Software for Academic Use

Below is the list of software available for academic use in Electrical and Computer Engineering department.  Other departments, please contact your IT/lab staff for support.
Academic use is the use of software in classroom related activities (non-commercial, teaching and learning only).

What it is: The collection of 20+ apps including Acrobat Pro DC, Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and InDesign.

How to Obtain it: There are 2 ways of obtaining this license. One is buying a license from UBC Bookstore (this doesn't include free upgrades to newer versions), or the other is to obtain a subscription (which allows upgrades to newer editions) from UBC IT (CLICK HERE).

What it is: Altera is a company that specialized in FPGA chip manufacturing. Usually the license and installation information is given to the student by the instructor (or posted on Connect). Specifically, Quartus and ModelSim (from MentorGraphics, but licensed via Altera) are the two software that are being used for digital design courses and projects.

How to Obtain it: The software licenses are available via our network license server. Information about this can be accessed by contacting the ECE Engineering Services CAD manager via ECE Engineering Services.

What it is: Altium is a PCB design and circuit simulation CAD tool that is widely used in industry. It can perform a variety of functions from schematic design of a circuit, simulating its behavior, drawing its PCB layout, to producing the required design files for PCB manufacturing.

How to Obtain it:  You can obtain a student license from the Altium Education site. It is free for students, unlimited, and renewable every 6-months for the verified duration of your studies

What it is: ANSYS provides software useful for engineering simulation.  It is used in a variety of different environments from rocket launches to wearable technology.

How to Obtain it: ANSYS for students can be found at the ANSYS Student Product Downloads.  For the purposes of teaching and classroom use, the ANSYS Suite can be downloaded from IT @ APSC.  For research purposes, we now have local site license via ApSc IT. For further information, please contact the ECE Engineering Services CAD manager via ECE Engineering Services.

What it is: MATLAB is a language for technical computing that combines numeric computation, advanced graphics and visualization, and a high-level programming language.

How to Obtain it: MATLAB for all faculty, staff and researchers can be downloaded from UBC IT.  For students, MATLAB can be downloaded from Information Technology HERE.

What it is: Microsoft 365 is a package that includes software such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

How to Obtain it: With a CWL, all students at UBC are entitled to a year long subscription to Office 365 via UBC IT.

What it is: LabVIEW is development software that engineers can use to build custom test, design, and control systems in a  graphical programming environment.  Multisim is an industry-standard SPICE simulation environment. Multisim minimizes prototype iterations and optimizes PCB designs earlier in the process.  Ultiboard is a rapid printed circuit board (PCB) prototyping environment that works with Multisim to run a variety of simulations.

How to Obtain it: The National Instrument products can be obtained for UBC owned computers through ECE IT by emailing
For undergrads in an ECE course, please follow the instructions you receive from your instructors. With your ECE ID/password you can access the page here.

What is it: SimulationX is system simulation software for modeling, simulating, and analyzing complex dynamic systems.
How to Obtain it: Follow the instructions given to you by the course instructor.
Note: If you have installed other software that uses FlexLM license server, such as Altera QuartusII, you may have to edit your environment variable: LM_LICENSE_FILE to include the license server information for SimulationX. ECE students could view this information here.

What it is: SolidWorks is a solid modelling software primarily used to create 3D models and assemblies.
Our local license covers "educational purposes" only. No research or commercial use is allowed.

How to Obtain it: Follow the instructions provided by your course instructor or the instructions from APSC IT posted HERE. There are 2 different links provided, one for staff/faculty to request install on their laptop/PC, and one for students with instructions on how to obtain the software installer and installation key.