Hardware and software requirements
Last updated 3/30/2013
In order to complete online coursework, students and faculty should have access to the following:
- Headset for WebEx Web conferencing.
- PC or Mac Laptop or netbook: you can bring them to class and use them while travelling. You will also need to bring one to orientation if you are a Resident Learner.
- Processor: quad-core processors (intel i5 and intel i7) are recommended, but dual-core processors will suffice (like Intel i3, Intel Core 2 Duo, and AMD Athlon X2).
- Memory: RAM is the computer's memory. The higher the memory, the more programs you can run at one time. Your programs will run faster too. 4-8 GB (gigabytes) is preferred, but you should have at least 2 GB.
- Hard drive: You should have a 60 GB hard drive at least, but when it comes to hard drives, the more gigabytes the better. SSD (Solid-state drives) are more expensive but they are smaller and faster than regular hard drives.
- Ethernet port and wireless capability: An Ethernet port or wireless Internet capability is vital. If you have a laptop, you can get wireless access throughout most of USD by connecting to the "usd" network; use your CE user name and password to log on. Or, you can use a mobile Internet access modem if you have one.
- Internet connection (at home): Broadband cable, DSL, mobile Internet access modem, or satellite Internet service (at least 1 MB per second download speed) is required so you can view streaming video and audio, and use Wimba.
- Operating system: Mac OS, Windows XP, Vista, or 7.
In the third semester, you will need to use Microsoft Project, which runs only on the Windows operating system. If you have a Mac and don't have regular access to a PC, you will need to attain a copy of Windows (although MSGL might be able to provide Windows for a low cost) and purchase software like Parallels or VMware Fusion (about $40) that will allow you to run PC software on your Mac.
- Microsoft Project 2007. MSGL students will receive download instructions before the third semester starts so you can order it for a very low cost.
- Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint). Openoffice is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office but Microsoft Office is still preferred since almost all of your professors and classmates will be using it.
- Anti-virus program such as Symantec, Norton, or McAfee. USD provides a non-expiring copy of Symantec AntiVirus free to students if you log in with a USD username and password. Please note that Norton 360 has been known to be incompatible with USD's wireless network.
- Note: Academic discounts on hardware and software are available with your student ID at the USD bookstore or online at http://www.usdbookstore.com