Technology Recommendations

Technology is an important part of the educational experience. In many cases, the technology may not be used in class but will be required to complete class assignments. Determining what technology is needed can often be confusing to students and their parents. To alleviate this confusion, the faculty in the Department of Communication Arts created technology standards, designed to help ensure that students have the computer technology they need. 

General Requirements

Software

The Department utilizes two basic software packages in classes. The faculty in the Department suggest that students have Adobe Creative Cloud (all Apps) and Microsoft 365. The University provides Adobe Creative Cloud for students in classes where the suite is required.  Microsoft 365 is available at no cost to students. 

Hardware

The Department of Communication Arts has five computer labs assigned for classes and for student use.  Students can access all software required through these labs. If you plan to purchase a laptop or other smart device, please check the minimum system requirements for Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft 365.

The department does not recommend that you attempt to use a tablet or smartphone to complete course assignments. 

Communication, Theatre, and Dance

A PDF version of this document is available. 

Software

The Communication and Public relations programs use a number of different open-source software applications.  The primary criteria for selection of applications include no cost, ease of use, and meet course learning objectives.

These applications include:

Hardware

Laptop

We recommend an Apple MacBook Pro 13" (base model meets recommendations).
If you already own a Windows computer, it might be acceptable as long as it is able to run the software needed for your classes.

Tablet 

If you wish to use a tablet instead of a Laptop computer, we recommend an Apple iPad Pro with 128GB of memory.

Peripherals

We recommend that students purchase the following items for a laptop:

  • carrying case or laptop backpack
  • the extended four-year warranty with accident protection
  • either an external hard drive for backup or a remote backup service

We recommend that students purchase the following items for a tablet:

  • Protective Cover
  • Extended warranty
  • Backup service (Cloud)
  • Apple Pencil
  • Smart Keyboard

Mass Media

A PDF version of this document is available. 

Software

The Department utilizes four software packages in a majority of its classes. For video production, Avid Media Composer, Avid Protools, and Adobe Creative Cloud (Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator) are the primary platforms media platforms and Office 365 for office work.  The Department provides access to Avid Media Composer and Pro-tools via the computer lab.  Adobe Creative Cloud is also available on lab computers and is provided to students in classes that Adobe is required. 

Hardware

Laptop

We recommend an Apple MacBook Pro 15" with 16 Gb of ram.

If you already own a Windows computer, it might be acceptable as long as it's able to run the software needed for your classes.

Tablet

We do not recommend a tablet for Mass Media.  The nature of the assignments and software you will use is likely to overwhelm your device.  If, however, you wish to use a tablet instead of a Laptop computer, we recommend an Apple iPad Pro with 128GB of memory.

Peripherals

The department also recommends that Mass Communication students purchase the following:

  • a 16 Gb SDHC Class 10 SD card (e.g., Sandisk Pro Extreme SD) for use in video cameras.
  • at least a 1-2 TB portable External Hard Drive for storing projects and for backup.  Students should plan on the purchase of a second external drive at the beginning of their Junior year.  This drive should be used exclusively for Mass Media productions.  If you wish to backup other materials, you should plan on using a second drive.
  • carrying case or laptop backpack.
  • the extended four-year warranty for the laptop with accident protection.
  • Over the ear headphones such as the Sony MDR7506 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

We also recommend that students purchase the following items for a tablet:

  • Protective Cover
  • Extended warranty
  • Backup service (Cloud)
  • Apple Pencil
  • Smart Keyboard

Financial Assistance

It is often possible to obtain financial assistance to purchase a computer. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 allow for the purchase of a personal computer and software costs to be added to a student’s educational expense budget that is used to determine financial aid eligibility. A budget increase does not necessarily result in additional financial aid to cover the cost. Students who have borrowed their annual or aggregate loan limits may not have eligibility remaining.