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Matlab - Student Version (no cost)



OIT is in negotiations to renew campus licensing for Matlab.

The Matlab salesperson is working on an extension for students. There is nothing for students to do.


Matlab is available for students to install on personally-owned laptops. This includes both Undergraduate and Graduate students.

The Student version of Matlab cannot be installed on any faculty computer or any computer that is UC-owned including research and computer labs.

The student version cannot be used by Instructors. Talk to your Department about purchasing a license for instruction.
  • Contact OIT ( to obtain a network or standalone license on a faculty, researcher, or UC-owned computer
  • Please see OIT's Matlab page for purchase information
The Matlab Student license allows students to install MathWorks software on personally-owned computers. The campus student license was paid for using funds from student E-Tech fees.

Matlab license expires annually and there is no renewal process. To continue using Matlab, uninstall it and then download and install the current version or deactivate & reactivate.

Students: Download the Installer

1. Create a MathWorks Account using your @UCI.EDU university email address.

2. Save the Activation Key located here.  This key associates your Mathworks account with UC Irvine.
    • Note:  You must use your UCI Google Apps account to view the Activation Key.
    1. NOTE: We will ignore all "Request Access" messages
    2. If you see the "You Need Permission" message it means you are NOT logged in with your UCI Google Apps account.
    3. View instructions on how to switch between Gmail accounts.
    4. OIT provides UCI Google apps support:
    5. If you continue to have problems, contact Lisa Preble,
3. Go to the License Center

4. Click Add License in the upper right hand corner.

5.Choose Associate by Activation Key and click Continue.

6.Use the Activation Key you retrieved in step 2

8. Choose the version for your computer

9.If above link does not work, you'll see a link to "Download Products" in the right-hand middle of:

10.Click the download button for the current release.

11. Click the installer button to download the installer.

Students: Install and Activate

1)  Locate the installer you downloaded in a file browser. It should be located in the default download location, unless you specified another location. 
The name of the installer file is (where <release> represents the release number):
  • Windows: matlab_<release>_win64.exe
  • Mac OS X: matlab_<release>

2)  Start the installer:
  • Windows
    • Double-click the installer file you downloaded in the previous step. 
    • The Windows Self-Extractor runs, and then the installer starts.
  • Mac OS X
    • Double-click the installer file you downloaded in the previous step. 
    • This action extracts the files and creates another folder called
      • matlab_<release>_maci64
      • where <release> represents the release number. 
    • Inside this folder, double-clik
      • installForMacOSX to start the installer.

3)    Now activate your installed version of Matlab. You must be connected to the internet throughout the installation.
  •     In the MathWorks installer, select Log in with a MathWorks Account and follow the online instructions

4)    Agree to the terms of the license agreement.

5)    Log in to your MathWorks Account with the account you created earlier.

6)    Click select a license and make sure it the right license you want associated with MatLab. For the student license it would be License 980328.

7)    Now choose where you want MatLab to be installed. It will default to the drive your operating system is on, which works as long as there's space.

8)    If this window pops up because you didn't specify a specific folder, use their recommendation.

9)    Select the products you want installed, typically you'll install all the default checked ones so just leave it as is.

10)    Select if you want the shortcut icon to be on your desktop or Start menu.
    • Confirm installation by clicking install

11)    Wait for the long installation. It might take up to 30 minutes.
    • When prompted, check that the box is ticked for Activate Matlab. Then click Next until you reach "Windows User Name:" field.

12)    MatLab will by default fill the field with the name of the Windows account that is currently using the computer. Don't change this field or MatLab won't launch correctly. Click Next.

13)    Now you've reached the confirmation page. Click confirm.

14)    Finally! Click Finish and MatLab is now officially installed.


The following toolboxes are included:
  • Simulink
  • Bioinformatics Toolbox
  • Control System Toolbox
  • Curve Fitting Toolbox
  • DSP System Toolbox
  • Data Acquisition Toolbox
  • Image Acquisition Toolbox
  • Image Processing Toolbox
  • Instrument Control Toolbox
  • Optimization Toolbox
  • Parallel Computing Toolbox
  • Signal Processing Toolbox
  • SimMechanics
  • Simscape
  • Simulink Control Design
  • Stateflow
  • Statistics Toolbox
  • Symbolic Math Toolbox

Matlab Resources

Using Matlab for the first time

Frequently asked questions

Q. When I open the installer my File Installation Key does not work.

A. Make sure that when you are prompted to either log in with a MathWorks Account or Use a File Installation Key, choose to sign in with your MathWorks Account.

Q. My Matlab expired, what do I do?

Matlab expires annually and requires either an un-installation / re-installation or deactivation / activation (easiest).  Choose the un-installation / installation option if you want to upgrade to the latest version. For convenience, the deactivation / activation option is the easier choice.

To Deactivation / Activate:

You can just simply deactivate your license from  the “HELP” button on the Matlab and choose “Deactivate”.

After that, you can open the Matlab again and it asked you to enter the account info. You can assign a new key to your Matlab. That is just my experience, I don’t know if it works on others computer.

Q. How do I add a toolbox package I need?

A. For the Student version (available on this webpage), students are not allowed to purchase or add any additional toolboxes. Furthermore, we cannot purchase individual toolboxes for single users. Thirdly, users cannot add toolboxes even at their own expense to the UCI student version of Matlab.

Here are your options if you need a particular toolbox not offered with the Student Mablab software:

    1)  Your options are to uninstall the UCI Matlab student version and then purchase the student version at the Mathworks website for $99 and then add your toolbox during the purchase.
Mathworks Student Version


You can use the research version available from OIT. However, you need a KFS account number obtained from your PI or purchasing office. Unfortunately this option is not available to most undergrad students.

OIT Matlab information:

From there follow the link and log into "" with your UCINetID and click Research Software, then Matlab for Faculty and Staff.

On this page you’ll see the purchase form and pricing, $100 annually for the network license. This is what most UCI Campus researchers use. From off campus or using UCI Wi-Fi you would use UCI VPN to get a license.

Q. What operating systems is matlab available for?

A. Windows 32 and 64 bit, Mac OS 64 bit, and Linux 64 bit

Q. How do I re install matlab on my computer if I had to re install my operating system, etc.?

A. 1. Log into your Mathworks account here.

2. You should then reach the page shown below. Click View my licenses

3. Click Activation and Installation and then Click on the activation label from the last time you installed matlab. 

4. The label should expand. Click Deactivate

5. The following window should pop up. Click Deactivate

6. You should get a message stating the deactivation was successful. Now you can repeat the installation onto your computer.