Student Computer Specifications

Student Computer Specifications

If you are a student at Mississippi State University considering a computer purchase, we encourage you to read this page carefully.

Department-Specific Specifications

Some departments and colleges require or recommend specific hardware and/or software that may vary from the university baseline specifications. If you are a student in one of these academic units, you should follow these computer guidelines:

Minimum Student Laptop Computer Specifications

For students not in one of the colleges or departments above, the following specifications should be considered as recommended minimums for any new computer purchase. Following these requirements should ensure that your computer will last throughout the length of a typical, 4-year university term.

  Windows   Apple
Operating System Windows 10 Home or Pro macOS 10.13 - High Sierra
Processor Intel Core i5 or comparable Intel Core i5
Memory (RAM) 8GB 8GB


250GB Solid state drive(SSD)


250GB 7200rpm Hard drive (HDD)

250GB Solid state drive(SSD)
Network Connectivity

Wireless (Dual-band, 802.11a/g/n)

Wired (Dedicated port or via adapter)

Wireless (Dual-band, 802.11a/g/n)

Wired via adapter

Productivity Software

Microsoft Office 2016

Available at no cost to students

Antivirus Software

Virus protection software is required by MSU policy when using the university networks

Sophos Antivirus is available at no cost to students

NOTE: ITS does NOT recommend using a Chromebook or a tablet running a mobile OS (iOS, Android, etc.) as your main computing device. These devices may not be able to properly access all MSU systems (including myCourses and Banner) and are not capable of running the software packages that may be required for certain classes. This includes the full installation of Microsoft Office.


As with most other major purchases, it is good advice to choose a reputable brand from a reputable source. The Gartner Group, an independent provider of research and analysis on information technology, lists quality manufacturers of Windows compatible computers. The Gartner list contains brands such as Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard (HP). Although not on the Gartner list, Howard Computers, based in Laurel, Mississippi, is also worthy of consideration. If you plan on purchasing an Apple computer, the Gartner list does not apply since there is only one manufacturer.

Tip: Look for special discounts available for students via the computer manufacturer's websites. While MSU does not offer any specific discount or computer purchase programs, many manufacturers have their own student/university discounts that can be activated with your email address.

Known student discount programs:

Dell - University Store

Lenovo - Student and Teacher Discount

Hewlett-Packard (HP) - Academy

Apple - Education Pricing

Extended Warranty

Many computer manufacturers provide extended warranties that cover problems beyond the normal warranty period. ITS strongly recommends that you purchase a three-year, onsite warranty along with your new computer. Details of these warranties will vary depending on the manufacturer.

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Article ID: 1195
Fri 3/2/18 10:13 AM
Mon 10/29/18 4:37 PM

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