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Canvas is a modern, easy-to-use Learning Management System (LMS) that brings instructors, students, and course content together in one place. It is cloud-based, so you can access all of your courses in real-time from anywhere, on any internet-connected device.

The modular architecture of Canvas allows for the ability to tap into a rich ecosystem of tools. MIT's Canvas includes several integrated services you can access using MIT Touchstone Authentication or your Infinite Connection Account including:

  • Zoom - hold virtual classes or chat
  • Piazza - an online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24x7, under the guidance of instructors
  • Gradescope - administer and grade all of your assignments and exams, online or in-class
  • Panopto - video recording and editing application
  • Slack - messaging and collaboration tool for teams, groups and individuals


Course Creation

Class Sites

Course sites for academic classes are created automatically each semester from Registrar data. Both students and instructors are automatically added to sites. Students are automatically added to and removed from sites based on their registration status per the Registrar's office. Instructors are added to and removed from sites based on the information in the MIT Instructor Assignment application.

Non-Class Sites

While Canvas exists primarily to support classes at MIT, non-class sites in Canvas can be requested for MIT purposes. These sites will not be customized or enhanced for non-class use, but the MIT community is welcome to use the tool as-is for non-class purposes.

To request a non-class site, review the terms of use, complete, and submit the Non-class Canvas Site Request form.

How to Login


  • MIT Students, Faculty and Staff - use MIT Kerberos with Touchstone Authentication
  • Alumni - use Infinite Connection beginning on July 1, of your graduation year
  • All other users - you will need a guest MIT user account to access Canvas; contact your TA or Instructor and ask them to sponsor an MIT Guest Account on your behalf

Having trouble logging into Canvas? Contact the IS&T Service Desk 24x7

How to Use


For Faculty/Course Instructors

  • How can I access my upcoming class in Canvas?
    Canvas academic class sites are created before the next semester, and will display as tiles on lead faculty dashboards immediately upon login. They will also be listed under "Courses" on the left-hand sidebar once you login to Canvas. To start, your class site is just a shell with a basic course template; no actual course content or membership has been populated, integrations enabled, and the class site will not be visible (outside of your view) until it is published. If you are logging into Canvas, and do not see your class on either the dashboard or in the "Courses" tab, please email
  • Can I migrate my course content from a previous Stellar course?
    Yes! Please email and let us know which Stellar site you are migrating from, and which Canvas site you are mirgrating to.
  • When will course membership populate?
    Course membership will begin to populate along in the registration cycle once the data is available in the system, usually within a week of registration changes (add/drop). If you believe your membership should already be populated and it is not, please contact

    Pre-Registered students are converted to student status or removed from the course starting on Registration day and the conversion or removals should be complete within one week.

General Questions

  • Can I obtain access to prior-semester course content, and if so, for how long?
    If you no longer have access to a past course, please contact that course's instructor or the relevant department for guidance.
  • How should I log in if I'm an alum and an active faculty, staff or student?
    If you are a matriculating student or active faculty or staff, then please use your MIT Kerberos credentials by selecting MIT Student, Faculty, and Staff from the Canvas login choices.

See Also

Have Questions or Still Need Help?

  • Review our FAQ's above for a list of frequently asked questions related specifically to MIT's Canvas instance.
  • If you need any further support for any items that cannot be addressed via the Canvas Guides linked above, all members of the MIT community can create a support ticket through the Help menu in Canvas which includes: “Report a problem”, phone number, live chat or email Be sure to include the following information to help expedite resolution of your ticket:

    • Detailed summary of the problem
    • When did this issue begin?
    • Who is affected? If students, include the name of student(s) to aid in troubleshooting if possible.
    • URL links to where you can see the problem
    • URL link to Course
    • Troubleshooting done (examples: Clear Cache and cookies, did you try an Incognito browser, have you tested on different browsers and/or devices?)
    • Please include a screencast or screenshot of the problem, if applicable.
  • Having trouble logging into Canvas? Contact the IS&T Service Desk 24x7 via phone call to 617-253-1101 or via email to
Additional escalation information for Help Staff can be found here: [hd:Canvas Recon].

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

February 05, 2024

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