Computer / Software
MATLAB Support

Note: this page pertains to ordering MATLAB for University-owned computers only.

If you are a student, please go to the MATLAB Academic License page

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Versions and System Requirements

When you purchase MATLAB you will be able to download the most recent version directly from Mathworks.

We encourage everyone to use the most recent version, however, older versions are available if necessary. The software should run on most UNIX-like operating systems (including Mac OSX 10.3.2 or later) and Microsoft Windows. Visit the MATLAB website to view a list of system requirements.

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Licensing Information

Two types of licenses are available, depending on which MATLAB functions you need:

Concurrent License

Computers that reside only on Northwestern University networks (including VPN) may use a concurrent license. The cost is $72.00 per year (prorated quarterly), and offers access to all of the licensed toolboxes.

Stand-Alone License

Computers that are only occasionally connected to the Northwestern University networks (e.g. laptops) may use a stand-alone license. The cost is $130.00 per year, and offers access to approximately half the licensed toolboxes.

A concurrent or stand-alone license (also known as a "group" license) permits the use of many different toolboxes. Visit the NUIT MATLAB website to view the current list of toolboxes.

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Purchase A MATLAB License

To purchase a license, you must complete the MATLAB request form, which requires the following information:

  • Number of concurrent and/or stand-alone licenses you need
  • Chart string account number

If you are a student who needs MATLAB for educational purposes, you can obtain the Academic version from the Academic Licensing page.

Faculty members and graduate students, if you need a copy of MATLAB to teach your class, please contact Alan Wolff.

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Get Help and Information

Introduction to MATLAB for Engineering Students

The Introduction to MATLAB for Engineering Students is an Adobe PDF document written for Engineering Analysis courses. It provides a thorough introduction to the use of MATLAB with an emphasis on scientific computing.

Topics covered include:

  • programming
  • graphing
  • debugging
  • matrix operations
  • linear systems

The easiest way to find tutorials, view demos, or obtain information about specific functions is to click the Help button (blue question mark) in MATLAB, type "helpdesk" in the Command Window, or choose "MATLAB Help" from the Help menu.

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Use MATLAB Help and Lookfor Commands

Typing "help function_name" in the Command Window provides standard information about a specific function (use the Helpdesk to get more information and examples).

You can obtain the same information from the help window (type "helpwin" in the Command Window).

Typing "lookfor topic" provides a list of all functions that contains the word topic in their summaries. This is much slower than help, but "topic" does not have to match an existing function name.

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MATLAB Installation Support

Very limited installation support is available via email.

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Other Resources


This is the primary source for news and technical documentation, such as user guides. Mathworks is the creator of MATLAB.