Art History majors
For students majoring in Art History, there is no computer requirement for hardware or software. If you are interested in purchasing a computer, consider the specifications below for “Studio Art” as a starting point.
Studio Art & Design majors
Art majors, are required to own a laptop computer that meets or exceeds the requirements below.
Your computer should run either Apple Mac OS X 10.15 or higher, or Windows 10. Mac OS X 10.15 is a free upgrade. You will find Apple Macintosh computers in the School's computer labs. Most of the faculty and many students will be using Macs, and students are successful with Windows PCs as well. We make no specific recommendation.
Use of Existing Laptops
You may use your existing computer equipment as long as it meets the required specifications. For Apple computers, the computer should be capable of upgrading to macOS X 11, as shown on this Apple list. As noted below, 12” 'MacBooks' and 13” 'MacBook Airs' do not meet the minimum hardware specifications.
For questions please contact the School of Art, Art History & Design at 402-472-5522
Where to Buy
You may purchase a computer from any vendor or store. HuskerTech, the UNL Computer Store, can advise you on appropriate models that meet the recommendations below. HuskerTech is located in the Nebraska Union’s lower level.
Phone: 402-472-5151 Web: https://its.unl.edu/huskertech/
Intensive use of graphic design and digital arts software places high demands on computer hardware. For this reason, the requirement is divided between medium-level specifications for most Studio Art students, and high-level specifications for Graphic Design students.
Studio Art (except Graphic Design)
Hardware Specification for Mac/Windows
- CPU: Apple M1 or higher, or Intel Core i5 / i7
- Display: 13 in. or larger.
- RAM: 8 GB, minimum, 16 GB preferred. Apple note: RAM in Apple laptops cannot be upgraded after purchase.
- Video Card:
- Good: built-in video included with the newest Intel Core i5 or i7 CUPS, and the Apple M1 or higher CPU.
- Better: Mac only: the video processor in the M1 (or higher) Pro/Max processor.
- Windows only: a discrete video card with dedicated RAM is best for video and 3D work.
- Best: A discrete video card with dedicated RAM is best for video and 3D work.
Studio Art: Graphic Design
Hardware Specification for Mac/Windows
- CPU: Apple M1 Pro/Max or Higher, or Intel Core i5 or i7
- Display: 14 in., FullHD (1920x1080 pixels) minimum.
- RAM: 16 GB RAM. RAM in Apple laptops cannot be upgraded after purchase.
- Video Card: The graphics processor on Apple M1 (or higher) Pro/Max processor.
- Windows Only: a discrete video card with dedicated RAM is best for video and 3D work.
- Storage: 250GB minimum
Standards of software may change during your time at UNL, and additional software may be required for certain courses. The School of Art, Art History, & Design understands that additional expenses can be a burden for students and makes all efforts to minimize additional costs. No software, other than what is listed below, will be needed for any required courses. (Studio electives chosen by the student may need different software.)
Campus IT information: https://its.unl.edu/huskertech
Free software for students
- Adobe Creative Cloud: https://services.unl.edu/service/adobe-creative-cloud-student-unl
- Microsoft Office - includes links to MS OneDrive (cloud storage) and Teams (collaboration): https://services.unl.edu/service/microsoft-365-suite
- Security Software: Cortex XDR: https://services.unl.edu/service/device-security-cortex-xdr
- Additional information and services: https://its.unl.edu/students
Student IT and Online Services
UNL provides a catalog of IT and Online Services at: http://services.unl.edu
Protect your personal devices and the campus network
When using a personally owned computer or device on the University of Nebraska network, you are responsible for maintaining the security of your device. Guides and free security software: https://services.unl.edu/service/personal-device-security
- Extended Warranty, 3 years. Some protection plans cover accidental damage; others do not.
- Data backup: An external drive and/or a subscription to an online backup service.
- Why back up? Your computer’s storage drive will fail at some point, probably just before your final project is due. And we humans will fail to manually back up. An automated method using software and an online service and/or an external drive will protect you from data loss.
- OneDrive cloud storage (free): Turn on the option to keep a copy of your Desktop and Documents folders in UNL’s free student cloud storage. NOTE: this does not back up your Photos, Music, or Movies folders. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/back-up-your-folders-with-onedrive-d61a7930-a6fb-4b95-b28a-6552e77c3057
- Online Backup Service: Commercial web-based backup services run continuously; cost begins at $7/month.
- External Storage Drive: create a backup using the backup software bundled with your computer: Time Machine (Mac), or Windows Backup and Restore. The drive should be 2-3 times the capacity of the computer’s internal drive. Cost: $75-200.
- Macintosh computers can run both macOS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems (excluding Apple M1/M2 laptops.) You can purchase Windows 10 for $25 at the UNL Computer Shop. You can install Windows yourself, using Apple’s free Boot Camp software. For an additional fee, the UNL Computer Help Center will install your Windows purchase. The UNL Computer Shop can advise you on available options at 402-472-5151.
For additional questions, please contact the School of Art, Art History & Design at 402-472-5522
(Last Updated March 20, 2023)