Effective fall 2022, all incoming students are required to own a personal laptop computer with the technical specs to run software necessary to participate in class and complete assigned work. Your computer should be upgradeable in order to meet technical spec requirements for the duration of your program. Laptop requirements may vary per department.

Many of the software packages students & faculty may require to complete coursework and research during your time with the university necessitate an above-average performance computer heavily dependent on fast processing, fast storage, and high-output GPUs. The hardware recommendations shown below constitute a computer system that meets or exceeds minimum performance standards and plan for an anticipated lifespan of 2 to 5 years.

Students receiving financial aid and who are loan eligible should contact Financial Aid to have their cost of attendance adjusted to include the cost of the laptop.

Considering an Apple Computer?

Please note the following potential operational issues that may arise using Apple computer hardware while pursuing degrees in CEID.

  • Several key programs are only developed for Windows operating systems or may operate at a diminished capacity on MacOS. Choosing an Apple system may require the additional purchase of virtual software such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion, or setting up Boot Camp, to allow for the installation of Windows OS and other necessary software.
  • Virtualization software such as VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop use with resource-intensive software will likely severely impact performance.
  • Apple video cards   are NOT  certified by many integral advanced programs such as software from Autodesk of Solidworks.
  • If you choose to purchase a Mac, we recommend selecting the highest-performing system available.
  • Should you choose to opt for Apple hardware with Boot Camp or other virtualized software, please anticipate investing additional time and energy towards OS maintenance and application troubleshooting.

Dell Partnership

UTSA has a partnership with Dell Computer which offers systems preconfigured to meet recommendations for CEID students at a reduced cost. Students are not required to purchase a system through the partner program. The partnership is also open to faculty and staff and may be used for personal purchases.

Explore the Dell Partnership Program

Select Architecture & Engineering Category

Computer System Requirements and Recommendations for New Purchases

The following system recommendations are offered to help students make educated purchasing decisions. It is important that your computer system can meet the technical requirements needed to support your coursework.

Hardware Component Minimum Requirements Recommended (Advanced)
Processor Intel i7/i9 six core or AMD Intel i7/i9/Xeon six+ core or AMD equivalent
Memory 16.0 GB with expansion space or 32 GB 32 GB
Hard Drive 512 GB SSD 1TB GB SSD or larger
Video Card (1) 4GB or more Nvidia GeForce/Quadro VR Ready NVIDIA Quadro or GeForce



Screen Size (2) 14-17 inch 17 inch
Networking (Wireless) 802.11 a/g/n/ac 802.11 a/g/n/ac
Networking (Wired) 10/100/1000 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Peripheral Connectivity USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Warranty 5 year + accidental damage (# of years should match program length – minimum 5 year + accidental damage (# of years should match program length – minimum