Computer Requirements - Design

Computer Requirements


The Department of Design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth uses Apple Mac computers for all of the media options: Digital Media, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography. Currently Sophomore through Senior level students are required to puchase a MacBook Pro laptop computer. Beginning Fall 2015 all students, including first-year students, are required to purchase a laptop computer. 

Design majors will have a number of classes in the CVPA Media Lab. The lab contains a number of desktop computers that are used for classroom instruction and for homework. The lab is typically open from 9:00 till 11:00 seven days a week. Yet, the lab may not always be available for students to finish homework assignments. The laptop requirement insures that all students will be able to work on assignments outside of the classroom or lab.


Students wishing to configure personal computers should follow these guidelines:

  • Screen size:
    In all cases it is recommended that students purchase the largest screen size that can be afforded, 15” or larger.
  • Connections:
    All machines need to have an Ethernet connection.
  • RAM:
    There is never enough. We recommend at least eight gigabytes of RAM.
  • Hard Disc Space:
    Minimum 1 TB. You can always add external hard drives or portable storage devices as needed.
  • Optical Drive:
    Select a drive that allows you to burn DVDs. This will be helpful in developing portfolios and backing up large animation or video files.
  • Camera (standard feature on Macs)
  • Adaptor for a VGA connection to a projector.

Note: For University pricing, please visit the UMass Dartmouth Apple Education Store


Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365 are required. These software packages will enable you to interact with the software programs used in CVPA to submit assignments, participate in collaborative projects, and share work with instructors and fellow students.

Microsoft Office 365 free download

Adobe Creative Cloud for students and teachers

For additional information the CVPA Media Lab technician, Joy Miller: can assist you further.