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You should use VUnet e-password credentials to access any of the restricted materials. To comply the terms under which Vanderbilt licenses the Mathematica software from Wolfram, Inc., the School of Engineering provides the VUSE SDS Mathematica materials for two specific types of use:
  • Use by a student on a computer personally owned or leased by that student
  • Use on a computer or leased by Vanderbilt University
For any other use, you should visit Vanderbilt University Software Store to obtain the appropriate software and an activation key of the appropriate sort.

Mathematica for Students for a computer owned by a VUSE student

  • Activation Key - see the instructions to obtain a Student Activation Key below
  • Mathematica for Students v12.1.1 - the version supported for the 2020-2021 academic year
  • Mathematica for Students v12.0.0 - the version supported for the 2019-2020 academic year

Mathematica for a computer owned by Vanderbilt

  • Activation Key [.txt]

To install Mathematica, you need to download a distribution bundle appropriate to your operating system.

Note: You only need one bundle to install the software.

All of the distribution bundles for Mathematica are disk images. It is straightforward to deal with these under any recent Linux or MacOS X version and under Microsoft Windows v8.0, using software that is bundled with the operating system. If you have a version of Microsoft Windows older than v8.0, you will want to get software such as PowerISO (from Vanderbilt University Software Store or WinCDEmu (from which will allow you to treat the disk image file as an optical disk or archive software such as 7Zip ( which will allow to treat the ISO file like an archive from which you can extract the installation materials.

Student Activation Keys

After installation, you must activate your software with an activation key. Student activation keys are assigned and distributed via the VUSE SDS Student Mathematica key distribution service. To get a student activation key, you will need to send an email message to that includes a Subject header indicating that you are requesting an activation key for Mathematica for Students and that includes your VUnet username ("VUnetID") in the body of the message. A key will be assigned and sent back by email to the VUnet email services permanent business card email address ("BCA") for the supplied VUnet username. You should not include your VUnet e-password in your message.


  • Each activation key is tied to a yearly license and expires on April 30 (with a one month grace period) so you will need to reactivate your installation every year even if you do not upgrade the software.
  • Each key is a single-use key and can be used only once to activate an installation of Mathematica. Reinstallation will require a replacement key, which may be obtained as outlined above.
  • Key assignment is currently a manual process and may take several hours. Do not delay making the request until you desperately need to use the software.