Hardware/Software Recommendations

General Hardware Recommendations

Note: Information Technology recommends that students purchase a Windows or macOS laptop as their primary computer. Please check with the department of your major if you have questions specific to your course of study. For many programs, a recent Microsoft Surface Pro (not Windows 10X or RT) tablet is also an option, but most iOS tablets, Windows Surface RTs, and Chromebooks* are not suitable as a primary device for students pursuing most four-year degrees.

* Chromebooks are not compatible with the Respondus LockDown Browser, which many courses use when administering electronic exams. You are responsible for ensuring your computer is compatible with course requirements.

  • Processor:
    • PC: Any recent Intel or AMD-based chip (dual-core or higher recommended)
    • Mac: Any relatively recent Intel-based model (i3/i5 or better)
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 256GB Minimum
    • A solid-state drive is recommended
  • Networking:
    • Wired: 10/100/1000 Mb Ethernet card
    • Wireless: 802.11a/g/n wireless adapter (internal or add-on card), 802.11ac recommended
  • Operating System:
    • PC: Windows 10
    • Mac: 10.14 Mojave
  • Power:
    • A surge protector or uninterruptible power supply

If you have any questions about whether your computer meets the above requirements, we would be glad to help. Please contact us via the methods at the bottom of the page. Please visit our computer purchasing page for links to online stores with Cedarville discounts.

General Software Recommendations

  • Security Software:
    • Virus protection software: Windows Defender is built into Windows 10; other free software includes AVG and Avast
    • IT strongly recommends against disabling regular software and security updates.
  • Office/Productivity Software:
  • Email:
  • Additional free/discounted software is available from OnTheHub.

Additional Requirements per Department/Program


  • The School of Pharmacy requires students to have a working laptop computer for taking weekly exams.
  • This laptop computer must be compatible with the ExamSoft software (system requirements).

Art, Design, & Theatre

  • The Visual Communication Design (graphic and web design) major recommends a 15-inch MacBook Pro for students taking Graphic Design & Photography classes.
  • The Industrial & Innovative Design major also recommends an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil.


The Broadcasting & Digital Media major recommends the following for students in Video, Motion Graphics or Animation classes:

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 10 Professional, Education, or Enterprise
    • macOS
  • Video:
    • 15" Display or larger
    • Discrete graphics card with at least 2GB of video RAM recommended
  • Hard Drive: 500 GB solid-state drive or larger
  • Processor: Intel i5 minimum, i7 recommended

The Broadcasting & Digital Media major recommends the following for students in Audio Production classes: 

  • Hard Drive: 500 GB drive or larger
  • Input: USB-A Ports for USB hardware license keys

Video Streaming Recommendations (Online Students)

  • To determine if your computer is compatible with our online learning and video software, you can run this Video Test. If the video plays smoothly and you can hear the audio, the test has passed. If you have difficulty with this test, please contact the IT via the methods at the bottom of the page.
  • For more information on technology for online students, visit the help page Online Student Information and the Information Technology module within the online student orientation.



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