Computer Requirement for Students
All students in the School of Architecture are required to provide their own personal laptop computer that runs the Windows operating system. Additional requirements and recommendations for hardware and software are given below.
For Incoming Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Academic life in the School of Architecture is dependent upon personal computers for communications, scheduling, research and personal work. Computer use is also required in a number of School of Architecture courses. Students at all levels of the curriculum work with a variety of graphics-intense, CAD, GIS modeling and analysis applications. Here's some advice on purchasing a computer.
All students must bring a laptop computer when they enter in their first year. Computers can be purchased at student pricing through the University Bookstore (Cavalier Computers) or from any other source that the student sees fit. Both Macintosh and Windows platforms are supported in the school. Students do need to be able to run Windows-based software, including through Boot Camp on an Apple hardware platform.
All students in all programs within the School of Architecture are also required to purchase both Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite. Both are available through the University (see Cavalier Computers) at negotiated student pricing contracts. Microsoft Office is available for $15 and the Adobe Creative Suite Design Standard is available for $199.
Additional software may be required by specific courses. If software is required, information will be provided in the individual course syllabi.
The University provides some utilities and software, such as for virus protection and off-grounds access, for free to students. See ITS Software Central for details.
The School of Architecture and many software makers also make many of our core design and analysis software available for free or at reduced cost to students. See SARC Software for details.
Additional resources, including computer labs, imaging, scanning, and printing facilities are available in the school. These facilities are important supplements to personally owned computers.
A required computer orientation is held for arriving students at the beginning of the academic year.
Required Computer Configuration
This configuration is suitable to effectively work with the most common graphics software packages used in the school.
- 2.4 GHz or better Intel dual-core (quad-core preferred), Windows or Macintosh platforms*
- Windows 7+ (Professional, 64-bit preferred) or Mac OS X
- 8 GB RAM suggested **
- 250 GB hard drive or greater
- 100 Mbps Ethernet Network
- Wireless Network (b/g, (n optional))
- 15"+ laptop screen size recommended
- 3-year warranty strongly recommended
* Note: For students choosing Macintosh computers, the Windows operating system is available to students at UVa for $15, and can be installed to run through either BootCamp (dual-boot setup) or through a virtual machine like VM Ware Fusion or Parallels Desktop (both available at Cavalier Computers). Through these, an Apple computer can run any Windows-based software used in the school.
** Note: Many software programs used within the School of Architecture are fairley memory-intensive. While 4GB of RAM on a laptop would be minimally workable, 8GB of RAM is suggested for best performance and longevity of your computer. More than 8GB of RAM may be configured as well, if the student wishes.
The CAV Computer Program
Under this program, students can choose from one of a handful of computer configurations that out-of-the-box meet the School of Architecture's computer requirement, including pre-installed copies of the base software needed for School of Architecture programs.
The CAV Program computers offer the following benefits to students:
- Pre-configured laptops that meet the School of Architecture's computer requirement
- Competetive educational pricing through the UVA Bookstore / Cavalier Computers
- Apple, Dell, and Lenovo platforms available
- Microsoft Office pre-installed (under UVA educational contract pricing)
- UVA and School of Architecture customizations pre-installed
- Adobe Creative Suite included in the box (Design Standard or Design Premium option, UVA student license pricing)
- 3- or 4-year system warranty included (option to select which)
- Accidental Damage warranty included.
- Authorized warranty service on-campus through Cavalier Computers
- A free loaner computer while yours is being fixed
- A restore-disk to get you right back to day 1 with all included software, in the event of an emergency.
- and more.
See the CAV Program page at Cavalier Computers for details.
Choose the Architecture bundle to see the options.