Student Computer Recommendations

The School of Engineering curriculum is computer and technology intensive. Many courses require use of real-world Engineering Applications. Many of these applications are extremely expensive and require special software licenses. To this end, the School of Engineering provides five computer labs on campus with all software used in Engineering courses. More information regarding the Learning Centers can be obtained here.

Alternatively, students may also access the Engineering SkyBox. This allows students to use their computers to access virtual machines installed with all the software we offer in the labs. Since the software runs on our virtual machines, students do not need high-end computers to run software themselves, yet they can still use their computers outside of the labs to access the software we offer.

For dorm and personal use, Engineering Computing Services recommends either a laptop or desktop computer. Recommended and minimal specifications are below. Most computer vendors offer special discounts to college students (around 15-20% on average). It is always recommended to purchase an extended warranty when possible as accidents can and do happen.

Engineering students may print their work in the Learning Center computer labs during operating hours. More information about printing can be found here.

UConn students can obtain Microsoft Office (2013 for Windows, 2016 for Mac) for free by logging in with their UConn email address and NetID password here or by logging in with their NetID here. While we recommend purchasing the Microsoft Office suite for best compatibility with course work University wide, free, cross-platform alternative can be found here.

Information on available software can be found here.

Recommended Specifications
The following computer specifications are recommended for all School of Engineering students:

Processor: AMD or Intel quad core class or greater (Intel i3/ i5/ i7, AMD Phenom™ X4, AMD Dragon, and more)
RAM: 8GB or greater.
Hard Drive: 500GB or greater (desktop); 250GB or greater (laptop).
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM/CD-RW or DVD-RW/CD-RW (read dvds / burn CDs or burn and read both DVDs and CDs).
Ethernet Adapter: 100 Mbit or better (both desktop and laptop).
WiFi: Wireless-G or better (laptop).
Printer: Multi-function (scan / print) printer.
Operating System: Windows 7 or Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
Software: Microsoft Office Suite 2013; Microsoft Office for Mac 2016.
Other: 8GB or greater USB memory stick (“flash drive”).

Minimum Specifications
The following computer specifications are minimum suggested for all School of Engineering students:

Processor: AMD or Intel dual core class or better (Intel i3 / i5/ i7, AMD Turion II, AMD Phenom™ II, and more)
RAM: 4GB or greater.
Hard Drive: 250GB or greater (desktop); 120GB or greater (laptop).
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM/CD-RW or DVD-RW/CD-RW (read dvds / burn CDs or burn and read both DVDs and CDs).
Ethernet Adapter: 100 Mbit or better (both desktop and laptop).
WiFi: Wireless-G or better (laptop).
Printer: Multi-function (scan / print) printer.
Operating System: Windows 7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
Software: Microsoft Office Suite 2013; Microsoft Office for Mac 2016.
Other: 2GB or greater USB memory stick (“flash drive”).

Note About Apple Computers / Macs
The majority of engineering software used in the School of Engineering is Microsoft Windows based and will not run on the Mac operating system. However, there are a few methods by which you can run Windows along side the Mac operating system on an Apple Computer. These methods are not officially supported by Engineering Computing Services or the University of Connecticut, but many students have used them successfully and without issue.

Method 1: Use Apple’s Bootcamp Utility to “dual-boot” Windows and Mac OS X. This will allow you to choose which operating system you wish to run when you turn on your Mac.

Method 2: Use VMWare Fusion to run a Windows “virtual machine” within the Mac operating system. This will allow you to run a virtual Microsoft Windows environment from within Mac OS X. The School of Engineering provides a FREE license to VMWare products to all engineering students.

For either method, students can retrieve a FREE copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional through our MSDN program. Students can download a large selection of Microsoft products (excluding Office) that is all free for academic use.