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Domain Names

Domain Names is a component of ISC's Network Names & Numbers service.

Domain Names

Schools, departments without a school affiliation, campus-wide computer services, and interdisciplinary groups are each eligible to request a 3rd level domain name. For more information on eligibility, please review either our domain names policy summary page or read the full University Policy

Domain names are familiar, easy to remember addresses that allow people to easily locate web pages, email addresses, and network equipment host names. Domain names are defined in a hierarchy called the Domain Name System (DNS). In this system, the most specific host information is listed at the start of a domain name, and the more general host information is located at the end.

For example, Penn’s School of Design maintains a 3rd level domain name: This domain name is considered 3rd level because it provides three pieces of information to a user.

design = school designation, 3rd level
upenn = educational institution designation, 2nd level
edu = base domain, 1st level

Domain names can include even more information, creating 4th and even 5th level domain names. ISC Technology Services registers and distributes domain name space via the Network Names & Numbers service. Higher level domain names are the responsibility of individual schools and other University organizations.

Before you submit a domain name request, please review the University’s Domain Name Policy.

Visit Support Center, navigate to the Networks & Connectivity category, and use the Third-Level Domain Request tile to order this service. Obtain approval from both your Business Administrator and your IT Director before submitting a request. In some cases, ISC will be unable to approve your request or will require revision prior to approval. Most requests can be processed within 3 business days. 

Domain Names Policy

In 2001 ISC’s Network Policy Committee recommended a Domain Name Policy which was approved by IT Roundtable and the Vice President of Information Systems and Computing. This policy defines domain naming requirements and limitations and provides a process by which new 3rd level domain names are approved. Below is a brief summary of the policy.

Policy Summary

One 3rd level domain name will be provided for each University organization existing within the following categories:

  •     Departments without a School Affiliation
  •     Schools
  •     Central University-wide Computing Services
  •     Institutes (serving more than one School)
  •     Joint Research Projects (within the University)
  •     Departments with an externally-visible computing service
Financial Implications

Each school and administrative department will be assigned one third level domain name at no cost. All other approved requests will be charged a one-time setup fee and a monthly maintenance fee. However, if a University organization requires more than one 3rd level domain name, that group will be charged an ongoing, yearly administrative and maintenance fee for each additional domain name.

Risk of Non-compliance

If a domain name request does not fall within the guidelines of the domain name policy, the request will be denied or can be delayed by the appeals process.