Where and How to Get ArcGIS Pro at Harvard

On your own computer

If you have a PC and a Harvard Key, you can download and install ArcGIS Pro on your own computer using these instructions from the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA).

If you do not have a PC, consider using the open-source equivalent GIS desktop software, QGIS, which is OS-independent.

Do I Need ArcGIS Pro?

Prioritizing gaining competency with core GIS methods (here are some workshops ) over familiarity with any singular software will ensure that your spatial skills stay relevant and transferrable, as popular programs shift.

Despite being able to accomplish most, if not all of the same methods in QGIS as you can with ArcGIS Pro, here are some reasons why you might be thinking about choosing ArcGIS Pro:

  • Many industries use ArcGIS Pro or the ESRI suite, so gaining familiarity might make you more competitive in your given field
  • Maybe you are in a class that is using ArcGIS Pro to teach GIS methodologies
  • Maybe you have used ArcGIS Pro before, and want to keep working in that environment

Computers with ArcGIS Pro

Please find this list of places on campus where you can access ArcGIS Pro.

At the library

Lamont Media Lab

The Lamont Media Lab is on the basement floor of Lamont Library (directions).

The following two general PCs in the Lamont Media Lab have ArcGIS Pro:

  • HCL-PUB1
  • HCL-PUB2
Lamont Media Lab

Widener Atkins Reading Room

The Widener Atkins Reading Room is on the second floor of Widener Library (directions).

Entrance to Widener Atkins Reading Room

There are PCs in the Atkins Reading Room that have ArcGIS Pro.

PCs in Widener Atkins Reading Room with ArcGIS Pro

Cabot Science Library

The Cabot Science Library is located in the Science Center (directions). There are PCs on the ground floor which have ArcGIS Pro.

Cabot library computers upstairs

One PC in the basement level of Cabot Science Library has ArcGIS, while the Macs do not.

Cabot library computers downstairs

Graduate School of Design (GSD) Frances Loeb Library

There are many PCs at the Frances Loeb Library for the Graduate School of Design (GSD) (directions) which have ArcGIS Pro. They are located in the basement level.

GSD library basement computers

In the Digital Research Studio Space also located in the basement of the GSD library, there is a machine with increased computing power that also has ArcGIS Pro.

GSD digital research studio space

For questions about using these spaces, please contact the Graduate School of Design GIS librarian, Bruce Boucek.

Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Library

All Harvard affiliates

All Harvard affiliates can use ArcGIS Pro on the 5 PCs in the HKS Library, located on the ground floor of the Littauer Building on the HKS campus directions).

HKS computers

Harvard Kennedy School students

There are also 3-hour loaner laptops available from the HKS Library Services Desk for Harvard Kennedy School students with a HUID.

Institute for Quantitative Social Science Lab

The Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) has a computer lab located in the CGIS Knafel building on the concourse level (directions ). Each computer has ArcGIS Pro, along with many other software and computing services.

IQSS lab

Please be advised that if you are a first-timer to the IQSS labs, you will need to fill out a form before you are able to access the lab computers. This form is manually approved. It should not take a long time for the IQSS staff to approve you, but please consider this before you make a visit.

IQSS form

Loaner laptops through Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT)

Request a laptop

Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) will loan you a laptop for a capped period of two weeks. You can initiate this process by filling out this form , or by visiting the HUIT help desk in the Science Center (directions ).

Download ArcGIS Pro

HUIT laptop loanees will receive PCs with admin privileges, and can then access ArcGIS Pro by following the download instructions listed from the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis ArcGIS Pro for Harvard Key holders .


A list of eligible affiliates is available from the HUIT request form . Please allow up to three business days for your request to process.

House computer labs for Harvard College students

Here is a list of available computers in the houses.

GIS Technical Support

The Harvard Map Collection, located in the basement of Pusey library (directions ) offers free, customized GIS instructional consultations regardless of which software you choose. Visit the Harvard Map Collection website to request an appointment.

Our librarians advise on everything from help with the myriad available software, specifics of your project, and places to search for GIS data.

ArcGIS Pro Tutorials

If you are looking specifically for ArcGIS Pro tutorials, the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) manages the Harvard University Key Licenses for this software, and maintains a robust set of tutorials, FAQs, MOOCs, and in-person workshops specifically geared towards ArcGIS Pro. To get started, check out the CGA Frequently Asked Questions , which includes many how-to style tutorials for ArcGIS.

CGA GIS Institute

If you are a Harvard graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, faculty, staff, or external researcher, and you want to get hands-on experience with ArcGIS Pro, you might consider signing up for the CGA GIS Institute . The Institute covers many basic GIS literacies, and is a great opportunity if you have a research project where you’d like to incorporate more spatial thinking. The course happens twice a year, once in January and again in early June. It is a two-week course, and is available to Harvard affiliates for $100.