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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.

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 eCAT (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.

Register ASAP, right after you get your Kerberos account, and be sure to register a backup device, in case your primary authentication device, usually your phone, goes missing. Learn more.

Step 3: Get certificates.

Certificates let you log on safely to MITnet and identifiy you and your computing devices to various websites. They expire every year in July.

Desktop: First you need to download the MIT Certificate Authority (MIT CA). Then you can download your personal certificate.

Mobile: Download your certificates.

Step 4: Get to know (and love!) your MIT email account.

Visit to begin using email and setting up your preferences. MIT uses your @mit email address to contact you about everything. However, you may forward your MIT email to another account.

Grads: In addition to your MIT Kerberos account, you may be assigned a departmental email address, e.g.,,, or This account is separate from your 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.

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.

Follow these instructions to register your device. If you connect wirelessly, simply log in to MIT SECURE with your Kerberos username and password.

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.

Barker 10-500
Hayden 14S-100
Landau 66-080

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!

Now that you’re up and running, discover all the services & resources that IS&T offers. See something that you'd like to add to the list? Drop us a line!