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Microsoft Office for Faculty and Staff

This article applies to: Software Licensing

Faculty and staff at Cornell University are eligible for several different options for Microsoft Office. Some of these options are available at no cost, while others require payment of a licensing fee. Some of these programs only cover computers owned by Cornell University, while others apply to computers that are the personal property of employees.

If you are a student, please see Microsoft Office Licensing for Students.

The Weill Cornell Medical College has its own license agreements with Microsoft, and many of the following programs do not extend to Weill staff and faculty. For more information about Microsoft licensing at Weill, please check with Weill Information Technologies & Services, or with your local Weill IT service provider.

For any other questions, please contact the CU Software office at

Office Programs for Faculty and Staff

Unless otherwise noted, these programs apply to full- and part-time employees of Cornell University, excluding employees at Weill-Cornell Medical College. (Weill has its own separate agreements with Microsoft.) Employees of most Cornell-affiliated organizations that are located on the Ithaca Campus also are covered. Emeritus faculty are covered by most programs, but retirees and former employees are not.

Microsoft Campus Site License

The Microsoft Office Campus Site License covers all Windows and Mac computers owned by Cornell University. You can download and install the current version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Windows and Microsoft Office Standard for Mac. This software must be uninstalled before ownership of computer transfers to another entity. For more information, including links to download the software, please see the Microsoft Office Site License page. 

Office 365 Pro Plus

Cornell faculty and staff can install the latest version of Microsoft Office on up to five computers, either Cornell-owned or personally-owned. We recommend this option only for personally-owned computers; please check with your local IT provider before installing this version onto Cornell-owned computers.

Microsoft Office for iPad, iPhone, and Android

  • Billing: No fee
  • Applies to: Cornell- and personally-owned iPads, iPhones, and Android Devices
  • License Term: Contingent upon employment by Cornell University
  • Website: Apple App Store (External link, requires iOS)

In 2014, Microsoft announced the availability of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPad. You can download the applications for free on your iPad via the App Store.  For full functionality, you will need to link these apps to a Cornell Office 365 account. Without connecting to an Office 365 account, you can use these applications to view existing documents only.

SharePoint Online and Office Online

Cornell faculty and staff can use SharePoint Online's team information-sharing features, including document storage and collaboration, scheduling, and social options. They also can access and edit their SharePoint documents and files anywhere using Office Online: Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, and OneNote Online. SharePoint Online includes partner licenses which can be used to share documents with people external to Cornell.

Microsoft Academic Select Plus

Microsoft Academic Select is a software purchasing agreement that provides Cornell staff and faculty access to Microsoft Office components that are not covered by the Campus Site License. This includes Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio. Academic Select is managed through a preferred third-party reseller. Our current reseller is a company called Insight (formerly Software Spectrum). We are currently evaluating other proposals, and may be moving our contract to another vendor. For more information, please see our Microsoft Academic Select Plus page.

DreamSpark Premium (Visio and Project only)

  • Billing: No Fee
  • Applies to: Cornell-owned computers used for instruction
  • License Term: Contingent upon eligibility
  • Website: Dreamspark (external link)

The Microsoft DreamSpark program provides Microsoft developer tools to students and faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at no cost for instructional purposes only. While the DreamSpark Standard program does not include any Microsoft Office products, the departmentally-managed DreamSpark Premium program includes Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio (although no other Office applications). Not all Cornell departments have opted into DreamSpark Premium. Please check with your local IT team to see if your department is eligible.

Microsoft Home Use Program (No longer available to new subscribers)

  • Billing: Fee required ($9.95)
  • Applies to: Personally-owned computers only
  • License Term: Perpetual (valid while employed)
  • Website: Microsoft Home Use Program (external link)

No longer available to new subscribers. Current subscribers may continue to use software licensed through this program for as long as they remain employees of Cornell University. Upgrades are no longer available to existing subscribers. We recommend that any new customers who wish to install Microsoft Office on a personal computer do so via the Office 365 Pro Plus program.

The Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP) is a service provided by a third-party software reseller that is available to current employees of any institution with a Microsoft Office site license. The program allows purchase of one license of the current release of Office (Professional Plus for Windows or Office Standard for Macintosh). Once purchased, the software is licensed to you as an individual for as long as you remain a Cornell employee. It is your responsibility to uninstall the software should you cease to be a Cornell employee.

You must use your Cornell University e-mail address to register with the Home Use Program. If you try to register with a non-Cornell address, the vendor will not let you register. (Note: This program is closed to new subscribers.)

After your purchase is complete, the vendor will send you a link to download the HUP version of the Office installer of your choice (Mac or Windows) and a personalized Product Key. The installer and Product Key are provided directly from the vendor to you. We recommend that you make or purchase a backup copy of the installer, and keep a hard copy of your Product Key for your records.

Home Use Program Support

The Microsoft Home Use Program is not a service of Cornell University. The online retailer Digital River LLC manages the Microsoft Home Use Program. CU Software cannot replace a lost installer or Product Key. If you lose your installer or Product Key, have questions about the program, or need any other help with the Home Use Program, please refer to Digital River customer support, at:

If you have lost your HUP Product Key and are either not able to reach Digital River customer service, or if they are unable to provide you with a replacement code, we recommend that you uninstall the HUP version of Office and switch to Office 365 Pro Plus.

Other Options

There are other free alternatives to Microsoft Office that allow the ability to read, edit, and create documents in Microsoft Office formats. The links below are provided as a courtesy to the Cornell community, and do not represent an endorsement of the products. Please be aware that CU Software DOES NOT provide support for any of the following options.

Questions and Feedback

For questions about Office licensing for faculty and staff, or for feedback about any of these programs, please contact the CU Software office at:

About this Article

Last updated: 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 9:41am

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