These are the minimum laptop requirements for students taking classes at the Department of Computer Science.


Operating System Windows 10, 11 Pro, Enterprise Apple OS X 11.x or higher
Software Applications Free download Microsoft O365 Free download Microsoft O365
Processor Core i5/i7/i9 Core i5/i7/i9/M1/M2
Memory 16 GB or higher 16 GB or higher
Hard Drive 250/500 GB or higher 250/500 GB or higher
Graphics Card Integrated min 512MB video memory or higher Integrated min 512 video memory or higher
Wireless 802.11 AirPort
Warranty 4-year parts replacement on site 3-year parts and labor AppleCare


  • USB Flash Memory Storage Device.
  • External USB hard drive for data daily backup.
  • Antivirus and Malwarebytes are provided by the University.


Q: Can I buy a better, more powerful laptop?

A: The laptop specs on this page are the bare minimum needed to get the job done. If you have the option of purchasing a better machine, go ahead and do so.

Q: Which is better or more practical for taking computer science classes, Windows or Mac?

A: More and more students are choosing Macs because most classes, especially game development classes, are taught on the OS X platform. It is possible to do it on a Windows laptop as well, but it will require more effort.

Q: Do I need a touch-screen computer?

A: No, it is not required.

Q: Is an Ethernet port required?

A: No, our local WiFi connection will suffice.

Q: Is it acceptable if I buy a Toshiba/Sony/Apple/Lenovo laptop?

A: We consider our students to be advanced computer users and suggest going with what you feel comfortable with to play, reconfigure, install whatever is needed, and enjoy your CS classes.

Q: Can I instead buy a tablet?

A: While tablets are lightweight and may be what you are used to in your daily life, they are not well suited for computing power-demanding applications that you will use for CS projects.

Please contact us at or 303-871-3299 if you have any questions about the Computer Science Department’s student laptop requirements.