Activate your HMS account 

An HMS account is required for access to HMS IT services such as email, collaboration shares, wireless network, research cluster, and the HMS Web Portal. HMS accounts are automatically created for those with a Harvard University ID (HUID) issued by Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health. Faculty and staff based at HMS-affiliated hospitals also qualify for an HMS account.Your HMS account credentials consist of your HMS account ID and a password you set during activation. You HMS account ID is typically your initials followed by up to four numbers, like "abc123". Before using an HMS account, you must activate it. 

Activate your HMS account from a link in an automated message sent to your personal email address used during onboarding. This automated message will be titled “Activate your HMS account” and contain your HMS account ID, activation code, and link required to activate your new HMS account. 

Claim your HarvardKey

HarvardKey is Harvard University's online user credentialing, uniquely identifying you to Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) applications and services. Your HarvardKey credentials are required for accessing PeopleSoft, a tool for reporting your time, as well as many other Harvard University financial applications. HarvardKey is independent from your HMS ID account.

  1. Claim your HarvardKey.
  2. Go back to the HarvardKey main page and select the Set Up & Manage Your Two-Step Verification link.
  3. HarvardKey FAQ.

HarvardKey is independent of your HMS account username and password.

Learn more about HarvardKey.

Harvard University ID (HUID)

When you were hired, you received a HUID number. Contact your hiring manager if you haven't received your HUID number yet. Learn more about Harvard IDs.

Microsoft 365 email account

You can access your HMS email inbox through the Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface by going to Sign in using your HMS account username and password. Interns or temporary personnel should check with their HMS supervisor regarding HMS email account eligibility.

HMS Wi-Fi and Virtual Private Network (VPN)

You can connect to the internet by Ethernet connection (wired) or wireless connections

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows HM and HSDM quad-based faculty, staff, and students to access HMS network resources securely over the internet from a remote location. To request VPN access, complete a VPN request form.

Harvard University uses ️Duo, which makes the two-factor authentication (2FA) process quick and easy. Using ️Duo for Two-step verification is now required to access the HMS VPN.

HMS IT recommends Pulse Secure for use with VPN connections.

Accessing file server resources

Home folders

Home folders are your very own personal, private folders, for your eyes only and accessible only by you. Quotas for HOME storage are 50 GB for HMS staff. HMS provides several file sharing and collaboration tools, including Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and departmental file sharing. Contact HMS IT for information about these services.

Collaboration shares

Staff needing access to \\\" dept name" must contact the owner of the Collaboration Folder for which access is required.


Dropbox Business offers HMS a secure way to store, sync, and share data across platforms and the globe. It keeps your computer up to date with your working files. Even entire Labs can promote collaboration via SmartSync, which provides a platform for accessing shared data without taking up valuable space on your computers. You can find complete information about Dropbox at HMS at

HMS faculty and staff can request a Dropbox Account at

After your Dropbox account has been created, request access to a team Dropbox folder from the team manager.

IT resources for researchers

HMS Research Computing (RC)

HMS offers O2, a high-performance computing cluster (HPCC) serving the HMS community's diverse research requirements and workflows. These requirements include big and small projects in the latest sequencing analysis, molecular dynamics, mathematical modeling, image analysis, proteomics, and other areas. You may request an O2 HPCC account at the following URL:

HMS Data Management and Best Practices

Effective data management is critical for accurate labeling and data access during all stages of a research project. Data management best practices often change throughout the different stages in the data lifecycle. You can find more info about effective data management at the following URL:

Requesting HMS IT support

Additional resources