Technology Requirements 

Having the right tools on hand will be a key factor to a successful Online and Distance Education experience. Below, we can help you determine if your current computer will get the job done; or if you’re looking to purchase a new computer, we have some recommended specifications.
Students use the technology at the Hunt Library.

Already Own a Computer?

A computer from home will be perfectly adequate if it can run current software and use the campus network. Using an older computer often allows a student to delay the purchase of a new one and better determine personal needs. However, depending on the situation, an older computer may not be usable for more than a year. Your current computer should meet or (preferably) exceed these minimum university requirements.

  • Less than two years old
  • Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Operating System – MS Windows 7 or later; Mac OS Xv 10.11 or later
  • Battery life – 2 hours or longer
  • Ethernet Adapter – built in, Thunderbolt, or USB
  • Wireless – 802.11n
  • Free Hard Drive Space – 100GB

See NC State Antivirus Resources.

See Details 


Purchasing a New Computer?

Depending on your computing needs, evaluating and purchasing a computer is very important. A computer with greater capability (processor speed, RAM, disk capacity) and expandability will be more likely to continue to run the software you require. For students purchasing a new computer, we recommend that you consider the following:

  • Compare machine types:
    • Home use or consumer class
      Less expensive, may not hold up to rigorous academic use and transport
    • Business class (recommended)
      More expensive but more durable, stable, standardized, and well-supported
    • High-performance or gamer class
      More expensive, with bleeding-edge, sometimes poorly supported technology
  • Find out about any college or department requirement.
  • Read the Office of Information Technology recommendations for a new computer.
  • Read the Office of Information Technology recommendations for a laptop you already own.
  • See special pricing for students at NC State Bookstores Computers department.
  • Applicants for financial aid

See Details 


Further Questions 

If you have further questions about computer specifications, you may contact the NC State Help Desk.


Image Description

NC State University Help Desk

West Dunn Bldg, 2901 Thurman Dr,
Raleigh, NC 27606

Phone: 919.515.4357

Visit Help Desk



Get Started Today

100+ Programs to Choose From

Explore Programs

919.515.9030 or 866.467.8283

Call Now 

Have Someone Contact Me

Contact Me