As a student in the DEL program, it is required that you have a personal laptop computer (Mac or PC is acceptable) in order to connect for class. We recommend the following minimum specifications for your laptop:
PC or Mac Requirements
– Current Operating System (PC – Windows 10 [Home, Pro or Enterprise; S Mode not supported], Mac 10.14 [Mojave] or later)
– Memory: 8 GB minimum; 16 GB recommended
– Processor: Intel Core I Processor, i5 or greater
– Processor Speed: 2.5 GHz or more
– Video: 256 MB RAM dedicated video to RAM or more
– Optical Drive: Not required
– Wi-Fi: 802.11n or better
– Webcam: Required
– MacBook Pro or MacBook Air manufactured in the past two years.
– USB headsets are recommended but usually regular headphones / earbuds with microphones will suffice for classes run through Zoom.
It is essential that you are an administrator on the machine that you plan to use so that you are able to load course specific software as needed. You are strongly discouraged from using a laptop provided by your organization since you need to have administrative rights to make changes and add software to the laptop.
You will need both Microsoft Office 2019 and an antivirus program installed on your computer. The Duke IT Security Office recommends Windows Defender for Windows 10 and Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition for macOS, Linux and earlier versions of Windows.
Duke allows students to download Microsoft 2019 while a student for free or a permanent license for $14.99 as well as other course-related and research software for free or at academically discounted prices. You will need your Duke NetID and password to access software from this site.
*If you provide your own laptop, please be sure that you understand the requirements above and come to Durham ready with the necessary gear. We’ll be there at orientation to help get you get situated.
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
All students are required to have access to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). You are responsible for subscribing to a service that is both reliable and has enough bandwidth (around 200 Mbps) for doing tasks such as downloading files, streaming video content and submitting assignments. An Ethernet connection greatly improves quality over Wi-Fi, so please connect for class via Ethernet (wired connection) when possible.
Do not count on using the internet from your workplace. It’s possible that you will be able to make use of network access at your workplace, but be careful as many corporate environments will not allow certain types of traffic that you may need in the course of your studies. We will provide internet access while you are with us for your place-based sessions.
You should periodically scan and run updates for your operating system to ensure your computer is performing at its best. Should you need help with this, the Nicholas School IT department can walk you through how to do this for your individual machine.
Purchasing a Laptop from Duke
If you need to buy a new laptop, or if you just want peace of mind, consider purchasing a laptop from Duke. Most laptops purchased through the Duke Technology Center come with three years of warranty coverage, accidental damage coverage, local support and loaners available if needed. Available brands for purchase are organized on the left side bar under the main horizontal menu.
Ordering a laptop from Duke
Items for purchase are available here. You will need to provide your name, Duke unique ID #, phone number and address when the order is placed, and indicate which item you would like to order. Please have your orders placed by July 31st to ensure availability.
If desired, you can use a purchase plan, however, the university will not allow you to initiate a purchase plan until the first day of orientation. Here is more information on the purchase plan for students who want their computer purchase rolled into their bursar bill.
Student loans may also be used to cover the cost of a laptop, whether purchased from Duke or on your own. Please contact Cindy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For any technical questions or support please contact email@example.com. They are always happy to assist students with their school devices and other tech support matters.