Where can Wharton Students use Statistical Software for Free?

Taking a class that requires expensive statistical software? Maybe you use R or Python and your laptop just broke. Current Wharton students (plus staff and faculty) have alternatives that won’t cost extra.


Stata logo
Image by Cretchen / CC-BY-SA-4.0

Popular in fields such as economics, Stata often finds use measuring trends both macro and micro.

Consider Penn Libraries first if you need Stata. Both virtual and physical labs include Stata/BE 17. For the slightly older but similarly capable Stata/IC 16, try the Remote Desktop lab.

For short-term use on your own machine, you can request up to one week of student access from Stata itself. The Office of Software Licensing links to discounted Stata purchase options that support longer-term use.


Image by McZusatz

MATLAB, with its mathematics-forward design, may present itself as you solve theoretical problems.

Follow Wharton’s instructions to get MATLAB running on your own hardware.

When your machine won’t do, both Wharton’s labs (physical and virtual) as well as Penn Libraries’ physical and virtual labs offer MATLAB.


SPSS logo
Image by File Upload Bot (Magnus Manske)

Often favored for its survey-friendly features, SPSS typically supports customer analytics and other social research.

The Office of Software Licensing documents how to get your own copy of SPSS through Penn. For brief home use, IBM offers a free 30-day trial (limited to one trial per year for each user).

Labs with SPSS abound. You can use Wharton’s (physical and virtual) or Penn Libraries’ (physical, virtual, and remote desktop).

R and RStudio

R logo
The R logo is © 2016 The R Foundation / CC-BY-SA 4.0

You can download and install R and RStudio Desktop for free in most desktop operating systems. You’ll want another solution, however, if you use a tablet, in case of configuration issues, or to keep you working when your machine has down-time.

Wharton’s labs (physical and virtual) are configured and ready to meet your needs. Log in with your Wharton credentials and check the “Departmental Applications” folder. Note that your access may be limited if you’re not currently enrolled in a course that requires this software.

Penn Libraries offers R and RStudio platforms to all Penn students via physical and remote machines (active PennKey required).

RStudio Cloud offers a fully online environment for anyone working in R. This service includes limited hours and capabilities for free with options to pay for more time and power.


Python logo
The Python logo is ® the Python Software Foundation

Python—popularly available through the Anaconda Distribution platform—also comes at no cost to most desktop users. If you need an alternative, however, you have options.

Wharton’s labs (physical and virtual) offer Python in its Anaconda distribution. Log in with your Wharton credentials and open the “Departmental Applications” folder. Your access may require enrollment in a course that incorporates this software.

Python Anywhere offers any users an online platform for coding in Python. Beginner accounts are free, including a limited suite of capabilities, while paid service tiers offer expanded capabilities.

You decide

What’s your favorite approach? Did we miss something? Let us know!

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