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Student Computer Recommendations

Hardware Recommendations

When looking for a new computer for your college career, please take into consideration the following recommendations.  If you plan on purchasing in-store, or on via a website, please feel free to provide these requirements to a customer service representative for them to offer further assistance in finding a machine that is right for your needs.

  Minimum Supported Recommended 
Processor 1.5 GHz Intel/AMD processor 2.0+ GHz Intel/AMD processor 
Memory  4 GB RAM 8 GB RAM (or higher)
Hard Drive  50-100 GB 120+ GB
(solid state drives provide the best performance)
External Drive  None required DVD-RW drive (if available)
Network Connection  Built-in WiFi Wired Ethernet + built-in WiFi
(wired connections are best for residence hall room connectivity)
Multimedia Webcam/microphone Webcam/microphone

Please note that Chromebooks are NOT recommended as a primary computer for most academic programs, as they do not support the catalog of software required by some majors. Please consult with your academic department for any specific recommendations in addition to what is listed on this page.

Software Recommendations

If you are considering both a Windows PC and a Mac, check with your academic department to see if they have a recommendation. Most departments at Ship use Windows-based PCs, but several (such as Art, Communications/Journalism, etc.) also use Macintosh computers.  Ship supports the use of either Windows or Mac on campus and will assist you with questions or issues on both operating systems.

Windows-based PC
  Minimum Supported Recommended 
Windows version  Windows 10 Windows 10 or 11
Productivity software  Microsoft Office 365 Microsoft Office 365
(available for free for Ship students)
Anti-virus software  Up-to-date/current anti-virus Up-to-date/current anti-virus


Apple Mac
  Minimum Supported  Recommended 
Mac OS X version  macOS 10.15 (Catalina) macOS 12 (Monterey) or newer
Productivity Software  Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac Microsoft Office 365
(available for free for Ship students)
Anti-virus software  Up-to-date/current anti-virus Up-to-date/current anti-virus


Connectivity Requirements

To support any virtual classwork in Zoom, D2L Brightspace, or other online platforms, students should have a reliable, high-speed Internet connection with the following minimum available bandwidth:

  • 3.0 Mbps download/upload speed or higher

If you are unsure of your connection speed, please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or run a speed check by visiting

Students who are living on campus are provided with a campus Wi-Fi/Ethernet connection that meets all speed requirements under normal conditions/range.


If you have any questions regarding these recommendations, please contact the Student Help Desk at 717-477-HELP (x4357) or You may also stop by in person in the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library to discuss your hardware/software questions in person!

Contact the Technology Help Desk WALK-IN LOCATIONS Student Help Desk: Lehman Library Faculty/Staff Help Desk: MCT 071 Phone: 717-477-4357 Fax: (717) 477-1427