Recommended computer specifications

To determine the best computer to suit your needs, first consider your primary usage. We highly recommend that you consult with your academic program to find out what types of programs you will need to use on your computer and their specific recommendations or requirements.  Some software companies provide lists of computer hardware that have been certified to work with their applications.

Consider the following questions before purchasing your computer:

  • Are you primarily writing papers and accessing the Internet?
  • Are you accessing classes remotely?
  • Will you run engineering or design programs as part of your learning?
  • Will you be creating graphics, music, or video?

Required hardware configurations

Illinois Tech recommends all students purchase a laptop or 2-in-1 tablet with specifications meeting the requirements below.

Component PC- Recommended PC-Minimum Macintosh
CPU Intel 9th Gen i7 Intel 8th Gen i5 Intel i7 2.9 GHz or faster
System RAM 16 gigabytes (GB) 8 GB (some software may not run) 8 GB or more
Hard Drive 500 GB or larger Solid State Drive (SSD) 500 GB or larger Solid State Drive (SSD) 500 GB Hard Drive or SSD
Monitor   1600 x 1200 Minimum Resolution 1600 x 1200 Minimum Resolution
Video/Graphics Card Discrete/dedicated (such as NVIDIA or AMD) 1 GB GDDR5 RAM or higher Intel or NVIDIA Graphics 1 GB GDDR5 RAM Intel HD Graphics or AMD Radeon Pro with 1 GB
Operating System Windows 10 64-Bit Windows 10 64-Bit Mac OS 11 (Big Sur)
Network Card 1 Gbps Ethernet (USB Adaptor OK)   10/100/1000 Gbps Ethernet (USB Adaptor OK)
Wireless Network Card 802.11 ac (WPA2-Enterprise support required) 802.11 ac (WPA2-Enterprise support required) 802.11 ac (WPA2-Enterprise support required)
Input Tool Integrated Active Stylus (Wacom or N-trig)    
Video Conferencing Tools Headset with Mic, 1080p detachable webcam Functional Mic, Speakers, 720p webcam  

Recommended Add-ons

  • Document camera (for showing printed materials)
  • Anti-virus software installed and properly configured
  • Three-year warranty (extended coverage from manufacturer, retailer, or AppleCare) and/or theft and accidental damage insurance
  • Theft and damage insurance
  • USB flash drive (64GB recommended or higher recommended)
  • Backup Solution (External Hard Drive with 500+ GB, Carbonite, CrashPlan)

Student discounts

Illinois Tech students receive special pricing from Dell and Apple.

These sites are for members of the Illinois Tech community only and may only be accessed through the university domain.

Internet Connectivity Recommendations

Many of Illinois Tech's classes have hybrid (synchronous online) or traditional (recorded) online components. Having appropriate connectivity to the internet is critical to ensure you have the best academic experience. Illinois Tech recommends a stable broadband internet connection for your laptop. We do not recommend using your phone or cellular internet when taking an online or hybrid class.

Most instructors will use Blackboard Collaborate for hybrid (synchronous online) courses. Class recordings use Panopto, which is integrated into your Blackboard account. Both of these services are hosted in AWS ec2-us-east-1.

Measurement Recommended Minimum
Downlink 20 Mbps 1.7 Mbps
Uplink 5 Mbps 1.7 Mbps
Latency 150ms 300ms

Speed Test

To check your speed against the AWS ec2-us-east-1 please click the button below.

Speed Test