Alternatives to Installing SAS

If you don’t have a Windows computer or can’t install SAS on Windows, there are a few alternatives that may work for your purposes if you only need basic SAS functions. Mac users may find SAS OnDemand for Academics easier, however it may lack certain functionality of the full SAS suite. SAS OnDemand is available even if you do not have a license from Boston University via a class or departmental purchase.

SAS OnDemand for Academics

SAS OnDemand for Academics is a web-based version of SAS Studio, a trimmed down version of the full SAS suite that can run basic SAS code and some other products.

To start using it right away, click this link to go to the Quick Start Guide, courtesy of SAS. It has basic instructions to get you signed-up and writing SAS code in a short amount of time.

For more detailed information about using it, including videos walkthroughs and how to import datasets, click here to visit the SAS OnDemand for Academics Support Portal. When using these guides, follow the steps directed towards Independent Learners.

Once you have an account setup, this is the link for the login portal.

If you have difficulty logging-in or signing up for SAS OnDemand, call SAS Support at 1-800-727-0025.

BU Common from Anywhere

BU Common from Anywhere uses Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop to connect to the same type of computer labs used at Mugar.

Mac instructions for BU Common

Linux Virtual Lab

Research Computing Services runs a general purpose Linux server environment called the Linux Virtual Lab which includes SAS for Linux. At that link, it explains how you can request access by emailing and then provides steps to connect from a Windows or Mac computer. Mac users who are familiar with Linux environments may find this easier to use than SAS OnDemand.


  • Alumni Medical Library at 72 East Concord Street (L Building) has computer labs on the 11th and 12th floor with SAS installed.
  • The BU Common computer lab at Mugar Memorial Library, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, has workstations with SAS.