Technology is an important part of the educational experience.  In many cases the technology may not be used in class but will be required to complete class assignments.   Determining what technology is needed can often be confusing to students and their parents.  To alleviate this confusion, the Department of Communication Arts created technology recommendations, designed to help ensure that students have the computer technology they need. 

A PDF version of this document is available. 


The Department utilizes four software packages in a majority of its classes. For video production Avid Media Composer, Avid Protools, and Adobe Cloud (Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator) are the primary platforms media plateforms and Office 365 for office work.  The Department provides access to Avid Media Composer and Pro-tools via the computer lab.  Adobe Creative Cloud is also available on lab computers. 

The faculty in the Department suggest that students have Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365.

Students will utilize a number of open source or free applications in various courses within their program of study.  These applications include:



We recommend an Apple MacBook Pro 15" with 16 gb of ram.

If you already own a Windows computer, it might be acceptable as long as it's able to run the software needed for your classes.


We do not recommend a tablet for Mass Media.  The  nature of the assignments and software you will use is likely to overwhelm your device.  If, however, you wish to use a Tablet instead of a Laptop computer, we recommend an Apple iPad Pro with 128GB of memory.



The department also recommends that Mass Communication students purchase the following:

  • a 16 gb SDHC Class 10 SD card (e.g., Sandisk Pro Extreme SD) for use in video cameras.
  • at least a 1-2 tb portable External Hard Drive for storing projects and for backup.  Students should plan on the purchase of a second external drive at the beginning of their Junior year.  This drive should be used exclusively for Mass Media productions.  If you wish to backup other materials, you should plan on using a second drive.
  • carrying case or laptop backpack.
  • the extended four-year warranty for the laptop with accident protection.
  • Over the ear headphones such as the Sony MDR7506 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50x


We also recommend that students purchase the following items for a tablet:

  • Protective Cover
  • Extended warranty
  • Backup service (Cloud)
  • Apple Pencil
  • Smart Keyboard

Financial Assistance

It is often possible to obtain financial assistance to purchase a computer. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 allow for the purchase of a personal computer and software costs to be added to a student’s educational expense budget that is used to determine financial aid eligibility. A budget increase does not necessarily result in additional financial aid to cover the cost. Students who have borrowed their annual or aggregate loan limits may not have eligibility remaining.