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Robert Busch School of Design

Laptop Requirement

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Laptop Requirements

The School of Design faculty is dedicated to providing an exceptional educational experience while fostering the knowledge, skills, creativity, and professionalism necessary to prepare graduates for careers as professional designers. As such, we are devoted to academic rigor, curricular innovation, critical thought, and teaching excellence. The School of Design is aligned with and accredited by the philosophy and goals of two external accrediting organizations: Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and National Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Given the rigor of the academic programs and the mission and goals within the School of Design, each student is required to have a laptop upon entry.

Requirements in each major program vary.

Please see the required computer and system software noted below.




In addition to the laptop below, students must also have the following access/memberships:


Every design student is required to have a personal laptop. The RBSD Graphic Design / Advertising Design faculty strongly recommend a Macbook Pro as your laptop solution as a student. User interface design software, such as Sketch, will only work on a Mac computer. It will NOT work on a PC. So, if you are interested in designing for mobile media or prototyping apps, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a Macbook Pro with the above specifications. Otherwise, you will be at a disadvantage.

MacBook Pro - Strongly Recommended
Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
Mac OS X versions 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11
Memory: 8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM (16GB highly recommended)
Storage: 256GB minimum; 1TB recommended
AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro - Auto-enroll
4-Year AppleCare Extended Warranty (recommended)
15-inch or larger laptop display (recommended)

PC Option - Windows
Intel Core2 Duo or AMD Phenom II processor with 64-bit support
Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
Memory: 8GB of RAM (16GB highly recommended)
Storage: 256GB minimum; 1TB recommended
Anti-virus software


Two Portable External Hard Drives (one for working, another for backing up your work):
Minimum: 1TB of storage and Mac compatible 

Three-button Mouse

Graphics Tablet (recommended)


Apple is offering education discounts now:

You can also buy certified refurbished Macbook Pros here:

Several retail stores provide options for purchasing PC laptops.

Students should, of course, purchase laptops that they can afford but keep in mind that paying more for increased processing speed, memory, or a larger screen etc. is an advantage.


Contact: Professor Ed Johnston




PC preferred but Mac acceptable. 
For Mac, the Bootcamp software is necessary to run Windows programs. 
“Parallel” option is not recommended.  
Windows 7 (Minimum) for Mac should also be installed.

Ideal Laptop Option:
3rd Gen Intel Core i7

Operating System:
Genuine Windows 7 (minimum option)
Windows 8, or 10 preferred

Video Card:
With 2GB dedicated memory (NVIDIA brand is recommended)

16.0 GB.  
16GB minimum, upgradable to 32GB is better IMHO

Hard Drive:
1TB 7200rpm hard drive (optimum) 500 GB minimum.
Screen Size:
15” screen with HD resolution (minimum) or
17” with minimum HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels)  

3-button mouse 

7200 rpm 750 GB external storage minimum. 1 TB is ideal.
16GB or higher USB flash drive for file transfers, etc.

MS Office 
Adobe Photoshop (Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat optional)  
(Available for students with Creative Cloud subscription for $19/month)

Revit Architecture 2016 (software to be installed at Kean during second year) 
AutoCAD 2016 (software to be installed at Kean during second year) 
SketchUp/2016 Make (“Make” is the free version)



The PC is the necessary system. In addition to the laptop, students must also have software: Solidworks, MS Office, and Creative Suite 5 (not necessarily Master level).

Students should, of course, purchase laptops that they can afford but keep in mind that paying more for increased processing speed, memory, etc. is always an advantage when possible.

800 Gig of memory minimum or the fastest graphic board affordable: 1 Gig would be best.

Also, purchase the largest screen affordable with the minimum at 13-14".



Contact Dr. Tim Riegle


Recommended software distributor:

But please shop around for the best price.

The School of Design does not have a purchasing program at this time.

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