Information, Technology & Consulting

Password Rules and Recommendations


REMEMBER! If your browser saves your history and passwords, clear your cache and update/clear saved passwords in your browser's preferences/history windows.


Your Dartmouth password must conform to certain rules in order to be accepted as a valid password. If your current password does not conform to these rules, you should change your password to one that does.

Passwords must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 8 characters (some systems may not like long passwords more than 9 characters).
  • Must contain at least one of the following special characters ! # $ % ^ * _ (do NOT use any other characters or you will have trouble logging in to some systems).
  • The last two characters can only be letters or numbers.
  • We recommend not starting the password with a special character.

A good password will contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, at least one number and one special character.


Acceptable password construct: Apple$g0 or a$ppLeg0 (note location of the special character $)

Unacceptable password construct: Appleg0$ or Appleg$0 (note use of special character but in wrong position) or apple2go (note lack of special character)

The use of a special character in any position other than the last two creates a strong password that is difficult to crack (in excess of 30 days of computer time to crack a single password). Likewise, passwords constructed in this manner are difficult to guess (but tough to remember), especially if you select random letters and numbers. The best choice is to pick two words or abbreviations that have nothing in common and join them with one of the special characters. For example, shoe%lye (the words "shoe" and "lye" are totally unrelated, thus hard to guess, but easy for you to remember).


Banner Job Submission Users, will not be able to submit jobs if their passwords contain any of these special characters, @ $ & " ( ) , < > ` ; = # space.

Banner, and possibly some other systems do not allow the special character in the first position or two or more special characters in a row.

FAMIS Job Submission Users will not be able to login successfully if their password contains @ sign.  That character is used to redirect the database connection and will cause an error.

If you need password assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk (Help Desk) at 603-646-2999 or send an email to Help.

Email, Communication and Collaboration
Dartmouth Accounts
Last updated: 
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

If you have questions or need further information, contact your department's IT support office, or contact the IT Service Desk via email at [email protected], via phone at 603-646-2999 or walk in to see them in Baker/Berry 178J.

Information, Technology & Consulting