Directory   |   Access Plus   |   CyBox

Student Computer Requirements

Students in most of the professional programs are encouraged to purchase a laptop computer when they are accepted in their second year.   The machines specified are typically high-end laptops that can be quite expensive.  In addition, students are responsible for purchasing or downloading the software they may need.  The college does provide a program for students who are accepted into the professional programs and wish to make the purchasing process easier.  It is not required to participate though. Here are the current guidelines and specifications for each discipline:

First Year Students

During the first year core program, there is relatively little digital design work.  The majority of the work is email correspondence, online class materials like syllabi distribution or grade reporting, and general word processing for non-design general education courses. The Design Core program emphasizes hand-drawing and manual skill building, rather than digital development at that stage.

For that reason we don’t recommend that students purchase an expensive laptop capable of running our design software in their first year.  Rather, we recommend a lower-end consumer type computer that could serve general-use and personal use purposes for the first year.

Architecture

Architecture, as all design-intensive professions, has become an industry that relies on high-performance hardware and knowledge among practitioners of multiple platforms and complex software programs. Since our curriculum is preparing you to enter this professional context, owning (or leasing) a laptop and software is critical to your success as an architecture student.

Students accepted into the professional architecture program (BArch) are required to have a laptop and software that meets or exceeds the specifications listed here.

Graphic Design

Based on computing patterns and habits of successful students in the department, we recommend that you acquire a laptop computer. This will give you maximum flexibility and control over where, when and how you are most productive.

Your computing needs will be basic in the first year: word processing, research, image manipulation, page layout, and illustrating logos and symbols etc. In your Junior year, you will use the same software and dig a lot deeper into these programs. Please plan for this progression accordingly. There are many options for computer hardware and software that accommodate a wide range of budgets. Here are the current specifications.

Interior Design

Based on computing patterns and habits of successful students in our department, we strongly recommend that you acquire a laptop computer. This will give you maximum flexibility and control over where, when and how you are most productive. Although the College does have a computer lab where you can work, being able to work during studio hours on your laptop at your own desk in your studio will ensure you have much better access to instructor feedback and class interaction.

Your computing needs will be fairly basic in the first year: word processing, research, image manipulation, page layout, and, in the second semester, CAD drawing and rendering, both of which involve large files. In your Junior and Senior years, you will be using the same software, but working in far larger and more complicated files, so your computer’s capabilities will be critical. Please plan for this progression accordingly. There are many options for computer hardware and software that accommodate a wide range of budgets. Technical requirements are shown here; minimums are shown alongside recommended specifications, and we strongly recommend the higher performance specification for your flexibility both now and in the future.

Industrial Design

Based on computing patterns and habits of successful students in the department, we recommend that you acquire a laptop computer. This will give you maximum flexibility and control over where, when and how you are most productive.

Your computing needs will be basic in the first year: word processing, research, image manipulation, page layout, etc. In your Junior year, you will be provided software for CAD and rendering that runs exclusively on the PC platform. Please plan for this progression accordingly. There are many options for computer hardware and software that accommodate a wide range of budgets. Here are the current specifications.

Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture, as all design and planning intensive professions, is an profession relying upon high-performance hardware as well as expertise in many platforms and software programs.

Owning a laptop is critical to your success as a landscape architecture student. These specifications have been put together by faculty in the College with specialization in computing in design. The specifications are to help you select a computer to give you a foundation to succeed in your work.