Marshall University Student Computer Hardware Recommendations and Software Requirements 2019/2020

Updated: May 2019

Marshall University recommends that all students come to campus equipped with a Smartphone and/or a Tablet, as well as, a notebook/laptop computer based on Windows 10 or macOS.  Some Windows-based computers called 2-in-1’s or Convertibles serve both as a notebook/laptop and as a tablet device.

Smartphones and Tablets

The past five years, 2014-2019, have seen a rapid growth in the use of Smartphones and Tablets based on the Apple iOS or Android operating systems.  These products have matured to a point that they have become an essential tool for today’s college student.  Students and faculties have rapidly assimilated them into daily college life.  These devices offer powerful functions that provide fantastic tools for communication and learning.  In addition, those tools are comfortable, convenient, and foster interaction with people, as well as multitasking facilitation for formal and informal learning.

Software and applications that Marshall University provides to all students and employees free of charge on these mobile devices include:

  • MUMobile which provides mobile access to nearly everything at Marshall University
  • LyndaCampus Mobile App (LinkedIn Learning) providing over 5,000 free courses on a variety of topics
  • Blackboard Learning Management System App with access to your course information, material, grades, and the ability to attend some courses remotely and interactively.
  • Microsoft Office 365
    • Includes mobile versions of Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, OneDrive (1TB, of personal cloud storage accessible from any device), SharePoint, Teams, and Office 365 Exchange Email with 100GB storage quota.
  • Mobile Credential/ID for mobile wallets to use as your student ID on campus for access to buildings, labs, residence halls, meal services, attendance tracking, tickets, and purchases at vending machines and campus food service locations.

The camera and Internet connectivity on these devices do not just offer access to social media but to valuable resources for scanning and saving notes & documents for class projects and learning objectives, accessing & storing digital content such as books, periodicals, journal articles, and current media content.

Pervasive WiFi on Campus for your Mobile Devices

Marshall University provides free pervasive WIFI services in all academic buildings and residence halls to support unlimited Internet/Internet2 use by these devices while on campus.

LTE Coverage

Mobile carriers servicing the Marshall University campuses include AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.  T-Mobile does not currently have a significant footprint in the area.  If you are using a secondary carrier/provider, such as Cricket, Infinity, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, etc., please check with your carrier for coverage areas.  Marshall University does support WIFI calling if it is supported by your carrier and your device inside most buildings with pervasive WiFi5 services.

Devices to Consider

We would recommend devices supporting at least 64GB of memory, LTE and/or WiFi5 or WiFi6, as well as a relatively recent version of the operating system.  The Apple ecosystem is closed so there is a very predictable support and upgrade path for their mobile devices with iOS.  Android devices are available from a variety of manufactures or mobile carriers and often limit or delay timely upgrades to the operating system.

  • Apple iPhone and iPad models using iOS 12 or above
    • iPhone 6s/6s Plus
    • iPhone 7/7 Plus
    • iPhone 8/8 Plus
    • iPhone X, Xs, & Xs Max
    • iPhone XR
    • The Apple Watch Series 3 and above also supports Marshall Mobile Credentials/ID
    • iPad Air2 (6th Generation)
    • iPad (9.7 – 2017)
    • iPad (9.7 – 2018) – Pencil 1 Support
    • iPad Air (10.5 – 2019) Pencil 1 Support
    • iPad Mini (2019) Pencil 1 Support
    • iPad Pro 1st Generation 9.7 & 12.9 – Pencil 1 Support
    • iPad Pro 2nd Generation 10.5 & 12.9 – Pencil 1 Support
    • iPad Pro 3rd Generation 11 & 12.9 – Pencil 2 Support
  • Android devices should be using Android version:
    • Android 7.x Nougat minimum
    • Android 8.x Oreo recommended a minimum
    • Android 9.x Pie current version on most new devices
    • Android 10.x Q expect release date later in 2019
    • Current Android Phone devices to consider would include:
  • Samsung Galaxy 10e, 10, 10+;
  • Samsung Galaxy 9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy A, J, and C series (value Android Devices)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 5e
  • Google Pixel 2 or 2XL
  • Google Pixel 3 or 3XL
  • Google Pixel 3a or 3aXL

FCC Smartphone Security Checker – use this tool to help protect you against mobile security threats.

Notebooks and Laptops

Although some students may be able to get by using their SmartPhone, Tablet, and/or relying on public computer labs to meet their academic needs; it will be much easier, or required in some disciplines, to have a Windows or macOS based computer.  Newer mobile computers are more powerful and capable than those that are just a few years old.  They are thinner, lighter, and have much longer battery life.  Many Windows-based computers can also double with many of the characteristics of an iPad or Android Tablet with near instant-on and pen capabilities.

Full notebook computers can also be easily attached to home docking stations or campus classroom or huddle space devices to provide multiple monitors or large screen displays for work that requires that type of resource.

If you are considering a new device, we would recommend you purchase with an extended warranty of at least three years and from a top tier manufacturer like Dell, Microsoft, HP, Lenovo, or Apple.


Personal Computers

Windows-based PC with Windows 10 Pro (new Purchase Recommendation)

  • Intel Core i5, i7, or i9 Processor 8th Generation or above
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 2 NVMe Solid State Storage
    • 256GB SSD storage minimum, 512GB SSD or higher Recommended
  • 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display 13, 14, or 15-inch minimum
  • USB 3.0 minimum with USB Type C port availability preferred
  • USB Type C charging preferred
  • Thunderbolt 3 preferred
  • WiFi 5 minimum or WiFi6 preferred
  • Bluetooth 4.x minimum 5.x preferred
  • LTE Optional
  • HDMI port or adapter
  • 720p (1 megapixel) Webcam minimum 1080p (2 megapixel) Webcam preferred
  • Headset or earbuds with microphone

Recommended models include Dell XPS 13 or 15, Dell XPS 2 in 1, Lenovo X1, Lenovo X1 Yoga, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Microsoft Surface Book 2, Microsoft Surface Laptop 2, Microsoft Surface Go, HP Spectre x360, HP Spectre Folio, HP EliteBook x360.

Apple-based PC with macOS Mojave (new purchase recommendation)

  • Intel Core i5, i7, or i9 Processors 8th Generation or above
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 256GB SSD storage minimum, 512GB SSD or higher Recommended
  • USB Type C to Type-A adapter
  • WiFi and Bluetooth standard
  • HDMI adapter
  • Apple Webcam
  • Headset or earbuds with microphone

Recommended models include MacBook Air 2018, MacBook Pro 13 inch or MacBook Pro 15 inch (touch bar is preferred on MacBook Pro models).

Is my current Windows 10 or macOS Mojave computer adequate?

If you have a current notebook computer that is less than four years old and meets the following minimums then it should be adequate for your use in most disciplines at Marshall University.  Please check with your advisor if you are unsure:

  • Intel Core i5 or i7 Processor 6th Generation (Skylake introduced in 2015) or above
  • Windows 10 Pro version 1809 or higher OR macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or higher
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB Hard Drive
  • 1080p Display
  • USB port(s)
  • WiFi4 (802.11n)
  • Bluetooth 4.x or above
  • 720p (1 megapixel) or higher webcam plus microphone and headset/earbuds


  • Marshall University Software provided for Personally owned Windows 10 and macOS PCs
  • Microsoft Office 365
    • Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive (1TB, 1,000GB personal cloud storage accessible from any device), SharePoint, Teams, Office 365 Exchange Email with 100GB Quota
  • Symantec EndPoint Protection
  • EndNote (courtesy of the Marshall University School of Medicine for all students, faculty & staff)
  • Wolfram Alpha & Mathematica
  • MathWorks MATLAB and Simulink
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (limited to certain majors and courses)
  • For a list of available software


Security Recommendations

Available Software

Educational Discounts

Previous Purchase Recommendations


2017 / 2018 / 2019
Updated June 2018: Recommendations