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Student FAQs

Macintosh Tips

The Macintosh and Windows computers in the Computing Areas at CUMC have many of the same software programs. On the Macs this includes Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint, SPSS, Adobe Reader, Cyberduck, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Both the Macs and the PCs run Symantec Endpoint Protection for antivirus and security protection.

If you are normally a PC user, don't hesitate to sit down at an available Mac. The FAQs below will give you basic information about using a Mac, please contact the CUMC IT Service Desk on the 2nd floor of the Hammer Building if you have further questions.

How do I log on to the Macs at the Library?

There is no password to log on to the Macs. If you see a prompt to login, press the restart button on the computer. After it restarts it should automatically login to the lab account without prompting.

How do I access programs on the Macs?

If you do not see a program's icon in the "dock" at the bottom of the computer screen, select "Go" and then "Applications" from the top of the screen to browse the full list of software installed on the Mac.

Should I buy a Mac or a PC to use while I'm a student at CUMC?

Both types of systems have their pros and cons. It is best to check with the individual program you are enrolled in at CUMC to find out if there is required software you will need to use that is not compatible with either system.
Most standard programs (word processing, spreadsheet, email, and web browsing) are cross compatible on this campus. Note that SAS is only compatible with Windows and can't be installed or used on Macs, though they do have SPSS.
See our Computer and Software Discounts page for recommendations and discounts available on a variety of computing resources for Columbia University Medical Center Students.

Are there Columbia licensed software programs for Macs?

The Columbia Medical Center has licensed, Mac compatible versions of Microsoft Office and Symantec Endpoint programs. See the Computers and Software page for a complete list of available programs and information on obtaining them.

What about using VMWare, Parallels or Apple's Boot Camp on a Mac to run Windows compatible programs?

While many Windows programs run via a virtual Operating System emulator without problem, CUMC IT does not support or troubleshoot issues with virtual OSs and their installed programs. Please understand that any use of these are at your own risk.

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Last updated 11/26/2018