Do I need my own computer?  

No, but here are our recommendations if you are going to buy one.   

Recommended Computer & Software Specifications
for CVA Students:

Students who enroll in courses in the Communication and Visual Arts department have free access to computers and industry-standard software, such as Microsoft Office suite and Adobe CC (Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects, XD, etc.) while using certain computers that are on campus, including all computers in the Center for the Arts Computer Lab, Rm. 2410, and the Schnabel Hall Computer Lab, Rm.33. 

Students who may want to have personal access to technology, should consider these recommendations as guidelines for new computer purchases, but these are not absolute. Purchase a desktop or laptop computer based on your needs and circumstances with the following minimum requirements in mind. If these minimum requirements are absolutely needed for the course, this will be clearly communicated by the professor as well as stated in the course syllabus. If the course is required for your degree and you are unable to obtain the required technology, please contact your professor and/or department chair.  


  • Processor: Intel® 6th Gen or newer
  • Operating system: Windows 10 (64-bit), or Mac OS: 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Ram: 8GB RAM or more
  • Hard disk space: 8GB of free space needed for installation only, at least 256 GB SSD space recommended for installation and additional media storage
  • Monitor resolution: 1920 x 1080 or greater for the display
  • Graphics processor unit (GPU): 2 GB VRAM or higher
  • Sound card: ASIO compatible or Microsoft Windows Driver Model
  • Network storage connection: 1 Gigabit Ethernet (HD only)

Adobe CC

  • Currently, Adobe offers students the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite at a discounted price of $19.99/mo for the first year, and then $29.99/mo after that.
  • Your subscription can be canceled at any time. 


Best practices for saving your work are to have all files saved on a hard drive and regularly back-up your files on cloud-based storage. Prices for hard drives and online cloud-based storage vary depending on the amount of space you may need. It is recommended that you purchase an external drive at least as large as your computer’s internal drive for backing up your computer. While you are a Valparaiso University student, you have access to Google Drive as a cloud-based storage option that you can access through your university email. Please consult with your instructor for the best storage options specific to your course work. 

Valparaiso University students, faculty, and staff may purchase software for personal use at a discounted price through the University’s “On The Hub” e-store. A valid ValpoNet login is required to access the e-store, located at

These specifications are specific to Communication and Visual Arts students. For non-program specific recommendations please visit the IT department’s Computer Specifications page.Valparaiso University counts CDW-G as one of its vendors for sourcing computers and related equipment. Students are now eligible for the same academic pricing through CDW-G that the school receives! To purchase a computer from this vendor, follow this link:

Do I need my own camera for photography classes? 

Yes, students must have a working digital camera.

Do I need my own video camera? 

For production classes, students have access to production equipment, including cameras, lighting and audio recorders. 

What is the lab fee structure? 

Certain studio courses may charge a lab fee depending on materials, supplies and access. Other studio courses will require students to buy their own materials.

How does a student access printing services for their assignments?  

Valpo DesignWorks is the University’s campus print shop. The convenient central campus location allows Valpo DesignWorks to quickly accommodate project demands for departments, student organizations and student course work.

Is an Internship required? 

Depending on the degree program.

Can a student athlete successfully complete a degree from CVA? 

Yes. Several majors and minors have completed majors and minors in Art, Digital Media Arts and Communication.

Can I study abroad and complete my degree on time?  

Yes, through careful strategic planning between you and your advisor, this can be done.

Can I find a work study job on campus in my field of interest?  Yes, there are several opportunities for you to work in an area that supports your academic interests.  

What are the exhibition and publication opportunities for students? 

The CCLIR permanent Art collection, Brauer Museum of Art, Lighter, Torch, Beacon, VUTV, Strimbu Gallery of Photography and Christ College Commons as well as the Chapel of the Resurrection and other campus sites.