University of Arizona

Laptops in the Classroom

Students can connect wirelessly on campus, and laptops are encouraged in the classroom – for taking notes, instructor-led exercises, and working in groups.

Recommended Minimum Computer Specifications

  • Core Duo processor
  • Windows 7 or 8/8.1 operating system 
  • MS Office
  • 6GB RAM, 125GB hard drive
  • 802.11g wireless
  • Extended warranty, 3 or 4 years, including screen replacement
  • USB 2.0/3.0
  • Antivirus software
  • Long-life battery, four-hour minimum

Students are not required to purchase a particular brand of computer. However, please remember that College-provided software runs on Windows platforms. Students who use Macs will need windows emulation capability and must secure their systems using antivirus and antispyware programs.

Campus Purchase Agreements
The UA BookStores Computing and Technology Store has highly competitive pricing on popular laptops, desktops, printers and other peripherals as well as software, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe products. Students with computers purchased through a campus agreement have the advantage of using the UA BookStores Service Center.  

Computer Labs
There are a number of computer labs for students on campus, including the library’s Integrated Learning Center and several smaller labs run by the Office of Student Computing Resources.

Free Software Licenses

  • Microsoft software, except MS Office, provided through Microsoft Academic Alliance
  • OneNote: note-taking (Microsoft Academic Alliance)
  • Sophos virus protection – a must!
  • Textpad: word processing
  • MatLab: multi-paradigm numerical computing (for solving math equations)
  • VPN: secure connection to the campus network
  • SolidWorks: 3-D CAD design

Keep It Clean!
Students must keep their computers rid of viruses and spyware and regularly update software and operating system security patches. Infected computers are automatically locked out of the network.

Tech Support
The Office of Student Computing, or OSCR (fondly known as “Oscar”), provides 24/7 tech support.

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