Technology Introduction

Welcome to UCSF! Technology will be an integral component of your UCSF education. These how to page will help familiarize you with technology at UCSF and provides guidance on preparing your computer prior to starting your program. You will find information on the technology resources that are available to you, where to get support, how to setup devices, and information about email and accounts.

UCSF is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) campus and requires all students to own and use personal devices for UCSF-related activities. These devices must be compliant with the hardware and software requirements included in the Technology Requirements for Students. Before making any new purchases, it is important to review this policy in detail.

On this page

Student accounts

First-time login

The Registrar distributes login credentials; you should receive this in advance of your orientation. If you have not, please contact your program. Please follow these instructions the first time you log in. You need to setup the Duo Mobile App for two-factor authentication, enroll in the UCSF Password Management Tool, change your password, and setup Hitachi ID Mobile Access App.

  1. Visit email.ucsf.edu and log in using your full email address and new password.
  2. The first time you log in, you will be prompted to enroll in Duo. Follow the on-screen prompts to set up a new device—you will need to download the Duo Mobile app to your iOS or Android device.
  3. After enrolling in Duo, you can enroll in the UCSF Password Management Tool and change your original password. Enrollment in this tool will also enable you to perform password resets in case you are accidentally locked out of your account. Otherwise, it requires a call to the UCSF IT Service Desk.
  4. Since you are likely doing this off-campus, you will need to access the tool through the UCSF VPN Portal and log in using the Duo Mobile app. If you are on campus, the tool can be accessed directly at password.ucsf.edu.
  5. Once logged into the VPN Portal, access the tool by selecting the UCSF Password Management Tool link and log in using your UCSF email address.
  6. Follow prompt to create six security questions and answers to authenticate your account and enroll in the tool.
  7. From the main menu, click the "Change passwords" button and follow prompt to create a new password that meets all the requirements.
  8. To prevent being locked out of your account, immediately update your password on your mobile phone and all other devices. Change your password for WiFi, UCSF email, and any other apps that make use of your UCSF credentials.
  9. While you are in the UCSF Password Management Tool, you should setup the Hitachi ID Mobile Access and register a device. This app allows you access these password tools off-campus without being connected to the VPN.
  10. Download the Hitachi ID Mobile Access App to your mobile device (Android, iOS).
  11. From the main menu of the UCSF Password Management Tool, click “Register mobile devices” button and follow prompt to setup a new device.


UCSF IT has consolidated most login credentials. The majority of applications only require single sign-on to MyAccess: myaccess.ucsf.edu. The landing page provides links to all UCSF applications and allows you to favorite your most commonly used links. There are a few exceptions to the single sign-on, including APeX credentials which are provisioned separately and some school-specific applications such as E*Value, ExamSoft, and Poll Everywhere.

UCSF email

Format: [email protected]

Example: [email protected]

Uses: MyAccess Single Sign-On, UCSF Email, UCSFwpa WiFi

Active directory username

Format: domain\first initial and last name

Example: campus\jsmith

Uses: Pulse Secure VPN, Duo Two-Factor Login, UCSFwpa WiFi


Format: 9-digit number starting with "02"

Example: 029876543

Username issues

Name changes

The name that appears in the Student Portal will appear on all official university records. If your name or email does not appear how you would like, at anytime after admission you can contact the Registrar to request your preferred first name to be updated. In addition, the Registrar can submit requests to update the name used in your e-mail address. To change your legal name in university records, please complete a Petition for Name Change in person at the Registrar's office.

Same and similar names

The Office of the Registrar will alert you when someone else has the same name but not when someone has a similar name. You can check the UCSF Directory for faculty and staff but not students. If a student has the same name or a similar name, there is no easy way for you to know. There a few ways you might discover this problem:

  • You receive e-mail that appears to be legitimate but obviously is not for you.
  • You hear that others sent you email messages that you never received.
  • You are unable to access your courses in the CLE and you have difficulty resolving this problem.

If you discover that you have the same or a similar name to someone else at UCSF, you should contact the Office of the Registrar to work on a solution.

UCSF WeID card

The UCSF Police Department handles WeID Services and WeID Cards. All UCSF students need a UCSF photo ID card. Students are required to display their UCSF ID card at all times while on premises that UCSF owns or operates. The ID card also will provide access to perimeter and interior doors. We strongly recommend that you upload a photo on the “My Photo ID” tab in the student portal before arriving on campus. See the Registrar’s WeID Card page for more info.

  • After about 6:00 pm the glass doors to Medical Sciences are locked and there is no cardkey reader there. To enter the building, use the unmarked metal door between 505 Parnassus and 513 Parnassus.
  • Replacement cards are $36. Your program’s administrative office does not cover this cost for you. The WeID team is more likely to replace your card for free if you report any failures soon after you first receive it.
  • Quickly report lost or stolen cards to the WeID team so that your card can be deactivated.

Technology requirements

UCSF is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) campus and requires all students to personally own a device for UCSF-related activities. The Technology Requirements for Students is an extensive policy that establishes that provides minimum hardware requirements, dictates that certain software is installed, and ensures that you have an open line of communication with campus and that you can access all learning materials. Thorough review and understanding of these requirements is essential.

Technology support

UCSF IT Service Desk

First point of contact for assistance with all UCSF IT Services. Email, VPN, WiFi, MyAccess account.

Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Phone: (415) 514-4100

Chat, Tickets, Knowledge Base: help.ucsf.edu

Email: [email protected]

Library Tech Commons

Great resource for Student IT Support. Their Drop-in Help Desk can provide hands-on assistance with device encryption and offer a range of OS and application support. They also provide equipment checkout.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am - 6pm

Phone: (415) 476-4309

Library Help Center
Library Contact Us

Educational Technology Services

Campus resource for classroom scheduling requests, quality audio/visual support and media services for education. Services include event support, conferencing and distance-learning needs (video conferencing, Zoom), and lecture capture / live streaming.

Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

Phone: 415-476-4310

Online: edtech.ucsf.edu

Hardware and software

Purchasing hardware and software

You may purchase from any vendor, UCSF does not have a campus computer store or make any specific recommendations. Purchasing decisions should be guided by the Technology Requirements for Students. Before purchasing anything please take account of what is provided by UCSF and the discounts that are available to students with a .edu email.

UCSF provides

  • Microsoft Office*
  • Antivirus & Malware Protection*
  • Encryption Software*
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage on Box
  • RefWorks

*Required: visit Student Technology Requirements for more information.

Discounted software from UCSF OnTheHub

  • Windows 10 Education
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Parallels Desktop and VMware
  • SPSS, Minitab, and SYSTAT
  • EndNote Desktop

Visit ucsf.onthehub.com for more pricing and ordering information.

Discounts for students

Financial aid for technology purchases

A computer purchase can be an allowable add-ons to the Student Budget. Students are encouraged to discuss their specific situations with Student Financial Aid staff before submitting a request. Budget exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to approval. Expenses must be under the student's name and incurred during the current school year. Complete the Student Budget Appeal Form for consideration and provide applicable documentation to be considered.

The maximum request is $2,500 during the length of your program, which may include the cost of a printer and/or supporting software. Smartphones and tablets will be considered. The computer must be purchased on or after May 1st for summer starts or August 1st for fall starts. The purchase must be documented with a paid receipt and/or a credit card statement in your name.

For more information see Exceptions to the Standard Student Budget. If you have questions, contact Student Financial Aid at [email protected] or 415-476-4181 before you purchase the computer.

Recommended software

Password manager

With the proliferation of user accounts, remembering which passwords go with which apps can be frustrating. The use of a Password Manager can help you protect your passwords without having to remember all of them. UCSF has partnered with Keeper Security to allow free access to their password vault. With Keeper you can keep your credentials organized and auto-fill passwords across all your devices and browsers. See how to Enroll in and Use Keeper Password Vault.


UCSF Box is a cloud-based file collaboration tool. UCSF Box is similar to Dropbox, and GoogleDrive but only UCSF Box and OneDrive are managed and supported by UCSF IT. UCSF Box is integrated with MyAccess and offers features such as content and task management, online workspace for collaboration, and user and group permissions. Additionally, since the implementation of CipherCloud, UCSF Box users are able to store restricted data including UCSF PHI. In addition to accessing UCSF Box online, Box has developed numerous useful productivity apps:

Box Tools: Create and edit any file, including Office, CAD and Photoshop, directly from your web browser. Use the default application installed on your computer. Files are automatically saved to Box.

Box Notes: Easily create new notes, access recently edited notes and bookmark favorite notes. Work concurrently in the same note and make revisions in real-time, together. Track changes and reference past drafts with version history.

Box Drive: Access all your Box files directly from your desktop, taking up very little hard drive space. Natively integrated into Windows Explorer/Mac Finder. Easily share and collaborate on files.

Download Box Apps for Desktop

Mobile apps

Microsoft Outlook: Access your UCSF email and calendar on your device.

Android App

iOS App

Microsoft OneNote: Sync notes across your devices to access them anytime, anywhere.

Android App

iOS App

Zoom: Take your Zoom calls on-the-go.

Android App

iOS App

UCSF Mobile: The official UCSP app puts campus information at your fingertips. Including a live shuttle map and timetable, fitness center hours, campus news, events, directory, and much more.

Android App

iOS App

Box: View, upload, and share your files while you are on the go using Box from your mobile device.

Android App

iOS App

CipherCloud for Box: Required to view secure documents on a mobile or tablet device.

iOS App

Device setup

UCSF email and calendar

UCSF uses Microsoft Exchange as its email and calendar service. It can be accessed from any browser by going to: email.ucsf.edu. Requires two-factor authentication if off-campus.

Desktop setup

You can use desktop email clients such as Outlook and Apple Mail. Requires VPN connection if off-campus.

Mobile device setup

You can use your native mail apps. Uses ActiveSync which requires the device to be encrypted, the use of a PIN, and consent to having your device remotely wiped in the event of suspected theft or loss.

Alternatively, you can install and setup the Outlook Mobile App on iOS and Android devices. During the setup process, you will be required to install and setup the Microsoft Authenticator App.


There are multiple wireless networks available on campus. Students are required to setup and UCSFwpa. Here are the differences:


Security: Secure and encrypted connection.

Access: Must install NAC and required security software before connecting.

Intended Users: Students, faculty, staff, and affiliates.

Speed: High-speed connection.

Setup: Requires configuration and login with MyAccess credentials.

Email Access: Can access email via browser and using desktop email clients such as Outlook and Apple Mail.


Security: Insecure, public connection.

Access: Open.

Intended Users: Visitors and Guests.

Speed: Restricted speed.

Setup: No configuration or login required.

Email Access: Must use two-factor authentication to access email via browser and VPN connection to use desktop email clients.


As a member of the UCSF community, you have access to a free, global wifi network called eduroam available in thousands of locations worldwide, including many American colleges and universities. Before you travel, check coverage at your destination. To use it, when you arrive at your covered destination, select the access point called eduroam, then log in with your MyAccess login and password. Learn more at Get Global Access to eduroam.

Computer labs and printing

Computer labs that were available pre-pandemic were closed during shelter in place. See the Kalmanovitz Library’s Use the Library for the latest info. Student Study Spaces remain available.

After computer labs reopen, to print from campus computers, you must first open a printing account. Your account is debited automatically for each page you print. Opening a printing account is optional, and you can do so at any time.