College of Engineering and Computing students have free 24/7 access to the college’s computer labs, which include over 300 Windows machines. All required software for engineering and computing courses is provided in the college’s computer labs. Therefore, while recommended, a personal computer is not required to complete the degree programs in the College of Engineering and Computing.
Students should consider how they will use their computers in engineering and computing courses. For example, students often buy electronic textbooks and would be expected to bring those books to class. They will sketch out design ideas or mathematical expressions, which they will want to share with others. They also will submit homework assignments electronically.
The following are example configurations for students who plan to attend the College of Engineering and Computing and are purchasing a personal computer. These configurations are capable of running some of the student versions of various engineering and computing applications. Requirements may vary by program.
Please keep in mind that these specifications are a baseline and can be increased to extend overall life and functionality of the system. For example, increasing the RAM and having an SSD as the HD storage device can extend the life of the system an additional one to two years and improve overall performance and multitasking capabilities.
Recommended Laptop or Tablet PC Example
CPU: Intel i5/i7 or AMD equivalent
Pen-enabled (for tablets)
RAM: 16GB of RAM or higher
DISPLAY: (recommended minimum resolution of 1920x1080 for 16:9 or 16:10 screens, 1600x900 for 4:3 screens)
HARD DRIVE: 250GB+ Solid State Drive or 500GB+ Hard Disk drive
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10
32 GB USB Memory/Flash USB Key
COMMUNICATIONS: 802.11n/ac Wi-Fi high-speed wireless LAN (built-in)
Also recommended (for dorm or at-home use) is a docking station or adapter that supports a wired (Ethernet) connection to the university network, and connection to an optional larger external display.
Operating systems other than Windows are not recommended for students planning to major in Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, or Biomedical Engineering. Although Apple computers have become popular, many applications such as Mathcad and Pro-E do not support Macintosh. Therefore, if you plan on buying a Mac, it is recommended that you also purchase a copy of Windows and use Apple's Bootcamp to dual-boot Mac and Windows.
Educational discounts are available to all UofSC students on a variety of devices and software.
Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Computer Information Systems majors are encouraged to acquire a machine that could eventually handle dual-booting both Linux and Windows. These students are advised to opt for the minimum memory of 16GB or more, in order to install two operating systems concurrently.
All Engineering and Computing students should have a basic office suite, such as Microsoft Office 365, and anti-virus software.