Student Technology Guide

The Student Technology Guide is updated and produced each year as a collaborative effort between the Ziggabyte® technology store at Falcon Outfitters, Information Technology Services (ITS) and the BGSU academic departments.

BGSU does not have a computer purchase requirement, so expectations related to technology can vary significantly based upon the academic program and what is prevalent in that field. This guide is designed to support academic success by providing BGSU students with technology recommendations based upon their major course of study.

College and academic programs have helped to make it easier for students to learn about the technical specifications, software, and accessories appropriate for each academic discipline. In addition, Ziggabyte® and ITS have provided helpful information about using technology and related services offered at BGSU.


BGSU ITS Recommended Minimum Hardware

If your major does not have specific hardware or software recommendations, Information Technology Services (ITS) recommends:

  • i5 or i7 Intel® Core™, Apple M1, or equivalent processor
  • Minimum 256GB internal storage, 512GB preferred
  • 16GB RAM
  • 3-4 year warranty

*ITS does not recommend the use of Chromebooks because they are not compatible with many BGSU software applications.

Specific Technology Recommendations Based on Major

The recommendations below are provided by the respective colleges and departments.

College of Arts & Sciences

Computer Science
  • i7 Intel® Core™ processor (or AMD equivalent) recommended (i5 Intel® Core™ processor minimum)
  • 500GB internal storage minimum, Solid State Drive (SSD) recommended.
  • Typically, Windows OS. An Apple laptop with similar specifications is also acceptable. (Note that newer Apple machines with a M1 processor are not compatible with running Windows which is used by some CS courses)
  • 16GB RAM minimum  
Film Production

Students in Film Production are not required to purchase a computer or equipment to complete their degree. Students have access to the Film Production computer labs and rental equipment. Students who wish to purchase their own computer and/or equipment should follow the minimum recommendations outlined below: 

  • BGSU ITS minimum hardware recommended to complete basic coursework.  
  • If student plans to use their computer to edit video: 
    • Processor: Mac recommended with minimum of M1 or M2 processor  
    • Hard drive: 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD) recommended
    • Memory: 16GB RAM
    • If purchasing PC, suggested minimum of Intel i7 processor, dedicated 6GB graphics card, 512GB SSD, and 16GB of RAM
    • Recommended software: Adobe Creative Cloud subscription or low/no-cost equivalent such as DaVinci Resolve*.  
    • Contact Stephen Crompton ( with questions regarding cameras or other equipment advice/suggestions. 

*All software listed is available in Film Production computer lab 

Media Production
  • Software: Adobe Creative Cloud*, required
  • External hard drive for backup, required. 500BG minimum.

*Find where Adobe Creative Cloud software is available in labs across campus at

School of Cultural and Critical Studies

  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • 11” minimum screen size
  • 32GB or 64GB flash drive, recommended
  • Wireless mouse, recommended 
  • External hard drive/flash drive is optional

School of Art

  • i5 Intel® Core™ processor minimum
  • 16GB RAM minimum
  • 500GB internal storage minimum, Solid State Drive (SSD) preferred
  • Dedicated Video Card
  • Contact the School of Art for further information/questions at 419-372-2786
Digital Arts
  • Required Software: Adobe Creative Cloud
  • macOS Catalina or later or Windows 10 (64-bit only)
  • Check Adobe Creative Cloud system requirements prior to purchase
  • Contact the School of Art for further information/questions at 419-372-2786
Graphic Design
  • Required Software: Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Typeface library beyond built-in sets
  • macOS Catalina or later
  • 15” minimum screen size
  • Contact the School of Art for further information/questions at 419-372-2786

College of Education and Human Development

Interior Design
  • Windows 10 64-bit (Macs are highly discouraged)
  • i7 Intel® Core™ processor minimum, 11th generation; i9 Intel® Core™ processor preferred
  • 16GB RAM minimum, 32GB RAM preferred
  • Dedicated Graphics Card (very important): Nvidia Quadro, Nvidia GeForce RTX, Nvidia GeForce 960 M, 1060 M, 1660 M, 2060 M, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M, AMD FirePro M4000 Mobility Pro (examples)
  • 500GB minimum internal storage, 1 or more TB and Solid State Drive (SSD) hard drive preferred
  • 15” minimum screen size
  • External hard drive for backup; flash drive required for most classes
  • Mouse required for use with most design software; wireless mouse preferred
  • Minimum 3-year warranty with theft and damage insurance
  • Full number pad integrated into laptop keyboard preferred
  • Software: Autodesk Revit*, Autodesk AutoCAD*, SketchUp, 3DS Max, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and InDesign), Microsoft Office*. Students will be advised when/how to purchase or acquire software as needed for each course.

College of Musical Arts

  • Software: Sibelius or Finale

Schmidthorst College of Business

  • Windows 10 64-bit or Windows 11 64-bit (Macs and Chromebooks are highly discouraged)
  • 500GB hard drive minimum
  • 16GB RAM minimum
  • Office365* – Desktop Version 

*Free for students

Applied Statistics & Operations Research
  • Software: SPSS, RStudio or R*

*Free for students

  • R/Studio*
  • Multiple other in-person courses require students to bring their laptops to class on the day of essay exams (where they use LockDown Browser to take the exam).

*Free for students

College of Technology Architecture & Applied Engineering

Architectural and Environmental Design
  • Windows 10 64-bit (Macs are highly discouraged)
  • i7 Intel® Core™ processor minimum, i9 Intel® Core™ preferred
  • 16GB RAM minimum
  • 500GB hard drive minimum, 1 or more TB and Solid State Drive (SSD) hard drive preferred
  • Video Processor: Nvidia Quadro, Nvidia® Geforce 960 M, 1060 M, 1660 M, 2060 M, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M, AMD FirePro M4000 Mobility Pro (examples)
  • Dedicated Graphics Card
  • 15” minimum screen size with a resolution of 1080p or greater
  • External hard drive for backup; flash drive required for most classes
  • Wireless mouse
  • Minimum 3-year warranty with theft and damage insurance
  • Software: Adobe Creative Cloud, Sketchup Pro, Rhino, VRAY, Lumion*, Autodesk Revit*, Autodesk AutoCAD, 3DS Max

*Free for students

Aviation Flight Operations
  • ForeFlight application on an iPad
Construction Management
  • Windows 10 64-bit recommended
  • 1 Terabyte (TB) or greater capacity external hard drive or Solid State Drive (SSD) recommended
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Dual-core CPU, quad-core preferred
  • 8GB RAM, 16GB preferred
  • 2GB or more GPU RAM, 4GB preferred
  • Windows devices preferred; SolidWorks, Mastercam and ANSYS only work on Windows
Mechatronics Engineering Technology
  • Windows 10 64-bit recommended
  • Microsoft Office 64-bit
  • i5/i7 Intel® Core™ processor or equivalent required
  • 16GB RAM minimum
  • Graphics Card: Video memory 512MB+ (support for OpenGL 2.0 or Direct3D 11 is required for the 3D module)
  • 256GB storage minimum, 512GB preferred with 5GB of free space (additional space may be required for Automation Studio catalogs)
Visual Communication Technology
Students in Visual Communication Technology are not required to purchase a computer in order to complete their degree. Computer labs are made available to students. The recommendations and requirements made here are for students who wish to purchase their own computer for use in coursework. Technology equipment other than laptop or desktop computers, such as external storage devices, are required. 
  • Either Apple laptop with M1 processor or Windows laptop with 10th generation Intel core i7, or greater recommended
  • 512GB SSD Solid State Drive (SSD) required
  • 16GB RAM minimum
  • Software: Adobe Creative Cloud*
  • DSLR Camera (video capable)
  • 1 TB external hard drive for backup. 32GB or greater SD card with a class 6 or greater speed rating
  • Accessories: a DSLR or Mirrorless camera capable of video

*Find where Adobe Creative Cloud software is available in labs across campus at Students wishing to complete assignments using their personal devices must purchase the software separately. 

Graduate College

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Students are required to have a mobile device AND a laptop computer that meet the following specifications.


  • Android, Apple, or Microsoft products are acceptable
  • Must have mobile broadband capabilities. 
  • Please note: Microsoft Surface Pro can be considered under both laptop and mobile device categories. If you are considering a Surface Pro for use as a laptop, please see minimum computer requirements below.
    • Android - Android operating system version 6.0 or newer is required. 
    • Apple - Apple operating system version 9.0 or newer is required.
    • Mobile broadband capability for the mobile device is recommended providing an internet connection when a local wireless network is not available.
    • A variety of mobile device applications are required for use throughout the program. 


  • Operating System: Windows 10 or higher or macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or higher
  • Processor: i5 or i7 Intel® Core™, Apple M1, or equivalent processor 
  • Display: 13-inch display (or larger recommended) 1024 x 768 screen resolution or better 
  • Hardware: Webcam (internal or external) and microphone required.
  • RAM: 16GB minimum
  • Hard Drive: Minimum 256GB internal storage, 512GB preferred 
  • Wireless: 802.11g (or higher)
  • Bandwidth: Minimum 15Mbps Download/2 Mbps Upload Speed
  • Carrying Case: Quality case suggested for your protection
  • Warranty: 3 Yr. Limited Warranty with Next Business Day On-Site Service is suggested
  • Software: Microsoft Office 365*, Anti-Virus and Malware Software, Acrobat Reader 

*Free for students

*ITS does not recommend the use of Chromebooks because they are not compatible with many academic and enterprise applications.

Information Technology Services (ITS)

Information Technology Services is the central point of contact for questions and support regarding technology on campus.

Student Services
  • Free hardware repairs for Dell and Apple computers covered by warranty
  • Open computer labs (walk-in use)
  • BGSU account support
  • Campus-wide printing from personal devices and computer labs
  • 1TB of free cloud storage using OneDrive
  • Office 365 – five free installations of Microsoft Office suite
  • Self-help guides for connecting your devices  
  • The estimated cost of using a personal printer is double the cost of using campus printers
  • Personal wireless printers are blocked from accessing the BGSU network
  • Add money to your BG1 card to print via campus printers
  • Print from your laptop, phone or tablet to any student printer on campus.

Mobility Print

Other Campus Services

Collab Lab

The Collab Lab, located within the Jerome Library, offers peer-to-peer instruction on a variety of software applications for undergraduate, graduate and distance students. The Collab Lab also offers unique equipment for use in their location such as 3D printers, a laser cutter/engraver, Wacom Cintiqs, Oculus Rifts and a 3D scanner.

BGSU Collab Lab


Safeware is an extended service protection plan (like an insurance plan or extended warranty) sold at Falcon Outfitters. The Safeware plan protects computers and tablets for up to four years against claims that your computer warranty may not cover such as accidental damage, liquid spills, manufacturing defects and power surges. Benefits include no out-of-pocket expenses and a hassle-free claims process.

Download a PDF version

Printed Student Technology Guides are available at Ziggabyte® at Falcon Outfitters.

Updated: 05/24/2023 03:19PM