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Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Computing On Campus

Do I need to have my own personal computer? 
Not necessarily. Students have access to a large number of computers in both academic buildings and residence halls.  These are equipped with up-to-date hardware, software, and network connections.  However, even with the many resources available in campus facilities, most students will benefit greatly by owning their own computer.  Marshall University recommends all students own a personal computer with Internet access.  All residence hall rooms are equipped with high speed connections to MUNet and the Internet and are ready for you to connect your own computer.  The Drinko Library and the Memorial Student Center have the latest in high speed wireless computer access (WiFi and WiFi5).  Computer technology provides useful tools to support and enrich academic work and campus life for our community of scholars.  Routine administrative tasks such as course registration, checking grades, managing student loans, and purchasing books are easy and efficient to complete through self-serve, web-enabled interactions.  Owning a computer helps students blend technology into the everyday living environment and thereby enhances both the scholarly and social aspects of student and community life.  The myMU Web Portal integrates many of the on-line content and services for both coursework (via Web Course Tools, Blackboard), personal email, campus group discussions & activity announcements.  Having immediate access to a MUNet connected computer makes all of this even more convenient.

Will my current computer meet my needs?
The annually updated personal purchase Computing Recommendations (Desktop or Notebook) specify new systems that will meet the needs of most users at Marshall University for the next four years.  This guide also includes information about which older systems are still supported and provides information on when you might plan for a replacement or upgrade. Keep in mind that support for older systems is almost certain to expire in less than four years. Reviewing the history (PC or Mac) of recent annual computer recommendations can help you determine whether, and for how long, your system is likely to meet your needs at Marshall University. Students who bring their Intel/Windows or Apple Macintosh computers to campus can expect excellent support, provided the system meets Marshall’s annually updated minimum standards for personal computers.  

If I purchase a new computer, what guidelines should I follow?
Each June, the University's central Information Technology (IT) division updates its annual Computing Recommendations (Desktop or Notebook) for the coming academic year.  Marshall University provides a four-year guarantee of support for new systems that meet these specifications, so following them ensures continued support during your stay at Marshall.

What about software?
The central IT division in coordination with its advisory committees and faculty or IT staff in colleges, schools, and centers, evaluate and adopt software applications as supported products to ensure that students have access to the systems and network resources they need.  Some of these products, such as anti-virus applications are site-licensed and available for free to Marshall students. They can be downloaded from the Computing Services Software Downloads  web page. Other supported and standard products, such as Microsoft Office Home and Student or Professional 2007 and Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate, can be purchased from the Marshall University Bookstore at discounted academic prices. Student versions of specialized academic software such as Adobe Products, Mathematica, and many others can also be purchased there.

How about connecting to campus networks and the Internet?
Marshall University Residence Hall Rooms are wired with high speed Ethernet connections, which enable high-speed data communications through network jacks found on wall plates in every room.  The Marshall University campus network, MUNet, provides extremely fast Internet service at rates over 100 times the speed of a 56K modem connection. Computers must be equipped with an Ethernet card in order to connect to the network and to use this service.   Contact the University Computing Services Help Desk at (304)696-3200, email them at, visit their web site at:

Or stop by their primary location located on the fourth floor of the Drinko Library and Technology Center if you need assistance or to check rates for equipment and/or services.

Those living in other residences or off-campus locations must sign up with a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) to obtain MUNet and Internet connectivity. The Remote Access Page provides additional information and links to vendors that Marshall University would recommend.  Connection to an ISP via a “broadband” type of connection such as a cable modem or DSL service is usually preferred if it is available in your area.

Can I connect from non-residential campus locations as well?
The Drinko Library and many other public spaces, such as computer laboratories, classrooms, and student lounges, contain public Ethernet ports where you can connect your own notebook computer to the campus network and the Internet while on campus. As with connections in students' residence hall rooms, a computer must be equipped with an Ethernet card in order to take advantage of this convenient service.  

The number of wireless network access points on the Marshall University campuses is growing rapidly, guided by the University's MUNet Wireless Networking strategy and its commitment to providing secure, reliable, high-speed performance. Students using notebook computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs) equipped with compatible wireless network cards can establish wireless network connections in several locations across campus, including the Drinko Library and the Memorial Student Center.


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