Computer Specifications

Updated 5/20/14

Gellersen Center and the Donald V. Fites Engineering Innovation Center both have 802.11n wireless networks. For this reason, many students will find it convenient to bring a laptop computer with an appropriate wireless network card installed. This network should be compatible with all new laptops with wireless network capabilities.  

2014-15 Recommended Computer Specifications

These recommendations should serve as guidelines for new PC purchases, but are not absolute.  Purchase a desktop or laptop computer based on your needs and circumstances.  Feel free to e-mail any questions you may have to the Director of Engineering Information Systems at

New Computer Specifications

PC or Mac?  Many of our students prefer Mac over PC, and that is completely fine.  In the College of Engineering, we have almost exclusively PCs, because the vast majority of engineering software is written for Windows.  There are some software programs that offer free student versions, but many of them can only be used in the computer labs on campus.  If you want to run student versions on your own computer, a PC is recommended, though this is not a requirement.

Processor--   All Intel and AMD processors currently available on the market are acceptable.  Intel i5 or i7 processors are recommended

Memory- 4GB is acceptable; 8GB is recommended

Hard Drive--500GB or larger

Graphics Card--dependent on intended use 

Software--An office productivity suite such as Microsoft Office Student Edition is recommended. This can be purchased from your computer vendor or at the campus bookstore.  Google Docs, which is free, will work for many tasks, so if you are on a tight budget you can try using Google Docs on your own computer and Microsoft Office, when necessary, on College of Engineering lab computers.  You could always evaluate your needs for Microsoft Office later.

Notes on Software

The College of Engineering has an agreement with Microsoft which allows its enrolled students to download certain Microsoft software titles free of charge.  The most widely downloaded of these include Windows 7, Windows 8, Project, and Visio.  Students can license each of these titles one time per every two years they are enrolled.

In addition to this free software, all university students are able to license Microsoft Office 365 University at a discounted rate.  A subscription good for four years that can be used on up to two computers can be purchased for $80, provided the licensee has a .edu e-mail address.  An Office 365 subscription can be purchased at this rate from vendors such as Amazon and Best Buy, or directly from Microsoft’s website.