Getting a Computer

Access to Computing

If you need access to computing resources please see the information and resources below.


  • Student computing needs ARE considered in financial aid eligibility and awarding. Specifically, the Cost of Attendance (COA), an estimate or budget of all reasonable costs, direct and indirect, associated with attendance at UMBC, considers computing needs as part of books and supplies. Any financial assistance received in excess of direct costs to UMBC (i.e. tuition, fees, housing, meal plans) will be sent to students in the form of a refund that can be used towards the purchase of a computer/laptop. Students can contact their Financial Aid Counselor to learn more.
  • In partnership with the Albin O. Kuhn Library, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) offers a limited supply of loaner laptops for emergency use.  For more information about how to request a loaner laptop, visit the Laptop Loan Program.

Incoming Students:

Minimally, DoIT recommends at least the following specifications for a PC or a MAC:

  • Core i7 or higher Processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB (minimum) solid state hard drive – 512 GB SSD is recommended
  • 802.11 ac wireless card + Bluetooth (internal)
  • Integrated Webcam and microphone
  • 3 year warranty with accidental damage protection

FYI: Our Virtual Desktop Environment includes all software available in on-campus labs.

Departmental Requirements

Additionally, depending on your major, you should check to see if there are additional requirements for a laptop or software that requires a specific type of computer. DoIT is aware of the following specific requirements (last updated 7/12/21):

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS)

Visual Arts

College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS)

Biological Sciences

College of Engineering and Information Technology (CoEIT)

Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering
Computer Science/Electrical Engineering
Information Systems
Mechanical Engineering (scroll down to “Laptop Requirements”)

Discount Programs Available to Students


We have educational discounts from both Dell and Apple that students can take advantage of:

Take advantage of education pricing when you shop Dell Online. It’s a great way to save on new laptops and 2-in-1 computers, access the full range of Dell products, and shop for Dell accessories.

You can shop for Dell products online 24/7 and get free delivery right to your door.

For hands-on help with purchasing decisions, you can contact the Technology Support Center or chat with Dell directly.


Take advantage of education pricing when you shop Apple Online. It’s a great way to save on a new Mac® or iPad®, access the full range of Apple products including Apple Watch® and iPhone®, and shop for Apple-branded accessories and a curated selection of third-party software and accessories. Remember to look for customization and personalization options when you order.

You can shop for Apple products online 24/7 and get free delivery right to your door. Or choose the option to pick up your order at your local Apple Store when available.

For hands-on help, contact the Technology Support Center or chat with Apple directly.