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UCSD Matlab Network Concurrent Use Agreement

MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing. It integrates computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation.

Who qualifies

This software can only be used by UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff under the conditions stated in the MathWorks Software License (pdf), which includes the following limitations:

Each program is licensed for Academic Internal Operations only, as defined below ...

Academic Internal Operations. The installation and use of the Programs by Licensed Users .... for the purpose of

(i) in the case of employees (faculty and academic staff), performing software administration, teaching, and non- commercial academic research in their ordinary course as Licensee's employees; and

(ii) in the case of enrolled students, meeting classroom requirements of courses and study offered by the Licensee.

Any other use is expressly prohibited.


Some MATLAB products are not currently available through Software Distribution.

There are two types of licenses available to UC San Diego departments. The first type is a UC San Diego Matlab network concurrent license. The second type is a UCSD Matlab group license. Individual or student licenses are not available.

UC San Diego MATLAB Network Concurrent License program

The UC San Diego MATLAB network concurrent license program uses a network license server. Computers must be on the network and must be registered in the campus UCSD.EDU domain to participate.

When the UC San Diego MATLAB network concurrent license program adds a toolbox, multiple licenses are purchased for a pool that is shared by all participants in the program. The usual number of licenses acquired for toolboxes is 50. We've relaxed this recently so that departments can acquire a new toolbox with fewer seats understanding that:
- all campus users have the same access to toolboxes - no reserving or limiting who can use them
- we will increase the number of seats for a toolbox only when we renew the site license agreement - in August, typically

Our policy on adding toolboxes: A department, or group of departments, must come up with the initial purchase amount. If that happens, the Matlab consortium will pick up the renewal costs for subsequent years and spread the cost among the entire group of subscribers.

The UC San Diego MATLAB network concurrent license program covers workstation versions of the software running on UNIX (Solaris, Mac OS X, Linux etc), and Windows systems, including MATLAB, SIMULINK and the toolboxes listed at this link (select MATLAB from the dropdown):

Check Status of License Servers

The per-seat rates for buy-in vary by both the number of seats and types of products purchased, e.g. as of 3/2010:

Quantity MATLAB Simulink Tier-1 Toolboxes
2-4 $450 $225 $450 $158
5-9 $300 $150 $300 $105
10-24 $220 $110 $220 $77
25-49 $155 $78 $155 $54
50-99 $120 $60 $120 $42
100+ $90 $45 $90 $32


  • Tier-1 = Various embedded target toolboxes, Extended Symbolic Math Toolbox, MATLAB Builders, MATLAB Compiler, MATLAB Web Server, Model-Based Calibration Toolbox, Real-Time Windows Target, Real-Time Workshop, Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder, SimBiology, SimDriveline, SimEvents, SimMechanics, SimPowerSystems, Stateflow, xPC Target, xPC Target Embedded Option
  • Toolboxes = All the other Matlab toolboxes

ACMS tries to coordinate any new buys each July to coincide with the renewal of ongoing maintenance.

What is provided
When the agreement starts & stops


Our UC San Diego MATLAB Network Concurrent License program annual term runs from 1-August through 31-July.

Each department or machine running the UC San Diego MATLAB Network Concurrent License software must obtain an annual license at the following rates:

  • Departmental License - Multiple systems with unlimited users:
    $2000 per department per year. (Starting with the 2011-2012 year)
  • Single Machine Unlimited Users:
    $500 per system per year

For the purposes of these licenses, a department is defined as an academic department, an administrative unit, an ORU, a program or project, etc., as listed in the current UC San Diego Telephone directory.

Note: a "parent" department with "child" ORUs, e.g. Physics and INLS, can choose to treat the department and ORUs as a single entity for MATLAB licensing purposes.

This choice carries two caveats: First, any department must be able to handle all of its systems' licensing needs using ACMS' central campus network license servers. If subnets, firewalls, or other physical constraints prevent this, then the isolated systems may be excluded from using the site license.

Second, if consolidating MATLAB "units" across the campus results in fewer users contributing to the cost of our UC San Diego MATLAB Network Concurrent License program license, we may have to adjust the above listed rates upwards. Both common sense and experience tell us that this can cause costs to spiral beyond what campus users will support.

Mathworks uses a network licensing scheme which restricts the number of concurrent users able to use a specific number of instances of MATLAB (850), Simulink (50), and each toolkit (50 or 100 users, for many - see above). The UC San Diego/Mathworks agreement does not restrict users per machine or department beyond these concurrent user limits. Pricing includes all of the software listed above and it is not feasible for us to provide unbundled pricing for individual items.

To answer a couple of recurring questions

  • There is no problem with UC San Diego staff using the MATLAB software in support of UC San Diego faculty research
  • There is no problem with UC San Diego faculty, students or staff using MATLAB in support of NIH or NASA funded research here

If you are interested in additional toolboxes beyond the ones currently in the network agreement, your department can pay to add them to the site license. This involves a one-time cost to your department, the amount of which depends on the number of potential concurrent users allowed. For example, the current cost to add 50 users of a typical toolbox is $1500 or $4500 for the first year.

In future years those seats for that toolbox would be included in the program base cost and available to all departments. (Additional seats for any existing toolbox must be paid for the same way as the initial seats - a one-time cost to the requesting department(s).)

Several departments may split the cost of an acquisition. Polling the current matlab-users@ucsd.edu list may provide cost sharing between departments sufficient to cover the one-time fee.

Some have asked about using MATLAB when connected to the UC San Diego network via the UC San Diego VPN or UC San Diego dialup. This works as a way to keep MATLAB working when at conferences etc. as both these are part of the UC San Diego network. We do not extend the MATLAB license access to non-UC San Diego network addresses


ACMS Software Distribution does not distribute this software to students, but departments may do so. All copies installed MUST comply with the restrictions on use and distribution.

Some have asked if Student MATLAB is available, or if it can be used on university owned computers, or for other than registered students' own personal use. (Student Matlab is available from the UCSD bookstore for about $100 a copy). Student MATLAB may NOT be used on university owned computers.

About MATLAB & Simulink Student Version from the Mathworks FAQ:

Question: Are there any restrictions on using this product?
Answer: Yes. The following restrictions apply:

  • The product must be used on a student's own computer.
  • The product is solely for use in connection with courses offered at degree-granting institutions, either by students working toward a degree, or by continuing education students.
  • The right to use the student products for any other purposes, including commercial purposes, is expressly prohibited.
  • Student licenses are nontransferable.
Cluster use notes:

MATLAB Toolbox usage is different than MATLAB, and the bottom line for clusters is:

To be fair, especially during MATLAB prime time usage here at UC San Diego (typically 10am-10pm M-F), we need cluster users to limit their use to 25-50% of available toolbox licenses.

Check Available MATLAB Licenses


Software updates can be obtained from ACMS as long as the license fee is paid for the current year.


This software is distributed over the network. The network distribution includes ISO disk images to create DVD sets, as needed. Departments at the departmental license level receive one DVD kit for very long term loan.


ACMS will provide the license keys to customers of this service. ACMS can only provide very limited technical support on these products. Participants can contact Mathworks for technical support via telephone and e-mail.


Software Distribution:
ACMS Software Distribution
(858) 534-9676

Technical Support:
Jim Rapp
(858) 534-4060

UC San Diego MATLAB users mailing list

Mathworks contact information:
Phone: (508) 647-7000
FAX: (508) 647-7001

Technical questions on MathWorks products

Documentation error reports

Sales, pricing, and general information

Check Status of License Servers