Recommended Student Computer Configuration

Looking to buy your student a new computer? 

At WCU, we have designed our systems, services, and applications to be mobile friendly, platform agnostic and device independent to enable our constituents to use a device of their preference whether that be on the Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh platforms.  To aid in making a well-informed selection for your device, we have standardized minimal device requirements.  In addition, we have established relationships with well-known computer manufacturers to obtain educational discounts on their products. 

Category Information
Operating System Latest Windows or MacOS version*
*Education, Digital Media & Communications, Art, and Music Majors may want to consider an Mac computer. Check with the appropriate Academic Department Chair Office for more information.
Processor Industry standard Intel or AMD processor
Memory 8GB or more
Hard Drive 500GB or more
Networking Wireless capability
  • WCU does not endorse or promote any specific computer system.
  • Education, Digital Media & Communications, Art, and Music Majors may want to consider an Mac computer. Check with the appropriate Academic Department Chair Office for more information.
  • Read online reviews for any brand you are considering.
  • Review the section above entitled Recommended Computer Specs for Students.
  • Remember to use your Student ID for educational discounts.
  • Consider insurance to cover theft, loss, or accidental damage.
  • Consider an extended warranty to cover hardware failures that occur beyond the standard manufacturer's warranty.
  • Before you purchase any software, expand the section below entitled Available Software Applications at WCU.
  • Chromebooks and tablets are not fully compatible with all WCU systems or programs.
  • Please make yourself familiar with Cybersecurity awareness and tips found here.
  • It is recommended to use endpoint security tools on your computer to protect it from malware and viruses.
Optional Accessories
  • You do not have to purchase a printer because RamPrint printers are available throughout the campus and students are given 125 print credits per week. To promote sustainability, we recommend that you only print if absolutely necessary.
  • Flash Drive (for ease of saving and sharing files)
  • Ethernet (network) cable of 15' or more if your computer has an Ethernet (network) jack or adapter to have a wired connection to the network
  • Security Cable-Lock/Device (for laptops)
  • Webcam (for video conferencing on things like Zoom (most newer computers have the webcam built in so please check first before purchasing a separate webcam)
Computer Discounts WCU Student Discounts on Computers - Students who wish to purchase hardware can now access vendor sites which recommend laptop models and provide a direct link for students to make their purchases with a student discount. Visit these Dell, Lenovo (see more info here ) or Apple sites. 
Available Software Applications at WCU
  • Information Services & Technology provides secure access to a variety of systems and software applications to students and employees.
  • Microsoft 365 makes the Microsoft Office Suite of productivity tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and more, available to every student and employee. Learn More
  • Adobe Creative Cloud for Education is a collection of 20+ desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, 3D design, video production, web design and UX/ UI design.
  • RamCloud VDI virtualizes and enables access to WCU licensed applications from any device (Mac, PC, or mobile) anywhere, at any time. Learn More


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