Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education


Student Computer Policy

All undergraduate students at Michigan State University are required to have a computer that can connect to the Internet using a high speed connection.

All students should check with their prospective major college and department to determine if their program has specific computer requirements for their academic programs. Some programs require all of their students to have a laptop computer. Others strongly recommend using particular computer operating systems.

If there are no specific computer requirements for the student’s program of study, then the computer may be either a desktop or a laptop. The student’s computer may be any brand running any operating system. Students will want to be sure the computer will run the applications software, e.g., office applications, they will use for their courses.  The computer must be able to connect directly to Michigan State University's campus network and the Internet using a high-speed Ethernet connection. MSU does not recommend students rely on tablet devices, mobile phones, or netbook computers as their primary computer due to software limitations.

If a laptop computer is chosen, students should consider having a machine that is equipped to access both the wored and wireless MSU networks. The Michigan State University wireless network supports all current wireless communication protocols (i.e., 802.11a, g, and n. The 802.11n standard operates in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies.)

It is crucially important that all computers be equipped with virus protection and firewall software, and that the software be installed and running prior to connecting a computer to the Michigan State University network. All students that utilize mSU resources such as network, campus labs, etc., are expected to abide by the MSU Acceptable Use Policy, found at

Some course sections may be taught with the expectation that students use laptop computers in class. For each section, this is noted in the Schedule of Courses. Therefore, a laptop may provide expanded instructional opportunities for students.

Costs related to this requirement will be included in the calculation of financial aid eligibility for need-based aid or federal or private loans.

For the latest information on Michigan State University computing services, hardware, and software, visit