2018 University of Illinois College of Medicine

Computer Requirements (Chicago Students)

All students entering the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UI COM) at Chicago are required to have a laptop computer at the time of matriculation. There are not, however, requirements in terms of model, manufacturer or technical specifications.

Please note that we will provide tech support service only to currently enrolled Medical, SPP, and PostBac students whose laptops meet the minimum recommendations listed below.

These are the minimum and recommended hardware specifications for your laptop. In most cases newly or recently purchased laptops will meet or exceed the minimum specifications. The MINIMUM specs are what we feel will be the bare minimum configuration for your laptop. The RECOMMENDED specs are what we feel will be a more optimal configuration for your laptop. Feel free to exceed the recommended list if you are able. You will be a student for the next four years and combining this need with our years of experience as a support office we have created these recommendations.

Processor8th Gen Core i7
5th Gen Core i5 or better(or the AMD equivalent)
Operating SystemWindows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.10 or later
Windows 7, Mac OS 10.9
Hard Drive500 GB or more SSD250 GB
Memory (RAM)8 GB or more4 GB
Video outputDigital video output, such as an HDMI or Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPortDigital video output, such as an HDMI or Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort
You must have the appropriate connector dongle to connect to HDMI if your laptop does not have an HDMI portYou must have the appropriate connector dongle to connect to HDMI if your laptop does not have an HDMI port
Warranty3-4 Years parts and labor + Accidental Protection3 Years parts and labor
Wireless **For information on UIC wireless, including requirements, please see http://accc.uic.edu/service/wireless Read the specifications carefully, your computer must meet the requirements to access campus wireless!For information on UIC wireless, including requirements, please see http://accc.uic.edu/service/wireless Read the specifications carefully, your computer must meet the requirements to access campus wireless!
RegionManufactured for U.S. onlyManufactured for U.S. only

**UIC-WiFi uses WPA2 Enterprise Security. WPA2 Enterprise implements the 802.11i security standard, which includes government-grade AES encryption and 802.1x authentication. The specific authentication method that we use is PEAPMSCHAPv2
Optional Considerations – almost always, your tradeoffs are size, weight, price

  • All of the instruction materials you are required to use will run under either the Macintosh or the Windows platform. The decision whether to purchase a Macintosh or Windows-based computer must be made by each student.
  • Upgrade to Solid State Drive (SSD) on laptops offering SSD to improve performance, especially during startup. Upgrade to larger, high-speed (7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm) hard drive for improved performance by allowing faster access to applications and documents. SSDs generally do not store as much as you can on a traditional HD, but are lighter and faster. Consider an external drive for storing more data.
  • Upgrade to larger battery if weight is not a concern to increase the time laptop can be used without having to plug into a power outlet for recharge. Be aware that batteries degrade over time and must be replaced when run time is no longer sufficient.
  • Purchase screen size approximately 12″ to 13″. A larger screen generally provides higher resolution and therefore more information on the screen at one time. If scrolling is a problem, then consider a computer with a larger screen. A full size keyboard is suggested, but going beyond a 15″ screen is not recommended due to added weight, and finding a 17″ laptop is becoming rare. This is your call, however, you have to look at it and you have to carry it around. Students are expected to bring their laptop to class for use in classroom activities.

Tablets (Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Motorola’s Zoom, Windows Surface etc.) and Netbooks (super small laptops with limited memory and processing power) do not meet the minimum hardware requirements for UI COM. That being said, a tablet can make your studying portable, and certain activities are easier on a tablet or smartphone than on a laptop.
In general, our students think that laptops are necessary, and that use of a smartphone and/or a tablet can be of (considerable) additional utility. Desktops are considered not necessary. We can not recommend a tablet as your ONLY computing device. There are still certain educational programs that will not operate optimally and/or the workflow of the learner does not support using a tablet completely. There are times when using laptop is easier, and our current web slides for Histology and Pathology courses will not work correctly on iPad – we are working to address tablet compatibility for these applications.
Some students find it useful to own a printer, others find they can be “paperless” with the use of a tablet computer. There are b/w and color printers available for “pay-to-print” in Edelstone Student Lounge as well as near the elevators on each floor in the Learning Center. You can print to these from your laptop – see http://accc.uic.edu/service/printing for more information on UIC Campus Printing. Tablet/mobile printing is coming soon!
As a UI COM student you receive a free subscription to Symantec/Norton Antivirus software and Microsoft Office, as well as discounts on Adobe products and Windows and Macintosh OS upgrades should you choose to take advantage of them. These are available to you to purchase on-line at our campus Software Webstore: http://webstore.illinois.edu once you have your laptop and are registered for classes.
The webstore also has reduced software pricing for other student Microsoft purchases (not all Microsoft products are free, but the ones that are not are much cheaper for you)
Read the small print to make sure you are purchasing the right version for your status as UI COM students (it’s different for faculty and for UIS, UIUC, etc)

Most teaching and learning locations in the College of Medicine, as well as in the dorms, cafeteria and the Health Sciences Library have wireless network access. For more information on UIC wireless, including requirements, please see http://accc.uic.edu/service/wireless. Read the specifications carefully, your computer must meet the requirements to access campus wireless! You will also find it useful to have high-speed Internet access at home, if you intend to study there.

Our campus computer store Microstation will have Windows and Mac OS laptops that should meet the minimum recommended standard. Microstation is in the process of negotiating discount pricing on these. You must make your purchases directly through them to receive the discount, either in person or via phone (312) 413-5513. We expect the information about these computers to be available at Microstation on campus in late July.
NOTE – you will want to purchase your Microsoft Office software via the Webstore http://webstore.illinois.edu, not at Microstation, as the campus provides preferred pricing online only.
​Financial aid is available to students to help cover the cost of a new mobile computing device. The Financial Aid Office can offer a one-time alternate loan application. However, you must request this alternate loan application. Upon approval, you can present a receipt of purchase. For more information about your financial options, go to: UI College of Medicine Financial Aid Office.
Finally, we strongly discourage you from purchasing a service contract or warranty from anyone other than the original equipment manufacturer (Sony, Dell, Apple, HP, etc). We have experienced significant difficulties in dealing with 3rd party support vendors. Unfortunately we are not able to provide loaner laptops to students, but do provide 24/7 access to a small number of computers in the Edelstone Student Lounge.

Feel free to contact our helpdesk at MDpcHelp@uic.edu if you have questions about your purchase decision.

last updated June 29, 2018