Computer Science & Cybersecurity Tech Requirements

Laptop

Each student is required to have a reliable laptop capable of running computer science software (provided by the university) such as Microsoft Visual Studio, JetBrains IDEs, Wireshark, and other software compilers and related programs.

The following minimum requirements for a laptop are strongly recommended:

Operating system options:

  • Windows 10+ (64 bit)
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux

Note that virtual machines using VirtualBox, Bootcamp, or other VM software can be used when necessary to access software designed for a different operating system. The department can assist students in setting up virtual machines.

  • RAM: 8 GB (16 GB recommended)
  • CPU: modern 64 bit processor such as i5 or i7 with at least two physical cores
  • Storage capacity: 200 GB (400 GB for Mac or Linux operating systems because students will need to create a 200 GB partition for Windows)
  • Connectivity: 2x USB2 or USB3 ports and 1000 Base-T ethernet (adaptors acceptable for both)
  • WiFi (IEEE 802.11n with WPA2)
  • Graphics card needs to support at least one external display via HDMI (preferred) or VGA (adaptor acceptable) to be able to use the classroom projectors for presentations.

Note that these requirements can change without notice (but within reason) due to changes in the system requirements from the vendors of the software used within the major. The minimum cost for a new Windows machine that meets the requirements is approximately $900 and for a Mac it is approximately $1500. About half the students use Mac and the other half use Windows, plus a few Linux users.