Laptop Requirement

All UNC students must own a laptop that meets campus computing requirements.

The laptop requirement applies to all SILS students, including graduate students and students in continuing studies or interdisciplinary or inter-institutional programs. See the Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) website for detailed hardware requirements, software requirements, and frequently asked questions.

Mac users should be able to run Windows software through a virtualization utility like Boot Camp, Parallels, or VirtualBox. Feel free to contact the Help Desk for more information, or if you'd like help deciding which option is best for you. It is expected that MacOS users will have virtualization software installed BEFORE it is needed in classes. Apple has recently released new M1 Chip based laptops and we are still determing the compatibility with software required for classes. If you are considering one of the new Apple M1 based laptops, be sure to diligently check compatibility for your education needs. We will update this as more information becomes available. 

Why are students required to own a laptop?

Information professionals must be comfortable using technology both independently and collaboratively. Laptops facilitate students' work both in and out of the classroom, allowing faculty to design courses that prepare students for the realities of ubiquitous computing. While instructors can choose whether to require laptop use in their courses, many SILS courses do require students to bring their laptops for class activities.

What laptop-specific services does SILS offer?

The SILS Help Desk staff are glad to help you...

  • set your computer up for use in SILS, on campus, and elsewhere;
  • get access a variety of tools and resources;
  • defend your laptop against security breaches; and
  • troubleshoot your laptop for both hardware and software problems.

We will not replace laptop hardware and software. These services should be covered under your warranty.