The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Computer Requirements

The College of Architecture + Planning established the following policy to aid students with the planning of computer purchases and to help ensure consistency among faculty and student expectations.

Students wanting to apply Financial Aid funds to their computer purchase should first complete the Computer Purchase Allowance Request Form:

Computer Purchase Allowance Request Form (2020-2021)

Once approved, it will allow the cost of the purchase to be included in the student’s cost of attendance and allow Financial Aid to funds to cover the expense.

Design Foundations Students: Laptop Recommendation

The College recommends that students entering the Design Foundations program have a mid-range consumer-grade laptop. Students should consider using a laptop that they already own or another existing computer, if possible. The Marriott Library has computers available for student use. Please note that if you already have a laptop, it does not need to meet the specifications below.

Some courses in the University may require a more robust system, so be sure to verify any class/software requirements before making a purchase.

Undergraduate Students Majoring in Architecture, Urban Ecology, and Design and all Graduate Students: Laptop Requirement

For students enrolled in the following undergraduate majors:  Architecture, Urban Ecology, and Design, as well as all graduate students of the College of Architecture + Planning, the College requires that students meet the following example minimum specifications:

Machine: PC or Apple
CPU: Intel Core i5 or i7 (8th or 9th generation)
RAM: 16GB minimum
Storage: 256GB minimum (solid state drive or flash storage)
Graphics: CAD optimized workstation-class (AMD FirePro or NVIDIA Quadro – Apple graphic standards will work in most cases)
Display: 1080p (1920×1080) resolution minimum



• Additional storage can be accessed by using external (USB) hard drives
• Another monitor is useful for extending the operating system desktop
• Bluetooth or wireless mice are easier to use than trackpads
• Dongles may be needed to provide HDMI or VGA video output and wired network connections

The College will update these specifications on a regular basis to match advances in software and hardware requirements.

Questions?  Contact our Academic Advisor at