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 the need for installation.
VCU has acquired a site license for SPSS that is 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:
* NOTE: If your VCU enrollment or employment or your 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. App2Go provides you access to SPSS virtually. SPSS appears to be running on your local computer, and you can open and save files on your computer and print on your local printer. More information is provided on the App2Go website and how to use the app2Go server.
SPSS in the Library - SPSS may be accessed from any of the VCU Libraries computers via the App2Go server. The library loaner laptops also provide access to SPSS.
If you need to use SPSS for administrative purposes, you must obtain a particular "admin" version of SPSS. It is illegal to use the "academic" version of SPSS (discussed above) for administrative purposes. Please contact the IT Support Center for assistance if you wish to acquire the administrative software.
For information about accessibility issues, please see the IBM PDF document Configuring Assistive Technology Software.
(If you need SPSS for administrative use, please visit the Access tab above.)
Review the IBM SPSS System Requirements.
Select your desired version and scroll through the list provided to find your operating system.
Select your desired version below to begin the registration and download process.
You must complete the displayed online registration form to gain access to the SPSS software download link, as described in step 3 below.
* According to IBM Inc.: "SPSS Statistics will still work on the new M1 hardware but may not run as fast. We are investigating how to optimize SPSS Statistics with the new M1 hardware."
** Running SPSS 26 on macOS 11 Big Sur requires Fix Pack 188.8.131.52 for Mac.
Install the SPSS software according to these instructions:
After installation, you must license your SPSS software, using the authorization code that was emailed to you — see the "LICENSING INSTRUCTIONS" step below.
June 2021 note: When you launch SPSS, a warning will display about the imminent expiration of your SPSS license. Please know that your SPSS software will continue to run through the end of June, plus a 30-day grace period. New license codes should be available by the end of June or early July that will license SPSS through December. When the new codes become available, all current SPSS users will receive an email notification explaining how to obtain and use them to renew your SPSS software.
(If you need SPSS for administrative use, please visit the Access tab above.)
SPSS software expires each June and December. To renew your SPSS license or to register SPSS installations that were previously unregistered, please follow the steps below. A license authorization code will be emailed to your VCU address, which you can use to license or renew the license of your software.
Select your desired SPSS version for renewal/registration:
SPSS learning resources are available to all VCU students, faculty, and staff. VCU provides hands-on training on the basics of SPSS. Online tutorials are available through IBM and LinkedIn Learning. Written documentation is available in book form and online.
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, then search for "SPSS" (or a specific title), then select the desired format.
There are a few other minor differences that you will encounter in these pages, but they should not be a problem. Note that you can click the Help button in each dialog box to get assistance.
Periodic SPSS updates are issued throughout the year. Technical and consulting support is available to SPSS users. R programs can be utilized within SPSS.
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:
You are strongly encouraged to download and install the fix pack that is listed for your version of SPSS. For instructions, please visit Obtain SPSS Fix Packs.
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 ensuing screen, for example Release 184.108.40.206, 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 by appointment to all current VCU students, faculty, and staff.
The VCU SPSS email listserv provides subscribers 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 also manually subscribe by visiting SPSS Listserv (VCU email address required).
Mac Big Sur Note: SPSS Statistics fails 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 located 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 that 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 these one-time setup procedures:
(You must first perform the 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, 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:
To then 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 lower case.)
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, from the menus select File / Save. 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 an SPSS data file. Here are some related articles of interest: