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Computer Recommendations - Incoming Pacific University Students

Welcome to Pacific University! Information technology is an integral part of modern classwork and academics and so a laptop is required for incoming Health Professions and Optometry students and strongly suggested for all other incoming students.

The Internet can be accessed in all Pacific University classrooms, conference rooms and libraries via 802.11a/g/n wireless or wired connections. Internet access in the surrounding community is abundant and there are many commercial Internet Service Providers available to meet your off campus connectivity needs.

What kind of laptop should an incoming student bring to Pacific University?

Pacific University recommends you acquire the best laptop you can afford because technology continues to advance at a very rapid pace.

Mac vs. PC

Pacific University supports both platforms. If you are in doubt about which platform to purchase, we suggest that you consult with an academic advisor about what platform is most commonly used in the field you plan to enter.

Financial Aid

It may be possible to increase your cost of attendance for the documented cost of a computer, which may allow you to borrow additional funds. Contact the Financial Aid Office for information.


You are free to order your computers, software and services from whichever vendor gives you the best value. Discounts for students are available on the “Personal Technology Purchases” link at

Operating System and Office Suite

Your new computer should have the latest version of Mac OS X (Apple computers) or Windows (PC computers). See our article, Supported Operating Systems and Known Issues for detailed information.

The standard productivity software supported for use at Pacific University is Microsoft Office. There are several versions of Microsoft Office available but we recommend the latest version which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint: Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019 or Office 365 Education subscription). Microsoft offers an online-only Office 365 subscription to students for free on the Microsoft web site.


The University offers technical support to students, however we are not able to fix every problem. A computer failure can severely impair your academic work and so the purchase of a multi-year extended warranty with on-site repair is strongly recommended.

English Version

Please note that our ability to support non-English versions of Windows or Mac OS is extremely limited. We strongly suggest that you buy your computer with an English language version of the operating system.


Mobile devices running iOS, Windows RT, Android, or other mobile operating systems can be valuable tools for students at Pacific University, but are not supported as a replacement for a laptop computer running Mac OS X or (non-RT) Microsoft Windows.

College of Education Students

The following is advice from a College of Education professor on what Education students should consider when selecting a laptop:

Minimum System Specifications

  • 8 GB RAM or greater
  • 256 GB hard drive or larger (flash or traditional) with 1GB of space available
  • Intel i3 processor or better
  • 1024x768 screen resolution or better
  • Ethernet LAN enabled (Ethernet adapter if the laptop does not have a built in Ethernet port) and Ethernet cable (cable not typically included with a new laptop)
  • 802.11a/g/n built-in wireless
  • Windows or macOS (latest version), English language version. Microsoft Windows S-Mode is not reccomended.
  • A Microsoft Office suite or online subscription that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • 3 year minimum on-site warranty/service contract or Apple Protection Plan

Recommended But Not Required

  • External Hard Drive for backup purposes (3 times the size of your hard drive recommended)
  • 8 GB or higher USB (Flash) drive
  • Printer for home use
  • Carrying case or hard-shell case
  • Flexible keyboard cover for spill protection


UIS reccomends professional, paid antivirus software such as McAfee, Norton, Webroot, Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Trend Micro. If that's not within your budget, we reccoend free antivirus programs such as AVG, Avast, BitDefender or Sophos. Antivirus software is reccomended for both Windows and Apple computers.


Pacific University provides both black & white and color printing at multiple locations on our Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn campuses. Current printer rates are $ .05 per page for black & white and $ .25 per page for color. For many students the pay-for-printing system obviates the need for a home printer.

Contacting Support

Contact the Technology Helpdesk to consult with an IT Specialist about any technology purchase.

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