CUNYfirst Employee Self Service & Claiming Your Account

March 2011

In case you haven’t heard, CUNYfirst is the modern, integrated system being implemented throughout the University.  All CUNY employees have access to their personal information through Employee Self Service (ESS).  With ESS, you will be able to view, and in some cases, update your personal information through the system.  ESS will also replace many paper human resource processes with online ones.  However, some processes that require the submission of supporting documents and validation by HR staff will remain and will happen outside the CUNYfirst system (i.e. changes to name, marital status; updates to academic and professional credentials).

To access your information, you must claim/activate your CUNYfirst account.  Here is a link to an online learning demonstration narrated by Ms. Theresa Brown-Jackson that shows you how to claim/activate your account, and login to the CUNYfirst Portal after account activation.  This demonstration lasts for approximately seven minutes.  To hear the instructions, be sure to turn on your computer’s speakers and ensure that the audio/volume control feature is not on mute.  To launch the online demonstration, click the following link, or copy and paste it into your internet browser.

Feel free to email Central Office Human Resources at CUNYFirst with any CUNYfirst access questions, or to inform us of data discrepancies.

Step-by-step instructions are provided below as a desk reference tool.  Follow these steps to active your account.

  1. Type in your Internet Browser’s address field
  2. Click “First time users”
  3. Enter the following required information:
    1. First Name
    2. Last Name
    3. Date of Birth (D.O.B. = MM/DD/YYYY)
    4. Last four (4) digits of you Social Security Number (SS#)
  4. Click “OK”
  5. Select and answer five (5) Challenge Questions.  They are security questions and answers that will be used to reset your password in the future.
  6. Create and enter a password.  It must meet the following requirements of the password policy:
    1. Be at least eight (8) characters long;
    2. Contain at least one uppercase letter AND one numeric character OR one special character;
  7. Re-enter the same password to confirm it
  8. Click “OK”

If you have successfully activated your account, you will receive an on-screen confirmation that says “User Activation Completed Successfully” and includes your Username and Employee ID (EMPLID).  Thereafter, you may login to CUNYfirst to view your personal information.  Your Username OR Employee ID (EMPLID), AND the challenge questions and answers will be required to reset your password every 90 days and if you forget it.  Be sure to record and protect your login and challenge information. 

Follow these steps to login to the CUNYfirst Portal:

  1. Type:
  2. Type your Username and Password
  3. Hit “Enter” on your keyboard OR use your mouse to click the round blue circle with the white arrows
  4. Click “HR/Campus Solutions”
  5. Click “Self Service”

From here, you will be able to select various information panels to review, particularly Personal Information (and related categories), Job Information, and Payroll and Compensation.