connect. communicate. collaborate.
  • Home
  • Technology Guide for Incoming Students

Technology Guide for Incoming Students

School of Business

The School of Business prefers PCs to Macs because the School gives its students access to Microsoft® software through a MSDNAA subscription. However, Macs are acceptable as long as they are running the Windows® operating System on them, which Mac users can do by running Boot C amp and installing Windows® on their machine. The School of Business recommends a computer currently running the Windows 7® operating system. Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows® is also recommended.

School of Journalism

Students in the School of Journalism are free to choose any kind of computer. Though most students opt for Macs, students are not directed specifically to a Mac or a PC. The required coursework can be completed on either platform. Additionally, students are not required to purchase design or video editing software, like Adobe InDesign or Final Cut Pro. The School's computers are equipped with those programs.

School of Engineering

For The School of Engineering, students should have a Windows® or Linux® computer (or a Mac, running Windows) that has as much random access memory (RAM) (up to 8GB) and hard drive space as possible. Student laptops should also have a wireless card that supports at least 802.11G, preferably 802.11N.

Engineering majors will not have a lot of high-powered software that they will need to install on their own machine, but they will have a lot of programs running at the same time , hence the preference for more RAM.

School of Music

Students in the School of Music are free to choose any kind of computer they’d like. There is no recommended computer for Music.

School of Education

Students in the School of Education are expected to have laptops or tablets that support Microsoft Office and can be connected with high speed internet to access the full complement of KU's academic resources including the library, software made available to students for data analysis, communication, and online learning.  

School of Architecture, Design & Planning

  • Minimum configuration for either a Mac or PC*
  • Quad-core i5 processor
  • 4GB RAM (6GB or more highly recommended)
  • 500GB hard drive (1TB or more if using a Mac with bootcamp)
  • Professional graphics card with minimum 1 GB dedicated video memory
  • -Recommend NVidia Quadro 600 or ATI FirePro V4900 or better
  • 500GB or larger external hard drive, preferably self-powered USB - power outlets are hard to come by
  • A couple of 8GB or 16GB USB flash drives


Recommended Software:

  • MS Office Suite - available through the bookstores
  • SketchUp - standard version is available free online
  • Autodesk suite (AutoCAD, Revit and 3ds Max minimum) - Students may download free 1 year renewable licenses by signing up at
  • Adobe Creative Suite standard or Adobe Creative Cloud account (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat Pro)
  • Bootcamp and Windows 7 or 8 OS if using a Mac. Parallels and other virtual machine solutions are NOT recommended.


* Environmental/Interior Design students are required to use PCs. Please speak with a faculty member in your area for hardware and software recommendations before making a purchase.

KU IT on Twitter  KU IT on Facebook  KU IT on Google Plus

Technology Help

Call KU IT Customer Support

Phone support

Email KU IT Customer Support
Support via Email

Faculty/Staff Support

Faculty/Staff Support
Technology Support Centers

KU IT Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base
FAQs & More

Virtual Service Desk

Virtual Service Desk
Online Help

Comments or ideas on how we can serve you better? Send us your feedback!

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today