Dartmouth College has a campus-wide site license for MATLAB from MathWorks. This site licence permits students, faculty, and staff to install MATLAB on their own personal and Dartmouth/Thayer owned computers. This is a stand-alone license and does not require a connection to the Dartmouth network to run.

Installing MATLAB on your own computer

Download from Dartmouth (Caligari)

MATLAB is available for download at

Please make sure to read all the way through the Dartmouth-specific install instructions. As part of the installation you will be required to create a Mathworks account (if you do not already have one), and copy in the proper activation code.

Download From Mathworks

Dartmouth's Site Wide License allows for directly downloading from

  1. Go to and click on "Create Account"
  2. Use your Dartmouth Email address ("")
  3. For "How will you use MathWorks Software", choose "Academic use (including campus/site license)"
  4. Submit
  5. If not logged in, log into your Account.  Go to the "Get Licensed Products and Updates"
  6. Select the Version you want to download
  7. Run the supplied download Agent

Using on Thayer Virtual Lab (Mac and Windows)

Install by instructions for   Virtual Computer Lab

Connect and run!

Installation bug on Mac

If you are trying to install MATLAB on your Apple computer, the installer may appear to be broken i.e. you click the InstallForMac icon but nothing happens. This is a known bug, but you can get around it by doing the following:

- Right click (Ctrl+click) on the installer icon and choose "Show Package Contents"

- Click into the MacOS folder and double click the Install for Mac file

This will open up a Terminal window/process that you should keep open in the background until you are done installing. The installation walkthrough GUI should now open and you can proceed. 

Updating your License/Activation Code

Mathworks will ask you to renew your MATLAB license annually. To find the most current Site License for your version of MATLAB, go to and click Site License Download below the list of additional Tool Boxes. This will bring you to the page for the latest version of MATLAB. 

Open the  Installation PDF and scroll to the bottom of the second page to find the new Activation Key.

Quick links:


Child Toolboxes

There are many additional toolboxes available by installing the separate Child Toolboxes package. Use of these toolboxes  do require an active connection to the Dartmouth network (either on-campus or over VPN). Note that installing the child toolboxes does not affect MATLAB and the site-licensed toolboxes, which will continue to work in stand-alone mode without a active Dartmouth network connection.

These toolboxes are:

Toolbox # of licenses Toolbox # of licenses
Econometrics 5 SimEvents 1
Datafeed 1 System Identification 6
Financial 5 Vehicle network 1
RF Toolbox 2 Wavelet 2

If you need to install the child toolboxes, they are available for download at

All Available Toolboxes

The current licensed version is MATLAB 2016b, and includes MATLAB and SIMULINK as well as the following toolboxes:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Compiler
  • Computer Vision System
  • Control Systems
  • Curve Fitting
  • Data Acquisition
  • DSP system
  • Data Acquisition
  • Global Optimization
  • Image Processing
  • Instrument Control
  • Mapping
  • Neural Network
  • Optimization
  • Parallel Computing
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Signal Processing
  • SimMechanics
  • SimScape
  • Simulink Control Design
  • Stateflow
  • Statistics and Machine Learning
  • Symbolic Math

Dartmouth has also purchased limited numbers of additional network-licensed toolboxes that must be installed separately after installing MATLAB. These additional toolboxes do require an active connection to the Dartmouth network to run. See Child Toolboxes below for further information.

Distributed computing with MATLAB

Information about parallel computing with the MATLAB Parallel Computing Toolbox is at:

MATLAB documentation is available online at:


MATLAB training is provided each term by Research Computing. For a schedule, see and click on the schedule link under "Current Offerings". has online training for MATLAB here.

MATLAB also has extensive tutorials on their web.


MATLAB programs can be compiled so that they can be run without using a license from Dartmouth's license server. Information about compiling MATLAB programs can be found here:

Note that after you have compiled a MATLAB program on linux, you will need to alter some environment variables for the program to find the proper libraries:

export XAPPLRESDIR=/thayerfs/apps/matlab/X11/app-defaults

These commands can be executed manually, through a script, with an alias, etc., but must be run prior to running your compiled MATLAB program.

Updating MATLAB License

If you see a notice that your license will be expiring when you open MATLAB, follow these instructions to update your license (mostly copied from  here):

  • Open MATLAB
  • Click on the "Help" dropdown menu, then "Licensing", then "Update Current Licenses..."
  • When the Mathworks License Update window comes up, select the license that is listed. It should say either license 903104 or 903105. After selecting the license, click on the Update button and confirm that you want to update the license. You will see an Update Complete window and then click the Ok button.

If you do not update the license before it expires, the next time you start Matlab, the Mathworks Software Activation window will come up. Select the option to activate using the internet, enter your Dartmouth email address and your Mathworks account password to log into your Mathworks account. Next you will see a License Selection window, select the license that is listed there which should be either 903104 or 903105 and click the Next button. You will see a Confirmation window which asks you to confirm your license selection, click on Confirm and your license will be activated. If you have any questions, please send email to

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