Office 365 is free for eligible students, staff and faculty
All current SFU students, staff, and faculty are eligible to receive Office 365.
"Students" includes both graduate students (as defined by the Dean of Graduate Studies) as well as undergrads enrolled in a degree granting course (as defined by Student Services). At this time, Continuing Studies students are not eligible.
Office 365 Features
- Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel for both Mac and Windows (detailed info below).
- Five installations on any of the following devices: desktop computer, notebook, tablet, Android, and iOS device.
- Native desktop versions the same as what you're used to.
- Additionally, access to a cloud version of Office that runs through a browser, maintaining an identical look and feel to the standard software. Access Office from any place.
- A terabyte of file storage within the Cloud, which comes in the form of a personal SharePoint website (this is not hosted at SFU).
How do I access Office 365?
To get started, enter the SFU sign up page to proceed with the installation process.
Step 1: Check Eligibility
Click that link above to proceed. SFU will confirm your eligibility following the login process. For more info on the program, keep reading.
On the following page (from the link above), you'll see the green eligibiltiy button:
Step 2: Agreement to Terms
Congratulations you are eligible! You will be required to agree to the terms and conditions for use. Microsoft requires the university to disclose your first and last name, as well as an SFU email address.
Step 3: Download Office 365
- You will receive an email in SFU Mail confirming your account creation with a temporary password provided. This email will contain a link to "https://portal.office.com" with your logon ID and password.
- Open the "portal.office.com" link in a 100% new browser session. Incognito mode, or a different browser entirely is highly recommended (for example, if you recieve the email in Chrome, please open the portal.office.com link in Firefox). This is important to avoid conflict with any existing Microsoft Live sessions.
Best Practices for using Office 365
Faculty and Staff
Since MS Office is used to conduct administrative or operational business through tools such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, you must not use the Office 365 cloud version or Microsoft “OneDrive” storage space for these activities. University records contain personal and confidential information, which makes it ILLEGAL for employees to store them in the Microsoft cloud servers which are located outside of Canada.
Since the main file storage “OneDrive” resides in the Microsoft cloud servers in the United States, the Patriot Act enables the U.S. government to examine any suspicious files on the devices that exist on American soil at any time. This condition is similar to the security measures relative to any files placed within Google or Dropbox.
Unauthorized disclosure and storage of personal information outside of Canada is an offense under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. SFU and any individual employee are liable to investigation and potential fines if any personal information is disclosed or stored inappropriately.
For this reason, employees conducting University business must only use Office 365 installed on a local device; and, University records must only be stored on University shared drives or servers, not on Microsoft’s “OneDrive. Examples include:
- Records containing personal information
- Records containing advice and recommendations for the University
- Records containing information subject to solicitor-client privilege
- Records which disclose anything to harm the University’s financial and economic interests
- Records which disclose anything that harms third party business interests
Employees must agree to the following Office restrictions upon access and installation:
1. The software must be downloaded and used on a local device; and,
2. Employees are not permitted to use the MS Office cloud version nor the MS Office cloud storage service for any and all University business
As a safety measure, students should adhere to the following rules regarding information security concerns:
- You should not share any personal or private information about themselves to Microsoft that they wouldn’t want anyone else to see, and
- Do not use the same password on Office 365 that is used for SFU computing ID.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is SFU involved?
Microsoft has provided Office 365 free to eligible students, faculty, and staff. SFU retains the following ownership responsibilities:
- Provides access to the cloud-based storage and services only for eligible users
- Provides 30 day termination notification to users who no longer meet the eligibility criteria.
- Retention of rights to files or information within the storage space provided (OneDrive), in exactly the same manner as files stored on a conventional SFU file server.
- Enforcing the SFU General Policies regarding the use of information, IT resources, discipline, and ethical behaviour of the SFU Office 365 tenant.
How do I reset my password?
Password resets are done on the SFU sign up page. To reset your password, you'll need to verify your eligibility and you'll receive a new password.
How do I report any technical issues?
The installation of software is on a personal device, so any issues accessing or installing the Office 365 package or issues concerning the SharePoint site provided should only be addressed with Microsoft.
Support Webpage link: Contact Office 365 Support
Canadian Call Support (24 hours): 1-800-865-9408
How long can I use Office 365?
Office access will continue to be available as long as you are a current student, faculty, or staff member. Once you are no longer eligible in this manner, your login ID becomes invalid for the installed software on their device.
Under the terms of Microsoft’s License Agreement, you are obligated to uninstall Office 365 when you are no longer eligible to receive Office 365 free. SFU retains the rights to limit access to cloud based storage (e.g. OneDrive) to current students, faculty, and staff.
Any files that aren’t removed from OneDrive by the end of the 30 day notice will be subsequently deleted from the server.
In the unlikely event that SFU discontinues to purchase the license from Microsoft, Office access will be cancelled.
I am a retiree. Do I qualify for faculty/staff downloads?
Retired faculty or staff are not licensed for faculty/staff downloads for Office 365. There are exceptions for emeritus professors for other software (e.g. Maple and Matlab), but not Office 365. However these cases are dependent upon the licensing requirements of the individual vendors. Access for the above links is maintained by a maillist, and if a person's account is not authorized to access the download page, the person is not entitled for access.
I am an emeritus professor. Do I qualify for faculty/staff downloads?
Emeritus professors are not licensed for faculty/staff downloads for Office 365. As above, it is dependent upon the licensing requirements of the individual vendors, and not all vendors have the same entitlements. For more information, send an email to email@example.com. Access for the above links is maintained by a mail list, and if a person'saccount is not authorized to access the download page, the person is not entitled for access.
I am an adjunct professor. Do I qualify for faculty/staff downloads?
Adjunct professors are not licensed for faculty/staff downloads for Office 365. As above, it is dependent upon the licensing requirements of the individual vendors, and not all vendors have the same entitlements. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Access for the above links is maintained by a maillist, and if a person'saccount is not authorized to access the download page, the person is not entitled for access.
What if I am not eligible?
SFU's agreement covers current students, faculty, and full-time continuing staff. Unfortunately, the additional cost for covering the entire University community including retirees and professors emeritus is prohibitive. These are the terms of our agreement with the vendor, and they are not negotiable. We apologize for any inconvenience.
If your department needs to collaborate with you, it will be necessary for you to make arrangements to purchase the software, or to use the software on a computer physically located on campus. However, your status with the University as a retiree or emeritus professor also entitles you to education pricing directly from Microsoft. For more info click here.