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.

Art & Design All degree tracks
Dance All degree tracks
Film All degree tracks
Music Composition & Technology
Theatre Production

Minimum Hardware/Software Requirements

The following programs require Adobe software that demand additional system resources. Please follow the links to ensure your computer is capable of running the software below. All other programs may use a laptop that suits their budget and preference.

Art Education: Photoshop, Illustrator
Design & Visual Communication: Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesignAfter Effects, XD
Digital Studio Practice: Photoshop, Illustrator, AuditionPremiereAfter Effects
Photography & Imaging: Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom Classic
Print & Narrative Forms: PhotoshopIllustratorinDesign
Film: Premiere

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 requirements above (if applicable). 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?
While Apple products are preferred, students who wish to purchase a PC may do so as long as it meets or exceeds hardware requirements associated with the software above (if applicable).
Are there student discounts available?
We recommend that you purchase your 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.