All undergraduate students at Michigan State University are required to have a laptop computer that can connect to the internet using a high-speed connection. Many course sections are taught with the expectation that students use laptop computers in class. For each section where it is required, this is noted in the Schedule of Courses. Therefore, a laptop computer provides expanded instructional opportunities for students.
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 strongly recommend using particular computer operating systems.
If there are no specific computer or operating system requirements for the student’s program of study, then the student’s computer may be any brand running most recent Microsoft Windows or MacOS. 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. 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.) MSU does not recommend students rely on tablet devices, mobile phones, or netbook computers (e.g., Chromebooks) as their primary computer due to software limitations. 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 https://tech.msu.edu/about/guidelines-policies/aup/.
The average 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 www.tech.msu.edu.