For the Class of 2026
Required laptop specifications for freshmen students entering the Bagley College of Engineering in the fall of 2022 have been established. Based on our years of experience with laptop requirements, we recommend students wait to 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 2023-2024 academic year will be posted in the summer of 2023.
These specifications are only for freshmen entering school during the fall 2022 semester.
Transfer students should follow the specifications in place at the time they were freshmen.
Notes for the 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 these recommendations, you do so at your own risk.
Minimum Hardware Specifications
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. 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.
Currently, there is software used within the Bagley College of Engineering that is incompatible with Apple Mac computers with M1 chips. There is no workaround as of the publishing of these specifications. Due to this, Bagley College of Engineering strongly recommends that students do not purchase Apple computers with an Apple Silicon (M1) processor with the expectation of using them for coursework within the college of engineering. Those who have Apple Mac computers with Intel processors can use them to run this software by installing emulation software. Please see the 2021-2022 specifications for information on this.
If you have already purchased an Apple computer with an Apple Silicon processor, you may be able to use it your freshman year. If you are a transfer student, you may be able to use it depending on your major and the specific courses you are taking. You will need to discuss this with your departmental academic advisor.
The college is working on a solution to this issue but cannot guarantee when or if a solution will be provided.
Students are strongly encouraged to have a method for backing up data on their computer at regular intervals.
Students can 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.
Enrolled MSU students have access to Microsoft OneDrive with 5TB of online storage. Information for using this service and syncing with personal computers can be found at https://servicedesk.msstate.edu/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=1521.
Additionally, students may want to subscribe to an on-line backup service such as Backblaze, Carbonite, or others to use for automatically backing up files.
We cannot over-emphasize the importance of performing regular backups of important files and keeping your backup in a separate location from your laptop. Should your laptop be lost or damaged, you will still have your important files on your external data source, 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.
The Bagley College of Engineering does not set specifications for printers and there is no requirement for a student to own one. There are facilities on campus that will allow students to print for a fee, 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.
Transfer students are expected to only meet the requirements in place at the time they would have started at MSU. So, a student transferring to MSU as a junior would be expected to only meet the requirements in place two years prior. For those and historical purposes, previous specifications are listed below.