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Technology Requirements

girl working on macbook


Curious what you will need to begin our programs? Here is a helpful guide to ensure you are on the right track!

Laptop computers are required for all incoming UMD students. In accordance with that requirement, students are able to purchase one laptop per year at educational/student pricing at UMD Computer CornerYou are welcome to purchase a laptop from wherever you like as long as it meets the technology requirements. The UMD Computer Corner offers Mac and Windows laptops and accessories with excellent features and prices often below retail. Required technology purchased at the Computer Corner is sales-tax free, and some HP laptop packages include 4 year on-site parts/service, and accidental replacement warranty in the price. Additional computer and tablet insurance is available through the Computer Corner or check with an insurance agent.

All UMD students are able to include the cost of a personal computer in their request for Financial Aid. Inquire at the UMD One Stop for detailed information. Financial Aid Cost Information

Laptop Requirements (minimum) -- See department details below: some require equipment beyond the minimum

  • Windows 10 or Mac OS (10.14 or newer)
  • Look for a multi-core CPU✶
  • At least 8GB RAM
  • 250 GB hard drive/SSD (500 GB preferred)


  • A warranty service agreement and replacement insurance for at least three years is very helpful.
  • An HDMI external video adapter may be needed to connect to classroom projectors when doing presentations.
  • Antivirus and anti-malware software is strongly recommended for any computing device or smartphone. 

Please Note: At this point, Chromebooks do not yet have the capabilities to replace the functions and requirements of a traditional Windows laptop or MacBook. 
✶ Processors vary in speed and are listed differently by manufacturers, so an Intel or AMD multi-core processor faster than 1.2GHz, or currently sold model will be fine.

Additional Software Information

UMD Students have access to a variety of software applications. Some commercial software is available to UMD students at little or no direct cost:

Other software such as Windows 10 or Adobe products are available at the UMD Bookstore Computer Corner at academic prices. Remember to ask for the student academic pricing at stores when purchasing software.

The University of Minnesota uses Google Apps for email, file storage and sharing, calendar, contacts and other functions. These applications are free to all students, faculty and staff.

Department of Art and Design 

Hardware Requirements:

All students admitted to the Art & Design Department are required to purchase an Apple MacBook Pro:
Minimum laptop requirements:

  • 15-inch Retina display
  • Quad-core processor 
  • 16GB of memory (RAM)
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 3-year AppleCare Protection Plan or alternate CPS 4-year computer accidental coverage plan at UMD Computer Corner

Software Requirements

Strongly recommended:

  • 1 TB or larger external hard drive (for Mac OS X Time Machine backups)

The department recommends you wait to purchase both hardware and software until you arrive on campus. Computers always have a significant educational discount, and software is often available at a substantially reduced educational rate through UMD Computer Corner. Additional software may be required as you progress through the program.

Department of Music

The Department of Music has a laboratory dedicated for its music students with current music engraving and recording software.  All students should possess a USB Flash Drive 1GB - 2GB.

The Department of Music strongly recommends the purchase of either an Apple or PC/Windows computer running a current operating system and capable of wireless connectivity. Optional software: Finale (Students intending to purchase Finale should wait until they arrive on campus in order to take advantage of educational pricing).

Department of Theatre

The Department of Theatre recommends the purchase of either an Apple or PC/Windows computer running a current operating system and capable of wireless connectivity.

Students in the theatre design disciplines are strongly encouraged to consider the hardware and software recommendations listed under Department of Art & Design, or a Windows computer with equivalent specifications.

Strongly recommended for all Theatre students:

  • Minimum 8 GB USB Flash Drive
  • HDMI external video adapter (exact needs vary depending on laptop model)