Free Software

UBC IT and Applied Science are able to provide a variety of software programs at a discounted rate or free of charge to the user community by leveraging large volume purchases and vendor offerings. Some of the selected software that are available to Applied Science students are included below.

Additional software is available through the UBC IT Software Licensing Catalog.


Students can now download MATLAB for free as part of UBC’s campus license. MathWorks MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing. It integrates computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation. This is a powerful and popular software package with many cross-disciplinary uses.

For more information, such as what toolboxes are available, please see UBC IT MATLAB service catalog page.

Obtaining MATLAB

  1. Create a new MathWorks account or use your existing MathWorks account.
  2. Install and Activate MATLAB


Students encountering difficulty with this service offering should contact the UBC IT Service Centre for assistance.



SOLIDWORKS is a 3D CAD Design and analysis software, and a solid modeler that utilizes a parameteric feature based approach to create models and assemblies. The software is available in most Engineering computer labs and Student Engineering Kit (SEK) are available via our license agreement for your personal device. SOLIDWORKS is available for Windows operating systems only. All Applied Science students are eligible to obtain SEK at no cost. The SEK versions of SOLIDWORKS are for educational and classroom use only.

Questions and Support

UBC Vancouver students should direct general inquiries about software eligibility and obtaining this software to the IT Help Desk. UBC Okanagan students not enrolled in a UBC Vancouver Applied Science course section in the current semester must contact their instructor. Instructions and general support related to student installation are provided directly on the vendor site at You can obtain installation instructions, submit a support request, check the knowledge base, any many other useful tasks.


For more information about what features are available in the SEK version of SOLIDWORKS, please see the following feature list provided by the vendor. The network version is available in most Engineering Computer labs and its features are identical to the SEK license. You may also compare the differences in the SDK version as well to decide between the SDK and SEK. If SOLIDWORKS is required for an assignment, ensure you are following the directions of your instructor for installation and use.


You will need to obtain the SEK-ID and serial number via

More information is available about obtaining and installing SOLIDWORKS SEK.

Office 365

All active UBC students with a valid CWL account now qualify for a free Office 365 subscription, which includes free downloads of: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. Students running Windows can also install Publisher and Access. The software lasts for one year after the initial download and can be installed on up to five devices including iPad/iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. To find out how to access the software, follow this link:


UBC also offers a free license in Sophos Anti-Virus software to all its active user community. To find out how to access it, follow this link:


UBC Applied Science has a site license for an engineering simulation & design package called ANSYS. More information about what ANSYS is can be found from the vendor's website. To obtain ANSYS, please visit the IT@APSC / ANSYS website for further details.