Laptop Requirements

Please note that there are items in these requirements that are listed as desirable or recommended. These recommended configuration options are not required. They are recommended because they will make your laptop more powerful and versatile, with a longer effective lifespan, but a laptop that meets the minimum requirements will be sufficient.

Note that a tablet such as a Microsoft Surface or Apple iPad with a keyboard is not sufficient for the Computer Science curriculum.

Hardware Minimum Requirements Recommended
  • Quad Core (not counting hyper-threading) 2.4Ghz, Intel VT or AMD V (Intel i5/AMD Ryzen 5 or better)
  • Virtual box/VMware must be supported.
  • Intel i7/AMD Ryzen 7
  • Virtual box/VMware must be supported.
  • 16GB
  • The ability to install more memory is desirable.
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 512 GB SSD or larger
  • Internet access required.
  • Wi-Fi required for on-campus classes.
  • USB-A required for peripheral connectivity.
  • USB-C to USB-A adapter if the laptop does not have any USB-A ports.
  • Students must be able to install software on the computer they will use for courses.
  • The ability to either dual boot into Windows or Linux is necessary. If a system can run these operating systems in VMware with only a minor performance impact this is also acceptable.
Microsoft Office
  • Provided to all WMU students.
  • Students should be able to run these programs either on their system or access the web versions.
Development software
  • Provided at no additional cost to the student. These include many Microsoft developer tools and operating systems, as well as VMware and many open source security tools and Linux distributions.
  • An extended warranty is recommended.

To Orientation Students

The Department of Computer Science has established a laptop requirement for its majors, which is included in the WMU Catalog. The chart above lists minimal requirements for a laptop that should suffice for your needs during four years of study in computer science. 

Packages may be purchased through Follett's WMU Bookstore, located in the WMU Bookstore. You may choose to wait until fall or spring term to make a laptop purchase. Some sessions of computer science I may require a laptop. The Department of Computer Science also provides assistance with software installation and through the Microsoft Development Network provides considerable development software (including operating systems) at no additional cost to you.


Computer Science Hardware Committee