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Computer Recommendations and Requirements


Minimum Hardware Recommendations

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • 802.11n or 802.11ac Wireless Adapter
  • USB Flash Drive (2 GB or larger)
  • External Hard Drive (1 TB or larger)

We do not recommend students use a tablet (such as the Microsoft Surface Go, Microsoft Surface Pro, or the Apple iPad) as their sole computing device. While tablets can run versions Microsoft Office, they do not necessarily run the full version and typing on them can be more difficult than with a full laptop keyboard.

We strongly urge students to use USB flash drives or external hard drives. They are not only a great way to keep a backup copy of your work, but they also allow you to open your documents on any computer on campus.

Note for School of Business students: Please see the PCSB Laptop Recommendations.

Software Recommendations

Windows-based PC

  • Microsoft Windows 10 or newer
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Anti-virus software
  • At least 3 years of warranty coverage

Microsoft Office and Windows are available to all students free-of-charge. See Software Availability for more info.

Apple Mac

Microsoft Office and Windows are available to all students free-of-charge. See Software Availability for more info.


All computers connecting to the Providence College network are required to have anti-virus software installed. The college does not provide anti-virus software to students. However, there are recommended free packages available for download. See Anti-Virus Software for more info.

It is the student’s responsibility to keep their anti-virus software up-to-date with the most current virus definitions. It is also the student’s responsibility to keep their operation systems up-to-date with the current security updates and service packs.

The Helpdesk will only support PCs running Windows 8.1 or newer and Macs running macOS 10.13 High Sierra or newer. For more information on receiving support, please see our ResNet page.