2015-2016 Computer Specifications
For the Class of 2019
Required laptop specifications for freshmen students entering the Bagley College of Engineering in the fall of 2015 have been established. Based on our years of experience with our laptop requirements, we do not recommend students purchase laptops until mid-June or early-July. This provides adequate time to order and receive the laptop.
Students who are transferring from another institution are only required to meet the computer requirements in effect at the time they were freshmen.
Requirements for 2016-2017 academic year will be posted in the summer of 2016.
Minimum Configuration for Bagley College of Engineering Student Computers
2015-2016 Academic Year (Class of 2019)
These specifications are only for freshmen entering school during the fall 2015 semester. Transfer students should follow the specifications in place at the time they were freshmen.
Notes on Purchase of a Laptop
The information provided below is sufficient for you to purchase a laptop. We are not able to review individual systems, provide additional guidance on suggested vendors, or tell whether or not a specific model will work. If the laptop meets or exceeds the specifications below, there should be no issues. Please note the recommendation against purchasing Macs for engineering work. This is not bias but is based on experience. If you chose to ignore our recommendations, you do so at your own risk.
Minimum Hardware Specifications:
Laptop or Notebook computer. Our faculty have found tablet computers to be too fragile for schoolwork and related activities.
Intel Core i5 processor or equivalent
6 GB RAM
250 GB Hard drive or larger
Video screen with resolution of 1600 x 900 is encouraged (higher resolution, 1920 x 1080, strongly encouraged, especially for those who think they may make extensive use of CAD software)
IEEE 802.11g wireless capability (802.11n is encouraged)
Ethernet (network) card
1 GB minimum USB Flash Drive (thumb drive, memory stick, etc.) to allow easy transfer of files between computers
Required Operating System (OS):
Either Microsoft Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Professional, 64-bit versions.
All students will need access to Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Industrial and systems engineering students will also need to have Microsoft Access. MSU students are able to download Microsoft Office 365 from our ITS website and use it free of charge as long as they are enrolled students.
Sophos Antivirus is available to students free of charge on the university intranet once they arrive on campus and should be installed as soon as possible. You may use another antivirus program, but antivirus software is required.
Recommended Optional Equipment:
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase an external, portable hard drive which can be used for computer backups and storage of large files. These are reasonably priced and available in various capacities. Additionally students may want to subscribe to an on-line service such as DropBox, Carbonite, or others to use for backing up files. We cannot over-emphasize the importance of performing regular backups of important documents and keeping your backup in a separate location from your laptop. Should your laptop be lost or damaged, you will still have your important documents on your portable hard drive, which could then be used on another computer until yours is replaced or repaired. Lost or damaged laptops are not acceptable excuses for missing assignments.
We do not have specifications for printers. There are facilities on campus that will allow students to print, or students can purchase any printer of their choice from the multitude of vendors available. When/if purchasing a printer, remember to factor the cost of toner or ink into the total cost of ownership.
Use Of Macs:
The Bagley College does not recommend students use Apple computers. For information as to why we do not recommend Apple computers and concerns to have should you choose to use an Apple computer, please read this document.
Through a special partnership agreement, the Bagley College of Engineering has worked with Dell to provide discounted pricing on Dell laptops that meet or exceed the college requirements. By clicking on the link below, you will be directed to a website that will allow you to select and customize a Dell laptop. This is provided as a service to our students and prospective students. It is not required that you purchase a Dell.Click here to access your Premier Dell.com site.
Be sure to review the minimum laptop specifications. If you have questions or experience any problems with Dell’s pages, please call Dell at 1.866.257.4711.
Another option for computer purchases would also be HP. Click here to visit HP’s MSState page. Again, it is not required that you purchase a Dell or an HP computer, this is just an option that we share here as a service to our students.