Laptop Requirement

The UMBC Department of Visual Arts requires all incoming freshmen to have an Apple Macintosh laptop computer. The minimum requirement is for the most current 15" MacBook Pro. The processor speed and RAM may change periodically, you are advised to view the UMBC Bookstore for the current specs and prices;

  • MacBook Pro 15-inch
  • AppleCare Protection Plan
  • Accident Insurance Strongly Recommended (available at the UMBC Bookstore)

The UMBC Bookstore: Apple Mac Laptops page has the latest list of MacBook Pro 15" laptops which Meet Minimum Specs for Visual Arts Majors.

All students are expected to buy the online Adobe Creative Cloud to get the latest Adobe software. Boxed versions of Adobe software is no longer available. See Adobe Student Discount Software to sign up for the online service.

Our Apple Special price is available only at the UMBC Bookstore; call 410-455-3810 for an official, current quote.

If you have any further questions, you may contact Calvin Custen at 410-455-6587 or or Charles Myers at 410-455-3806 or or submit a Help Request at

View our laptop Letter to Incoming Students

For student financial aid eligibility, the laptop requirement can be figured into the total Financial Aid need calculations when applying; contact the UMBC Financial Aid Office for details.

Is the 13" MacBook Pro sufficient for Visual Arts classes?
The 13" model will make it more difficult to complete class assignments, since the screen is so tiny.

Is the 15" MacBook Pro really required, or can I just get the lower-priced MacBook?
We have determined that the MacBook Pro is necessary to keep up with the demanding, processor intensive applications such as Final Cut and Adobe programs.

May I buy/bring/use a Windows PC for my Visual Arts classes?
We highly recommend using a MacBook Pro since all the faculty are familiar, and will give class demos, using Macintosh. Apple products take less maintenance, are generally more robust, and are less prone to viruses and spyware than Windows. While a similarly powered Windows PC will be sufficient for classes, it is not ideal. Faculty and staff will not be able to provide as much support.