What kind of computer will I need as a graduate student or distance learner?

Hardware recommendations for students who are not eligible for an eStout laptop, primarily grad students, customized instruction, and certificate-seeking students.

Software and hardware needs for students vary by program. Your adviser or program literature may have specific recommendations or requirements, however the current on-campus laptop specifications can serve as examples that meet most campus needs:

Technology Recommendations for New Graduate and non-eStout-eligible Undergraduate Students


Intel i5
256GB SSD (or HDD)
Windows 10


Intel i5
256GB SSD (or HDD)
OS 10.13 (High Sierra)

Choosing between Mac and Windows?

Office 365, the desktop version of Office available for install by active students, can be installed on Windows or macOS, but be aware that MS Publisher and Access are not available on the Mac version. Visio and Project, although not generally available, are a requirement of some programs and are not able to be installed on a Apple computer; your instructor will inform you if you will need to install these programs and provide instructions for obtaining them.

Other Devices

Chromebooks are good devices for checking email and doing light, web-based work, in Word Online for example, but are not a replacement for a computer in most cases. iPads and other tablets are good for reading and email, but are not recommended as a primary device. Some features of Learn@UW-Stout (D2L) are known to have compatibility issues with tablet browsers.

Look for student discounts!

Some manufacturers, like Apple, offer discounts for current students!

See Also:

Keywords:apple pc computer chromebook grad buy purchase spss ipad tablet reader e-reader etext e-text macintosh   Doc ID:82764
Owner:Sasha K.Group:UW Stout
Created:2018-06-08 12:19 CDTUpdated:2018-06-27 10:44 CDT
Sites:UW Stout
Feedback:  0   0