Carnegie Mellon University

Remote Learning Guide for Students

The following offers technology guidance for attending classes, completing your coursework and accessing university resources from a remote location. It includes:

Don't forget to check your email regularly and visit the CMU Alert page for official updates.

Secure Your Devices and Data

homecomputer.svgPersonal Computer

Make sure your operating system is up to date and Windows Defender or Sophos (Mac) antivirus software is installed.

If sharing a personal computer:

  • Save files in an approved CMU storage option
  • Do not save your Andrew account password to the computer.
  • Create a separate, non-admin, account and password for each individual using the computer.

connectivity.svgInternet Connection

If your internet connection seems slow:

  • Don't stream movies/tv while working.
  • Reposition your Wi-Fi signal if it's weak.
  • Avoid using virtual backgrounds and disable HD video streaming in Zoom.
  • Temporarily turn off file syncing for Box and Google Drive.
  • Schedule OS and software updates when you're not using your computer.
  • Restart your router/modem.

If none of these things work, consider using a mobile hotspot or upgrading your internet speed. Check with their local internet service providers. Many ISPs are providing free internet access to support their communities through this event. 

Secure Your DataData

There are many file storage options available to you at CMU. See our File Storage Options page for more information on which option is best for you.

If you are working for the university, store university data in an approved CMU storage option such as Google Drive or Box.

Attend Classes and Share Files

class.svgAttend Classes Online

Online courses will be delivered during regularly scheduled class dates and times. Instructors have been asked to use Canvas as a portal to your online course experience and many will use Zoom and course delivery. Both tools are available to you at no charge. Some instructors may use other remote teaching platforms for delivering their courses online. If so, they will provide instructions.

To be prepared:

  1. Install the Zoom app.
  2. Turn on Canvas notifications to ensure you don't miss communications being sent through your Canvas course. 

IMPORTANT: If using Zoom, log in through or use the SSO option in the app This gives you access to the CMU account and features like recording and unlimited meeting time. 

Attend Class with Zoom


For group chat or 1:1 instant messaging, Google Hangouts Chat is recommended.

Collaborate using Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet. Both offer web conferencing and screen sharing capabilities. See our Web Conferencing Guide to determine which option is best for you.


Share FilesShare Files

Use Google Drive or Box to share files and collaborate on documents. Google Shared Drives and Box Organization Folders are available for group work. See our File Storage Options page for more information on which option is best for you.

Access Your Work


Many titles like Microsoft Office, VMware Workstation and Matlab are available free of charge. Visit our software catalog for licensed titles you can download. 

You can also use Virtual Andrew to access some academic software titles remotely.



Install Cisco AnyConnect VPN to connect to restricted Carnegie Mellon resources like printers and library resources while off campus .

Common ApplicationsCommon Applications

Many applications you use every day, like the ones below, can be accessed through a web browser. For a complete list, see the Log In to Services page.