Accessing Esri ArcGIS software

The University of Waterloo has an Esri Institutional License, which permits any student or employee of UWaterloo to use Esri software for teaching, learning, and research purposes. Commercial use is not permitted. For administrative use, please inquire by submitting this form:

To get started for teaching, learning, and research purposes

  1. Become a member of the UWaterloo ArcGIS Online Organization by signing in to using your 8-character username (e.g. and password

    1. Review Get started with ArcGIS Online.

  2. Optionally, if you have access to a computer with a Windows operating system, you can download and install desktop applications from Esri

    1. The latest desktop application from Esri is ArcGIS Pro

    2. The older desktop application is ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap)

Any content that you create in the ArcGIS Online Organization may be deleted when you no longer have an affiliation with the University of Waterloo.

To use ArcGIS Pro

  1. Confirm that your computer meets the system requirements for ArcGIS Pro

  2. Sign in to using your 8-character username (e.g. and password)

  3. Go to your My settings page

  4. Click the Licenses tab in the left-hand menu and scroll down for the ArcGIS Pro download option

  5. Follow these steps to install (If you are not sure about any settings, accept the default option)

  6. Start ArcGIS Pro and choose the option to Sign in with Your ArcGIS organization’s URL

    1. For your ArcGIS organization’s URL, type uwaterloo so that the URL is 

    2. Check the option to remember this URL and click Continue

    3. Enter your 8-character username (e.g. and password to get started

To use ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap)

ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) licensing permanently expires August 30, 2024. Follow the instructions in this tutorial to learn how to migrate.

  1. Confirm that your computer meets the system requirements for ArcGIS Desktop

  2. Sign in to https://uwaterloo.maps.arcgis.comusing your 8-character username (e.g. and password

  3. Follow these instructions to install the software

Additional training/support resources

Need help?

Contact the IST Service Desk online or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.