You have access to either free or heavily discounted student software licenses for the applications you will most commonly use.

How to get your software

Microsoft Office

You can get free Office 365 subscription via UBC IT’s Software Downloads page.

Anti-virus software

UBC IT also provides a free license of Sophos Anti-Virus.

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe offers educational pricing for a subscription.


Autodesk offers a free education license.


Rhino offers a discounted student version. While the latest version has been ported to Mac, we still prefer you use the Windows version. It is more robust and has been thoroughly tested to play nice with other software packages.


You can freely download this plugin for Rhino. Rhino for Mac now ships with an early port of Grasshopper, but, again, we prefer you use the Windows version.

Running Windows on a Mac

If you are a Mac user, you have two options to run Windows applications:

Boot Camp

Apple’s Boot Camp let’s you chose what operating to run when you start your laptop. 


Software like Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion lets you run Windows and Mac applications side by side. It does so by providing a Windows environment within OS X.

Performance using virtualization may be noticeable slower than running Boot Camp. In both cases, you need to set aside a large portion of your disk space to install Windows and the software applications In addition to the virtualization software, you also need to buy a full version of Microsoft Windows.