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

American Culture Studies, Ethnic Studies, Popular Culture, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • 11” minimum screen size
  • 32GB or 64GB flash drive
  • Wireless mouse
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. Mac devices with similar specifications are also acceptable. (Note that newer Mac Silicon processors are not compatible with running Windows, which is used by some CS courses.)
  • 16GB RAM minimum 
Film Production

Students are not required to purchase a computer or equipment to complete their degree. Students have access to the Film Production’s Mac computer lab and rental equipment. Students who wish to purchase their own computer and/or equipment should follow these minimum recommendations: 

  • BGSU ITS minimum hardware recommended to complete basic coursework.  
  • If student plans to use their computer to edit video: 
    • Mac Operating System recommended
    • Processor: minimum of base-level M1, M2, or M3 
    • Hard drive: 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
    • Memory: 16GB RAM
    • If purchasing PC, suggested minimum of Intel i7 processor, dedicated 6GB graphics card, 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD), and 32GB 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
  • Wireless mouse
  • External hard drive/flash drive is optional

School of Art

  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • 500GB internal storage minimum, Solid State Drive (SSD) preferred
  • Dedicated Video Card
  • School of Art Labs are stocked with most classroom-required software and are open most evenings after class
  • Contact the School of Art for further information/questions at 419-372-2786
Digital Arts
  • Required Software: Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Current macOS or Windows 11 (64-bit only)
  • Check Adobe Creative Cloud system requirements prior to purchase
  • First and Second Year Digital Arts Students can refer to the School of Art Basic Requirements
    • Third and Fourth Year students will have different requirements based on their focus (3D modeling, Digital Painting, Animation...etc.)   
  • Contact the School of Art for further information/questions at 419-372-2786
Graphic Design
  • MacBook Pro – Silicon Chip
    • ITS minimum recommendations
    • 15” minimum screen size
    • 500GB+ Solid State Drive (SSD)
    • Current macOS
  • Required Software: Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Typeface library beyond built-in sets
  • Contact the School of Art for further information/questions at 419-372-2786

College of Education and Human Development

Interior Design
  • Windows 11 64-bit (Macs are highly discouraged)
  • i7 Intel® Core™ processor minimum, 14th generation; i9 Intel® Core™ processor preferred
  • 500GB minimum internal storage, 1TB or larger Solid State Drive (SSD) preferred
  • 16GB RAM minimum, 32GB RAM preferred
  • 15” minimum screen size
  • Dedicated Graphics Card (very important): Nvidia Quadro, Nvidia GeForce RTX, Nvidia GeForce 960M, 1060M, 1660M, 2060M, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M, AMD FirePro M4000 Mobility Pro (examples)
  • External Solid State Drive (SSD) for backup recommended; 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
  • Students must have administrator rights on their personal computer
  • 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. 
Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching Program
  • Software: Microsoft Office*

*Free for students

Schmidthorst College of Business

  • Windows 10 64-bit or Windows 11 64-bit (Macs and Chromebooks are highly discouraged)
  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • 500GB hard drive 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 Musical Arts

  • Software: Sibelius or Finale

College of Health and Human Services

  • Software: Microsoft Office*
  • Webcam required (integrated or external)

College of Technology Architecture & Applied Engineering

Architectural and Environmental Design

Specs are based on running required programs at minimum requirements, such as Autodesk Revit, AutoDesk AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3DSMax, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.  

  • Windows 10 or 11 64-bit (Macs are highly discouraged)
  • 9th Generation i7 Intel® Core™ processor or AMD Ryzen 7 series or higher
  • 16GB–32GB RAM minimum
  • 500GB hard drive minimum, 1 or more TB (recommended) and Solid State Drive (SSD) hard drive preferred
  • Video Processor: Nvidia Quadro RX 3060 or higher
  • 15” minimum; touch screen not required
  • External hard drive recommended for backup; flash drive required for most classes
  • Wireless mouse
  • Minimum 3-year warranty with theft and damage insurance
  • Software: Adobe Creative Cloud, Sketchup, Autodesk Revit*, Autodesk AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Microsoft Office. Most of the programs recommended above provide students with a free student license so there is no need to purchase. 

*Free for students

Aviation Flight Operations
  • ForeFlight application on an iPad
Construction Management
  • Windows 10 64-bit recommended
  • 1TB or greater capacity external hard drive or Solid State Drive (SSD) recommended
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • Windows devices preferred; SolidWorks, Mastercam and ANSYS only work on Windows
Mechatronics Engineering Technology
  • Windows 10 64-bit recommended
  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • Microsoft Office 64-bit
  • Graphics Card: Video memory 512MB+ (support for OpenGL 2.0 or Direct3D 11 is required for the 3D module)
  • Hard drive with 5GB of free space (additional space may be required for Automation Studio catalogs)
Visual Communication Technology
Students are not required to purchase a computer to complete their degree and can utilize computer labs. Technology equipment other than laptop or desktop computers, such as external storage devices, are required.  
  • Either Mac laptop with M1 processor or Windows laptop with 10th generation Intel core i7, or greater recommended
  • 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD) required
  • 16GB RAM minimum
  • Software: Adobe Creative Cloud*
  • DSLR Camera (video capable)
  • 1TB 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

*Adobe Creative Cloud is available to use in the VCT computer lab. 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 these minimum computer requirements:
    • 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 newer or macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or newer
  • ITS minimum recommendations
  • Display: 13” display (or larger recommended) 1024 x 768 screen resolution or better 
  • Hardware: Webcam (internal or external) and microphone required
  • 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
  • Cloud file 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

Student Printing


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 PDF Version

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

Updated: 04/22/2024 09:40AM