MATLAB Student - Frequently Asked Questions

Acceptable Student Use

Q. Who can buy and use MATLAB Student?

A. MATLAB Student and the Student Suite are for students only. Any student who is currently enrolled in a degree-granting institution, high school, or continuing education program is eligible to purchase these products. High school teachers can also purchase and use the software for teaching purposes.

Q. What are the acceptable uses for MATLAB Student?

A. MATLAB Student and the Student Suite can be used for course work as long as you are enrolled at a degree-granting institution, high school or continuing education program. Use in professional research conducted at universities and commercial use of student-use software is strictly prohibited.

Purchase and Download

Q. How do I download student-use software from

A. When you purchase the MATLAB Student, the Student Suite, or add-ons online through the MathWorks Store, you receive a confirmation email that contains the download link. You can also find the link in your MathWorks Account. If you have any issues with the download process, contact Customer Service.

Q. I am having trouble downloading student-use software. Can I request an alternative delivery method?

A. Contact Customer Service for more information.

Q. Can I purchase add-on products for a previous release of student-use software?

A. Yes.

Q. How do I request a DVD if I cannot download?

A. Contact Customer Service for more information. Additional shipping and handling charges may apply.

Activation Information

Q. What is activation?

A. Activation is a secure process that verifies licensed student users. This process validates the serial number and ensures that it is not used on more systems than allowed by the MathWorks Software License Agreement.

Q. Why does MathWorks require that students activate their licenses?

A. Product activation enables MathWorks to reduce unauthorized use and casual copying of MathWorks products.

Q. Who is required to activate their software?

A. All users of MATLAB Student and MATLAB and Simulink Student Suite are required to activate their software.

Q. What items are required to complete the activation process?

A. You need an email address and product serial number.

Q. Do I need to activate all my MATLAB and Simulink add-on products, including toolboxes and blocksets?

A. No. Add-on products work only on activated MATLAB student-use software. You only need to activate MATLAB Student or the Student Suite software. (Add-ons are incompatible with previous releases of student-use software and with the professional products.)

Q. Can I upgrade from older versions of student-use software?

A. Upgrades are not offered at this time. If you want to use the current release, you must purchase a copy and activate your software. You can install the current version on a machine with an older version. The older version will function properly, but may require the disc in the drive for startup.

Q. For how long is my student-use software activated?

A. Your software is activated indefinitely. After you graduate you will need to purchase a professional license.

Q. How do I move student-use software to a new machine?

A. The main page of your MathWorks Account lists your activated software. Click the Activate Another Machine link, and follow instructions. If the link does not appear, contact Customer Service for information on how to move a license to a new computer.

Activation Process

Q. How long will it take to activate my product?

A. Activation will take only a few minutes. If you have an Internet connection, you can install the software and temporarily activate it for up to 30 days. If your computer does not have Internet access, see instructions for off-network activation.)

Q. What does activation involve?

A. Activation requires you to complete these steps:

  1. Provide registration information by creating a MathWorks Account.
  2. Provide your serial number and the machine ID for the computer on which you install the software.

Q. What is the difference between registration and activation?

A. Activation refers to the entire process of validating legal use of the software, while registration refers to the part of the process that collects student information to associate with a particular serial number.

Q. Why do I need to create a MathWorks Account?

A. The MathWorks Software License Agreement states that each license may serve only one student. Information you provide in your MathWorks Account is used to ensure your serial number is associated only with you. Additional benefits of establishing a MathWorks Account include access to newsletters, ability to view and report bugs online, and the ability to purchase products online.

Q. How do I activate my software?

A. The quickest way to activate your software is to use the activation prompts that follow product installation. These prompts will guide you through the activation process. If you prefer, you can activate your software online.

Q. Where do I find my serial number?

A. Your serial number is a 20-digit number located either on the disk packaging, or in an email you received upon ordering. After you register your software you can view your serial number from your main account page.

Off-Network Activation

Note: The following questions are for students who want to activate their software on computers that do not have a direct Internet connection.

Q. How do I activate student-use software if I want to install it on a computer that doesn't have Internet access?

A. You can install on a computer that does not have Internet access, but you will need to activate on a separate machine with Internet access before you can use the software. First, install the software on the machine without Internet access and print out the Registration and Proof form during the installation process. This form contains your serial number and machine ID, which you will need during the activation process. To activate, use a machine that has an Internet connection. Go to the activation form to complete the activation process. Note: You do not need to provide Proof of Student Status during Activation.

Q. How can I find my machine ID?

A. You can find your machine ID in the registration form file at $MATLAB/student.html, where $MATLAB is the root MATLAB directory on your machine. To access this file, you must first install the software.

Getting Started with Student-Use Software

Q. What is the best way to learn how to use the software?

A. A variety of getting started materials are available for students.  For some good ideas,see resources for getting started.

Return Policy for Student-Use Software

Q. What is the policy for returning products from MathWorks?

A. It is possible to return products from MathWorks, if the terms below are followed.

Terms for Returns

Requests for returns must be made within 30 days of purchase from MathWorks. Products purchased from sources other than MathWorks, such as a local reseller, distributor, university, or bookstore, must be returned to the source from which they were purchased and are subject to that source’s return policies. To receive proper credit, all returns to MathWorks must be accompanied by a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number.

Exchanges for Defective Media

MathWorks warrants that physical media purchased directly from MathWorks shall be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of ninety (90) days from delivery, or MathWorks will replace the media at no cost. To exchange purchases from sources other than MathWorks, contact that source directly.

Requests for a RMA from MathWorks

If you purchased products directly from MathWorks, contact Customer Service . The representative will ask you to provide the following information: MathWorks order number and/or license number, product, and reason for return. You will receive an authorization number and instructions for the return. Packages returned to MathWorks without an RMA number will not be processed, and no credit will be issued.


Q. How does MathWorks ensure customer privacy?

A. We believe it is your right to know what information we collect, how we use it, and what your options are for its use. Read our full privacy policy for complete information.

Q. What information is transmitted during the activation process?

A. Information needed to verify eligibility to use student-use software is transmitted, including software serial number, machine ID, student name, e-mail address, school name, school location, student type and field of study.

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