Meadows Laptop Requirement

All students at Meadows are expected to have a laptop computer meeting specific criteria as they enter courses in their major. The minimum laptop specifications are as follows:

Students in the Meadows School of Arts are expected, upon completion of their degrees, to be proficient in the use of technology as it relates to their discipline. Laptop computers are essential tools for teaching and learning. These laptops will help students to remain current with industry standards, be competitive with students graduating from similar programs and to become successful in their discipline.

What is the requirement?
All students at Meadows are expected to have an Apple laptop computer meeting specific criteria as they enter courses in their major. The minimum laptop specifications are as follows:

Model: 13-inch MacBook Pro
Operating system: OSX-10.10 or higher
Processor: 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 or higher
RAM: 8GB or higher
HardDrive: 250 GB or higher
Technical Support: AppleCare Protection plan
Microsoft Office — All students will need the most current Microsoft Office Package
Other recommended software packages vary by academic division and course.

Students who already have a laptop computer meeting or exceeding these specifications do not need to obtain additional items to meet the requirement. Students who can upgrade an existing laptop computer to meet or exceed these specifications may do so to meet the requirement. Other students must obtain a laptop computer meeting or exceeding these specifications to fulfill the requirement.

Who is required to have a laptop computer?
Laptops are required of all Meadows students seeking Meadows degrees at the time they enter the courses in their major. Students who enter these majors in subsequent semesters will be required to have the specified laptop computer at the time their major coursework begins. Each department will define for their areas when the laptop must be purchased. All adjunct faculty and graduate students are welcome to purchase required Apple laptops through the program as well.

Are students required to buy a new computer?
No, students who already have a laptop computer or who wish to purchase a laptop computer may do so, as long as the computer meets or exceeds the specified hardware and operating characteristics. If a question arises about the suitability of a particular computer you already own, please check the Meadows website or contact for clarification.

I would like to purchase a laptop in the Fall but I won’t start the courses in my Major for several semesters. Will the requirements for laptops change between now and then?
Computer hardware and software change over time, with a general trend of increasing power and decreasing prices. If you buy a laptop computer as an entering freshman, it will not be the same as the ones being sold when you enter your major classes. However, if you buy a high quality Apple computer as a freshman, it will still be serviceable as you graduate (with some updates and careful maintenance). While the requirements will change periodically to keep up with the current technology, the laptop you purchase when you enter your major should serve you until the completion of your degree, provided that occurs within a reasonable time frame.

Can I use financial aid to purchase my laptop?
Yes, If you qualify for financial aid, it is possible that you may have money available to purchase a laptop. Have your financial aid officer check to see if you have additional money within your own federal aid package.

Won’t there be a standard way financial aid handles all the laptop requests?
No, each financial aid case is different so you cannot rely on anyone else’s information to determine if you will qualify for additional aid. You will need to talk directly with your financial aid officer who is familiar with your situation.

Should I insure my laptop bundle for loss, theft or damage?
Yes! We strongly advise that you purchase a personal articles insurance policy for your laptop through your parents or on your own.

Who makes the laptop requirement decision?
Faculty and administrators in Meadows created this requirement to benefit our students and streamline our content-creation and classroom technology activities.

Why does the requirement specify an Apple computer?
Apple computers remain an industry standard system for artists. In addition, Apple offers a very good computer, excellent technical support and training and a competitive price. Apple computers provide a rich environment for multimedia applications and image processing in an easy to use format.

Is there technical help available in Meadows and at SMU?
Yes, Meadows and the SMU OIT Helpdesk (214.768.HELP) provide support for all students enrolled at Meadows.

Where else can I go for technical help?
Use the OIT Helpdesk located on the first floor of the Fondren Library building.
OIT’s web address for online help is

Will Meadows students be allowed to check out school-owned laptops for short periods in the event of a breakdown of their own laptop?
Yes, Meadows will make loaner laptops available to students for limited periods to provide continuity should a repair be necessary.

Where should I buy my Apple laptop?
Apple laptops can be purchased via the SMU educational storefront
Also, SMU offers additional student technology discounts

Will Meadows students be allowed to check out school owned external hard drives for short periods to transfer files and work on large projects such as movies?
No, all students are required to provide their own storage devices even for simple transfers however we do strongly suggest that all students purchase a separate hard drive for secure data backup in case of computer failure.

How will I use my computer when I am in a class or working in Meadows?
Meadows has multiple locations equipped with larger monitors and projectors for faculty and students to use while working in a class. Other accommodations for students with laptops will be developed in the near future.

How long will this requirement last?
This requirement does not have a time limit. At some point in the future, it will be modified to adapt to new technology developments and opportunities and to include all students in all programs within Meadows. The initial commitment to the specified configuration is for students entering the designated programs over at least the next four years.

To whom should additional questions be addressed?
Additional questions should be sent via email to