College of IST First-Year Student Laptop Requirement

This page is intended for first-year students enrolling in the College of IST at University Park. More information on the laptop requirement for students planning to enroll in the summer 2023 semester or after will be available in spring 2023. If you are currently enrolled in the college and have questions about the laptop requirement, please email laptop@ist.psu.edu.

The College of IST requires that all new first-year students enrolled in the college at University Park have their own laptop that meets or exceeds minimum technical specifications. Minimum requirements and recommended specifications are listed below.

This requirement is intended to ensure students have a device that should last for four years, ensures students have access to a level of technology needed to complete coursework, and allows instructors to effectively incorporate a standard of technology into their courses. Students may be required to bring their laptops to class.

Over time, having a personal laptop that meets certain standards better positions students to complete assignments, collaborate effectively with classmates, receive hands-on instruction, and make use of flexible educational environments. Ultimately, it supports an equitable Penn State experience and prepares students with the digital fluency needed to create new knowledge and thrive in emerging careers.

Questions? Email us!

Technical Specifications

Incoming first-year IST students enrolling in the College of IST at University Park must have a laptop that meets or exceeds the following specifications:

Windows Laptop

  • Minimum Specifications: Windows 10, i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, Hardware service warranty
  • Recommended Specifications: Windows 11, Intel i7 or equivalent AMD Ryzen processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, Hardware service warranty

Mac Laptop

  • Minimum Specifications: Mac OS Big Sur, M1 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB Hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, AppleCare
  • Recommended Specifications: Mac OS Monterey, M1 or M1 Pro processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB Hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, AppleCare

Windows Laptop

  • Minimum Specifications: Windows 10, i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Recommended Specifications: Windows 10, i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, Hardware service warranty

Mac Laptop

  • Minimum Specifications: Mac OS Big Sur, i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB Hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Recommended Specifications: Mac OS Big Sur, M1 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB Hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, AppleCare