Stout Online Programs (Graduate and Undergraduate): Personal Laptop Recommendations
This is a list of specifications recommended for students using personal laptops for online coursework. These are recommended minimums.
Minimum Hardware Recommendations
- Processor: 2 GHz or faster x64-bit processor (Recommended Intel Core i5 10th gen processor or higher)
- Memory: 8 GB RAM (Recommended 16GB or higher)
- Hard Disk: 500 GB hard drive (recommended SSD)
- Display: 1024 x 768 screen resolution
- Operating System:
- Windows 10 or higher
- MacOS 12 (Monterey) or higher
- Browser: Current version of Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, or Safari
- Internet connection: DSL or Cable modem or a high speed mobile hotspot required. A broadband connection is recommended.
- Some courses may require a headset with an attached microphone.
Canvas, UW Stout's online learning platform, recommends these basic specifications for computers and browsers:
Corporate and Personal Firewalls
Many corporations and individuals have installed firewalls to protect the computers on their networks. Firewalls can serve two purposes:
- Prevent unwanted intrusion of the network (e.g., from hackers, viruses)
- Control unwanted traffic to unapproved sites
If you are at work and encounter a firewall-related error message or have problems accessing restricted resources, you may need to contact your corporate IT group for assistance.
If you are using your personal computer and have installed and/or activated firewall or security software, you will need to verify the course sites are not blocked and that ports 80 (standard Web port) and 443 (secure sockets port) are open to your Web browser. Information on how to check this should be in the documentation provided with the software involved.
Tablet and Mobile Support
Please note that while tablets and other mobile devices can be used for some tasks in online learning, they are not sufficient for completing all online learning requirements. For some tasks, you will need access to a laptop or desktop computer.
Minimum Software Requirements
- Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office365 is available for download on Windows and MacOS for current students. Installable titles include: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Outlook, Skype for Business, and OneDrive for Business. (How to Install)
- Adobe Acrobat Reader (or Equivalent PDF Viewer) Adobe Acrobat Reader Free Download
**There may be additional software recommendations for some programs, including the Master of Fine Art in Design (MFA) program. Most software is available on specific computer lab machines on campus. If you want to purchase your own copy of the software, you can find information below here: Stout Online Programs (Graduate and Undergraduate): Software Requirements