Purchasing a Computer
SCSE students are required to have a laptop. It is expected that students are able to conduct online registration, have email communication with UMD faculty and administration, do class work, and access data in UMD library and elsewhere on the internet. If needed limited computers will be available for checkout for classes through ITSS.
The system specification below is not a requirement, but is based on data gathered from the Swenson College of Science and Engineering Department heads. At the time of this writing, this is the best case of computing power for dollar, for the widest area of compatibility for your class year. You should consider this suggested minimum. Please consult with your department faculty or contact SCSETech@d.umn.edu to assure that system specific research software will run on your choice of computer selection. Example: There is (at the time of this publishing) no Native Mac OS version of SolidWorks. And while Mac and iOS are incredible pieces of technology today the vast majority of product engineering teams continue to standardize on the Windows platform.
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
Student Laptop Suggestion
Computer Purchasing Information and Ordering
UMD Store Computer Corner
An office suite containing word processing and spreadsheet programs is required.
Many students use Microsoft Office which is available at a discount from the University. The UMD Computer Corner also sells software. Many courses use the Excel Analysis Toolpak which is a no cost add-on to the program. The Macintosh version of Microsoft Excel (version 2011) does not currently have the Toolpak available so please be aware of that before purchasing as students are entitled to one MS Office license at the discount rate. (considering a Macintosh? Read more here)
Other software might be required for certain courses although our numerous Computer Labs have all the software typically used by our students. If you plan to purchase your own software, check with your department or instructors to find out what might be needed.
Software Licensed by SCSE
SCSE maintains the license for some specialized software including ArcGIS, MATLAB, and JMP Genomics (SAS), more info here.
Student Collegiate Fees
Technology is an integral part SCSE. The student collegiate fee makes it possible for SCSE students to develop skills needed to succeed in their future profession, enhance their learning experience, and provide access to high-quality technology facilities. From computer labs and classrooms to sophisticated instrumentation to web development, the fee contributed by every student is being used to benefit all SCSE students.
All SCSE majors use a spreadsheet application at some point in their courses. It is advantageous to have some degree of skill in using spreadsheets before you start classes for your first semester. Many online training written and video resources are available - search for "Microsoft Office Training" or similar terms.