This is only a recommendation. The best way to know exactly what you need for your program is to talk to your professors. We advise students to not purchase a computer until they get here and see what they need.

System Recommendations for Student Computers

  • Windows 7-Capable laptop*
    • An Intel Core i5 or i7 processor
    • At least 6GB ram
    • 500GB hard drive
    • Wireless networking
  • Windows 7 operating system
  • Microsoft Office**
  • Two USB flash drives for quick and easy file transfer between laptop and CAE computers, as well as backing up files.

The Computer Science Department has provided some detailed specifications related to their specific program that can be located here.

*We generally recommend the purchase of a laptop for most students since this allows them to take the machine to class for note taking as well as the library for research projects, etc.

**All Microsoft products other than Microsoft Office are available to students enrolled in CEAS classes at no charge through the Microsoft Academic Alliance Program.

Having a single machine which will meet all of your needs for the full four years is difficult to guarantee. During the first two years, you will be taking a variety of general education courses in addition to courses within the major, and most of the general education courses will only require the use of the Office Suite from Microsoft. Within the major, there are courses which can be completed using the laptop (such as most of the programming courses) and others such as circuit design for which you will need to use specialized software installed in the computer labs.

Later in the program you will need to use more and more specialized software, perhaps including the installation of other OS's such as Linux, and if you decide to switch majors along the way (such as a move to computer science) the machine requirements will increase.


Computer Aided Engineering Center
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5314 USA

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