Student Computing at Michigan Engineering

Welcome to Michigan Engineering! Many computing and information technology (IT) services are provided to you as a Michigan Engineering student, designed to support your academic success!

To start, you should become familiar with the two main IT providers you will interact with at U-M:

  • Information and Technology Services (ITS) is the University of Michigan’s central IT organization, which offers a standard set of computing services to all U-M students.
  • CAEN is Michigan Engineering’s information technology department, which provides academic computing and IT services specifically geared for Engineering students.

Click a link below to jump to a particular topic, and find out more about the services offered on campus:

Students using a CAEN Collaborative Workstation

Orientation to IT at Michigan Engineering

In addition to the information below, we provide an online orientation to IT and computing at Michigan Engineering. This uses the University’s learning management system, Canvas, to organize topics. Click the link below to start the online orientation:

Selecting a Personal Computer

Michigan Engineering does not require students to own a personal computer but encourages those who are interested in purchasing one to consider the many available options.

Your Computing Access

As a newly enrolled Michigan Engineering student, you are eligible for Engineering computing access (often referred to as “CAEN Access”), which includes a set of computing services that will assist you in completing your Engineering coursework. CAEN Access is needed to use the software in CAEN computer labs and access your Engineering online file storage. Your access should be automatically activated by the first day of classes for the term in which you are first enrolled.

All U-M students receive access to a set of standard computing services from ITS (Information and Technology Services). ITS provides you with your main University login, also known as your uniqname. You will use your uniqname and corresponding UMICH password to log in and access the computing and online services at U-M.

Connecting to the Wi-Fi Network

Wi-Fi network access, called MWireless, allows you to connect your devices to the Internet in all U-M campus buildings. If you have visitors or guests on campus, a network called MGuest allows them to easily connect and receive basic internet connectivity.


The CAEN Lab Software Environment (CLSE) is the desktop computing experience for students using CAEN computers. The software library bundled with the CLSE includes a large set of engineering-specific applications covering a wide range of disciplines, as well as software for general productivity.

CAEN works with vendors to offer many software applications for Engineering students to install on their personal computers at no cost. The current list of applications and restrictions is available in our knowledge base at:

ITS provides a set of software applications for U-M students to access from campus computing sites.

Computer Labs

As an Engineering student, you have access to dedicated computers with the CAEN Lab Software Environment (CLSE) in many locations across campus.

ITS campus computing sites provide access to workstations for use by all U-M students, with software installed for courses across various disciplines.

Logging in Remotely from Off-campus

Engineering students can access many CAEN lab services remotely from personal computers, including logging into virtual lab computers to run the software and accessing online file storage. Note: Due to licensing restrictions, some software applications can only be accessed from on-campus computers.

Remote access to CAEN computers requires the use of Duo Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to log in. All that is needed is to enroll a device:

Online File Storage & Backups

As an Engineering student, you have multiple options for online file storage. Each student at the University receives a large amount cloud storage from Google Drive and Dropbox. In addition, CAEN provides students with storage for quick access to files on CAEN computers, known as a “Home Directory.” All of these options are backed up regularly to protect your important files and are recommended over using external media which can be broken, lost, or stolen.


ITS manages the printing services in most student computing sites on campus. Students use a common University printing allocation to print in both the CAEN computer labs and the ITS computing sites. You can print from on-campus computers, or remotely from your personal computer or device.

View Lectures Online

CAEN’s Lecture Recording Service allows you to access online recordings of your course lectures. You should check with your course instructor to see if your lectures will be recorded.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access

The U-M Virtual Private Network (VPN) is available to all Michigan Engineering students. It provides a secure computing experience when accessing a U-M network from a remote location, and may be required to access certain campus services that are restricted by location. Information on using the U-M VPN service can be found at:

Questions or Problems?

Additional details on the topics described above, and more, are available via the CAEN Knowledge Base. Consultants are also available to answer specific questions about all CAEN services.

Other Campus Resources for New Students