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Arts and Sciences Student Computer Standards

What computer should I purchase to begin at Ohio State in Arts and Sciences?

This is a question many students have at the beginning of their career here at Ohio State. The type of computer a student needs can vary greatly depending on major and other coursework. Some majors rely heavily on a device that can utilize digital inking, a 2-in-1  Laptop/Tablet is the recommended computer to meet the needs of courses that utilize this technology. Many students prefer the use of Apple computers. Apple does not currently offer a computer that has digital inking capabilities. If digital inking isn’t a required feature for your course work, and you prefer the Apple platform, we recommend the MacBook Air. Check with your department or school as some programs, listed below, have their own computing standards.

Minimum Recommendations


  • i5 Processor- 12th gen - P series or better
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB Recommended)
  • 256GB Hard Drive (512GB Recommended)
  • 13” LED Touchscreen
  • Stylus for Digital Inking
  • Integrated webcam for virtual meetings/instruction


  • M2 Processor
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB Recommended)
  • 256GB Hard Drive (512GB Recommended)
  • 13” LED Display
  • Integrated webcam for virtual meetings/instruction

We request that you do not purchase a Google Chromebook, iPad, or other tablet to use as your exclusive device for school. At this time, these products are supplemental computing tools and do not have all the features that you will need to succeed. Tablets and smartphones are helpful for notetaking, messaging, and exchanging ideas, but are not sufficient for academic coursework within Arts and Sciences.

If you are looking for a secondary device, we recommend an iPad. All iPads support digital inking with the purchase of an Apple Pencil. We recommend the following iPad for feature set and longevity.

  • 11” Apple iPad Pro (Wi-Fi)
  • 128GB Storage
  • 2nd Generation Apple Pencil
  • Apple Smart Keyboard Folio

Internet Bandwidth Recommendations 

Ohio State uses a variety of collaboration and conferencing tools. To ensure adequate access to these tools, Ohio State strongly recommends following Zoom’s minimum Internet bandwidth requirements. Test your network's speed at Fast.com

Changing Technology Needs

If you are in a highly specialized area of study, we recommend researching technology related trends in these areas or consulting with a subject matter expert in your field of study prior to making your purchase.

Temporary Loaner Devices

As part of the Buckeye Technology Equity Commitment, Ohio State offers loaner devices on a semester-by-semester basis. Students who are not able to purchase a personal device or a device with digital inking capabilities should contact their academic advisor to be marked eligible for the Student Technology Loan Program (STLP). The STLP offers Surface Go and iPad Air technology kits, and most loans can be renewed at the end of each semester. 

Department Specific Needs

The following departments have requested standards that exceed the regular standards of the college:

Department of Geography
I7 or better processor
1TB or larger SSD hard drive