At the College of Engineering and Computing, you'll have free 24/7 access to the college’s computer labs, which include over 300 Windows machines. All required software for engineering and computing courses is provided in the college’s computer labs. Therefore, while recommended, a personal computer is not required to complete our degree programs.
Students should consider how they'll use their computers in engineering and computing courses when purchasing a personal computer. For example, you may buy electronic textbooks and would be expected to bring those books to class. You may often sketch out design ideas or mathematical expressions that you'll want to share with others, and of course you'll need to submit homework assignments electronically.
Laptop or Tablet PC Example Configuration
Below are example configurations for students who are purchasing a personal computer. These configurations are capable of running many of the student versions of various engineering and computing applications, however equirements may vary by program.
CPU: Intel i5/i7 or AMD equivalent
Pen-enabled (for tablets)
RAM: 16GB of RAM or higher
DISPLAY: (recommended minimum resolution of 1920x1080 for 16:9 or 16:10 screens, 1600x900 for 4:3 screens)
HARD DRIVE: 250GB+ Solid State Drive or 500GB+ Hard Disk drive
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10
32 GB USB Memory/Flash USB Key
COMMUNICATIONS: 802.11n/ac Wi-Fi high-speed wireless LAN (built-in)
Remember, these specifications are a baseline and can be increased to extend overall life and functionality of the system. For example, increasing the RAM and having an SSD as the HD storage device can extend the life of the system an additional one to two years and improve overall performance and multitasking capabilities.
Also recommended (for dorm or at-home use) is a docking station or adapter that supports a wired (Ethernet) connection to the university network, and connection to an optional larger external display.
Software and Operating Systems
All Engineering and Computing students should have a basic office suite and anti-virus software. Microsoft Office 365 is available for free for as long as you are a student at the university. It includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and more for both Mac and Windows. Also included is OneDrive, an online file service that provides you with 50GB of free cloud storage to store your documents and access them from any device, anywhere. Anti-virus software from Microsoft and Sophos is also free if you need it.
Operating systems other than Windows are not recommended for students planning to major in engineering disciplines. Although Apple computers have become popular, many applications such as Mathcad and Pro-E do not support Macintosh. Therefore, if you plan to buy a Mac, we recommend that you also purchase a copy of Windows and use Apple's Bootcamp to dual-boot Mac and Windows.
Students in our computing majors are encouraged to get a machine that could eventually handle dual-booting both Linux and Windows. We recommend a minimum memory of 16GB or more in order to install two operating systems concurrently.