Laptop Requirement

All incoming first-year and transfer students are required to have a laptop. A laptop is an essential tool, used for everything from simply checking email and registering for classes to creating design work; recording sound; editing video; crafting short stories, screenplays and poems; and completing writing assignments in Critical Studies coursework. To make your selection easier, we have put together the following baseline recommendations. Students are always welcome to purchase a comparable or higher-end computer than what is recommended.

It is the sole responsibility of the student to be sure that they have access to the tools needed to complete their coursework. A laptop is no exception. Students entering their first year are welcome to bring in a laptop they already own, as long as it meets minimum requirements specific to the area of study the student is entering. For more information, see the Laptop FAQ.

Bundles

We have an online store set up with Apple to make purchasing easier. Each bundle consists of a laptop and an extended warranty. Students have free access to Google Drive but may also want to consider purchasing an external hard drive or a cloud backup solution to backup their work. Please note that Apple store bundles are subject to change based on manufacturer changes to product availability. Every effort is made to keep these recommendations up-to-date.

Software

Software is provided for free on laptops meeting the minimum requirements. A complete list of available software can be found on our Software page. Please note that, although Microsoft Office is not provided by the university, an online version is available from Microsoft for free for students. Our Help Desk can help you access it.

Recommendations

1. Basic level

Apple
Model MacBook Air
Display Size 13"
Processor Apple M1 8-core
RAM 16GB
Hard Drive 512GB SSD
Graphic Card M1 8-core
Warranty Apple Care + for MacBook/Air

or

Lenovo
Windows 10 Pro
ThinkBook 14 G2 ARE
14" FHD Touch
AMD 8-core 4th Gen Ryzen 7
16GB
512GB SSD
Radeon Integrated
3 Years Premier Onsite Support*

For the following programs
  • Acting

  • Creative Writing

  • Dance

  • Dance MFA

  • Devised Performance MFA

  • Directing, Playwriting & Production

  • Educational Program Design (MEd)

  • Educational Technology (MEd)

  • Jazz Studies (MM & GD)

  • Musical Theater

  • Vocal Performance

2. Mid-level

Apple
16-inch MacBook Pro
16"
Intel 2.3GHz 8-core 9th gen i9
16GB
1TB SSD
Radeon Pro 5500M w/ 4GB VRAM
Apple Care + for 15/16" MacBook Pro

or

HP
Windows 10 Pro
OMEN Laptop 15T-EK-100
15.6" FHD Non Touch
Intel 4-core 10th gen i5
16GB
1TB SSD (2x512 GB RAID 0)
NVIDIA RTX 3060 w/ 6GB VRAM
3 years w/ accidental damage

For the following programs
  • Art Education (MAT)

  • Composition

  • Film Design

  • Fine Art

  • Graphic Design

  • Illustration

  • Instrumental Performance

  • Interaction Design

  • Museum Studies (MA)

  • Museum Exhibition Planning and Design (MFA)

  • Music Education (MAT)

  • Music Education (MM)

  • Book Arts and Printmaking (MFA)

  • Product Design

  • Product Design (MDeS)

  • Screenwriting

4. Fast level*

Apple
16-inch MacBook Pro
16"
Intel 2.4GHz 8-core 9th gen i9
32GB
1TB SSD
Radeon Pro 5500M w/ 8GB VRAM
Apple Care + for 15/16" MacBook Pro

or

MSI
Windows 10
GE66 Raider 10UG-211
15.6" FHD Non Touch
Intel 8-core 10th gen i7
32GB
1TB SSD
NVIDIA RTX 3070 w/ 8GB VRAM
2 years extended

For the following programs
  • Photography

  • Animation

  • Film and Video

  • Film and Animation

  • Game Art*

  • Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology

  • Theater Design and Technology

* Students who plan on majoring in Game Art should purchase a Windows laptop.
 

Updated 5/10/2021