Laptop Requirement

All UTRGV School of Medicine students are required to own a laptop computer with WiFi capability. If you plan on using your current laptop, make sure it meets the requirements outlined below.

If you need to buy a new laptop, we recommend that you consider one of the configurations described in the Recommended Hardware Configuration section. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at som-it@utrgv.edu.

Laptop Specifications
Laptops must meet the system requirements outlined below. The laptop must be less than two years old to ensure that it will be functional throughout the 4 years of medical school.

Hardware:

  • Hard drive: 256SSD (minimum)
  • Memory: 8GB (minimum); 16GB (recommended)
  • Processor: i7 series, 2.6 GHz Quad Core (minimum)
  • Screen resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Screen size: 13” minimum
  • Ethernet: built-in or with adapter
  • Wireless: Wireless 802.11g
  • Built-in keyboard

Software:

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Professional or Mac OS X v10.9 (minimum)
  • Microsoft Office: Office365; please note that Office365 applications are available at no cost to UTRGV students.
  • Latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Either Windows-compatible or Apple computers running MacOS are equally appropriate for use at the School of Medicine. Netbooks, tablets, and Chromebooks do not meet minimum requirements. Surface books and laptops are ok.

Laptop Certification
During orientation students must present their laptops to School of Medicine IT staff for review. If equipment does not meet the requirements, students will be directed to purchase a new laptop. SOM IT staff are available to certify your laptop Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in EMEBL 2.113.

Recommended Hardware Configurations
Some students value portability, while others value the flexibility of a larger screen, hard drive, and keyboard. Below are a few recommended hardware configurations:

  • Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 12.3” Tablet Touch i7 16GB M.2 256 SSD $1,474.00
  • Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 12.3” Tablet Touch i7 16GB M.2 512 SSD $1,578.00
  • Dell Latitude 7490 14.1” i7 8GB RAM 256GB HD M.2
  • Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, Intel Core i5 2.3 GHZ; 8GB RAM: 256GB SSD storage. Prices from $1499.

The HiED Tech Store allows UTRGV students, faculty, and staff to take advantage of academic discounts on computer equipment, software, accessories, computer repair, and trade-in and warranty services for most computer brands. Learn more: https://www.utrgv.edu/it/how-to/get-academic-discounts-at-hi-ed-store/.


Recommended Accessories
A 1TB or external drive is recommended – especially if your laptop’s hard drive is smaller than 1TB. Backups of your key documents, data, and operating system are critical in case of laptop failure or loss.

A large external display (19″ or larger) for home can be helpful when viewing virtual slides as well as opening multiple documents simultaneously.

Having a printer at home is helpful for many students. However, the School of Medicine Libraries offers credit-based printing services for students. Printing from a personal laptop is available on-campus via the Mobility Print application. For more information, visit: https://www.utrgv.edu/medlibrary/services/print-copy-scan/


Which software should I buy?
Your initial software expense should be minimal. UTRGV offers enrolled students a variety of free or discounted software packages including Microsoft Windows and Office Software. For more information, visit: https://www.utrgv.edu/it/services/vsoftware/.

You will need software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF to view files distributed by faculty and posted to Blackboard. Software bundled with Apple computers (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) is adequate.

For note-taking, students will often use Microsoft OneNote (free UTRGV Office365 app) and Notability.