How to get an access.caltech account

Before you can use many of the services and facilities provided by IMSS, you must get an account.

Please be sure to read the Institute Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources if you will be using any computing resources at Caltech.

Before requesting an account and using any of the services provided by IMSS, you should familiarize yourself with the IMSS general guidelines for computer use as well as any policies for specific facilities you intend to use, such as the IMSS Policy for Devices Connected to the Caltech Network.

Because there are many different associations and affiliations with the Institute, we've set up a separate page detailing who is eligible for an access.caltech account. Please make sure that you are eligible before requesting an account.

Requesting an Account

New incoming students (undergrads, transfers and graduate students) will have accounts created for them automatically and will be sent their account information (including usernames and initial passwords) via mail to their home addresses. New students will also be able to obtain new account information when they arrive on campus at new student orientation.

All other current Caltech staff, postdoctoral scholars, visitors, faculty, summer researchers, trustees, and retirees may request an individual account by filling out an Individual Account Request Form available at the Help Desk in 204 Central Engineering Services.

If you are requesting an account, for a club/organization or class, use the Hosted Account Form.

In order to view or print the PDF format forms you will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download a FREE copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader now. If you need assistance, please contact the people who normally provide you with technical support, or call the IMSS Helpdesk at x3500.

You will need to submit the account request form:

  • to the Help Desk in 204 Central Engineering Services in person during business hours and show your Caltech ID, or
  • mail the form and a legible photocopy of your Caltech ID to IMSS, Mail Code 200-85

Be sure to include all the information requested on the form.

If you have brought your account request form to Center for Student Services in person, it is very likely that a few minutes later, you will have information about your newly-activated account in your hands.

If you mail the form, within a few days, your Account Request Form will be returned to you via campus mail after your account has been created.

Unless the returned form indicates otherwise, your account will have been created with the username you requested. Your username and password will be at the bottom of the form. Since the IMSS computer systems are case sensitive, you must be sure to type your username in lower case when logging in. Your password may contain a mix of upper- and lower-case letters as well as numbers. Upper-case characters will be underlined on the returned form for ease of distinguishing them from the lower-case characters.

Be sure to change your password to something you can remember by following this link:

Keep in mind the suggestions about choosing good passwords from the IMSS reference Password Security Tips.