Computer Recommendations for Students

TCNJ Information Technology has compiled a document (attached to this article) with recommendations for both incoming students and students considering purchasing a new computer to refer to when considering the minimum specs they should be looking for while shopping around.

A TCNJ student will also have access to certain software for home use provided by the college. To find out what software is available so you know what is not necessary to purchase, you can check out our home use software for students here.

A large range of software that may not be available for direct download can be found on our Virtual Lab that is available to all students. To learn more about what the Virtual Lab is and what software is available on it, check out this Knowledge Base article. The Virtual Lab is a great resource for students limited to devices such as Chromebooks; while such devices do not meet our minimum recommendations, the Virtual Lab helps expand the accessibility of necessary programs that many college students will need to utilize.

Some retailers offer students discounts when presented with either a college email address or ID card. For a list of known online retailers with student discounts, check out this website here. If shopping in-person, always be sure to ask about any student discounts.

There are a few departments, such as The School of Arts and Communications, Mechanical Engineering, and also Electrical and Computer Engineering that have provided us with their own recommendations for their specific programs:

The School of Arts and Communications 

The recommendations for any program in this department can be found on their website here.

Mechanical Engineering

This major bases their requirements off of the use of programs such as SOLIDWORKS and Ansys, the recommendations for which can be found here.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Note: The Engineering department has on-campus computer labs available equipped with high processing machines that also have all required software installed on them. The use of these labs is highly encouraged to offset the cost of software necessary to the program.

An Engineering specific Virtual Lab is also available to students that will be discussed with them upon entering the program. To best utilize the resources necessary for the program, these majors recommend that students should have full-time access to a computer that meets or exceeds the following specifications (for reference, many of the specs listed below are comparable to those of a gaming laptop):

  • Laptop computers are recommended, although desktops are acceptable.
  • Operating System – Windows 10. Students are strongly discouraged from buying a non-Windows device. They are responsible for handling ALL compatibility problems associated with the use of AppleOS or LinuxOS computers. Students should NOT rely on machines like tablets, iPads, or Chromebooks as their main computing device.
  • Screen Size – Greater than 13.3 inches.
  • Video Card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1600 or better. Alternative brands with similar performance may be acceptable.
  • Processor – Intel Core i7 or higher. AMD Ryzen 7 or higher.
  • RAM – 16GB or higher.
  • Hard Drive – 512GB or higher Solid State Drive (SSD)


Article ID: 131344
Wed 4/7/21 3:40 PM
Wed 4/14/21 12:03 PM