SEAS Matlab License Information

Where can I use Matlab?
Matlab Toolboxes
Open Source Alternative to Matlab
Eligibility Requirements
Request a Quote
SEAS Student License

Where can I use Matlab?

Matlab is available in the CETS-managed computer labs, Moore 100 (A, B & C), Towne M66, and Towne M70. Matlab is also available in the Virtual PC lab. SEAS students are eligible for the Student Matlab License. Other students can purchase a student license at the Computer Connection for $99. The purchased version includes all of the toolboxes that are available in the SEAS license, used in CETS labs and the SEAS Student Matlab License.

Matlab Toolboxes

Here is a list of the toolboxes that comes with our Matlab license. Important Note: The Data Acquisition Toolbox is only available in a 32-bit Windows version.

Open Source Alternatives to Matlab

  • GNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides capabilities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems, and for performing other numerical experiments. It also provides extensive graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation. Octave is normally used through its interactive command line interface, but it can also be used to write non-interactive programs. The Octave language is quite similar to Matlab so that most programs are easily portable. Octave is already installed on CETS-managed Linux systems.
  • For an online open source alternative to Matlab, try

Eligibility Requirements

Licenses are available for purchase from CETS. These are the eligibility requirements:

  • Faculty and staff researchers can purchase licenses for their research group or research assistants. A Penn budget code is required to purchase licenses. We do not accept or process Purchase Orders or any other form of payment.
  • SEAS has two types of Matlab licenses available for research users to purchase: a standalone license and a networked license. Either license will work with Windows, Unix/Linux, or Mac.
  • The standalone license runs the license server software directly on your machine. This type of license is recommended if you are using a laptop or other computer that might not always be connected to the network when you want to use the software. With standalone licenses it is also possible to run several copies of Matlab with one standalone license which may suit end users with parallel jobs better than network licenses. Licenses must be purchased for each machine where you want to run Matlab.
  • The networked license is served from a license server run by CETS. This option allows you to share a number of licenses with a larger number of people or computers. Matlab automatically checks the licenses out and back in, and our networked server keeps track of how many licenses are available. Networked licenses are also convenient because they work with any version of Matlab without having to generate a new license file.
  • With either type of license, you are essentially renting a part of the license from CETS. Therefore, you must renew this license annually. Since the cost of Matlab is shared among all of the license users, and the price Mathworks charges us changes over time, the prices to rent this license will likely change every year. These prices cover software updates upon request, and installation help for machines with common configurations. There may be additional service charges for license changes mid-year, or consulting/troubleshooting requests.
  • This license covers academic research only. Matlab may be subject to export restrictions. Review the license before use for commercially funded research, external consulting or international travel. All Matlab users are responsible to use this software in accordance with the license restrictions.

Request a Quote

If you would like a quote for Matlab, please email cets@seas with the following information:

  1. License duration: 1 year, September 1 through August 31.
    The school purchases all licenses for a yearly term that starts and ends September 1st. Our cost is the same whether you purchase the license September 1st or August 15th.
  2. Number of licenses required (@ $150 per license):
  3. Operating System type (Linux/Mac/Windows):
  4. Type of licenses required (standalone or floating/concurrent/networked):
  5. HostID (MAC/Hardware/Ethernet Address) of each workstation requiring a standalone license (instructions for finding your hardware address):
  6. Hostnames of workstations needing to accessing floating licenses (case sensitive), use command "hostname" in command line interface on any software platform:
  7. Will you have access to the internet on the computer that requires Matlab in order to download the Matlab installer? If not, you will you need to borrow the install media for the current version from the CETS Office in GRW-164 under the condition that you return the software immediately after your installation is complete):
  8. Primary contact (eligible faculty contact):
  9. Technical contact (TA or research assistant performing the installation):
  10. A valid Penn budget to charge for the licenses:

Please check the Mathworks web site for complete Matlab system requirements.

SEAS Student Matlab License

As of Spring 2014, SEAS offers free Matlab licenses to all currently enrolled SEAS students. The restrictions on the Student License include:

  • The software may only be used for academic coursework and research. No commercial research is permitted.

Students can view setup and configuration information on the SEAS Matlab Student License page. Note: You will need to log in with your PennKey to view this information. Only students eligible to use the SEAS Student License will be able to view the installation instructions.