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Data & GIS Lab: Student Licenses

How to acquire an ArcGIS Student License

A. Before you install ArcGIS for Desktop

  1. Email the GIS Librarian from your UCSD email account OR complete the following ETS Form to get an authorization code.
  2. Check to make sure your computer meets the system requirements.


B. Activate your authorization code

  1. Visit to begin the process of activating and downloading your ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial software.
  2. Log in using your Existing Esri account, or sign-up for a new Esri account, if necessary.
  3. Enter the authorization code and click Activate ArcGIS.
  4. Download the desired version of ArcGIS 10.X for Desktop. (All UCSD Campus computers are currently on version 10.6.1)


C. Download and install ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial

  1. If necessary, download the ArcGIS Uninstall Utility and uninstall previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop or Server. The software cannot be installed on a computer that has a previous version of ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server installed. It's OK if the computer has ArcGIS Explorer installed.
  2. If necessary, install the Microsoft .NET Framework (version 3.5 Service Pack 1 or higher). If you are unsure if you have the .NetFramework installed, you can download a .net Version detector from the following site -
  3. Determine the location for the ArcGIS for Desktop software you wish to install and click the Download button. You can also download the Tutorial Data, if desired. (All UCSD Campus computers are currently on version 10.6.1)
  4. Double-click ArcGIS_Desktop_10XXXXXXX.exe (Depending on the version you selected, the file extensions may be different) to extract the installation files.
  5. Locate and run Setup.exe to install ArcGIS for Desktop. The “Complete” installation is recommended.
  6. After the files are installed, the Authorization Wizard will open and prompt you to choose a product to authorize; select “ArcGIS Desktop Advanced (Single Use)” and click continue.
  7. The Authorization Wizard will prompt you for an authorization code; enter your activation code. Follow the prompts and the software will authorize and be ready for use. Note: leave the default option for the software extensions selected; they will be authorized automatically.