Student Computer Recommendations

What kind of computer should students bring to Augustana?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from students planning to attend Augustana is: "What kind of computer should I buy?"

Augustana strongly suggests you own a computer. We do not require a specific brand or type, but we do highly recommend purchasing your computer from a name-brand manufacturer (e.g. Apple, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba).

As a general rule, the higher the specifications of a computer, the more it will cost and the longer it will last.

You may want to consider adding an extended warranty and also accidental damage/theft protection to your computer. Some companies like Apple do not offer accidental damage/theft protection and recommend you purchase it via your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy for a few dollars per month (speak with your insurance agent about this option).

Should you purchase an Apple Mac or a Windows PC? 
Which type of computer you bring is your choice. However, if you are considering a Graphic Design or Journalism major, those departments strongly recommend that you purchase a Mac. Our Art/Journalism computer lab is set up with Apple iMac computers and specialized software.
One of the unique features of Apple computers is that they can be set up to run both Mac and Windows operating systems and software. For some students, this flexibility is very helpful.

Augustana Helpdesk Minimum Recommended Specifications:

Windows PC Systems

Operating System — Windows 10
Processor/CPU — Intel Core i5 or greater
Memory/RAM — 8 GB or greater
Hard Drive — no less than 256 GB
Wireless — 802.11 g, a, N, or ac

Other - USB drive or flash drive for backing up your stuff

Apple Mac Systems

Go to the Apple Education Store - Apple Education Store

Here you will find suggested models and special pricing for students. The special price also requires that you purchase Apple Care (this is Apple's 3-year warranty)


Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 365 is available for students to ​use online, use on mobile devices, and to ​download to your personal computer at no cost. You can install​ the most recent version of​ Office on​ up to​ 5 Macs or PCs​, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones that you own. This software will be free for as long as you are a registered student at Augustana.

You can find details on the my.augie portal.  Go to the Augie Life tab and click on "Help Desk - ITS" on the left side.  There will be a link to Office 365 there.

What about virus protection?

We require current virus protection to connect to Augustana's network.  Windows 10 comes with a built in anti-virus.  Using that one is fine.

You should also consider installing the free version of Malwarebytes. With the free version of Malwarebytes, you can run the program every couple of weeks to clean up suspicious code.  You can also run the program if you think your computer might be infected.

For Mac and Linux, we currently do not recommend specific software. See our Student Anti-Virus Information web page for details.


Wireless access is available throughout campus. Specific instructions for connecting to the Augustana Network in Residence Halls is found here - Connecting on Campus

If you would like more information, contact the Help Desk at 605.274.5331.