IBM Academic Initiative

Building skills for a Smarter Planet

Membership and renewal FAQ

Find the answers to common questions about membership and renewals in the Academic Initiative program.

All about memberships

  • - Who can join the Academic Initiative?

    IBM Academic Initiative membership is open to faculty and research professionals at accredited institutions of higher education and to IBM employees all over the globe. Membership is granted on an individual basis. There is no limit on the number of members at an institution that can join.

  • - What is an accredited institution?

    An accredited institution is one that is publicly or privately funded and can be defined by one the following:

  • - What does it cost to join the Academic Initiative?

    Academic Initiative membership and the majority of its benefits are available at no charge. This includes the capability to download selected IBM products, technology, and courseware, plus discounts on selected IBM professional certification tests, remote access to certain hardware systems, participation in technical webcasts, and much more.

  • - What are the benefits of joining?

    The IBM Academic Initiative provides its members with access to IBM software and courseware materials for teaching, learning, and non-commercial research. Members can download a wide variety of IBM and open source products and technologies, at no charge. Members can also access a wealth of information to learn about these products and technologies, incorporate them in your curricula, and connect with others members who are using them.

  • - How can I join the IBM Academic Initiative?

    You can join the IBM Academic Initiative by completing a two-step process described in Becoming a member.

    Step 1. If you haven't already, create your universal IBM user ID and password that will enable you to become a member of the Academic Initiative.

    Step 2. Submit the IBM Academic Initiative membership application form that provides more information about you and your institution. (You need to complete Step 1 and have an IBM user ID and password before proceeding with this step.) In some countries, a hard-copy application is required to be printed, signed, and mailed in. After you complete this step, most applicants will receive an e-mail from IBM granting provisional membership. Some applicants may receive a second e-mail requesting more information.

    Be sure to read and understand the IBM Academic Initiative program agreement for your country. You must agree to the program agreement as part of the membership application and terms of the program.

  • - How long does it take for my membership to be approved?

    In many countries, after you submit your application in Step 2, you will quickly be granted provisional membership into the program, subject to validation of your role at your institution. If we need additional information from you to validate your role, we will contact you.

    Some countries also require an additional review or require a hard copy of the signed agreement. In these cases, it will take longer for your membership to be approved. If you are applying in one of these countries, you might be contacted by an IBM Academic Initiative representative for additional details. The countries that require a hard copy of the signed agreements are indicated with an asterisk (*) next to the country name on the Program agreement page.

  • - Is there a limit to how many members per institution can join?

    There is no limit to the number of authorized members per institution that can join the Academic Initiative.

  • - How long does a membership last?

    Membership in the IBM Academic Initiative is active for one year. At the end of your membership year, you will be prompted to provide information to renew your membership and extend it for an additional 12-month period.

  • - What do I do if I applied for membership but I am still unable to access protected sections of the site?

    One of two things might be causing this:

Membership renewals

  • - How do I renew my membership?

    To renew your membership, go to Renewing or updating your membership. After you specify your affiliation and log in, you will be prompted to verify your membership information and indicate any changes. Upon approval, you will receive an email indicating that your membership is extended for an additional 12 months.

  • - Can my Academic Initiative membership be cancelled?

    You may cancel your membership at any time by notifying IBM by e-mail.

    IBM may cancel your membership if it is determined that you no longer qualify for the offering. If you or IBM cancels your membership, you may continue to use the products you have received under this initiative according to the terms under which you enrolled. You will not be eligible for membership renewal, software upgrades, or technical support.

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