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Laptop Requirements for graduate and undergraduate students

All Kogod students will need a personal laptop for use in a number of Kogod classes. Additionally, Kogod courses require that students use Office 365 Pro Plus for all quantitative assignments; this software operates ONLY in a Microsoft Windows environment. Although Kogod strongly recommends Windows laptops, Apple Macintosh laptops are acceptable when configured to meet the specified software requirements.

Please make sure your laptop meets the following requirements:

Please check the laptop requirement compliance by following this flowchart.

Kogod follows the general OIT recommendations for Windows and Mac* laptops:

*Mac users will be required to partition their hard disk with Boot Camp and install Windows on a second partition. There are a number of instructions online for installing Windows in Boot Camp.

Students should have at least 100GB available for the Windows partition. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have sufficient hard disk space to load special software and data that may be required for certain classes.

Students are required to have the following software installed in their laptops:

  • Windows 7 or higher running on a native partition. Kogod recommends Windows laptops. However, Macintosh laptops are acceptable, provided that they have Windows 7 or higher installed on a second partition with Boot Camp (please note that some of the software required does not work with programs like VMWare or Parallels, so a boot partition is required).

    Please follow these instructions for installing Windows in Boot Camp:

    Getting Started
    Be prepared before you begin this process. Students should allow for at least 1 -2 hours to complete this installation. Read all of the instructions before you begin and be patient.

    If your Mac purchase is new, you can request installation support for Windows in Boot Camp at the closest Apple Store.

    Students can also seek assistance at the AU Library at the OIT Drop -in Service (located on the AU Library first floor). If you contact Help Desk 202-885-2550 or helpdesk@american.edu, please specify that you are a Kogod student who needs help installing Windows on a Mac computer. Please note, OIT will do their best to respond to your installation related questions but during peak periods you should expect to wait; please plan accordingly.

    Prerequisites

    Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need.

    • A Microsoft Windows install disc or disk image (ISO) containing a 64- bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or later. You can purchase a copy of Windows 8.1 from journeyed.com * If you have access to a Windows machine to create a Windows installation media you can purchase the discounted Windows 8.1 Pro Student version.
    • An 8 GB or larger USB flash drive that you can erase
    • At least 100 GB of free disk space on your laptop drive
    • Plan for about 2 hours installation time.
    *If you want to install other versions of Windows, check to see if your Mac supports this . If you're installing Windows for the first time, use a full installation (not an upgrade) disc or disk image.

    Check System Requirements
    Some versions of Windows require a certain processor, and more hard drive space and memory (RAM) than others. Check the documentation that came with your copy of Windows to find out what you need. Then use System Information to see what your Mac currently has.

    Create a disk image of your Windows disc
    When you purchase Windows, it either comes as a disk image file (ISO) or as an installation disc. If your copy of Windows came on a DVD, you should create a disk image of your installation disc.

    Open Boot Camp Assistant
    Boot Camp Assistant walks you through installing Windows on your Mac. Open this app from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and follow the onscreen instructions to automatically repartition your startup disk and download related software drivers for Windows. When prompted, connect your USB flash drive.

    Format your Windows partition
    When you complete the assistant, your Mac resta rts to the Windows installer. When you're asked where you want to install Windows, select the BOOTCAMP partition, then click Format.

    Install Windows
    Follow the onscreen prompts to finish your Windows installation.

    Restart your computer
    After Windows is installed, you can switch between OS X and Windows. Use the Startup Disk preference pane in OS X, or the Boot Camp system tray item in Windows to select your startup disk, then restart your computer.

    Update and secure your computer
    Boot to Windows and install all the Windows Updates that are available. Updates might require rebooting your computer a number of times. Download and install Symantec Antivirus from the myAU Portal -> Technology -> Download Software.

    Learn more
    For more information about using Windows on your Mac, click the Open Boot Camp Help button in Boot Camp Assistant. These resources also contain helpful information:

  • MS Office 365 ProPlus installed in the Windows environment OR purchase MS Office Professional for Windows, which includes: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Access, Publisher, Outlook, OneNote.
  • Latest Java and Flash plugins.
  • Any additional software required in the syllabus. Students enrolled in Finance elective courses, BSF or MSF will need STATA.
  • At least 6 hours of battery life. (We recommend purchasing an extra battery if the laptop has a removable battery.)
  • Students will need full Administrator rights on their computers. (Kogod and OIT cannot support computers on which the user doesn't have full access rights.)
  • Students will need to keep the software up to date, run antivirus scans, and fix hardware and software problems in a timely manner. Students are responsible for keeping their laptops in working order and to consult with OIT to resolve any issues they may be experiencing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. That said, only a limited number of courses will require you to bring a laptop to the scheduled class and it is during these classes that you must use a compliant device. Please check the syllabus for clarification.

No. Excel functions differently and Access does not exist outside of a Windows enabled device. Bottom line- they are not the same. The Windows version of the products is most widely used in businesses and includes the features you will use in your courses.

While we recommend you have your own laptop compliant with KSB requirements, you can obtain a loaner from FSIT Lab (KSB T55) for the duration of the class period, you need to return it as soon as the session is over. AU Library also provides Windows laptop loaners for students.

You need to install MS Office in a Windows environment. MS Office for Mac has limited functionality (Excel lacks data analysis add- ons and MS Access is not available on Mac). In addition there are slight incompatibilities between files saved on Mac and Windows versions of Office.

 

Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need:
  • A Microsoft Windows install disc or disk image (ISO) containing a 64- bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or later. You can purchase a copy Windows 8.1 from journeyed.com" *
  • An 8 GB or larger USB flash drive that you can erase
  • At least 100 GB of free disk space on your laptop drive
  • Time: the installation process might take 2 hours. You can find instructions for installing Windows on Mac under "Software Requirements" in the top section of this web page.

In the top section of this page under "Software Requirements", there are instructions on how to install Windows on a Mac laptop. There are plenty of video links included. The key to success here is patience and time. Please allow yourself at least one hour. Perhaps a little more to complete the installation.

 The policy requires Boot Camp installation of Windows and the course instructions assuming you are using Boot Camp. For courses requiring in -class laptops, you are welcome to ask the professor if Parallels or VMware create an incompatible situation. In either situation, you are responsible for completing the work using the instructors' assignments.

You can obtain a loaner from FSIT Lab (KSB T55) for the duration of the class period, you need to return it as soon as the session is over. This is only a one- time loaner, you are responsible to get your machine fixed by the next session. AU Office of Information Technology provides drop- in support for software problems at the AU Library and limited hardware troubleshooting. For hardware problems you might need to contact your vendor.

 

Yes, if you are a Kogod student. Otherwise, it is recommended all students have a laptop that is compliant with these requirements. Laptops are important research tools and we see them being useful for students even if the current classes don't specifically require laptop use. Students can delay purchasing the necessary software but new students are strongly encouraged to arrive on campus with a fully compliant device.

Please check with your advisor if you qualify for financial assistance. If you don't qualify for assistance, you can obtain a loaner from FSIT Lab (KSB T55) for the duration of the class period. You need to return it as soon as the session is over. AU Library also provides Windows laptop loaners for students. Assignments can be completed at the Kogod FSIT Lab.

Lynda has a number of tutorials for beginners. To access the site, click on the link or log in to myAU portal -> select Technology -> Lynda Web -Based Training -> log in and once in Lynda search for "Windows".

No. Your professor will advise you when you are required to have a laptop available for the class.

This varies by professor. Please ask them directly.

No, these devices do not support the Windows Operating System which is required to run the proper version of Microsoft Office.