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 needs to meet the minimum requirements of the software you will be using.


2. 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.


3. 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.


4. School is about to start but I don’t have my laptop yet. What can I do?
If you already have an older laptop you may be able to get by using that. If you do not have a laptop at all contact the Help Desk and we will help you review your options. 


5. 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.


6. 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.


7. 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 Canvas, the online extension of courses
  • 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


8. 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. 


9. Do I get operating system and software upgrades?
The University will provide periodic updates for software that it holds licenses for, which can generally be found in the Self Service or Kace applications. The exception to this is any update for Adobe software, which can be accessed at any time through the Creative Cloud application. 
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.


10. Can I use UArts-licensed software after graduation?
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.


11. 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.


12. 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 for Mac computers or KACE for Windows computers that will allow you access to package installers of all the software available to you. You will be guided through the process of installing software during orientation.


13. Do I have to install all of the software?
You do not have to install all of the software. You may install all or none of the available software at any time during your career at the University.


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


15. 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. An example of a cloud-based backup option is  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. Additionally students have access to unlimited storage through their university Google account.

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


16. 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 for hours and contact information.


17. If my laptop needs repair, is a loaner available?
We have a limited number of laptops we can check out to students which will be made available to students with a clearly demonstrated need.