Beginning in the Fall of 2014, all Graphic Design students that have been accepted into the program will be required to own (or show proof of ownership of) a laptop computer that meets the minimum system requirements specified below.

The cost of a wireless laptop can be automatically considered in the financial aid package offered to students.

If you already have a laptop, and it doesn’t meet the specifications, you will be asked to upgrade your system.

Why a laptop requirement?

Beyond the Portfolio Review, graphic design classes do not meet in computer labs, and a laptop allows students to work in a classroom studio setting on projects. For projects which you may need a larger screen and particular software, such as video editing, courses may be held in a computer lab. A laptop is a smart investment for your college career in Graphic Design and other UIW classes.

Choosing a Laptop

Though we understand that you should choose the computer platform that you are most comfortable with, we strongly encourage students to purchase an Apple Laptop with AppleCare.

System Requirements

The following laptops are available for purchase from the UIW Technology Services and meet the minimum requirements for the Graphic Design Program:

Apple Laptop – 13-inch: 2.4GHz with Retina display – $1600.00

  • 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz)
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • Intel Iris Graphics
  • Built-in battery (9 hours)
  • 3 Year AppleCare Protection Plan
  • MS Office Suite installed
  • Antivirus Protection software installed
  • Customized UIW Carrying Case

Windows Laptop – Dell Inspiron – $1600.00 (approximate)

  • Intel® Core 2 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor; 2 GHz or faster processor
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
  • 4 GB RAM (minimum; 8 GB recommended)
  • 256 GB Harddrive Space (minimum; 500 GB to 1TB recommended)
  • 1024×768 display (1280×800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)
  • OpenGL 2.0–capable system

Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services

Required Software Packages

The following software is required for all Graphic Design courses:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud – Access to all of the software that Adobe provides, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver. Students can also access other services like TypeKit (an online font resource), the Digital Publishing Suite (create and publish apps), Kuler (color tools), and Behance (online portfolio). A 12-month access code is available from the UIW Bookstore for $240.00 (an average of $20/month). This access code allows users to install Mac or Windows versions of the software.
  • Adobe Font Folio Education Essentials – A subset of Adobe’s popular Font Folio 11.1 collection, this package offers 500 OpenType® fonts assembled in collaboration with AIGA, the professional association for design, to provide depth, breadth, and value for higher education. This is available for purchase through Adobe’s Online Store for $149.00.
  • Microsoft Office – A single license of Microsoft Office is available from the UIW Business Office for $10.00. This one-time purchase includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook (Mac or PC).

Other Required Hardware

The following hardware will be necessary for a student’s success in this program:

  • Mouse (wired or wireless)
  • Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (for Apple Laptops)
  • Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (optional; students can connect to our network via Wi-Fi)
  • Portable hard drive for backing up and transporting large files.


If you have any questions, feel free to contact us via this page.