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2019 Computer Recommendations for Incoming Students

We’ve worked with JMU IT and the JMU Academic Departments to offer you computers that meet the recommendations and requirements for your major. We’ve listed the computers which have been approved by most of the academic programs below under General Recommendations.

The academic programs with more specific recommendations and requirements are listed separately under Specific Recommendations. Please contact the Madison CyberZone directly if you have additional questions.


General Recommendations

MacBook Air® with Retina® Display with 256GB SSD

MacBook Pro® with Function Keys 13” with 256GB SSD

MacBook Pro with TouchBarTM 13”

MacBook Pro with TouchBar 15”

Dell® Latitude® 3400 series

Latitude 5400 series

Latitude 5300 2-in-1

Dell Precision® 5500 series


Specific Recommendations

College of Business*

Minimum: 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD

Latitude 3400 series | Latitude 5300 2-in-1

MacBook Air with Retina Display

MacBook Pro 13” or 15”

Recommended: 16GB Memory, 512GB SSD, 4-Year Accidental Damage Warranty

Latitude 5400 series | Precision 5500 series

*College of Business requires a laptop that meets their minimum recommendations. Mac® users will need to run Windows using Boot Camp® or virtualization software. If you are a Mac user COB will provide a Windows license as well as support for Windows installation on your Mac. Your Mac will need 150 GB free disk space to install Windows. If you are unsure we recommend getting a Windows laptop.

For more information on COB laptop requirements and recommendations please visit:

COB Laptop Requirements


College of Integrated Science and Engineering

Minimum: 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD

Latitude 3400 series | Latitude 5300 2-in-1

MacBook Air with Retina Display

MacBook Pro 13” or 15”

Recommended: 16GB Memory, 512GB SSD

Latitude 5400 series | Precision 5500 series

MacBook Pro 15”

School of Engineering

Precision 5500 series

MacBook Pro 15”*

*Engineering Majors who purchase Apple computers will need to run Windows using Boot Camp or virtualization software. The college will provide a free version of Windows and CISE staff can assist with the installation.

College of Science and Mathematics

Latitude 5400 series

Precision 5500 series

MacBook Pro 13” or 15” with a minimum of 16GB memory and 512GB Flash Storage*

*Some software titles for the Physics concentration are taught using the Windows version. While a Mac version may be available, interface and features differ from the Windows version. Windows based labs are available with needed software for students to complete assignments.


School of Art, Design, and Art History*

Graphic Design Majors

MacBook Pro 13” or 15” with a minimum of 256GB Flash Storage

*Architectural Design and Industrial Design primarily use software that runs only on Windows but students will use Mac computers running Windows in class. While students can purchase and run Windows on a Mac, Apple and JMU do not provide technical support for running Windows on a Mac. Students may choose to purchase the educational version of the design software used in class on their own and use it on their own computer, but JMU does not provide technical support. Students are encouraged to choose a computer based on their day-to-day needs with the understanding that JMU provides computer labs with all the required software for their major.


School of Media Arts and Design

*SMAD recommends students postpone purchasing a computer until they are accepted into the program. SMAD provides a full featured iMac lab for prospective SMAD students.

If you must purchase a computer for your first year, SMAD’s custom recommendations are available here:

SMAD 2019 Computer Recommendations

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