Esri's ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro

How to Obtain ArcGIS at Murray State

Faculty, staff, and students, an Esri Global Account, and Microsoft Windows

Every current faculty, staff, and student at Murray St. can have their own copy of Esri's ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Pro. A faculty, staff, or student must first have an Esri Global Account, which is easy enough to get. This Esri Global Account must be connected to Murray State's Esri organization in order to be covered by the university's Esri contract. Once the Esri Global Account is connected to Murray State, the user has access to software and free training. Finally, Esri software installs only on Microsoft Windows computers. 

 Note to MacOS/Apple folks:

Neither ArcGIS Desktop nor ArcGIS Pro is natively supported for any Mac OS. If you have no choice and have access to only a Mac, the Mac must be running some form of Windows emulator on your Macbook.

If you prefer to use an Apple Macbook for GIS, you should consider Apple's Bootcamp product. Visit the Official Apple Bootcamp support page for more information.


How to Get an Esri Global Account

An Esri Global Account is necessary to do anything related to Esri and to take advantage of Murray State's contract products. A user can get an Esri Global Account in two ways.

The best way to get an Esri Global Account is to simply email a request to msu.mapping@murraystate.edu and request an account. This account will, by default, already exist in the Murray State organization and provide immediate access to Esri software, online tools, and training.

Faculty, staff, and students can visit esri.com and create a free public Esri Global Account. The user then must email

msu.mapping@murraystate.edu and make a request to join the Murray State organization. 


 ArcGIS Desktop image

How Students Can Get ArcGIS Desktop

Once a student has an Esri Global Account, a student can get request an ArcGIS Desktop evaluation code (EVA) from msu.mapping@murraystate.edu. The student's instructor may also be a source for EVA codes, so if you are enrolled in a GIS-related course, your instructor may provide you a code.

The Esri ArcGIS Desktop EVA code must be registered with Esri. Once the EVA code is registered, the student will be able to download the software version of their choice. For complete registration, download, installation, and licensing details, please download and review our Murray St. install guide to Esri's software here.

If you are a Murray State student simply interested in learning GIS and getting familiar with Esri's ArcGIS software, please send an email to msu.mapping@murraystate.edu. and include the following details in your email:

 Subject: ArcGIS Desktop Student Edition

  1. Email Body:
  2. First and Last Name
  3. Status (Faculty, Staff, Student)
  4. Murray State Email Address (* software authorization codes can be granted only to those with active Murray State University email accounts)
  5. Year in School, if applicable (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  6. College and Department
  7. Track, Major, or Area
  8. Computer Make and Model
  9. Reason for request (specific grant, research topic, or university course)

 ArcGIS Pro image

How Students Can Get ArcGIS Pro

Once a student has an Esri Global Account, a student can request access to ArcGIS Pro from either their instructor or by emailing msu.mapping@murraystate.edu and requesting ArcGIS Pro access.

ArcGIS Pro is licensed by signing in to ArcGIS Online; there is no EVA code. ArcGIS Pro can then be downloaded from ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online requires a network connection and generally enjoys having a persistent internet connection, so please plan on being connected to the Internet while using ArcGIS Pro. 

Here is an install guide for ArcGIS Pro to get you started.


 How Students Can Gain Access to Esri Academy Training

Once a student has an Esri Global Account, the student needs to ensure their account is connected to Murray St's organization. If the account was created by msu.mapping@murraystate.edu, the student will immediately have access to Esri Academy.

If the student created a public account, on their own, with no Murray State interaction, the public account will need to be connected to Murray State's organization. The student will need to email msu.mapping@murraystate.edu and request to be connected to the Murray State organization.

Training UnlockedMany web courses are free for Murray State faculty, staff, and students. When your account is connected to Murray State's organization, a web-based course which normally is fee-based will appear with an unlocked icon.  Nearly all web-based courses developed by Esri are free under our Murray State contract. If a web-course shows a locked icon, either the account is not connected to Murray State or the web-based course has been developed by a 3rd-party provider and is not covered under contract. Contact msu.mapping@murraystate.edu for assistance. 


How Students Can Gain Access to ArcGIS Online (AGO)

Murray State faculty, staff, and students can immediately access Murray State's ArcGIS Online with their Esri Global Account as long as that account has been connected to the Murray State organization. Simply visit arcgis.com and sign-in. For classes and research purposes, MARC recommends being included in a Murray State AGO group in order to share mapping efforts.

Access to Business Analyst Online and Community Access Online is by permission-only due to a limited number of licenses and specific rules regarding use of these products. Please email msu.mapping@murraystate.edu for details regarding access.


ArcGIS Desktop or Pro for On-campus Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff interested in using ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Pro for on-campus administrative, academic, and research purposes can make arrangements to obtain ArcGIS Desktop or Pro for their Murray State University office or computer lab. On-campus computers are licensed differently so please don't install evaluation versions in labs or offices. Faculty and staff still need to have an Esri Global Account in order to work under our Murray St. contract.

Please send an email to msu.mapping@murraystate.edu for more details.


Murray State Computer Labs

ArcGIS Desktop is available in the following campus areas. If you think ArcGIS should be added to another lab, please email msu.mapping@murraystate.edu

  • Mapping Applications and Resource Center (MARC), Blackburn Science Building
  • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Blackburn Science Building
  • Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business
  • Hutson School of Agriculture
  • Harry Lee Waterfield Library

The computer labs are not open to the general student population, with the exception of the Harry Lee Waterfield library. The computer labs double as teaching/lecture classroom and are therefore not open as general-use computer labs. Please refer to the rules pertaining to the specific computer lab for more information.


  ArcGIS Desktop: Computer Requirements

Faculty, staff, and students need ArcGIS Desktop for Esri's Academy courses. The computer requirements for ArcGIS Desktop Student Edition are the same as those for the non-student edition.

For specific system requirements, visit ArcGIS Resources - ArcGIS System Requirements.

For most users, the following computer requirements will be sufficient:

  1. Operating System: Windows 10 Professional
  2. CPU Speed: 2.2GHz minimum.
  3. Processor: Intel i5/i7/i9, or Xeon. AMD processors are also acceptable, and may be superior in some regards.
  4. RAM: 4GB minimum. MARC recommends a minimum of 8GB, or as much as one can afford. ArcGIS Pro & ArcGIS 10.x need at least 8GB of RAM to operate with few frustrations. If you can afford 16GB, get 16GB. If you can afford 32GB, get 32GB.
  5. Graphics Card: Any NVIDIA or ATI card w/more than 256MB RAM will work. Invest in a 1GB card or better. The graphics card must support OpenGL v2.0 or higher. MARC recommends NVIDIA RTX series graphics cards for GIS and mapping efforts. Invest in a graphics card with at least 6GB RAM.
  6. Hard Drive: Configure your computer with one SSD hard drive as a boot drive for operating system and applications-only. The boot drive should be a minimum of 256GB; 5112GB is better. Microsoft Windows consumes a lot of space. Applications like ArcGIS Desktop and Pro may consume over 10GBs each. Add a 2nd hard drive with a minimum of 1TB of hard drive space; if you can afford more, then get 2TB or 4TB. Data consumes a lot of hard drive space which does not include all of the files resulting from actually working on mapping projects. 
  7. Display: A 24-bit color display with a resolution equal to or greater than 1024x768. Invest in a 2nd monitor.