Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs, websites, web apps, web services, and mobile apps.

Visual Studio for Mac has many of the same features as Visual Studio and is optimized for developing cross-platform and mobile apps.

Visual Studio has three feature tiers: Community, Professional, and Enterprise. Microsoft provides a feature comparison matrix detailing the differences between levels.

How to Get Microsoft Visual Studio

The most basic edition, the Community Edition, is available free of charge from Microsoft.

Students and Faculty may be able to download Microsoft Visual Studio Enterprise through Azure for Education for instructional and non-commercial research purposes only.

Purchasing a Professional or Enterprise License

  • Purchase requires a valid UW budget number and authorization from a budget approver.
  • No Procurement cards or direct sales to individuals are available.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio  license are available through an annual subscription, with the license period running from June 1 through May 31.
  • UW-IT cannot prorate or refund the cost of the Microsoft Visual Studio license subscription
  • UW-IT will automatically bill for the Microsoft Visual Studio license in the next license cycle.

In preparation for UW Finance Transformation (UWFT), we stopped processing orders for subscription products offered in the UWare catalog from May 1, 2023, through July 2023. As of August 2023, we are able to process orders, but some billing may still be delayed.

If you try to place an order and see the message “You are not autorized”, we have had to temporarily disable orders; please check back again in a few days.

Please view this page for more information about the cancellation deadline or to submit a cancellation request form.

A notice will be posted in the UWare Catalog when we can process orders for new software licenses.

Order Microsoft Visual Studio

License Details

  • Only UW faculty and staff are eligible to purchase a license.
  • UW Affiliates not paid by the UW are not eligible to purchase this software.
  • This software can be installed and used on your devices at work and at home.
  • Visual Studio is not licensed for use in production environments.
  • Once purchased, you will be automatically billed for your Visual Studio license on an annual basis unless you cancel the renewal before the cancellation deadline. For more information about the cancellation deadline or to submit a cancellation request form, visit:

Additional Information

Microsoft Visual Studio FAQs

  • You can install Visual Studio on any number of devices.

  • Yes

  • No

  • The license can be transferred to another user at your request

A production environment is defined as an environment that is accessed by end-users of an application (such as an Internet Web site) and that is used for more than Acceptance Testing of that application or Feedback. Some scenarios that constitute production environments include:

  • Environments that connect to a production database.
  • Environments that support disaster-recovery or backup for a production environment.
  • Environments that are used for production at least some of the time, such a server that is rotated into production during peak periods of activity.

Quick Facts

Available for

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff


PC, Mac


  • Community Edition, Free
  • Professional Edition, $75
  • Enterprise Edition, $430


  • Free for Students
  • Software Development

Documentation and Support