You are here

Technology Requirements

Technology Program

College of Liberal Arts Technology Laptop Requirement

All undergraduate CLA students are required to have a laptop computer. CLA 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 CLA students gain valuable technology skills and experience as an integrated part of their education in the 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. CLA 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 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 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

Laptop Requirements (minimum)

  • Windows 10 or Mac OS (10.14 or newer)
  • Look for a multi-core CPU✶
  • At least 8GB RAM
  • 250 GB hard drive/SSD (500 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.

Software Information

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

Microsoft Windows Defender (Windows), ESRI ArcGIS DesktopMicrosoft Office (download), and SPSS are free for CLA students.
Other software such as Windows 10 or Adobe products are available at the UMD Bookstore Computer Corner at academic prices. 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.