Computer Specifications

Policy Statement:

To support the success of our students, the School of Information Technology (SoIT) requires all students to have a laptop computer before starting their degree program. The laptop must meet the minimum requirement determined by the SoIT at the start of each academic year. 

Having their own laptops allow students to study whenever and wherever they want. Additionally, students can better manage their project files, more easily take notes in class, have more privacy and security, and above all else, complete assignments on time.

Effective date:

This requirement, approved by School of Information Technology faculty on March 5, 2024, will apply to new students beginning in the Fall 2024 semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have found that having their own laptops allows students to study whenever and wherever they want. Additionally, students can better manage their project files, take notes in class more easily, have more privacy and security, and more than anything else, complete assignments on time.

We understand having your own laptop is a big financial investment. So, SoIT recommends purchasing a computer with the highest processor speed, largest memory, and fastest hard drive that fits within your budget. The minimum recommended requirements can be found at Please note that this page is updated regularly so check for the latest update before making your purchase.

In addition, the SoIT recommends having a desktop at home or an additional monitor that you can connect to the laptop for multitasking. Having access to a large monitor, external keyboard, and mouse (or trackpad) will be helpful for working on IT projects.

The University has made special arrangements with selected computer vendors to provide customized computers which meet or exceed the minimum hardware requirements. Students are not required to buy their computer from these companies but should consider these offers to help determine pricing of a properly equipped and supported system. The most up-to-date information on the offerings is maintained at: UC DTS – Hardware Discounts.  

Students are encouraged to communicate with their academic advisor for questions, concerns, and/or alternative options.

Computer labs are available around the UC campus and in the UC libraries. Information about operating hours and available resources can be found at:

In addition, all SoIT students have badge access to the laboratories in rooms TDC 231, TDC 233, and TDC 236. 

If your computer and/or laptop breaks, you can temporarily borrow a loaner Windows laptop for up to 7 days from CECH. Please note, these loaner laptops are intended as temporary solutions. To submit a request for a loaner laptop, please visit OITLD Service Portal and select Loaner Equipment Request – CECH Loaner Laptop (Student)

Yes. For classes that require specialized software like a Windows operating system, you can install a Windows virtual machine on your computer using virtualization software such as VMWare. The SoIT made VMWare software available to students as outlined:

Yes, as a continuing student you can still use your equipment. The new computer requirement policy applies to incoming students for Fall 2024. Make sure your current equipment meets these minimum requirements

The University and the College continue to offer a wide array of scholarships. While not specific to the purchase of a laptop, these scholarships can be utilized towards the purchase of a computer. There are no additional scholarships that are specifically associated with the computer requirements policy. In addition, since a laptop is required by the School of Information Technology, students may be able to include this cost in their financial aid needs.  For more information about this, please reach out to the Student Financial Aid Office at or 513-556-1000.  

School of Information Technology does not support the use of an iPad in place of a laptop. While we feel the iPad is an excellent device to use complimentary to your laptop, it has large disadvantages if being used as your only device.

The SoIT works with key providers to maintain academic licenses available to students. Information can be found at: 

Finally, faculty, staff, and students at the University of Cincinnati can purchase software from the UC Bookstore at a discounted rate. The bookstore's computer department is on the 3rd level of the Tangeman University Center on UC's west campus.