Technology Requirements

Technology Laptop Requirement

All students within our collegiate unit are required to have a laptop computer. Our unit continues to enhance its successful technology programs, which encourage all students to actively use laptop technology in their courses and course assignments. The laptop requirement supports our effort to ensure that students gain valuable technology skills and experience as an integrated part of their education in the arts, humanities and social sciences: making students more competitive in their future academic and professional careers. 

You are welcome to purchase a laptop from wherever you like as long as it meets the technology requirements. Our unit has worked with the 
UMD Computer Corner which offers Mac and Windows laptops and accessories with excellent features and prices often below retail. Required technology purchased at the UMD 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 UMD 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

General Laptop Requirements (minimum)

  • Windows 11 or Mac OS (14 or newer)
  • Look for a multi-core CPU✶
  • At least 8GB RAM (16GB preferred)
  • 256 GB hard drive/SSD (512 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.

Department of Art and Design 

All students admitted to the Art & Design Department are required to purchase an Apple MacBook Pro. 

Minimum laptop requirements:

  • 14-inch Retina display (16-inch display strongly recommended!)
  • 11-Core Processor (Apple M3 Pro processor or higher recommended)
  • 512GB Storage
  • 3-year AppleCare Protection Plan or alternate CPS 4-year computer accidental coverage plan at UMD Computer Corner

Software Requirements

  • Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus is free for registered UMD students at ‎
  • Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Details from Adobe at but we recommend purchasing the 12-month prepaid membership at UMD Computer Corner or Not required for Art History majors.
  • Web-hosting subscription. Purchase of 12- or 24-month plan (approx. $100-$150) which allows students to build custom CMS websites. Additional purchase of a Wordpress theme may be required. Required for all Junior- and Senior-level Graphic Design majors.

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 requires the purchase of either an Apple or PC/Windows computer running a current operating system and capable of wireless connectivity. Required software: Finale (Students should wait to purchase Finale until they are matriculated 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)

Software Information

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

ESRI ArcGIS DesktopMicrosoft Office (download), and SPSS are free for our students.
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.