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 begin your classes

Shopping for a computer?
Take advantage of special student discounts: See which models/configurations IS&T recommends. Once you've decided on your computer, go to the vendor’s online education store in order to get the proper educational discounts applied to your purchase.

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: You will receive an email from inviting you to register for your MIT Kerberos account.

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 and 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 free mobile app.

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: Secure your devices, data, and identity.

Cyber criminals are always looking for ways to breach computers, even those 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 research paper the night before it’s due. Set up a data backup plan now and avoid a meltdown later.

When you're ready to start learning

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 software

As a student, you have access to a large volume of software that IS&T provides to you at no cost, including Windows, Office, antivirus programs, and math applications. Browse and download your software from IS&T's Software Grid.

Step 3: Get free services, too!

See all of the services and resources that IS&T has to offer.