Laptop Computer FAQ’s

Q. Am I required to bring a computer to campus?

Ursinus College strongly recommends students come with a laptop computer. Students will be required to use computers frequently for communications and academic activities, often in class.

Q. What make or model computer is recommended?

The selection of a particular computer is largely a matter of personal choice, but the Ursinus faculty will often require you to bring your computer to classes and lab sessions, so a laptop will be an important tool.

Ursinus Tech Support recommends either a Windows or Macintosh laptop for most students.  We strongly discourage students from buying Chromebooks, as ChromeOS does not have the capabilities required for many classes or software applications. Some faculty departments have specific recommendations that you should consider as you select the technology that will best meet your needs.

Loaner laptops are available to borrow on a short-term basis if your personal computer is undergoing repairs.  You can check them out at The Learning Curve in The Myrin Library.

Q.  Are there any public use computers or labs available?

Yes.  On the main floor of Myrin Library there is a computer lab featuring both Windows and Macintosh computers for students to use.

Software is added and updated as needed by Ursinus courses, but current software available on these computers includes:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • ArcGIS
  • Wolfram Mathematica
  • Maple
  • SAS
  • SPSS
Q. Do I need Windows if I use a Mac?

No. Some software used on campus only runs on Windows (e.g. ArcGIS); however, we provide a virtual Windows environment called Apporto that runs in your web browser.  We also offer a limited number of Windows desktop computers in Myrin Library with this software installed.  Depending on your major or coursework, choosing between a Microsoft Windows computer or an Apple/Mac computer may be more suitable for your requirements.

If the need arises, however, there are options for running Windows on a Mac computer. These options include Boot Camp (comes with Mac OS X), Parallels, or VMWare Fusion. A properly purchased copy of Windows will also be required.

Q. What software should I purchase for my computer?

At a minimum, you will want Office productivity software.  Currently, Microsoft Office is available free of charge for Ursinus students to install on their own devices.  Other software may be required in certain courses, which may also be available free of charge.  Different software requirements will be noted per class.

Q. Whom do I contact with any questions?

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding technology or its use on campus, please call Tech Support at 610-409-3789 or email

You are also welcome to stop by Tech Support in person.  We are located on the main level of the Myrin Library.