Incoming Students - Technology Reference

Find the latest information we've prepared for CMU's incoming freshmen and transfer students here. 

Have a friend who could use this information? Tell them to visit to find this page quickly!

Need some help?

If you still have questions, or you're wondering about something not covered here, reach out to the OIT Help Desk. We can help you with just about anything technology-related. We're usually open with extended hours, and there are a ton of ways to reach us:

 (989) 774-3662
 Click to chat with us online

Video: Technology @ CMU: Preparing for Day 1 and Beyond

This 21 minute video offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions posed by incoming students, parents, guardians, and supporters. 

View Video

What kind of computer should I bring to CMU?

Honestly, except in very rare circumstances, it doesn't matter. Whether you're a Mac or a Windows person, just bring whichever you prefer! While we generally recommend against Chromebooks and similar devices, if that's what you already have, you might be able to make that work by using the versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. that you can use at CMU right through your web browser.

Very rarely, some programs at CMU do have specific computer requirements (OS, video card specs, etc.), so if you're unsure, you should visit your academic department's website to see if they have posted any specific computer requirements.

Buying a new computer? Take advantage of some discounts!

You can get some pretty good discounts on new Apple or Lenovo computers simply by being associated with CMU as a student. 

Discounts on cell phones and service

By being associated with CMU, students are able to take advantage of our contracts with three major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Discounts vary by phone plan and provider, but most students will see at least some discount, sometimes significant. Contact our CONNECT: Cellular Services office to get the latest info.

Downloading Office software

Due to CMU's licensing agreement with Microsoft, every CMU student has access to download and install Microsoft Office software on their personal computers.

Office 365 services

Every student at CMU has access to a ton of services available through Office 365. These are a very small subset of what's available, so to find out more, click the "waffle" icon at the top-left when you're logged into most of these services.


CMU students receive an email address available at Your email address is your Global ID with appended to it. For example, a student named Frank T. Chippewa might have the email address Students are expected to check their CMU email regularly to make sure they don't miss official university notices.


Each student has access to 1TB of cloud-based storage, available at A terabyte is a ton of space, and it's available from anywhere with an internet connection, so most students never need to worry about carrying around flash drives.


Teams is part chat and part group collaboration, and you can access it through the web or through a dedicated desktop client. It's perfect for setting up ad hoc groups to collaborate on school projects, student organizations, or pretty much anything else you can think of. Visit and enter your CMU email address to get started. (If you're already logged into CentralLink, you'll be taken straight to Teams without additional login.)

Adobe Creative Cloud

CMU has partnered with Adobe to become an "Adobe Creative Campus," making Adobe Creative Cloud available to all current CMU students actively taking classes. Access is granted automatically, so as long as you're registered for classes, all you need to do is download Adobe CC and sign in. Find out how to download and activate Adobe CC in our knowledge base.

Virtual Lab

Don't have access to other specialty software that you might need for class? Log into our Virtual Lab from your personal computer to access additional CMU software.


Blackboard is CMU's learning management system (LMS). Every course at CMU has an accompanying online Blackboard course shell created automatically. The vast majority of students will use Blackboard on a daily basis, so check out to make sure you're familiar with it. If you want to learn more, visit the Blackboard section of our knowledge base to read up on common Blackboard features.

PrintQ - Print management on campus

All students at CMU receive a $12 allocation each semester that can be used at PrintQ stations located in multiple places across campus.

  • $12 each semester for every student
  • Black-and-white printing at $0.04/page ($0.08 for double-sided)
  • Color printing at $0.32/page
Our goal with PrintQ is to promote thoughtful, responsible printing in order to reduce paper waste, so we encourage students and faculty to use digital options wherever possible.

Library resources and technology

CMU Libraries provides over 300 workstations, including about 20 Macs, providing direct access to eight PrintQ printers and even scanners. You can check out certain IT equipment from the Library Checkout Desk.

There's even the Extended Hours Study that's available to students via card swipe at most times when Park Library is otherwise closed. You can even get access to specialty software like Adobe Creative Suite or view our Bloomberg Terminals.

Account and other online services

Global ID

Your Global ID is your account name at CMU. It's what you'll use to log into various online services. It's also the first part of your email address (before the It's very important that you never share your Global ID password with anyone, under any circumstances.


When we refer to "CentralLink," we're talking about the internal portion of CMU's website. You can get to CentralLink simply by going to and logging in. Once you're in CentralLink, you'll find a maroon bar at the top of the page with links to different services.

My Account

One of the most useful sections in CentralLink is My Account, which contains links to nearly all of the online services you'll ever use as a CMU student. You can get to My Account by clicking the link at the top of the page when you're logged into CentralLink.

Authorized Payers

If someone else will be taking financial actions on your behalf, such as paying tuition or other expenses, you should set up an "Authorized Payer" account for them rather than sharing your Global ID password. This gives them their own account within our QuikPAY finance system. Visit QuikPAY and click Authorized Payers on the left.

CMU network

CMU has Wi-Fi coverage in all buildings on campus, so it's easy to get online wherever you are. Just connect to the "CMICH" wireless network, and enter your Global ID and password when prompted. For more information and specific wireless configuration instructions, please visit the knowledge base.

IT policies

Find IT-related policies at In particular, check out our Responsible Use of Computing Policy, since that covers what CMU considers appropriate use of computing resources and technology at CMU.

Quick links