Can I access the HMS network and the internet in Vanderbilt Hall?

Network access in Vanderbilt Hall is primarily wireless and is offered through these networks:

Every room in Vanderbilt Hall has at least one active network data port.  The Computer Resource Center can provide you with an ethernet cable so you can connect your device to one of the active data ports. An additional ethernet adapter may be required for some computers or devices, which you are responsible for providing.

Many rooms in Vanderbilt Hall have Wireless Access Points plugged into one of the available data ports.  This port is configured to work only with that access point. Do not disconnect the cable between the network jack and the wireless access point or plug anything into the wireless access point. Doing so will degrade the wireless network service to you and your neighbors in that part of the building. Those jacks will not provide a network to a computer or other devices, such as an Xbox or Apple TV.

Note – P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing applications are not allowed to be used on the HMS networks.

Can I connect to the HMS network from off-campus? Is there a VPN?

HMS IT provides SSL VPN access to HMS students on an as-needed basis to gain access to HMS resources from home (or when traveling) and when there is no acceptable access method. Whenever possible, students should use web clients such as OWA and MyCourses to access resources. We will, however, grant VPN access to HMS students upon request. To request VPN access, email

To connect after you have a VPN account, navigate to

If you use Windows, connect with either Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you use a Mac, connect with Safari and check to ensure that the menu item Safari > Block Pop-Up Windows is unchecked.

Sign in using your MyCourses username and case-sensitive password.

Under Client Application Sessions, select the Start button to the right of Network Connect. If you do not see this, you might not have access to the VPN. Get in touch with to request VPN access.

After you are connected via Network Connect, you can access the IT file server and software applications such as Lasergene, MATLAB, and so on.

How can I connect gaming systems, roku, AppleTV or other streaming devices to the Harvard Network?

Many devices with an ethernet port can be connected to the ethernet network.  You will need to have an active unused ethernet port in your room and the device will need to be registered on the network.

You can register your device by going to the Smart devices registration portal and signing in with your HMS ID.  When registering you will need the MAC address of the device you are registering.

Note: Connecting gaming systems and media streaming devices wirelessly is not supported. Devices that do not have an ethernet port cannot be registered on the HMS network.

Can I forward my email to a Gmail account?

Yes, you can forward an email by creating a rule in Outlook to forward to another email account.

Can I send mail from Gmail as my HMS email address?

No. Harvard University requires Two-step verification which prevents configuring Gmail to work this way.

Do I have aliases for my student HMS email account?

Yes, sign in to your MyCourses account. Select My Account and then the Email Settings tab. Under Email Forwarding, you can see the section titled Email Forwarding, where you can find any email aliases already set up for your account.

Does HMS give me online storage space?

Students can transfer and copy files to and from their HMS student online storage over the World Wide Web using secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP) clients. Students have been allocated 150GB of storage space for their student online storage folder.

NOTE: Students can also access their student online storage via MyCourses' Online Storage under Applications if there is no sFTP client on the computer that is in use.

How can I protect my non-HMS accounts?

Several websites are popular for students (and faculty and staff) to use on their own time that can be potentially hazardous to your personal computers, the School computers, the security of your HMS accounts, and your identity. Many major websites have implemented new security procedures that can help to:

  • Alert you when an unauthorized person has accessed your account
  • Tell you when and where your account has been logged on.
  • Only sign in when given a unique code retrieved from a secondary device such as a mobile phone.

You can find information here:

Google+, Gmail, all other Google Account ServicesFacebook

How can I set up my iPhone or iPad to receive HMS email?

You can find instructions for configuring your iPhone or iPad at the Microsoft 365 for Harvard site.

Note – Use of the HMS email service requires the use of a 4-digit passcode to access your device. This passcode will be set during the configuration.

How do I check to see if I have the latest critical patches for my computer?
For a Windows-based computer:
  1. Select the Tools menu and highlight Windows Update. A window dialog may prompt you to install a download. Select Yes if so.
  2. Select the link, Scan for Updates which will analyze your computer and its operating version. It will show you if you need critical updates or recommendations.
  3. Follow the directions on installing the latest critical patches for your operating system.
For a Macintosh-based computer:
  1. Go under the Apple icon located on your macOS computer and highlight Software Update...
  2. Check the boxes in the Software Update dialog box and select the Install <# of items> button to download security patches and other selected items onto your Mac.
How do I access HMS email on the web?

Launch a web browser and navigate to

I am being prompted that my password is going to expire. Must I change it?

Yes, you must change your MyCourses case-sensitive password if you are prompted to change it. You must change your case-sensitive password to one that is entirely different from your previous one, does not have your name or MyCourses username in it, and must follow the syntax rules. After signing in, you can do this in MyCourses; select My Account in the upper right, then the Account Security tab.

I locked myself out of my OWA account. What do I do?

If you're locked out of OWA, you're locked out of MyCourses. Go to, enter your username and password, and follow the lockout procedure. If you run into issues, contact or 617-432-2000

What if my attachment is larger than the allowed size. Is there a way for me to send it?

Yes. The HMS IT Department has a web-based app, Secure Remote File Transfer, that allows you to send large files over the internet for a recipient to access. Go to and sign in with your email address and MyCourses password.

What is the maximum file size for an attachment?

Around 18MB. A message can be no larger than 25 MB, so the attachment can be no larger than 25MB minus the size of the message itself.

What is my official student email address?

Predoctoral students will use the following official student email address: for HMS, DMS, HSTpredoctorall students, and for HSDMpredoctorall students. You can also find this on MyCourses under My Account in the Email Settings tab.

Where can I find information about (email) mailing lists?

You can visit the HMS LISTSERV help page.

Who can use the student computer facilities?

The Student computing facilities are reserved for currently registered, matriculated Harvard Medical School (HMS), Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), and Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) predoctoral students.

Post-doctoral students of HSDM do not have access to these facilities. There are a group of computers located in the basement of HSDM for post-doctoral student use.

Exchange or visiting students (or anyone that does not have an active HMS account) may use one of the kiosk computers in the Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC) Atrium. Otherwise, exchange or visiting students can inquire about their eligibility to use the Countway Library computers. Call the Countway Library for more information at 617-432-2134.

Why am I receiving email notices that I am approaching the maximum quota for my email account?

Students will receive an email notification when their email accounts reach 1900MB. This notice alerts them that they are approaching the 2GB limit and that deletion of unwanted emails should take place. You can check the total size of each sub-folder and folder to see if you are over the 2GB quota by checking your account's mailbox folder and inbox size. If a student email account goes over the 2Gb limit, your account will be locked down. If your account is locked down, request for your email account to be open by emailing