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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 Apple Store for current models and educational discount prices;

  • MacBook Pro 15-inch
  • 2.2GHz 6‑core Intel i7
  • 256GB SSD Storage
  • 16GB memory
  • 512GB SSD Drive
  • AppleCare Protection Plan strongly recommended

Students interested in purchasing an Apple computer can consult with knowledgeable DoIT staff in the Technology Support Center (TSC) located on the 1st floor of the AOK Library, next to the Retriever Learning Center (RLC). Individuals may make their own purchases through the UMBC Apple Store, and DoIT staff can give pre-sales advice on the configurations. The educational discount pricing is only available through the online store, or in person at any Apple store.

All students are expected to buy the online Adobe Creative Cloud to get the latest Adobe software. See Adobe Student Discount Software to sign up for the online service.

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

For student financial aid eligibility, let the financial aid office know you plan to be in the art program. The laptop requirement can be calculated 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 video editing 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.