Student Computer Initiative
Minimum computer requirements for new students
School of Business
School of Education
School of Engineering
School of Humanities & Science
School of Mass Communications
School of Nursing
School of Social Work
School of World Studies
- Minimum Requirements
- Additional Recommendations
- Purchase a New Computer through VCU
- Why SCI ?
Note: A Desktop or Laptop computer is essential for study at VCU and personal ownership of a computer is required for enrolled students. iPADs, netbooks, ChromeBooks, Android based tablets, Windows Surface RT, eReaders and other similar devices are not suitable for a student’s primary computer.
Additionally, a Microsoft Surface Pro may be suitable in some, but not all, situations provided you also use an external keyboard.
|Free to Registered Students:||• Current versions of Office and Windows*|
|• VCU Antivirus software|
If bringing a computer you already own, it should not be more than two years old and at a minimum have:
- Not more than two years old
- Have at least 4GB of RAM
- Windows 7 Home Premium or OSX 10.7 or greater*
- Have at least one USB port and WiFi
If you’re buying a new computer, we recommend that at a minimum it have:
- 8GB RAM
- have an accidental damage protection warranty
- Have an i5 or greater/equivalent CPU
- Windows 8 (Home Premium/Pro/Ultimate) or OSX 10.7*
- an Ethernet port and WiFi
Don't pay for antivirus subscriptions.
Sophos Antivirus is available to enrolled students as a free download.
- Always follow the specific requirements (if any) for the program you are entering.
- Utilize the new VCU RAMTech on-campus and on-line computer store.
- For the best support obtain a VCU fixIT Service Plan which includes on campus repair service, free loaners for repair delays, free virus removal and software reloads.
- Available to enrolled students at no cost –
- A single copy of the latest versions of Windows and Office.
- Professional Anti-Virus software provided by VCU.
- When purchasing a new laptop such as the MacBook Air or Surface Pro 2, it is recommended that you also include a USB Ethernet adapter and a USB hub in your order.
- Be advised that unless specifically required for a particular curriculum, iPADs, Netbooks and eReaders are only suitable as secondary devices for uses in class and in study.
- Use theft deterrence options like a security cable or Lo-Jack for laptops. For more information on this refer to Operation ID from the VCU Police. http://www.police.vcu.edu/services/operation_pc_id/
- Use a high capacity battery if available for portable devices. (laptops, etc)
- Be prepared to protect data with an external hard drive or an online backup service.
- Automatic online backup services are not free or may feature a limited free trial period. Examples of online backup services: Carbonite, iDrive, Mozy Home. Examples of free cloud storage sites: Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, Mozy
RamTech is VCU’s Technology Destination
RamTech at VCU has all of the technology that you need for your specific academic program. Stop by and check out our showroom of Apple and Dell computers along with our full selection of tech accessories and peripherals.
The computers and devices offered through RamTech are academically priced and meet the SCI minimum specifications. RamTech’s computers can be bundled with VCU’s exclusive RamSupport (serviced by fixIT), which covers your computer not only for manufacturer’s defect but also from accidental damage up to the cost of your computer. Complimentary loaners are available while your system is being repaired. RamTech also offers optional extended coverage packages direct from Apple and Dell.
Let our staff help you find the computer that’s a perfect fit for your studies, work, and play.
RamTech is located at 930 West Grace Street behind Barnes & Noble @ VCU between Harrison and Shafer Streets.
All incoming freshman and transfer students are required to own a personal computer. This requirement helps ensure students are equipped with the necessary technology to effectively participate in classes and classwork and allows for scholarship and financial aid funds to be applied towards the expense of acquiring a new computer.
If you're using Financial Aid, consult with the Financial Aid department about how funds can be used to reimburse your computer equipment investment.
Study at VCU is a professional activity. The technology required and recommended is carefully thought through by the participants of the SCI committee to provide students with the capacity for a professional level of work output in step with the rigors of the classroom.
Along with proper care, following the SCI requirements will help ensure that the computer you choose will be able to provide approximately three years of reliable service.