You’ll have a lot on your mind as a new student. Don't let tech-related questions overwhelm you! Follow these steps and you'll be up and running in no time. Get a head start on your MIT experience: Take our Onboarding tutorial for new students to learn more about computing at MIT.
Before you arrive on campus
Shopping for a computer?
Take advantage of special student discounts: See which models/configurations IS&T recommends and buy your favorite one via the Buy2Pay (B2P) (MIT certificates required -- see below).
Step 1: Access all things Internet: Get your MIT Kerberos account.
Your Kerberos account opens the gateway to a wide variety of MIT services and resources, including your MIT email, your records, linked computing clusters, printing services, and much more. It also gets you great discounts on educational technology.
Undergrads: When you enrolled, you received your MIT ID and registered for your MIT Kerberos account.
Grads: Register for an MIT Kerberos user account or follow the directions you received from your department.
Step 2: Stay secure with 2-factor authentication.
Duo two-factor authentication is required in order to access all secure websites at MIT. It works by combining both an initial login & a secondary approval of the login on a separate device like your mobile phone or a YubiKey.
Certificates let you log on safely to MITnet and identifiy you and your computing devices to various websites. They expire every year in July.
Mobile: Download your certificates.
Step 4: Get to know (and love!) your MIT email account.
Grads: In addition to your MIT Kerberos account, you may be assigned a departmental email address, e.g., @sloan.mit.edu, @math.mit.edu, or @csail.mit.edu. This account is separate from your @mit.edu account. Contact your department for more information.
Step 5: Get MIT’s mobile app. It's free!
MIT’s mobile app includes an interactive campus map, shuttle schedule, people directory, and more.
Make sure to sign up for MIT Alert, and program in the phone number for the Campus Police (617-253-1212). This is important: do it right now.
- Already have a device? Find out if MIT supports it and how to set it up to use on campus.
- Shopping for a new one? You may be able to save some $$. If you’re shopping for a new cell plan or thinking of re-upping with your current carrier, check out our discounts on cellular plans.
Step 6: Keep the hackers at bay: Secure your devices, data, and identity.
Cyber criminals are constantly looking for ways to breach computers, even those here at MIT. Protect yourself from cyber attacks by taking the necessary steps.
Step 7: Back up your data.
Don’t wait for a hard drive crash or software glitch to ruin your 50-page research paper the night before it’s due. Set up a data back up plan now and avoid a meltdown later.
When you're on campus
Step 1: Connect to MIT's network: MITnet.
Step 2: Get FREE software!
As a student, you have access to a large volume of software, including Windows, Office, antivirus programs, and math applications. Browse and download your software from IS&T's Software Grid.
Step 3: Locate computer labs and printers.
There are over a dozen Athena Clusters scattered throughout the campus, even in residence halls. Feel free to take full advantage of the clusters. They're designed to make computing for you and your fellow students convenient and collaborative.
Find your favorite. Catch them all!
Step 4: Get FREE services, too!