Virtual Computer Lab (VCL)

What is Virtual Computer Lab?

Virtual Computer Lab (VCL) is a cloud-based service that allows you to run Windows-based software through a web browser. VCL is available only during the virtual learning period to provide special access to certain specialized academic software while students and faculty are away from campus. 

  • VCL allows entitled users to access university-licensed applications 24-hours a day from home or any location with an active internet connection.
  • VCL provides access to these environments through a virtual desktop running Windows OS.
  • It is not necessary to be on GW campus or VPN in order to access the Virtual Computer Lab.

What software is available?

  • ArcGIS
  • GeoDA
  • Google Chrome Browser,
  • Microsoft Office Apps (Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word 2016),
  • NVivo12
  • R x64 
  • RStudio
  • SAS
  • SPSS

Before you begin

  • You must have an active GW Net ID to log in.
  • All GW students, faculty, and staff have access to the Virtual Computer Lab.
  • VCL is not intended for synchronous class use at this time.
  • VCL supports a finite number of concurrent connections. During peak times, you may receive an error message stating that “no licenses are available at this time, please try again later.”
  • Please be sure to save your files to an external source (i.e. Box, Google Drive) before you log off each VCL session. Data stored in the Virtual Computer Lab will be permanently deleted at the end of each semester without notice. Unfortunately, support staff cannot retrieve any lost files.
  • Please use a HTML5 compatible web browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge). To ensure an optimal experience with VCL, it is recommended to use an internet connection with bandwidth of 1 Mbps or greater,and low latency of less than 50ms (test your internet speed).

How to access the Virtual Computer Lab

  1. Visit
  2. Click on the “Log in”button
  3. Enter your GW credentials.This will be the same as your GW email account.
  4. After a successful login, click on “Launch”to connect to the virtual desktop.
  5. At initial launch, the system will walk you through a brief tutorial. Follow the on-screen instructions.

For technical assistance or questions, please contact the Solutions Center at or (202) 994-7900