Office 365 Admin Center

Become an admin in Office 365 Education

If your school is eligible for Microsoft Office 365, you can sign up on your own using your school-provided email address. Once you sign up, you can start using Office 365 for school projects. All of this can be done without an IT administrator setting things up. Your department, however, will eventually want an administrator to manage the service for everyone.

Follow these steps to become the Office 365 administrator for your school or department.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 using your school-provided email address.
  2. Select the app launcher icon in the upper-left and choose Admin.

    Admin tile used to become an admin

  3. Read the instructions on the Become the admin page and then choose Yes, I want to be the admin.

    Note:  If this option doesn’t appear, there is already an Office 365 administrator in place.

  4. Choose Verify and follow the steps to prove that you own or manage the domain name associated with the Office 365 service (see Verify your domain name).
  5. When you’re finished, sign in to Office 365 and choose Admin to open the admin center where you can manage the service.

Tip: Each Office 365 tenant has a domain name associated with it. By proving that you own or manage the domain name, you demonstrate that you have the authority to become your school or department’s Office 365 administrator.

How it works

For eligible schools, students and other individuals can sign up for Office 365 and start using it for school right away. All they need is their school-provided email address combined with a password they create. From there, they can install the latest version of Office on their PCs, Macs, or other devices and start creating professional-looking documents, share and collaborate in the cloud with OneDrive for Business, and much more. They can do this on their own and quickly become productive without waiting for a formal deployment process to be put in place by their department or school.

If the first person who signs up has an email address like ‘,’ the domain portion of that email address ‘’ will be used as their Office 365 domain name. All subsequent users with that same email address domain (say ‘’) will also be added to the same Office 365 environment and provided the same cloud services. Both individuals can use Office 365’s productivity toolset but they cannot administer the service. For example, they can’t purchase more licenses, add new users, or enforce policies on others.

The IT department can take over this environment at any time and manage the service as an administrator for them. To do so, sign up for Office 365 as others have using your school-provided email address (say ‘’). In Office 365 Settings, choose Become an admin. At that point, you’re asked to verify that you own or manage the domain name associated with theOffice 365 environment (‘’). The reason for this is that you must already have an authoritative IT role if you own or manage the school’s domain name. Once you verify this, you can promote yourself to the Office 365 admin role.

Check out the Admin Center for Enterprise

Office 365 Education for Students, Faculty and Staff: Tenant Management Guidance

As part of the initiative to make it easier for students, faculty and staff to work together using Office 365 tools, Microsoft enabled self-service sign up for students with email addresses from academic institutions. What this means is that for each email-enabled subdomain that is not associated to a primary tenant under IT management control, Microsoft has established a relationship with that student to provide Office 365 to them under the program agreement.

As part of that agreement there has been a tenant created that is associated to that email extension, and other students who sign up with the same email extension will be added to the same newly created tenant.

What does this mean for my school?

Based on customer feedback we have identified some benefits and potential concerns of the self-service sign up process associated with your school’s email enabled domains.


  • In this arrangement, the student, faculty or staff member agrees to a relationship directly with Microsoft, thereby creating no additional responsibility for the institution itself.
  • Password reset is managed via email verification by Microsoft.
  • Eligibility verification is managed by Microsoft and verified on an annual basis.
  • From a school’s perspective, students signing up for this offer is no different than using a school-provided email address for other online services.
  • Students who have signed up with the same email extension (e.g., will be in the same network and easily be able to share documents and collaborate with other students in their school.

Potential School Concerns

  • If the school has a long term initiative around tenant consolidation, student initiated tenants based on email enabled sub-domains may not be desired.
  • Some schools may have compliance concerns with student accounts created in a Microsoft managed environment. As stated in the program terms and conditions, Microsoft will investigate any customer complaints and may also deploy automated technologies to detect violations of the code of conduct governing the use of the services.
  • Limited school visibility into what students have signed up for the services, and usage of those services.
  • Potential concerns around FERPA compliance are addressed in the Program Technical FAQ.

As you evaluate what this means for your institution, keep in mind that there are viable alternatives to manage your users and still ensure they have access to the Office 365 ProPlus services that they received when they initially signed up. See below for additional details.

Next Steps

If you have decided that student self-service sign up is not appropriate for your institution and want to take steps to mitigate their use, following are some recommended next steps and links to additional resources.

  1. Assess what student initiated tenants mean for your institution.
  2. Join the student initiated tenant via self-service sign up using a valid email with the same email extension.
  3. Verify domain ownership via the gear in the top right, select Office 365 settings then “Become an admin” on the left hand menu, and click verify to confirm domain ownership.
  4. Block additional users from joining that tenant via the PowerShell scripts found in the Program Technical FAQ.
  5. Remove that email enabled sub-domain from that tenant. See the article Remove a domain.
  6. Log into your primary Office 365 tenant, and add the email enabled sub-domain to that tenant and add the users from the student led tenant to the primary school IT managed tenant.
  7. Determine migration path for student users who have joined the student led tenant:


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