HU Guest. You will not need your Howard University credentials to do so.

Please do not use the HU Guest or HU WiFi to do streaming activities. At this time, the primary use of the University’s WiFI should be for academic learning.
HU-WiFi – Full access to HU WiFi will be available to all students at the appropriate time. We have not opened it up to all students at this time.

At this time, there is no need to call the Helpdesk if you cannot access HU-Wifi. We are aware that not everyone will have access to WiFi immediately. This is an intentional security strategy. As we give access to our users, we must do so as part of our authentication system to ensure access is only granted to Howard University faculty, staff, and students at this time. We will continue to work to ensure a phased rollout of WiFi access credentials.

Please be patient with us as we complete this task for the entire campus. This is a very significant undertaking, and we have pulled resources from our IT partners in order to complete this task.

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Accessing Applications


Login with these five quick steps:

1. Click "Azure SSO".

Blackboard login with an arrow pointing to "Azure SSO"

2.  Enter your full Howard University-issued email address.

Howard University login

3. Enter the corresponding password.

Howard University login password field

4. Complete the 2-step verification.

Microsoft two-step verification
Microsoft two-step verification

5. Enter code from phone or email and click verify.

Microsoft verification code entry field

Troubleshooting your Blackboard Login

Try the following tips to troubleshoot your Blackboard login:

1. Please clear your browser's cache before accessing Blackboard. Cached passwords will block the update from working. 
2. Access Blackboard via a new browser. This will help with ensuring the cache is clear from storing old passwords. 
3. Do not use your full email address as your username. You should use the first part of your network credentials before the @ symbol. As an example, an email address is, but the azure ID is Jamie.Doe.

For further assistance with accessing Blackboard, email


We have partnered with Okta to provide a new way to access Workday. Okta is an identity management system brought on to harden our security and access protocols with Workday. Okta will provide secure protection to your usernames and passwords. It will also provide a better experience for you. 

You should will receive a personalized email that will provide you with: 

  • A timed link to access the new Workday log-in page. The link will expire in seven days. You must complete this process in that time frame; otherwise, you will be locked out of the system.  
  • A new personalized username that will begin with “HF” (it will not be your email).
  • A new password which will be used to log in. Once you are logged in you will be able to change your password.
    • Once you have activated your account you will be able to change your password and Unlock your account when needed, directly from the Okta login page. 

Full instructions are below.

Workday Access Using Okta

First-Time Access: Password and Second Factor Setup Using Okta

Step 1: Copy/paste the following URL into your browser: 

Step 2: You will receive the Okta Login Screen as shown below. Enter your Username provided (beginning with HF) and temporary password provided by the Administrator.

Okta Howard login

Step 3: Set up the Second-Factor SMS Authentication, click on “Configure factor” as shown below.

Multifactor authentication setup

Step 4: Provide the US mobile phone number on which you want to receive the SMS authentication, then click on “Send Code”. This phone number will be used by Okta for sending all future SMS codes.

Phone number entry field

Step 5: Confirm the mobile phone number by entering the code from Okta verification text message received on your mobile phone. Then click on “Verify”. 

Verification code entry field

Step 6: Update the password with Howard compliant password. In the “Old password” field, enter the temporary password provided by your Administrator. Enter a new password using password policy displayed on screen (as shown below) and then click on “Change Password”.

Okta password reset field

Step 7: Complete Okta user registration by selecting the account recovery security question answers and select the log-in screen image (only if displayed – Okta may not ask you to elect an image during the first-time login). Click on “Create My Account” to complete the first time user setup. 

Password security questions and "create my account" button
Password security images

Step 8: Users should see “Workday” application icon in the Application section if you are setup with access to Workday. This is the Okta Landing page. Click on the Workday application icon to get seamless access to Workday application, without entering any more credentials. 

Okta landing page

Ongoing Login Steps

Copy/paste the following URL into your browser: to receive the Okta login screen below: 

Username and password fields

Click on the “Send Code” on the Multi-factor SMS screen. 

Send code button

Click on the SMS Code received from Okta and Click on “Verify”. You will be authenticated into Okta and taken to the Landing Page with Workday application icon. 

Verification code entry field
Okta landing page

Click on the Workday application icon to access the Workday application. 

Troubleshooting Workday

Some users will encounter the following error screen:

403 error screen

If you get this error, simply press the blue "go to homepage" button to be redirected to the login page.


To safeguard access to Banner, and as a security measure, information on how staff can access Banner will be shared privately via managers. You will be invited to a Zoom call being set up for 11:30 AM today, coordinated by Konya White, where you will be able to walk through the steps with a trainer.

Bison Web

For instructions and to log-in: 

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Troubleshooting the password reset

If you try to reset your password, and you are unsuccessful, please follow the steps below:

You will get a message that says “Your account or password is incorrect. If you don’t remember your password, reset it now.”

Click on “reset it now”.

You will see two boxes where you are prompted to enter your Howard University email address, then enter the captcha”. Enter the requested information then click next.

When you click next, you will come to a page that says “Get Back Into Your Account”. It asks “Why are you having trouble signing in?” and you see two choices:

  1. I forgot my password
  2. I know my password, but still can’t sign in.

For rapid access, click on option1. “I forgot my password”. You will get a message that says “get back into your account.”. You will be given two options to retrieve your password. The easiest is via a text to cell phone, but please feel free to enter an alternate email address to complete the verification process. If you chose the text option, enter your cell phone number. You will receive a code via phone. Place the code that you received via text into the rectangular box and follow the prompts.

When you are resetting your password, please choose a password that is 15 characters or more and one that has at least one capital letter, a number and a special character.

Throughout the day, this page will be updated very frequently with more refined instructions. Please check back regularly for updates.

What to do if you were unsuccessful using the steps outlined above:

Step 1. From your Desktop, visit and enter your Howard University email in the first field (triangular box) when prompted. In the second field (triangular box), enter the letter/number combination and click NEXT. A screenshot of the Password Reset page is shown below. 


If you are a laptop (PC device), your password should automatically sync with O365 apps. If you have an authenticator installed the authenticator will prompt you to follow the security questions. If the prompt says incorrect password, please discontinue self service. We will see your failed attempt from ETS, and we will be in touch with you via Desktop service to assist. 

If you do not have an authenticator app installed, you will receive a prompt to verify your account via a text message or an alternate email address.

For iPhone users: If you successfully log into your email via your desktop, then you try to sign in on your mobile phone via the Outlook app and your user credentials do not work, please log out of the app, then log in again, and enter your Howard University credentials when prompted.

The instructions for iPhone Users are below:

Step 1. Click on the Microsoft Outlook app icon on your phone:


Step 2. Once you have accessed your Outlook Inbox on the app, Click on your User Profile (for some users, your user profile has a photo to the top left of your screen. For others, it has your initials.)


Once you click on your profile,  click on the settings icon at the bottom left of the Outlook app.


After accessing settings, Click the Microsoft Office 365 option under the Mail Accounts heading.

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and click on “Reset Account”. You will be logged out and prompted to input your Howard University user credentials.

When you re-open your app, it should be up to date.


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Laptop Distribution

We have come to the point in the incident recovery strategy where we will be distributing laptops in an organized manner to our campus community. Please read this message in its entirety so that you clearly understand when it will be your turn to pick up a new laptop device or a newly re-imaged device.

  • Everyone on the campus cannot be served at the same time.
  • You will not receive a laptop if you visit ETS outside of the time that has been allotted to you.
  • ETS staff will be using a verification process to ensure that you are a Howard University employee, and it is your turn to visit the ETS center.

What is ETS currently doing?

  • We are distributing new laptops to faculty and staff who work in the buildings that are listed in the schedule below, at the time listed in the schedule.
  • We are swapping your old device for a new device or a re-imaged device. All devices being distributed today, Monday, September 20, are new laptops. 

Who should come to Wonder Plaza (2301 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC) today?

Faculty and staff working in the buildings below should come to Wonder Plaza on Monday, September 20, 2021 at the times noted below. 

  • All ETS (8:30-9:15 a.m.)
  • College of Dentistry (9:15-9:45 a.m.)
  • A-Building (9:15-9:45 a.m.)
  • The Carnegie Building (9:15-9:45 a.m.)
  • OUS (9:15–9:45 a.m.)
  • Medical arts (9:45–10 a.m.)
  • Student health (9:45-10 a.m.)
  • Service center (10 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Numa P.G. Adams West (10 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Seeley G. Mudd (1-2 p.m.)
  • Alain Locke Hall (1-2 p.m.) 

ETS will use the rest of the business day to monitor everyone who gains access to the network and troubleshoot this test set of employees. 

What should I do before I head down to the ETS building? 

  • Check to see if the building where you work is on the schedule for today for you to receive a Howard University-issued laptop.
  • Back up your local files to OneDrive and/or your external hard drive on your laptop or desktop. No files should be saved on your computer’s hard drive.

What should I bring with me to the ETS building? 


  • Please bring your Howard University-issued ID and a valid driver’s license. For today, we will only be servicing employees located in the buildings prioritized above.
  • You MUST bring your old laptop or desktop, along with the power cord, to ETS to receive a new device. If your device was compromised and you have already turned it in, we will clear your name and issue a device based on our information on the compromised list.
  • It does not matter whether you have encrypted files on your laptop/desktop or not. We are issuing new/re-imaged devices to faculty and staff who need a computer in order to carry out their roles at Howard University

What will ETS do with my old device?

If the Howard University-issued device is two years old or newer, ETS will keep your device, clean the device, re-image it, then redistribute it later and to someone else. All laptops and desktops, regardless of whether or not they show incidents of compromise, will be cleaned..

Be in the know: 

  • At the end of this exercise, no University employee will be able to place their own personal computer on Howard University’s network.
  • At the end of this exercise, only devices that Howard University issues will have access to the University’s network.
  • At the end of this exercise, employees who needed a Howard University-issued laptop to complete their day-to-day work, but did not have one, will be issued one.
  • Until your device is reimaged by ETS, you will not be able to access the Internal Howard University network, VPN or LAN uness we allow your computer to do so via granting access to the MAC address on the device. 
  • We apologize for the inconvenience that you may face as we complete the distribution process, but all measures being taken are being done to reduce the risk of a threat actor being able to compromise our network. 


    If I was off campus/remote or received this message after the allotted time, but I work in one of those three buildings, what should I do? 

    We will share a new time for you via an HU communication. All customers will be served. 

    My computer is new. Do I have to turn it in?

    Yes. You will need to turn it in so that we can re-image it. Our security posture is that we are not trusting any device that hasn’t been issued by ETS as of yesterday and beyond. 

    What if I do not know how to set up OneDrive?

    An ETS professional will help you to do so when you come to Wonder Plaza.

    What happens to the information on my old device?

    The expectation is that you have backed up your information to OneDrive and/or an external hard drive. If you have files saved on your old device, you will not be able to get them back. It is imperative that you save your files before turning in your old laptop/desktop to ETS and swapping it for a new laptop.

    What happens if I do not bring my old device down to the ETS building?

    You will NOT receive a new laptop and will NOT be able to access the Howard University network once we are fully restored.

    Will ETS set up my new device?

    Yes, ETS professionals will be present to assist you.

    Do I have to turn in my Apple computer?

    Yes, you must turn in your Apple or any other brand. 

    Will I be able to access the network with my new device?

    You will be able to access all cloud-based applications and the Howard University internet. Once we verify your identity, we will grant you the necessary permission to access the network.

    Is my device safe to use after I pick it up from ETS?

    Yes. Your device is safe to use after picking it up from ETS.

    Will the information on my old device automatically transfer to my new device?

    No, it will not automatically transfer. Each user MUST TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY to save their information on their own.

    If I have questions, who should I contact?

    Please send an email to

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