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Microsoft Office Licensing

This article applies to: Software Licensing


All students and employees of Cornell University have access to the web-based Office 365 Online Apps, which can be used from any computer and do not require downloading or installing any software. When possible, we recommend that customers use Office Online Apps in preference to desktop-based software.

If you require the advanced features of desktop-based Microsoft Office software on your Cornell-owned computer, please work with your department's local IT support provider. They should be able to deliver Office 365 ProPlus under either Named-User or Per Device licensing, as appropriate to your University affiliation status and your University business needs.

You may be able to use Office 365 for Desktop on a personally-owned computer, depending on your University affiliation status and the Office 365 license currently assigned to you. Please see ourOffice 365 ProPlus for Faculty and Staff article for more information, including an explanation of which of the two types of license you've been assigned.

Please check with your local department's IT support provider before attempting to install Microsoft software onto your Cornell-provided computer. Your department may have have different recommendations.

Microsoft Office Volume License Editions

If an end-user is not eligible for a Named-User license for Office 365, we recommend installing Office 365 ProPlus under Per-Device licensing on their Cornell-provided computer. Please note that computers must be enrolled in Certified Desktop to install Office 365 ProPlus under Per-Device licensing.

If your department has a need to provide a desktop version of Office to a Cornell-owned computer that cannot be registered through Certified Desktop, you may instead deliver a Volume License edition of Microsoft Office. Please note that the volume-licensed editions of Office are not updated as often as Office 365 ProPlus, and may lack some advanced features.

Available versions of the Volume-Licensed editions of Office are:

  • Office 2021 Professional Plus LTSC for Windows
  • Office 2021 Standard LTSC for Macintosh
  • Office 2019 Professional Plus LTSC for Windows
  • Office 2019 Standard LTSC for Macintosh

Please note that Weill Cornell Medical College has its own arrangement with Microsoft, and is not covered by the Campus Agreement. Weill Cornell staff and faculty should check with Weill Information Technology & Services or their local Weill IT providers for more information.

Download the Volume License Edition of Microsoft Office for Institution-Owned Computers

Whenever possible, we recommend delivering Office 365 ProPlus to Cornell-owned computers, either under Named-User licensing or Per-Device licensing. If you have an end-user with a Cornell-owned computer that is not eligible for Named-User licensing and whose computer cannot be enrolled in Certified Desktop, CIT can provide a Volume-Licensed LTSC edition of Office. Microsoft no longer provides a universal MSI installer for the Volume-Licensed editions of Office. Instead, we'll need to work with your department to configure a custom click-to-run installer via the Microsoft Office Deployment Tool. Please contact Software Licensing for more information about delivering an appropriate volume-licensed LTSC edition of Office.

Please see Microsoft's Deploy Office LTSC 2021 article for more information about deploying the Volume-Licensed edition of Office LTSC 2021.

Product Activation

Our Office Professional Plus installers are configured to use the KMS automated activation system. Office should activate automatically as soon as your machine connects to the Internet via an on-campus local area network. All Cornell local area networks provided by CIT, and most networks provided by local IT providers are configured for KMS. If you are on a local area network that isn't configured for KMS, you can activate via KMS manually

If you need to activate Office Professional Plus on a computer that cannot connect to our KMS server, such as for a computer that will not be connected to the Internet, please contact us to request an MAK product key. Please include the reason why KMS isn't appropriate for your situation.

Virtual Machines

The Campus Desktop Agreement covers installation of Office onto an arbitrary number of Virtual Machines (VMs). The license covers VMs running on hardware owned by Cornell University. For services hosted by third-party vendors under contract with Cornell University (such as Amazon Web Services), please visit our technical information page, Microsoft Licensing within AWS for details or contact Cornell's Cloud Team for licensing specifics.

Other Microsoft Office Licensing Programs

Cornell staff and faculty have access to other licensing options other than the Campus Agreement site license. Please see Microsoft Office Licensing for Faculty and Staff for a listing of other licensing options.

Support Options

For a listing of support options for Microsoft products, please see our Microsoft Product Support page.

Affiliated Institutions

Affiliated institutions covered under the Campus Agreement are: the Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, the ROTC Program at Cornell University, and the USDA facility at the Robert W. Holley Center.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Friday, January 6, 2023 - 10:59am

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