UCSC Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

What is Multi-Factor Authentication and Why Do We Need it?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), also known as two-step or 2-factor authentication, adds a second layer of protection to your UCSC account in addition to your username and password. This extra layer prevents anyone but you from logging in to your account, even if they know your password. A common example would be a verification code sent via text to your cell phone when you try to log on, which you then have to enter before access is granted.

Implementing MFA at UCSC will allow us to begin to adopt the best practice of giving you one user ID and one password for all campus systems. This practice greatly enhances our ability to protect your accounts and your data.

What's Changing?

UCSC is taking meaningful action to help students, faculty, and staff safeguard themselves against cybercrime. By October 2019, Multi-Factor Authentication will become mandatory for key UCSC services using the CruzID Gold password login. These include but are not limited to UCPath, MyUCSC, Canvas, and CruzPay. Once UCSC Google Apps move to Gold password (summer 2019), MFA will be required for Google login. 

Read VCIT Van Williams' Message to Campus  

When will the requirement begin?

ITS will begin a phased MFA roll-out over nine months beginning February 2019. You will receive advance notice on how and when to enroll in MFA and training opportunities before it becomes a campus requirement. We will also offer additional support and training for staff who do not normally use a computer. 


  • Pilot Program (early adopters) - Feb 4
  • All staff at the Scotts Valley Center - March 4-March 31
  • Anyone can sign up to use MFA - Starting March 4
  • All faculty & emeriti - April 2-May 21
  • All staff - May 21-July 29
  • All sundry & retirees - Aug 13-Sept 10
  • All students - Sept 3-Oct 21

Authentication Methods and Device Overview

Based on your preferences and device availability, there are several convenient device and authentication methods to use with MFA. Visit the  Device Overview for additional information on each device and authentication method.

Instructions for Enrolling and using each method can be found in the Authentication Quick Guide.

In-Person Support

MFA in-person support sessions will help you through the MFA set-up process, explain how to use the Duo authentication application, and address your questions. See schedule of sessions


If you have questions about MFA, please contact the ITS Support Center