Laptop Requirement

Preparing for a future increasingly defined by digital technology and mobility is an important step in developing as artists. Our digitally integrated curriculum and classroom experiences help you achieve a professional working level with leading art-related software and practices.

While laptops are strongly recommended for all students, they are required for the programs listed below due to current needs for the delivery of instruction in each.

Please contact your instructor or department chair if you have any questions.

Minimum Recommendations

Art & Design

BA, BFA: MacBook 13″ 2.3 GHz

Art Education: While a Mac laptop is preferred, students may use any computer that meets software/hardware requirements

Design & Visual Communication: While a 15″ Mac laptop is preferred, students may use any computer that meets software/hardware requirements

Dance All Incoming Students: While a Mac laptop is preferred, students may use any computer that fits within his/her budget
Film BFA: 13″ (or larger) PC or Macbook Pro
Music Composition & Technology: MacBook
Theatre Production: 13″ PC or Macbook

Hardware Requirements

Design & Visual Communication, Film, and Music Composition & Technology majors will need to meet the following Hardware Requirements:


  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X v10.9 or later
  • 2GB of RAM (8GB or more recommended)


  • Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II processor; 64-bit support required
  • Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1
  • 2GB of RAM (8GB or more recommended)
  • Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft Windows Driver Model (only for Film and Music Composition & Technology)

Recommended Peripherals

  • 1TB (or larger) External Hard Drive USB 3.0
  • 32GB (or larger) USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Software Requirements

Instructors of specific courses may recommend additional software applications. Please contact your instructor or department chair if you have any questions.

Art Education, Film, Photography, Print & Narrative Forms, Theatre Production
Adobe Creative Cloud [BUY]

Design & Visual Communication
Adobe Creative Cloud [BUY]
Adobe Font Folio Education Essentials [BUY]

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to buy a NEW computer?
Students who already own a laptop or would like to purchase or borrow a used laptop may do so as long as the computer meets or exceeds the specified hardware and software requirements. Please consult your instructor or program area head if you have a question about the suitability of a particular computer.
Am I required to purchase an Apple computer?
Students who wish to purchase a PC should consult with their instructors or program area heads to be sure their computer will meets or exceed curricular requirements. The Peck School of the Arts strongly recommends Apple’s MacBook Pro computers as coursework will be designed for these machines.
How do I purchase an Apple laptop?
We recommend that you purchase your Apple laptop through UWM’s TechStore to take advantage of student discounts.
Can financial aid assist me in paying for my computer and software?
If you’re a financial aid recipient, you can ask for an “adjustment to cost of attendance” to add the cost of your computer and software to your financial aid package. Visit the Department of Financial Aid web site for further information.
How should I protect my computer?
  • AppleCare Protection Plans
  • A laptop lock
  • LoJack for Laptops (covers accidental loss or theft)

It is also recommended that you familiarize yourself with UWM Information Security.