Student Computer Standards

Ensuring you have the right equipment for success.

Students with laptops working in a group in Davis Hall.

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) recommends that students have computers that are sufficiently powerful to run applications relevant to engineering and applied science disciplines.

Windows and Apple laptops are acceptable for academic coursework within SEAS. Detailed hardware specifications are provided below.

Chromebooks are a nice supplement to a Windows or Apple laptop, but are not sufficient for academic coursework within SEAS.

Tablets and smartphones are helpful for note-taking, messaging, and exchanging ideas, but are not sufficient for academic coursework within SEAS.

Minimum Device Standards

Below are a set of recommended specifications for Windows and Apple laptops. Devices that meet these guidelines are expected to support coursework over a four-year cycle. These systems are capable of handling the high-end software required for the completion of an undergraduate degree in engineering or computer science. We encourage students to take advantage of educational discounts provided by UB partners.

Windows Laptops:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Operating system
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 512 GB SSD drive
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • Webcam

UB’s Dell store and UB’s Lenovo store provide options that meet this standard for approximately $1,000.

Apple Laptops:

  • 16GB of RAM
  • 512 GB SSD drive
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
  • Webcam

UB’s Mac store provides options that meet this standard for approximately $1,700.

If your budget allows for more or less, we encourage the following guiding principles: get as much RAM (main memory) as you can, then get the fastest processor you can.

Incompatible Software

Software required for some SEAS programs is not compatible with apple computers. Students within these programs will need to install a virtual machine to run Windows. Four options are provided below.

Apple users can download Windows 10 (free from UB) for use with one of the Virtual Machine software options above.

Internet Bandwidth

In addition to computing recommendations, internet bandwidth should be considered. We recommend a connection with a minimum data transfer rate of 2 Mbps. Note that students who live on campus are provided access to UB’s network.