Policy  |  Change  |  Check/Set  |  Life Span  |  Good  |  Problems, Expired

Password Policy

Engineering account passwords must include 2 numbers and 2 letters. In other respects our passwords meet the same rules as the Hawk ID passwords.


  • must be at least 9 characters long. We encourage a pass phrase of 15 or more characters.
  • must include 2 numbers and 2 letters. We encourage using at least one non-alphanumeric character.
  • cannot include any 4 consecutive characters of your engineering account ID or Hawk ID.
  • cannot match a previous password.
  • are valid for 365 days, but can be changed more often.

Elevated Privilege System Accounts

An account with elevated privileges has additional requirements: you must change the password at least every 180 days and the password must be at least 15 characters long.

Changing Your Password

If you are logged into a college-administered Windows computer, press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time and select Change Password. You must enter the current password and your new password twice. If you are logged in remotely, on a Linux workstation, or on a self-administered computer, go to the engineering password tool page to change your password.

You can change your password to reactivate your account even if your password has already expired; go to the password tool, and select Change passwords.

You can change your password using the Junos Pulse VPN.

If you forget your password, please bring your UI student/faculty/staff ID card to the Engineering Help Desk, 1253 SC, to have your password reset.

You use the same password to log in to Window and Linux.

Check or Set Your Password

Use the Engineering Account Password Checking Tool to verify that you know your Engineering account password. If you enter your password correctly but your account is locked or the password has expired, that information is returned.

Get your intial password.

Password Life Span

Passwords have a maximum life span of 365 days. You will get email from consultant@engineering.uiowa.edu before your password expires. The subject line of the email will be "Your password will expire in 14 [7, 1, 0] days." That email message suggests the best way to change your password depending on where you are logged in. See the Changing Your Password section above for information on changing your password.

If you forget your password, bring your ID to the Engineering Help Desk, 1253 SC, to request that your password be reset.

What Makes a Good Password

Passwords protect your account from unauthorized access. For this reason, ECS implements password restrictions in order to deter password cracking. Passwords rules are listed above. In addition, we recommend that your password contain at least one non-alphanumeric character and that it not contain any portion of your name or another person's name as a part of your password. Because longer passwords are more difficult to crack or to guess, we recommend using at pass phrase of 15 characters or longer.

In general, if part of your password is a proper name or a word that appears in an English dictionary, it is not a secure password. If you have a dog named Ace, mydog=ace
would not be a secure password.

Valid non-alphanumeric characters are
         ,  +  -  $  [  ]  *  &  ^  /  %  {  }  |  "  '  ?  <  >  _  :

Do not use the characters :  \   !   @   # [space]

Password Problems, Time Limits,  Expired Passwords

If you try to enter your password but do so incorrectly 15 times, your engineering account is locked for 5 minutes.

Your password is valid for 365 days. Two weeks prior to the date that your password will expire, you will begin to see reminder messages to change your password each time you log in. Once your password has expired, the next time you log in the system will prompt you to change your password. After changing it, you will need to log back in immediately with the new password.

Engineering Webmail Password Problem

The Engineering Webmail system is ONLY for legacy engineering e-mail accounts. In 2009 a decision was made to outsource e-mail services to HawkMail and no new engineering e-mail accounts have been created since. The only users of the engineering e-mail system are people who have accounts that pre-date 2009. Any person who's Engineering account post-dates 2009 will get a login error if they try to use the Engineering Webmail system. This is an expected result as those people do NOT have an engineering e-mail account. If you are certain that you have an engineering e-mail account and are having trouble logging in to the Engineering Webmail system see the above tips. If you are still unable to resolve your problem contact ECS user services.