Frequently Asked Questions

Will CUNYfirst affect me?
Yes. By the time all modules and applications are fully implemented every one of our students, faculty and staff will have access to CUNYfirst. All employees have access via self-service. They'll be able to view their personal information (address, phone number, etc.) and current listing of benefits and report to their local HR office if their data is incorrect.
What is the biggest difference between current systems and CUNYfirst?
The answer is right there - systems vs. system. Our current systems, which are numerous, operate to conduct all our business at CUNY. Very few of them interact with each other. CUNYfirst will integrate all our financial, HR and student processes so that data can be used instantaneous across departments and across the university.
Will we have both systems (old and new) up and running at the same time?
When we retired CUPS (City University Personnel System), it remained up temporarily in read-only mode until CUNYfirst HCM stabilized. When SIMS (Student Information Management System) is retired, it will be phased out the same way we did with CUPS.
Will I receive training on all CUNYfirst Processes?
No. In CUNYfirst everyone is assigned roles based on the work they do. Those are determined by managers and supervisors who are translating current work into CUNYfirst functions. When that has been determined, you will receive training to perform the exact tasks you need to do your job. No more, no less. If it is determined you need training on functions outside your role, your bosses will make sure you get it.
Can I have more than one role in CUNYfirst?
Yes. For example, let's say you are faculty chairperson. You will have access to CUNYfirst Student processes needed to do your job in your department. You may also have access to Human Resources processes in your role as someone who manages people or can hire new employees. You may also have access to Finance processes for purchasing material for your office or getting expenses reimbursed. Access to all functions with one sign-on in one integrated system.
How will I have access to CUNYfirst?
Everyone (faculty, staff and students) will be given an ID and an initial password to sign into the system. At the first sign on, you will be required to change your password to something familiar to you. You will then be asked to give answers to three security questions of your choice so you can get help if you forget your password. You will change your password many times in a given year to ensure the security requirement needed to protect this system.
I work in a job that doesn't require a computer. Does that mean I won't have access to CUNYfirst?
No. CUNYfirst can be accessed from anywhere via your favorite internet browser. There are specific requirements for which browsers can be used, but if you have a computer at home, you can sign on to look at your personnel information or, in the future, fill out a time sheet. Campus IT teams are making available computers at various locations at the colleges for those who don't use a computer in their day to day work.
I'm a student who is used to dealing with the bursar, financial aid and registrars offices. Will they all have access to my information?
Anyone who is given security access to assist students in their careers will be able to refer to a student's record and look at the same information. They could even look at the data at the same time, but only one person can update a student's record at a time. This will improve service as everyone will be on the same page - no more "he told me that and she told me this."
How will I be trained to use the system?
In a number of ways. If you have a job that will require you to have everyday access to the system, you will be trained in a classroom setting by your peers. CUNYfirst Training is based on a model called "Train the Trainer". Professionals from throughout CUNY learn how processes work, and train individuals how to do their work.
If I am a student at Brooklyn College, but teach as an adjunct at Medgar Evers College, does that mean I will have two ID's and have to remember two passwords?
Every person in the CUNYfirst system has one record. That means you will be identified in the system for all that you are to CUNY. This allows for your information to follow you wherever you go and should speed up new employee procedures if you move to a new job at another campus.
What else will CUNYfirst allow me to do?
Each student has an individual record in CUNYfirst, and only one record. For example, if you take classes at more than one CUNY college, your registration, financial and personal information will appear under your single student account for each college. If you transfer to another CUNY college, you will use your same username and password to access your student account, which will now include the new transfer college information.

Additionally, you can:

  • View your complete student record  
  • Download and print your unofficial transcript 
  • See your complete financial profile, including any financial aid in place for you. 
  • View your tuition and fee balance, and pay by credit card online. 
  • Receive live information streams and communications that let you easily stay connected.
What's the URL to login to CUNYfirst?
Which browser is recommended for CUNYfirst access?
Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox
How do I get access to CUNYfirst?
To claim your CUNYfirst account:
  • Go to
  • Click "First Time Users" line at bottom of page
  • Enter your first name, last name, date of birth, and last four digits of your social security number
  • Click, "OK"
  • Select your Challenge Questions and Answers (five security questions of your choice)
  • Choose a password Click "OK"
What are the password requirements for CUNYfirst?
  • At least 8 characters long.At least 1 uppercase letter AND at least 1 numeric OR one special character.
  • Can't use last 4 previous passwords
  • Can't be changed for 5 days after the last password change.
Does CUNYfirst work on Macs?
Is CUNYfirst available from home?
Where can I go for assistance?
For Technical Assistance contact the Help Desk for Faculty/Staff at 718-270-6262 or send an e-mail to
What is an EMPLID and why is it important?
EMPLID is a unique eight-digit personal identification number used in the CUNYfirst system used as a Student ID or Employee ID. It's important to record your eight-digit EMPLlD! From now on, it will be used to identify you in CUNYfirst and across campus.

Also, please make a note of your CUNYfirst username (which includes your first dot last name followed by the last two digits of your EMPLlD).
Can I use my personal email for CUNYfirst?
No. You are required to use your Medgar Evers College email account.
What will the Human Resource processes allow me to do?
A major feature of the CUNY ERP will be its self-service functions, allowing faculty and staff to view portions of their HR records, including a listing of current chosen benefits.
Will Research Foundation and Auxiliary employees be part of the CUNYfirst system?
If their work is such that they need access to CUNYfirst processes, then yes. If an RF employee manages CUNY or campus people, then they'll need access to the managerial functions in HR. Otherwise, they'll be part of a group of employees that have a tangential relationship to CUNYfirst, as they do now.
What are the processes under CUNYfirst?
There are three main areas at CUNY where new processes will be implemented - Finance, Human Resources and Student Administration.
  • Finance: General Ledger, Procurement (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Expenses), Planning and Budgeting, Accounts Receivable, Asset Management, Cash and Deal Management.
  • Human Resources: Base HR Processes, Base Benefit Processes, Recruitment, Time and Labor, Leave Management and Payroll (interfaces with NY State and NYC).
  • Student Administration: Academic Structure, Course Catalogue, Schedule of Classes, Student Financials, Student Records, Financial Aid and Admissions.
What is ELM?
The Enterprise Learning Management system contains the tools that help us schedule classes, validate learning, make class material available and provide on-line learning through the User Productivity Kits (UPK). Every employee has a profile in ELM. Through it a person can check available classes that fit their user profile, look up course material and information and take refresher courses. ELM also provides information for Application Security Liaisons that allows them to give permissions for users to access the processes they need to do their jobs.
Explain the UPK.
The User Productivity Kit is an on-line tool that takes a user through the processes step by step for all the CUNYfirst Processes. You can actually see, in video format, the process for doing specific functions in the software.
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