School of Art Laptop Policy

Students entering the School of Art are required to have a laptop and a highspeed external hard drive* (HDD). Digital literacy is a necessity for 21st-century artists, designers, scholars, and educators. When taking the first-year art foundations courses, students will move between traditional materials and digital platforms. The laptop will serve as a creative tool and portable studio, allowing students to work fluidly between the studio classroom and other workspaces on campus.

Maintenance of the laptop is the responsibility of the student, and laptops must be in good working order throughout the semester. Ball State University offers IT resources for students through our office of Unified Technology Support, which runs a technology help desk that can assist with hardware repairs, software issues, and other computer support.

Ball State’s Technology Store has our recommendations and can assist you with finding the right device. Adobe Creative Cloud software is included in all Ball State students’ tuition. Students can download and use these apps on their own laptops. We also recommend the following laptops: Dell Precision Mobile Workstation, Dell XPS, Dell Alienware, Microsoft Surface Pro, Microsoft Air, and MacBook Pro.

*The required highspeed external hard drive (HDD) should be 500 GB to 2TB in size. All external hard drives can be formatted for PC and Mac. We recommend the following brands:

  • LaCie Rugged USB-C External Hard Drive
  • WD Elements Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
  • G-Technology 2TB G-Drive mobile USB-C Portable External Hard Drive

Minimum Laptop Requirements

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i5 processor or Apple M1
  • 8 GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 256 GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Integrated graphics
  • 4GB discrete graphics (GPU memory)
  • 3 to 4-year warranty
Mac Minimum Specifications
  • MacBook Air M1
PC Minimum Specifications
  • Intel Core i5 or higher

Preferred Specifications

Best for students pursuing Animation, Graphic Design, Video and New Media, and/or Photography.
  • Intel i7 or higher or Apple M2
  • 16GB* random-access memory (RAM)
    • 32GB for animation, motion graphics, and video effects classes
  • 1TB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Integrated graphics
  • 8 GB discrete graphics (GPU memory)
  • 3 to 4-year warranty
Mac Preferred Specifications
  • MacBook Pro M2
PC Preferred Specifications
  • Intel Core i7 4.1GHz or higher

You can purchase the Mac, Dell and Lenovo in the Ball State Technology Store.