Incoming students: Get useful applications and services
July 25, 2022
Phil Johnson
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A young man wearing a mask sitting on a stone bench in front of windows with an open laptop.
Image: Gretchen Ertl

Learn how to be digitally secure at MIT in our previous article Secure your account, devices, and data.

As an MIT student, you have access to an array of applications and cloud-based services at no additional cost during your time at the Institute. Once you have a Kerberos account and an MIT certificate, you can download or access anything that’s licensed for use by students on the Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) software grid. You can begin using most offerings right now, though please note that some apps and services are not available to incoming students until after registration.

In addition to security-related tools, here are some of the most popular and useful applications and cloud services MIT provides to its students.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. This suite of applications provides the tools you need to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, manage information, and collaborate with others.

Cloud storage

MIT students have access to a number of different cloud-based options for storing and sharing files, including Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Workspaces. The amount of storage you get on these platforms as an MIT student is significantly greater than what is made available to the general public without a paid subscription. This Knowledge Base (KB) article has all the details.

Collaboration tools

MIT has licensed several online collaboration platforms which are available to students, including Zoom, Slack, Webex, and Microsoft Teams (available through MIT’s subscription to Office 365) with the Institute’s enterprise licenses for Zoom and Slack providing functionality beyond what the non-subscription versions of these tools offer. All of these platforms support collaboration through video, audio, and text chats, as well as file sharing, and are available for use on desktop and mobile devices.

A number of other collaboration tools are licensed for your use, including Panopto, a secure cloud video platform, and Explain Everything, a digital whiteboard app.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a suite of graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography applications. Through MIT’s license, students have access to tools such as Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, and others. This KB article explains how to access Adobe Creative Cloud using your Kerberos credentials.

Virtual Athena Desktop

Athena is an academic computing environment provided by MIT which provides community members with access to commonly used software utilities, lockers, and Pharos printers.

The Virtual Athena Desktop service offers students a graphical user interface to the Athena environment, allowing you to access pre-configured virtual labs that contain course-specific software. The KB has information and instructions for using MIT’s Virtual Desktop infrastructure.


GitHub lets you share application code, so you can easily collaborate on projects with your peers at MIT. Visit to set up an account.


SOLIDWORKS is solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) software that runs on Microsoft Windows. The KB has more information on using SOLIDWORKS, including installation instructions for students.


MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment used for machine learning, signal processing, image processing, computer vision, communications, computational finance, control design, robotics, and more. MathWorks’ MATLAB page has more information.

Drupal Cloud

IS&T’s Drupal Cloud service lets you create and manage website content. You don’t need HTML experience to build a professional-looking website, for yourself or for MIT groups, including student clubs and activities. Visit to get started, or check out your other options for building websites at MIT.

Much more to explore

Review all the offerings available to you as an MIT student by visiting IS&T’s software grid and service catalog.

If you have any questions about these services, or anything IT-related at the Institute, you can contact IS&T’s Service Desk for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also be sure to follow IS&T on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to get important news and updates about IT services at MIT.

Learn about how to get ready for your life on the MIT campus in our next article Prepare for life on campus.