1. Who is required to purchase a new laptop?

All incoming graduate and undergraduate students are required to bring a laptop. The laptop does not necessarily have to be new but, keep in mind, this is a tool you will be using for several years. If you start out with a high-powered laptop, it will be much more likely to serve you for four or more years.


2. Why Apple?
With the exception of Game Art, the Mac OS is the preferred platform for all of our programs. We currently make a variety of software available to students for free, some of which is only available for Mac. See Software.


3. What if I already have a desktop or laptop computer?
Mobile computing is critical to a student’s ability to complete coursework at UArts. Not all classes occur in rooms equipped with computers and virtually all classes require at least some computer work. We also cannot provide software for personally owned desktop computers.

If you already have a laptop computer that meets or exceeds the Minimum Requirements of your program, you do not have to purchase a new computer.


4. Is there financial aid available to cover the cost of a new laptop?
There is no financial aid designed specifically to aid in the purchase of a new laptop, however, financial aid received may be used to cover the cost of the laptop. Please speak with a Student Financial Services advisor or Admissions counselor. More information about Financial Aid can be found on the Types of Aid page.


5. School is about to start but I don’t have my laptop yet. What can I do?
Some students may be able to get by temporarily by using the computer labs to work on assignments. Otherwise, students may check laptops out from the Media Resources equipment room. Checkouts are up to a week with two renewals allowed. Laptop checkouts are not a way around a laptop purchase. Students will not be permitted to check out laptops for an entire semester and failure to return a laptop that is due will result in being charged for the cost of replacement.


6. Do I need laptop insurance?
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase insurance. Many students choose to insure their laptops and other personal property through a parent or guardian's homeowner's policy. We recommend an insurance policy that will cover the laptop for loss, theft, environmental damage and accidental damage. Affordable insurance options specifically for students are available through College Student Insurance or National Student Services, Inc.


7. Should I buy the AppleCare Protection Plan?
It is highly recommended that students purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan. This extended warranty covers defective parts and offers service and support for three years. Bear in mind the AppleCare warranty only covers defective parts. It does not cover accidents such as theft or physical damage. Laptop insurance is strongly recommended.


8. How will I use my laptop at UArts?
Uses for a laptop on campus include but are not limited to the following:

  • Note taking
  • Doing research
  • Working on projects of all kinds in many disciplines
  • Writing papers
  • Using Digication, the online extension of courses and e-portfolio system
  • Accessing your UArts email
  • Accessing the UArts Portal
  • Registering for classes
  • Viewing your grades
  • Submitting papers and other materials electronically
  • Doing 3D animation and modeling
  • Manipulating digital images
  • Capturing audio and video of performance work
  • Doing video and sound editing
  • Creating and maintaining a personal website
  • Creating and delivering presentations
  • Keeping a personal calendar


9. What software will I have access to?
Software made available to students is listed on the Software page. Some software is limited to students in a particular discipline. 


10. Do I get operating system and software upgrades?
The University will provide periodic upgrades for software that it holds licenses for. Students are responsible for maintaining a current operating system. Operating system upgrades may be required to install or update some software during the duration of a student’s time at UArts.


11. Can I use UArts-licensed software after graduation or when I leave the Laptop Program?
No. We encourage our students to consider purchasing their own software just prior to graduation to take advantage of any potential educational discounts. Students will automatically become responsible for subscription-based software, such as Adobe, should they wish to continue using it.


12. Can I use my own software if I own what is needed for my classes?
Absolutely. If you own current software licenses and prefer not to take advantage of free software provided by the University, you are free to do so.


13. Does my computer have to be erased in order to get University software?
No, we will not erase your computer. In order to access the software, you will need to install an application called Self Service that will allow you access to package installers of all the software available to you. You will be guided through the process of installing Self Service during orientation.


14. Do I have to install all of the software?
You do not have to install all of the software. The Self Service application we use to deliver software allows you to choose which applications you wish to install. You may install all or none of them at any time during your career at the University.


15. Where on campus will I be able to access the Internet?
Wireless network and Internet access is available throughout campus, including the residence halls.


16. How can I best protect my computer against damage and theft?
Students are responsible for protecting their belongings against theft or damage. Insurance is strongly recommended. See 'Do I need laptop insurance?'

Although insurance can help you replace your computer, it does not restore access to all the work stored on the computer. Keeping work backed up is absolutely essential. Work can be backed up to an external drive, to a cloud storage service or both. Two cloud-based backup options are CrashPlan and Backblaze. While not a full backup solution, a free Dropbox subscription can store up to 2 GB and is a handy way to keep important files accessible.

Another useful tool is the Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.

Prevention is always best.

  • Don't leave your laptop (or phone or any other valuable items) unattended in a classroom, not even hidden in a bag
  • Do not leave your laptop in unattended cars
  • Do not walk around with your laptop open
  • Always transport your laptop in a suitably padded bag or case
  • Be aware of cords and cables attached to your laptop; even with today’s “break-away” design, tripping on these can yank your laptop off a table


17. What are my laptop support resources?
The OTIS Service Center and Help Desk on the 8th floor of Terra Hall is always a good place to start. The staff there can help with a number of problems. See Help Desk & Service Center for hours and contact information.

The nearby Apple Store provides free weekly workshops, a Genius Bar, product consulting and retail outlet. Apple Computers and Apple.com provide manuals, tutorials and a vast troubleshooting database available to all Mac users.

Springboard Media is another local technical support resources.


18. If my laptop needs repair, is a loaner available?
Students may check laptops out from the Media Resources equipment room if their laptop is out for repair. Checkouts are up to a week with two renewals allowed. Laptop checkouts are not a way around a laptop purchase. Students will not be permitted to checkout laptops for an entire semester and failure to return a laptop that is due will result in being charged for the cost of replacement.