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University of Colorado Denver


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Hardware and Software Requirements and Recommendations

Computer Requirements Effective for Fall 2016
Modified 11/23/2015

All on-campus students at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) are required to own a computer that meets or exceeds the specifications given below. For the best user experience, however, we strongly recommend that any computer system meet or exceed the specifications given in the "Optional but Recommended" section.

Students in the Distance Degrees programs should consult the DDP office for computer requirements.

Hardware requirements are enforced only for students' computers, but we recommend that all faculty and staff observe these minimums as well.

General Requirements

  1. Equipment must be owned or leased for the exclusive use of the student.
  2. Computer must be a laptop or "convertible" laptop/tablet computer running an approved operating system.
  3. Equipment acquisition, maintenance and security are the responsibility of the student.
  4. All computers on campus must have an approved antivirus and antispyware utility installed and regularly updated.
  5. Class-related data must be backed up regularly. See the Data Backup Policy below.
Hardware and Software Minimum Requirements

    Laptop Specifications

  • 1.7 GHz Intel Pentium or Core processor (other Intel or AMD Athlon processors of equivalent performance are acceptable)
  • 200 GB Hard Drive
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Audio (via motherboard or SoundBlaster 16 equivalent)
  • CD ROM or DVD-ROM Drive 16x
  • 802.11g wireless network interface (NIC)
  • Inkjet or laser printer for home use (a portable printer is not required)
  • Webcam and microphone, either built in or as an accessory

Chromebooks, iPads, Android tablets, "netbooks" and other devices that cannot run the full version of Windows or Mac OS X are not at the present time considered to be acceptable substiutes for a laptop computer meeting the above specifications.


  • Operating system:
    Windows: Windows 7 or later*
    Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • Productivity Software:
    Windows: Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013**
    Macintosh: Microsoft Microsoft Office 2011**
  • Current Internet browser (such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) - Google Chrome is required for the Proctorio exam proctoring system.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (may be downloaded at no charge from Adobe)
  • Current antivirus and antispyware software

*Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate are acceptable; Windows 7 Starter edition (standard on many netbooks) is not supported.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Windows 10 is very new and so we are still in the process of discovering what does and does not work. We have reports of problems with some software and services used at the unversity. As a result, at this time we do not recommend purchasing a new computer with Windows 10 nor upgrading and existing computer to the new version. We can provide support for Windows 10 on a "best effort" basis only. If you have problems with a Windows 10 system we will make every attempt to help, but we cannot guarantee that all university systems and software will work properly.

** Effective as of February, 2015, the university offers Microsoft's Office 365 Pro Plus subscriptions to all enrolled students. As part of that subscription, students may download Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on up to five devices at no charge and may use those applications while they are enrolled in good standing at the university. Students who wish to purchase permanent licenses for Microsoft Office may do so when they graduate or otherwise leave the university. For instructions on installing the Office applications, click here. You will not be able to connect and download the applications until your UCD account has been activated and you have claimed it.

Note: Some SSPPS departments and programs and some SSPPS faculty may have additional requirements for software or document formats. We strongly recommend that you consult with your department or program to confirm before you purchase any new computer or software. Due to class and campus requirements, an Android or iOS tablet will at this time not be considered to be an acceptable substitute for a computer meeting the above requirements.

Hardware/Software Optional but Recommended
Where to purchase
E-mail Required Usage
Data Backup Policy
Important Notes