Some quick items about courses…

Upgrade the Teaching Project First!

If you’re using CoCalc course management, we strongly recommend that the project containing the .course file have upgrades for Member Hosting and Internet Access. These upgrades are available with any level of subscription to CoCalc. Some functionality that involves inviting students via email, notifications, etc., will only work with the Internet Access upgrade. We also pride ourselves on offering extensive support to paying customers. If you’re an instructor and need a free trial subscription, do not hesitate to contact us at

Setting up a Course with a Site License

For the best results, follow these steps when setting up a course with a site license:

1. Obtain a license key.

At present, you need to contact us directly at to buy a site license. Soon, we will add the ability to buy site licenses online.

A license key is a hexadecimal uuid string. It looks like this:


2. Create a teaching project.

Create a CoCalc project you will to use to manage the course.


3. Create a .course file.

Use the (*)New button to create a .course file for managing your course.


4. Install your license in the .course file.

  • Open the .course file and click “Configuration.”
  • Check the box for “You or your institute will pay for this course”.
  • Click “Upgrade using a license key…”.
  • Paste in your license key and click “Save”. You will see additional text where you entered the license key, indicating which upgrades will be applied and the maximum number of simultaneous running projects that can use this license.

5. Restart the teaching project.

In project Settings (wrench icon), restart your project so that the license will be applied. Click “Restart Project…” then click “Yes, restart project” in the confirmation dialog.


license entered in course Configuration; about to restart teaching project

In project Settings, within a few seconds you will see that the teaching project is being upgraded. The warnings about running on an unpaid server will be gone, and you will see your license upgrades applied to the teaching project, including Member Hosting and Internet Access.


project settings after restarting teaching project

License setup done!

You have just completed the steps to create a teaching project, upgrade the teaching project, and create a .course file. You are ready follow steps below to add TAs, if any, add students, and set up handouts and assignments.


Very Frequently Asked Questions. We’re putting these here because we get them so often. Further course plan/quotas related questions are answered in Billing/Upgrades FAQ.

Can I combine course plans to provide upgrades for a single course?


For example, if you expect 35 students in a course, you could buy one Extra Small plan for 10 students, and one Small plan for 25 students.

Can I teach multiple courses with a single plan?


Upgrades can be mixed and distributed in a very flexible way. For example, if you are teaching one course with 30 students and another with 40 students, you could buy a single Medium plan for 70 students, and then allocate upgrades for student projects for the two courses accordingly.

In general, upgrades of the same type, for example Member Hosting, are interchangeable. It doesn’t matter if the upgrade comes from a personal subscription or course plan. An upgrade can be applied to one project, removed from that, and applied to another project. This can be done as many times as desired until the upgrade expires.

Both the above questions apply to Teacher or institution pays for upgrades, described in detail below.