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 faculty in the Department of Communication Arts created technology standards, designed to help ensure that students have the computer technology they need. 

A PDF version of this document is available. 


The Department utilizes two basic software packages in classes. The faculty in the Department suggest that students have Adobe Creative Cloud (all Apps) and Microsoft Office 365.  

The selected software runs on both a laptop and a tablet.

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 13" (Base model meets recommendations). 

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.


If you wish to use a Tablet instead of a Laptop computer, we recommend an Apple iPad Pro with 128GB of memory.



We recommend that students purchase the following items for a laptop:

  • carrying case or laptop backpack
  • the extended four-year warranty with accident protection
  • either an external hard drive for backup or a remote backup service


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.