Ron Cody’s tips on using SAS University Edition


tips-on-using-sas-university-editionI often wonder how many people see the word "university" in the title "SAS University Edition" and think you have to be a university student to download this software. Please help me spread the word: Anyone can download the University Edition (as long as you’re using it for learning purposes), and the best part is it's FREE.

I just returned from the South Central SAS User Group meeting (in San Antonio) where I attended a talk by Ryan Lafler (Kirk's son). One of the first questions from the audience was, "Is the University Edition a watered-down, restricted version of SAS?"  The answer is no.  The SAS University Edition – let’s call it UE – is a complete version of SAS that even includes SAS/STAT, SAS/IML, and SAS/Access. Is there a catch? Just one: you are not supposed to use the SAS University Edition for commercial purposes.

I could go on and on about how awesome it is that SAS offers this option for learners, but the title of this blog includes the word "tips" so I better get going and tell you a few. First of all, to obtain your free copy of SAS, click here.

...or, even easier, just type "SAS University Edition" into Google or whatever search engine you use.

Here's another good tip: If you are using UE to learn SAS, follow the installation instructions and create a folder on your hard drive called "c:\SASUniversityEdition\Myfolders" (or the appropriate form on Apple or Linux) and place your data (such as Excel Workbooks) there.  Here's the reason:  The virtual environment is running Linux, where file naming conventions are not the same as those on Microsoft or Apple.  So, to communicate between your "real" computer and the "virtual" computer, you must set up a shared folder. (There are step-by-step instructions in the installation guides.) I should also mention that my two books, Introduction to SAS University Edition and Biostatistics by Example Using SAS Studio show you screen shots of every step in setting up UE and SAS Studio.

The last piece of information I want to share with you is how easy it is to use the Import Utility. It's even better than the Import Wizard that’s part of the Display Manager. You can import data from just about any source (Excel, Access, etc.) and for most files, you don't even have to specify the data source — the Import Utility will look at the file extension and, if it is one it recognizes (.xls or .xlsx, for example) it will perform the conversion automatically.

OK, a bonus tip. If you’re slightly older (such as myself), find a young person to give you a hand when you install the University Edition and SAS Studio! They can probably do it in half the time!


About Author

Ron Cody

Private Consultant

Dr. Ron Cody was a Professor of Biostatistics at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey for 26 years. During his tenure at the medical school, he taught biostatistics to medical students as well as students in the Rutgers School of Public Health. While on the faculty, he authored or co-authored over a hundred papers in scientific journals. His first book, Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language, was first published by Prentice Hall in 1985 and is now in its fifth edition. Since then, he has published over a dozen books on SAS programming and statistical analysis using SAS. His latest book, A Gentle Introduction to Statistics Using SAS Studio was published this year. Ron has presented numerous papers at SAS Global forums, regional conferences, as well as local user groups. He is presently a contract instructor for SAS Institute and continues to write books on SAS and statistical topics.


  1. Hi,

    I have Learning SAS by Example (with the red cover) and am using University Edition. Unfortunately, many of the data sets referred to in the book problems are not found at the link I came across, and a CD of the files no longer comes with the book. This is very frustrating. I am in Chapter 10 and being asked to merge the Inventory and Purchase data sets, but the link I used to download the files has neither, and is also missing many other files, although some of them (such as Gym) are found at the link. Below is the link I used to download the files. Is there another link that has all the files?

  2. Hi Bharat.

    Yes, SAS UE is a great way to learn SAS I would be delighted if you bought my Learning SAS by Example book.

  3. Dear sir,
    I am using SAS UE for learning. your second paragraph was helpful to me, as i was not knowing that SAS UE is limited version or not !! so i must consider that SAS UE contains SAS STAT, SAS IML,
    SAS ACCESS. Also one of my friend suggested me to buy your book "learn sas by example".

  4. Mark de Lange on

    Hello Mr. Cody,

    Thanks for the great introduction you wrote for SAS!
    Coming from other platforms, i found your book combined with the SAS university edition an easy step to take towards SAS programming.

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Mark.

      I don't often look at my blogs, so I did not see your kind words until now. I am delighted that you found the book useful.


  5. Hello Mr. Cody,
    I am learning SAS from your great book learning sas by example.I am stuck on chapter 'Generating High-Quality Graphics' .I am not able to use procedures in sas studio by SAS university edition.Please help me with it.

    Great admirer of your book and an enthusiastic learner.

    • Hi.

      I have GOOD news for you! Forget that chapter! SAS now has PROC SGPLOT that is easy to use and does bar charts, histograms, scatter plots, and more. There are lots of great papers out there--just Google PROC SGPLOT.

  6. Hello Mr. Cody,
    Wishing all the best this new year.
    After reading your article, I feel oblige to seek for some handy tips regarding completing my UE installation. I actually got stock when I not access the sas studio through the localhost 10080. I followed the instruction of copying and pasting the URL. How do I get pass this localhost issue and see the sas welcome screen for virtuall application and ultimately sas studio screen.


  7. Hi Mr. Ron, I am a big fan of your simple explanations and I have your Learning SAS by Example and the SAS programming 1 and programming 2 books. I really appreciate the help you are providing to new sas learners and users through your step by step instruction books.

    • Hi Murali.

      Nice to hear my tips are useful. You were the first person to comment. I am new to blogging but I have SAS doing all the work. I only have to write the tips.


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