The life and work of a Computer Scientist (CS) or Computer Engineer (CE) is intellectually and technologically rigorous. The human brain is a computing professional’s most valuable tool. A powerful computer might be a close second. A laptop is required hardware for CS and CE students beginning in the sophomore year, and for all graduate students.

At UWM CS and CE students participate digitally in various learning environments on and off campus. Laptops are mobile and versatile, traveling easily from lecture hall to smaller classrooms for laboratory sessions, work with a study group, participation in student research. You can also bring it to your place of residence to complete homework projects or to participate in online classes in a calm, quiet environment. Some classes will require students to download open-source (free) software or data to complete assignments. There are also a few required upper level- and graduate classes that are commonly offered only online, to accommodate students engaged in full time employment or guest instructors who are not on campus.

Completing bachelor or graduate degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering requires the support of a robust and reliable laptop computer that is capable of running professional quality programs, such as compilers or workbench tools for machine learning or data visualization, which are more processor or memory intensive than simple word processing. The faculty of the CS and CE departments specify minimum requirements typical of industry settings because they know CS and CE students will use the same tools and apply them in the same ways as professionals.

The specific hardware/software requirements for Computer Science and Computer Engineering students to be able to complete their coursework are provided below.

  • Windows, Mac or Linux laptop running a supported OS version
  • 16 GB RAM or more
  • 512 GB storage minimum
  • Integrated webcam and microphone

You can buy your laptop from many retailers. UWM students might also opt for a purchase from the UWM TechStore.  Laptops purchased through the TechStore will be built by Dell and shipped to your house, or you can pick it up at the TechStore. IMPORTANT: Estimated time from purchase to delivery is three weeks.