Computers and Computing

You are here

What kind of computer should I get?

We recommend that incoming students bring a personal laptop computer. Many departments integrate in-class laptop use into their courses, and having a personal laptop will be helpful throughout your undergraduate career. In general, either a PC or Mac laptop running Windows, OSX, or Linux is fine, but you should consult with your major department for specific requirements. Android, iOS, ChromeOS, or Windows RT based laptops, tablets, or mobile devices are not generally sufficient to satisfy the laptop recommendation.

The CU Office of Information Technology (OIT) maintains recommendations for specific laptop hardware:


The software required for your laptop will vary depending on department. You should consult with your major department for specific software requirements. Many departments use MS Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), but alternatives like Google Apps (Gmail, Docs and Drive) or LibreOffice are also available free of charge.

We also recommend you purchase a USB flash drive and/or external USB hard drive to help backup or transfer your files.

Financial aid options may be available for students who require assistance obtaining a computer. Students who intend to purchase a computer and wish to have its cost included in their financial aid calculations are strongly encouraged to consult the Office of Financial Aid before purchase at 303-492-5091 or

In addition to a personal laptop, the Engineering Center and other campus buildings include numerous computer labs available for undergraduate use. Furthermore, all campus buildings, including the residence halls, have wireless Internet access for student use (see

For more information, personal laptop questions or computer lab questions, contact OIT at 303-735-4357 or visit

What about calculators―what do you recommend?
A popular model is the TI-89, but you might contact your major department to see what calculator is recommended.  Be aware that you're not allowed to use calculators during exams in Applied Math (APPM) courses.  Other courses may have restrictions also.

How do I set up my CU email address?
Go to to set up your CU email account.

Important Announcements

CUEngineering is here!

The 2014 edition of CUEngineering magazine is hot off the press! Check it out online.

Engineering Recognition Ceremony to be held at 9am at Coors Events/Conference Center on Friday May 8, 2015

University of Colorado Boulder
© Regents of the University of Colorado
PrivacyLegal & Trademarks
College of Engineering & Applied Science
Contact Us