Student Email Project - FAQs

The campus is undergoing a project to transition student email services from Gmail to Outlook email as part of the Microsoft 365 (M365) upgrade, the platform currently used by faculty and staff. We’re sure students have many questions about the transition, so we’ve tried to answer these questions here.

Table of Contents:

Information for Current Students

Information for Former Students

Information for Current Students

Why was the decision made to switch to Microsoft 365?

This decision was made for a couple of reasons. First, effective this year, Google is shifting from a no-cost, unlimited storage model for its educational licensees to a model that establishes quotas and includes charges

Second, faculty and staff have been using Microsoft 365 since 2016, so this emerged as the leading option to replace Google for students. Having all faculty, staff and students on a shared platform gives us an opportunity for a more-secure environment overall, better efficiency, and a way to introduce new tools and enhancements to the services that will benefit the entire organization. 

How will Microsoft 365 benefit students?

Having a shared email/calendar platform will have many benefits, not just for students but also for faculty and staff.

  • Sharing and Collaboration - having faculty on one platform (Microsoft) and students on another (Google) presents challenges when it comes to sharing and collaborating on files. Students using Google Docs often have to save their work in a different file format (PDF, Word) before submitting assignments. Collaborating on files between platforms was a tedious process, leading some faculty to create and use a personal Gmail account for their classes just so they could collaborate with students. Having a single platform will make for a much more seamless experience.   
  • Microsoft Teams - with the new learning management system (D2L Brightspace), Microsoft Teams will become the primary web conferencing tool used for online classes. Having faculty on one platform (Microsoft) and students on another (Google) presents challenges with using Teams because students are treated as "guests." Having a single platform will make for a much more seamless and efficient experience.  
  • Calendars - students often need to schedule appointments with their advisors, instructors or other campus personnel. Having two separate calendar platforms (Microsoft and Google) made this difficult to do. With a single calendar platform, this experience will be much more seamless and efficient.  

When will this switch to Microsoft 365 happen?

The plan is to have incoming students accepted for the fall 2023 semester on Microsoft 365 and to migrate current students from Gmail over to Microsoft 365 on May 22nd, 2023

Will I have a new email address?

Yes. Current students with Gmail accounts will receive a new email address when migrated to Microsoft 365. The new email address will be in the format of your Buffalo State username + For example, if current email address is, your new email address will be

What will happen to my existing email in Gmail? 

A one-time copy of student mailboxes from Gmail to Outlook will occur during the summer of 2023. This migration will be staggered, so mail in a student's Gmail Inbox may not appear in their Outlook Inbox right away. Optionally, students will also be able to transfer their contacts and transfer their calendar from Gmail to Outlook.

What will happen to mail sent to my old email address? 

If someone sends mail to your old address ( the message will be forwarded to your new Microsoft 365 address (

Will I still be able to access my Gmail account after my account is moved?

You will still be able to access your Gmail account for one full year after your account is moved to Microsoft 365 (until Monday, June 3rd, 2024). New email, however, will only be accessible from your Microsoft 365 account.  

How long can I keep my Microsoft 365 account when I graduate?

You will be able to access your Microsoft 365 account for approximately one full year after you leave Buffalo State. Access to your account will end after not being enrolled for two consecutive semesters (excluding summer and J-Term).

What password will I use to sign-in to Microsoft 365?

Good news!  Unlike your Google account, which requires a separate password, you'll be able to sign-in to your Microsoft 365 account using your network password (the same password you use to sign-in to most other campus systems). 

Will MFA be required to sign-in to Microsoft 365?

As part of the SUNY-wide initiative to protect student privacy and data, SUNY Buffalo State requires MFA for all faculty, staff and student accounts. Set up multi-factor authentication for network logins 

How do I access my email once the switch happens?

Students can access their e-mail from a web browser or by using the Outlook mobile or desktop app. On May 22nd, the "Student E-mail" link on the MyBuffState page will be updated as well.

How do I access my email on a mobile device?

We recommend downloading the official Microsoft Outlook app on your mobile device. Versions are available for all platforms (e.g. iOS, Android). 

What will happen to Google Classrooms?

Following the closure of Google accounts next summer, faculty in the School of Education who use Google Classroom will be able to request Google accounts for themselves and their class by submitting a ticket. Google accounts will only be accessible for the duration of the term requested.  

What if I have concerns about the switch?

We are actively listening and hearing the students’ concerns.  We are reviewing all the survey responses that we’ve received and we’re considering all possible options for making the transition as smooth and seamless as possible. As we move forward with this project, we would like to hear from you. Please consider completing this three-question survey to provide your feedback.

Information for Former Students

Will I lose access to Gmail for life with this switch to Microsoft 365?

Unfortunately, due to Google's new license model, former students will no longer be able to keep their Buffalo State email address indefinitely when they graduate. Google accounts will be deleted on Monday, June 3rd, 2024

Can I transfer my email and Google Drive files to a personal Gmail account?

Google allows students to transfer the contents of their mailbox and Google Drive to a personal Gmail account. Instructions can be found here. Optionally, students can also transfer their contacts and transfer their calendar from Gmail to another account.

Can I request a Gmail account through the Alumni Office?

Former students who want to keep an email account affiliated with the university can request a "lifetime" alumni email account through Alumni Office by completing this form. This will be a brand new email address ending in  

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Article ID: 142895
Mon 4/25/22 10:38 AM
Thu 2/1/24 1:21 PM

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