MSDN Academic Alliance Software FAQ

MSDN Academic Alliance Software FAQ

Before you start…

For several years, Cedarville University has participated in Microsoft's developer network academic alliance (MSDNAA) which provides students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors access to various software-developer tools and operating system upgrades. Microsoft has renamed the arrangement to Dreamspark Premium.

Who is eligible for the software?

Dreamspark offers access to their software-developer tools and operating system upgrades for students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors. For Cedarville University, students who meet the following criteria will qualify to participate in Dreamspark Premium:

  • Any major or minor within the Science and Mathematics department
  • Any major or minor within the School of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Any major or minor offered by the School of Nursing
  • Any major or minor within the School of Pharmacy
  • Information Technology Management majors or minors in the School of Business Administration
  • AYA science-related majors in education (e.g., chemistry, life science, mathematics, physics, science comprehensive)
  • Students enrolled in a computer-programming or database course

Note: Faculty who work in these departments are also eligible to access the software.

Dr. David Rotman, CIO, sends out an email to eligible students at the beginning of the semester.

For a comprehensive list of of majors within Microsoft's definition of STEM, see their STEM Definition Guidelines page.

If you are not eligible for the MSDNAA software, visit Microsoft Dreamspark to find other offers for free software licensing from Microsoft. You will need to use your email address to receive these offers.

What software is offered?

See the Cedarville University Dreamspark page for a list of products included in the program. Student majoring in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics; see above for complete list of eligible majors) are eligible for all products included in DreamSpark Premium.


Microsoft Access is included in the software available through Dreamspark Premium. However, Microsoft Office Suite is not. If you are interested in access to Microsoft Office, see our Software Pricing web page.

Are there other sources of free Microsoft products?

Yes, Microsoft's standard Dreamspark has free programming tools. See However, Standard Dreamspark does NOT include operating systems like Windows 8.

How do I get the software?

After you receive an email from Dr. David Rotman, CIO, explaining the details of the MSDNAA program, you will receive a follow-up email from Microsoft with a link to the site where you can download your software. You will need to use a user specific code included in the email from Microsoft. More detailed instructions will be included in the Microsoft email.

What if I have problems?

If you are unable to download the software, accidentally delete the email from Microsoft, or have any other problems, submit an online service request with the details of your problem.


If you can't log in to Dreamspark, you can reset your password at the Dreamspark website. Click "Sign In" > "Forgot Password."

Keywords: free Microsoft, free license, free software, student software, free student software, download free software, download Microsoft software, get free programs, get free software, visual studio, windows 7, windows vista, windows xp, sql server, office project, office visio, DreamSpark, Dream Spark, Microsoft DreamSpark, Microsoft Software Developer Network Academic Alliance, MSDN

Email this to a Friend

Help Page Feedback

Did this content help you? *

What is your opinion about the content? *

Suggest new content or let us know how we can improve this content (optional):

If you desire a response, please provide your email address (optional):

Leave this field empty