Software Description: IBM SPSS Statistics (SPSS) is a popular software package used for statistical analysis, charting, reporting, data management, and data documentation. The SPSS Statistics package includes IBM SPSS Statistics Base, Advanced Statistics, Bootstrapping, Categories, Complex Samples, Conjoint, Custom Tables, Data Preparation, Decision Trees, Direct Marketing, Exact Tests, Forecasting, Missing Values, Neural Networks, and Regression.
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Cost: No Charge
The academic/teaching version of SPSS is available for download to those who wish to use the software on a personal or university computer. Administrative use licenses must be obtained separately. Commercial research use is prohibited; only non-commercial academic research is allowed. Other methods are available for accessing SPSS on and off campus without installation.
VCU has acquired a site license for SPSS restricted to VCU academic teaching/research use only. Any other use, including administrative use, is prohibited. If you need SPSS for admin purposes, an exclusive SPSS administrative use license is available.
SPSS products obtained under the VCU Academic Site license are subject to the following conditions:
- All software installations must be registered. SPSS obtained via the above DownloadDownload/Renew-Register tab is automatically registered. If you receive the SPSS installation files elsewhere, such as from a fellow student or colleague, those SPSS installations must be registered by following the steps in the DownloadDownload/Renew-Register tab.
- Installation and licensing are limited to computers owned by:
- VCU or VCUHS
- Currently enrolled VCU students *
- Currently employed faculty or staff members of VCU or VCHHS *
- Usage is limited to currently enrolled VCU students and currently employed faculty or staff members of VCU or VCHHS.
- Use is limited to VCU or VCUHS related academic teaching and non-commercial academic research.
- Any other use, including but not limited to university administration and operations, is strictly prohibited. In particular, the following are prohibited:
- VCU or VCUHS administrative use
- McGuire VA Medical Center use
- You may not resell this license and or the products it covers.
* NOTE: If your VCU enrollment, employment, or computer ownership ends, the SPSS products must immediately be uninstalled.
Non-commercial academic research is research by degree-seeking students and faculty members where
(i) the results of such research are not intended primarily for the benefit of a third party;
(ii) such results are made available to anyone without restriction on use, copying or further distribution; and
(iii) any copy of any such result is furnished for no more than the cost of hosting, reproduction, and shipping.
Although administrative use of SPSS is prohibited under the VCU site license, individual administrative licenses may be purchased through the VCU education contract at a discounted price. Please contact the IT Support Center for more information.
There are several methods by which students, faculty, and staff may access SPSS for academic teaching and non-commercial academic research. Some provide access on or off-campus without installing the application on your computer.
Register, download, and install a copy of SPSS - A personal copy of SPSS may be installed on your computer. Please visit the Download/Renew-Register tab above.
Login to App2Go Server - If you need quick access to SPSS, the software may be accessed from the App2Go server via a web browser.
Access to SPSS – Administrative Use
If you need to use SPSS for administrative purposes, you must obtain a particular "admin" version of SPSS. Using the "academic" version of SPSS (discussed above) is illegal for administrative purposes. Please contact the IT Support Center for assistance in acquiring the administrative software.
For information about accessibility issues, please see the IBM PDF document Configuring Assistive Technology Software.
File Compatibility Between SPSS Versions
- Need SPSS for admin use? Visit the Access tab.
- Check IBM SPSS system requirements prior to installation:
- Select your desired version and OS:
Installation & Licensing
- Remove older SPSS before installing SPSS 29.
- Installation instructions:
- Check your VCU email for an authorization code to license SPSS (see Licensing Instructions below).
Renew & Register
- SPSS licenses expire annually in June.
- Renew (or register existing installations) by selecting your version and OS:
- A license authorization code will be sent to your VCU email address, which you can use to license or renew the license of your software.
SPSS learning resources are available to all VCU students, faculty, and staff. Online tutorials are available through IBM, O'Reilly for Higher Education, and LinkedIn Learning. Written documentation is available in book form and online.
- Self-paced Online Courses - IBM
- O'Reilly for Higher Education - SPSS video tutorials, e-books, and other online resources (free to VCU). Log in with your VCU eID, search for "SPSS," and select the desired format.
- VCU LinkedIn Learning - SPSS video tutorials (free to VCU). Log in with your VCU eID, then search for "SPSS."
SPSS-related books, video tutorials, and resources may be viewed online for free by VCU students, faculty, and staff because of VCU Libraries' subscription with O'Reilly for Higher Education. Log in with your VCU eID, search for "SPSS" (or a specific title), and select the desired format.
IBM Manuals, Documents & Tutorials
- SPSS 29 online documentation
- SPSS 28 online documentation
- SPSS 28 manuals and install documents (PDF)
- SPSS 27 online documentation
- SPSS 27 manuals and install documents (PDF)
To learn about importing data into SPSS from Excel, SAS, database, delimited text files, and others, see Opening data files and also the Reading Data tutorial (to access the data files used in this tutorial, select File / Welcome Dialog / Sample Files from the SPSS menus).
In particular, for assistance with importing from text files, either delimited or fixed width (column aligned), see To Read Text Data Files. Note that for fixed-width text files, when you select the file to be imported (via the menu item File / Import Data / Text Data), within the ensuing Open Data dialog box, you must change the Encoding selection to Local Encoding (instead of Unicode).
Updates, Support, Using R
Periodic SPSS updates are issued throughout the year. Technical and consulting support is available to SPSS users. R programs can be utilized within SPSS.
macOS Sonoma and IBM SPSS Statistics v28 & 27
The current recommendation for users of macOS Sonoma is to access SPSS software online at app2go.vcu.edu. If you require a local installation of SPSS, IBM has developed an Interim Fix to address the incompatibility issue. Select your installed version below to download the fix:
SPSS Updates / Fix Packs
IBM occasionally releases updater programs, called "fix packs," to correct bugs and other issues in their SPSS software. These are the currently available fix packs. Click the linked name to download the fixpack:
If you are unsure whether a fix pack has already been installed, launch SPSS and select the Help ↠ About SPSS menu item. If the release number noted in the bottom corner of the next screen, for example, Release 220.127.116.11, matches the fix pack number listed above for your SPSS version, that fix pack HAS already been installed, and no action is necessary.
VCU Technology Services provides support for issues with SPSS installation and licensing. You may submit a request for assistance through the IT Support Center.
The Department of Statistical Sciences & Operations Research provides free consultation services, including support for research work, statistical advice, and analytical know-how. These are available to all current VCU students, faculty, and staff by appointment.
The VCU SPSS email listserv provides subscribers with timely notification of SPSS upgrades, maintenance fixes, training and learning opportunities, and other related news. Users who download or renew SPSS from the VCU website are automatically subscribed. You may manually subscribe by visiting SPSS Listserv (VCU email address required).
Using R with SPSS
Mac Big Sur note: SPSS Statistics may fail to load R libraries when you attempt to run R extensions or any R plug-in syntax on Big Sur. A workaround is to rename the libc++.1.dylib and libc++abi.1.dylib libraries (for example, change the filename extensions to '.dylibx'). These libraries are under the R 3.5 or 3.6 lib folder (for example, /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/3.6/Resources/lib). Renaming the libraries prevents older R library versions from loading and ensures that the correct system libraries are loaded.
You can run R programs within SPSS to analyze the data files you have opened in SPSS. R is a free software environment for statistical analysis, graphics, and more.
To be able to run R programs within SPSS, you must perform the following one-time setup procedures:
For SPSS 28:
Afterward, an easily configurable R runtime environment (R version 4.0.5) will be available that is configured for use with SPSS Statistics, and you can enter R code directly in the runtime environment console. It is accessed by clicking the R for SPSS Statistics option in the Start menu for Windows or Launchpad for macOS. See also Running R commands within SPSS below.
For SPSS 27:
- You must have R version 3.6.x installed. This is available at www.r-project.org
- Then perform these two steps:
- First, install the SPSS Statistics R Configuration Extension according to these instructions. In those instructions, when you visit the Extension Hub, you can search for 'STATS_R' to quickly locate the R extensions in the displayed list. Select the extension that matches your installed version of R (i.e., STATS_R36).
- Then configure the SPSS Statistics Integration Plug-in for R according to these instructions. You will be asked to specify your computer's R home directory during this process. Here are their standard locations (they may differ on your computer), using R version 3.6.3 as an example:
- Windows: C:\Program Files\R\R-3.6.3
- Mac: /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/3.6/Resources
(You must first perform any one-time setup procedures noted just above.)
To use R commands within SPSS, open an SPSS Syntax window (from the SPSS menus, select File / New / Syntax). Then type your R commands in this window, sandwiched between the "BEGIN PROGRAM R." and the "END PROGRAM." commands. Note that there is a period "." at the end of those two commands (but your R commands obey the usual R syntax rules). Here is a simple example:
x <- 2 + 5
cat("the value of x is", x)
To execute those commands, display the "Run" menu in the Syntax window and select "All," which instructs SPSS to execute all commands in the Syntax window. Any resulting output will typically be displayed in your SPSS Viewer window. (Note: The begin and end program commands can be typed in lowercase.)
To execute a subset of the commands in the Syntax window, select (highlight) them with the mouse and then click the green triangular "Run Selection" toolbar button (or display the "Run" menu and choose "Selection"). Note that if you select and run any portion of an R "sandwich" (that is, the "BEGIN PROGRAM R." command, its subsequent "END PROGRAM." command, and the R commands in between), the entire sandwich will be executed.
To save your Syntax window commands to a file, select File / Save from the menus. To re-use those commands in the future, re-open the file in a new Syntax window (from the menus of any SPSS window, select File / Open / Syntax and browse for your file).
Your R commands can read and write data from and to a data file that you have opened within SPSS (i.e., in an SPSS Data Editor window). See, for example, Using R from SPSS (see also the general discussion at the top of that document).
For additional information, go to the Learn tab and select the online documentation link for your version of SPSS, ensure that Show full table of contents is selected, and then view the two topics entitled Integration Plug-in for R and Working with R.
Note that SPSS 28 has a new "Workbook" mode, which facilitates using the Syntax and Viewer windows. See Viewer Workbook for more info.