When should I purchase my laptop?

You should have your laptop by the first week of the start of your first year. Submit your order early so you receive your laptop in time.

Should I purchase a laptop when I enter as a freshman?

You will not need one the first semester of your freshman year, but you will need to have purchased one by the second semester of your freshman year.

What are the minimum required specifications for my laptop?
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, Media
  • Processor: 3rd Gen Intel Core i7-3720QM Processor, 2.66GHz, 6MB
  • Display: 15.6" HD + 1366x768 Wide Anti Glare LED
  • Graphics: 1GB AMD FirePro M4000 Mobility Pro Graphics
  • Memory: 8.0GB, DDR3-1866MHz SDRAM, 2DIMM
  • Camera/Microphone: HD Webcam w/Microphone
  • Primary Storage: 500GB, 7200rpm Hard Drive 
  • Optical: 8XDVD+/-RW w/Roxio and Cyberlink PowerDVD
  • Primary Battery: 9 Cell
  • Wireless LAN: Intel 6205 Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth: Wireless 4.0 Bluetooth Module
  • Warranty: 3-Year Ltd Warranty w/ Phone Support & Accidental Damage Protection

Laptops used by architecture students are typically more advanced and more expensive than those used by students in other majors. The Dell laptops that we recommend are configured specifically for architecture students, so that they support the programs you'll be using on a daily basis.

Why do you require laptops instead of desktops?

We recommend laptops because they can be easily transported from your dorm room, house, or apartment to your studio space or classroom. A laptop will also take up less space on your studio desk than a desktop computer. The individual storage locker at each desk is designed to accommodate a laptop, not a desktop.

How do I order my laptop?
Can I purchase a laptop from a vendor other than Dell?

You can as long your laptop meets minimum required specifications. Remember, however, that our recommended Dell laptops:

  • Are configured to run the software you will be using most frequently
  • Offer a good warranty package
  • Are available at a special discount to Marywood students
Rather than purchase a laptop, can’t I just use one of the computers in the school’s CAD Lab?

No, the CAD Lab is frequently used for teaching, so access is very limited. If you have your own laptop, you can work wherever and whenever you want.

Can I share a laptop with another student?

No, we require each student to have their own laptop.

What software will I need?

Our licensing agreement with Synergis allows architecture and interior architecture students to freely download AutoDesk's Autocad 2011 and Revit 2011. Other software, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe CS5, are offered to all Marywood students at a significant discount.

Will my Dell laptop come pre-loaded with Microsoft Office?

No, but you can purchase Microsoft Office through JourneyEd at extremely reduced pricing that Dell can't provide.

Will my Dell laptop come pre-loaded with the Autodesk Suite?

No, our agreement with Autodesk requires you to download the software, at no cost, and follow a registration process.

What other computer hardware should I consider purchasing?

External Hard Drive

An external hard drive is useful for backing up your important files. It can also be used to store and transport large files (graphic files tend to be very large) between computers. A large-capacity flash drive is a less expensive alternative.


For the greatest control, an external mouse (wireless or wired) is far better than the laptop's touchpad.

External Monitor

The 15" or 17" screen on your laptop should be sufficient. However, you may find that certain CAD/graphics applications are easier to use on a larger external monitor.

Recordable Media

Writable DVDs and CDs are a good way of storing and sharing files. DVDs are slower to burn, but they hold much more data (4.7GB) than CDs (700MB).

Protective Case

Assuming you will be carrying your laptop regularly, it is wise to purchase a neoprene laptop sleeve or a padded bag or case to protect your laptop.

Digital Camera

A digital camera is a highly useful extension of your computer. It will enable you to use photographs in classroom presentations. Because photographic documentation of all of your student work is essential for your design portfolio while in school, a digital camera will be a major asset during your student years. In addition, some class and studio assignments may require a digital camera for photographic work.

Should I purchase an inexpensive printer for personal use?

That's up to you. The CAD Lab has printers for your use, but you may prefer the convenience of having your own ink jet printer in your dorm room or apartment.

Should I purchase a warranty?

If you purchase one of our recommended laptops, it will include a 3-year warranty.

If you plan to purchase a new laptop for your fifth year of study and beyond, the 3-year warranty will suffice. However, if you would like to continue using the same laptop, you may want to consider purchasing an extended warranty.

Is my laptop safe at Marywood?

The Center for Architectural Studies is accessible to students 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We strongly recommend that you lock your laptop in your storage locker when you're away from your desk. You may want to consider purchasing a laptop security cable as an additional means of security.

You're responsible for protecting your own laptop and all other personal computer equipment, both in the studio and in your dorm room or apartment. If you leave your laptop in the studio, always remember to place it in your storage locker and keep it locked.

We recommend purchasing an insurance policy to protect your laptop from theft and damage.

Stolen items, including your laptop, should be reported to security.

Should I consider insuring my laptop?

Given the cost and its importance in your education, it would be advisable to consider insurance coverage. Your laptop may be covered under your parents' home insurance policy or under some other form of insurance, such as a renter's insurance policy.

Is there on-campus networking and printing?

Yes, all student-purchased laptops will be networked. When you configure your new laptop, you should name it with your full last name and initial of your first name.

You will have to request a user name and password to access Marywood's wireless network.

Your computer will be networked to printers in the CAD Lab (VAC 203/204). Three printers are available for student use: black and white, color (up to 11x17), and plotters.

Marywood's Help Desk can help you network your laptop and address printing problems.

Does Marywood have a computer use policy?

Yes, all students are subject to Marywood University's Conditions of Computer Use Policy.

Who should I contact if I have other questions?

For additional information about the laptop program, contact us at architecture@marywood.edu or (570) 961-4536.