Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements

Component TypePC (Windows OS)Apple (Mac OS)
Operating SystemWindows 7 or newerMac OS X Snow Leopard (10.7) or newer
Memory (RAM)4 GB or higher4 GB or higher
Hard Drive100 GB or higher100 GB or higher
Office SuiteOffice 2010 Professional or newerOffice 2011 for Mac
Antivirus SoftwareRequired for on campus students.  Strongly recommended for everyone elseRequired for on campus students.  Strongly recommended for everyone else
Browser software
Optional AccessoriesCD/DVD drive.  External hard drive.  Extra power cord.  Headset/Headphones/earbudsCD/DVD drive.  External hard drive.  Extra power cord.  Headset/Headphones/earbuds
SMU Purchase ProgramsVisit DellVisit Apple


  • Laptop or Desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SMU, nor does the Microsoft Surface RT. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be utilized for some course functions they cannot be your primary device.
  • Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
  • Optional Accessories:
    • Many laptops on the market today do not include CD/DVD drives. While SMU typically does not utilize CD/DVD content, this is a good accessory to have.
    • External Hard Drive – it is always a good idea to back up your files and an external hard drive is a great way to do that.
    • Extra power cord – if you have a laptop and are frequently on the move, many people find it useful to have a second power cord – one for home and one for your bag.
    • Headset/Headphones/earbuds – many SMU courses include audio and video content. These will make viewing and listening easier.  A headset with a microphone can be useful for digital communication.  Headset with microphones are priced for less than $50, at your favorite office supply store.