Laptop Requirements

The chart below lists minimal requirements for a laptop for WMU computer science students. These recommended systems should suffice for four years of study in computer science. 

Packages may be purchased through in the WMU Bookstore. You may choose to wait until fall or spring term to make a laptop purchase. Some sessions of CS 1110 (computer science I) may require a laptop. The Department of Computer Science also provides assistance with software installation and the Microsoft Development Network provides considerable development software (including operating systems) at no additional cost to you.

Some items in these requirements that are listed as recommended and 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: Tablets such as a Microsoft Surface or Apple iPad with a keyboard are not sufficient for the computer science curriculum.

HardwareMinimum RequirementsRecommended
  • 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.