Personal Computers: Frequently Asked Questions for Bringing Computers to Campus

This service is for students.

Do I need to bring a computer to campus?

ITS strongly encourages all students to have personal access to a computer, laptop, or tablet for your academic learning. This is increasingly important as more course content moves online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While it is not required, laptops gives you greater flexibility where you study and how you complete course assignments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a limited number of desktop computers are available in campus libraries and are restricted to printing only. Please note that these labs may have limited building hours and are only available on a first come basis. 

Financial Hardship During COVID-19

Students in the Dougherty Family College (DFC) program will receive technology support during the Student Enrichment Program for incoming students. In addition, you can contact Doug Thompson at if you are uncertain about your technology access for the fall semester. 

Undergraduate or graduate students who have been hit by financial hardship and do not have home internet access or a personal computer/device to use when remote learning is necessary should contact Jesse Langer (Dean of Students Office) at for assistance.

Should I buy a new Mac or PC computer?

The brand of device is up to you! You may prefer one type of device or brand over another based on your personal experience and comfort level. Some disciplines may encourage or require specific platforms. For example, Engineering generally uses Windows PC while Digital Media Arts commonly uses Mac. If you have a specific field of study in mind, ITS recommends contacting the academic department to ask if they recommend a specific type. 

Windows PCs

Recommend computer specifications for Windows PC
Feature Minimum Recommend
Processor Intel Core i3 or equivalent Intel Core i5 or greater
Operating System Windows 10 x64 Windows 10 x64
Memory 8GB RAM 8GB RAM
Storage 256GB 500GB (SSD)
Display 13" 14" 1600x900 resolution or greater
Wi-Fi Adapter 2.4/5 GHz 2.4/5 GHz
Other Webcam (internal or external), carrying case Webcam (internal or external), carrying case


Recommended computer specifications for Macs
Feature Minimum Recommended
Processor Intel Core i3 Intel Core i5 or greater
Operating System macOS High Sierra 10.13 macOS Catalina 10.15
Memory 8GB RAM 8GB RAM
Storage 256GB 500GB (SSD)
Display 13" 15" or greater
WiFi adapter 2.4/5 GHz 2.4/5 GHz
Other Webcam (internal or external), carrying case Webcam (internal or external), carrying case


While you will be able to access email, Canvas, Zoom, and other resources from a Chromebook, some coursework might require you to access software that is not accessible on a Chrome device. For this reason, we recommend using a PC or Mac if possible.

Where can I buy a new computer for college?

If you are interested in purchasing a new computer or software check out the Tech Store. St. Thomas currently does not directly sell personal hardware or software, but Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and other vendors provide educational discounts on computers, printers, scanners and select software just for being a college student!


 To report a problem or receive additional troubleshooting, please contact the Tech Desk


Article ID: 99041
Mon 2/24/20 10:06 AM
Mon 1/11/21 10:54 PM