Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is my Penn State User ID?

A:  Before you can use any Penn State computing resources, you need to obtain your ACCESS ACCOUNT 'user ID' and 'password.' Some people refer to this as just your email name and password, but it is many other things as well.  Know the following:

  • Your 'user ID' is unique, and will be used to gain access to many services, including email.
  • Your 'user ID', which is assigned to you when you register as a student, is usually a string of characters containing your initials and three numbers (like 'ABC123').
  • Your 'user ID' does not contain the ',' which is part of your email address.
  • Your email address is a combination of your User ID and our email server name.
  • You are required to change your password when you get your account and annually thereafter. Change your password ».
  • There are many important policies regarding its use - please learn these.
  • Your password is not to be shared.  

Q:  How do I get my Penn State Access account?

A:  Upon acceptance to the University or after registering for a class, a Penn State Access account is created. To activitate the account, you will need to use a Signature Station at a Penn State campus. Bring your Penn State ID card OR a photo ID AND your Penn State ID number with you.  At the Berks Campus, the Signature Stations are located in the Thun Library near the IT Help Desk.

Q:  Is wireless Internet access available at Penn State Berks?

A:  Wireless connectivity is available in Luerssen Building, Franco Building, Gaige Building, Beaver Community Center, Perkins Student Center, Thun Library and Residence Hall lounge and study areas. You will need your Access account and setup your computer for Wireless. Ask the Help Desk Staff for details, or visit:

Q:  Can I purchase technology products through the University?

A:  Only software is available through Penn State. Usually at a significant discount. For more information go to - MS Office 2013 is available for students as a free download from this site.

Also, you can download some software such as Symantec anti-virus at no charge. Visit for a complete list.

Q:  Can I connect to the Internet from my Residence Hall room?

A:  Yes. To apply for a connection, please go to

For additional help, please contact the Penn State Berks Help Desk at 610-396-6195 or [email protected]

Q:  Does the University offer text messaging of critical information?

A:  Yes. The University has implemented a text messaging service for immediate and critical information such as emergencies and campus weather closings called PSUAlert. The service can be activated by going to PSUAlert The service is free and provides for text messages to be sent to your cell phone and/or email. All are encouraged to subscribe.