Computer Requirements

Introduction

The School of Information requires that each student have complete administrative access to a home computer they can control and configure as needed. Work or publicly accessible computers often involve Internet access restrictions, firewalls, and security precautions that interfere with learning management systems and other applications.

Requirements for MLIS/MSIM Students

Please be aware that technology changes rapidly. We recommend that you have the penultimate or latest version an OS of your choice. If you plan to take more software and/or computing heavy courses, or anticipate working with large amounts of data, video, images, etc, you may want more storage memory and processing power.

While mobile devices and tablets can be used to supplement your education, we strongly recommend that you have access to a laptop or desktop. Some software is incompatible on smaller devices such as tablets or phones. Several courses require specific software installations on a laptop or desktop.

Required Minimum Computer Specs*

Processor: Quad Core, preferably Intel i5, Intel i7, or better

Storage: 1 TB hard drive

Memory: 12 GB memory

Graphics: Dedicated graphics card

Network Connection: High speed (3.0 Mbps or higher)

Backup Device: 1 TB external hard drive or 500 GB flash drive

*Approval by the SIS Technology Committee pending

Mac and Linux Users

It is required that students have administrative access to a Windows PC, as some courses require Windows only software.

Mac and Linux users can partition their hard drive to run Windows OS. For instructions on how to partition a Mac using Boot Camp, please visit our tutorial, or contact SIS Tech. Alternate options include purchasing or installing Parallels and VMWare Fusion.

Students have access to Microsoft Azure starting at the beginning of every semester. The Windows OS is available for free from this site to all students.

Internet Access

A good, fast broadband Internet connection is essential to a quality learning experience in SIS. Lectures, office hours, meetings, assignments, and course content are all transmitted via the Internet, therefore a slow connection can make for a tedious or, in some cases, impossible learning experience. Many courses require uploading large files, such as video and audio, which can take hours on a slow connection. You can check your connection speed at http://www.speedtest.net.

In addition, work and public Internet providers often have restrictions, including firewalls and other safety precautions, that may limit your viewing of lectures. We encourage students to invest in Internet for their homes, to avoid any trouble or inability to view lecutres. 

Software

Much of the software required from the program can be obtained at the beginning of each semester from Microsoft Azure. Microsoft productivity software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) can be downloaded through your Wayne State 360 account from C&IT. For more information visit the C&IT website. Student accounts will not be active until the first day of school. To start in the program we encourage that you have the latest version of the following programs:

Browsers:

  • Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari
  • We recommend Chrome, as it works best with Canvas

Multimedia:

Other Hardware Considerations

There are several miscellaneous hardware items that will be required to complete some courses. It is strongly recommended that you acquire the following:

  • Backup storage device
  • Speakers
  • Microphone or Headset
  • Webcam
  • Surge protector or uninterruptible power supply

Summary

Students should have:

  • administrative access to a home computer
  • access to a broadband connection to the Internet
  • Microsoft Office or compatible document and presentation preparation software.
  • the ability to record and playback audio
  • a headset that includes earphones and a microphone.
  • a camera capable of broadcasting video for synchronous meetings and events
  • PDF reader software (Adobe Reader)
  • the most current version of an Internet browser (we recommend Chrome or Firefox)
  • the most current version of Java