The University of Florida expects students entering an online program to acquire computer hardware and software appropriate to his or her degree program.
Coursework will require ongoing use of a computer and a broadband connection to the Internet. As well, academic advising and registration, official university correspondence, and other services can all be handled online via a computer. While the university offers limited access to computer software through its virtual computer lab and software licensing office, most students will be expected to purchase or lease a computer. Cost of meeting this requirement should be included in your financial aid considerations.
Interpretation of the Policy
Most computers are capable of meeting the following general requirements. A student’s computer configuration should include:
- Video card capable of showing typical Web-based video content (preferably in HD)
- Sound card
- Speakers and a microphone (for a desktop computer)
- Headphones with built-in microphone (for a laptop)
- USB port
- Broadband connection to the Internet and related equipment (Cable/DSL modem)
- Wired internet connection required for online proctored exams
- Microsoft Office 2013 Suite installed (provided by the university)
A sample minimum configuration is shown below. Individual colleges may have additional requirements or recommendations, which students should review prior to the start of their program.
Sample Configuration for Windows
If you want to buy a computer with Windows, confirm that your college and degree program will support the operating system. Be sure to buy your computer with the potential to upgrade to Windows 8.
Suggested Hardware Recommendation:
- Intel Core 2 Duo, or I series processor
- 4GB of RAM or more
- 256 Gigabyte Hard Drive or larger
- DVD-R/RW Drive
- USB ports (at least 2)
- 1366 x 768 or higher resolution monitor
- Video CardvSound card
- Speakers or headphones
- WiFi wireless networking on laptops
- Network (Ethernet) Adapter Card for Broadband -- 100mbit or 1Gbit
- Broadband connection to the Internet and related equipment (generally supplied by the service provider). Cable or DSL highly recommended.
Because Windows 7 is the most widely supported operating system, it’s currently recommended. The Home basic and starter versions of Windows 7 are not recommended.
- Microsoft Office 2013 Suite (provided by the university)
- Antivirus (Microsoft Security Essentials recommended)
- Updated Adobe Flash Player and Oracle Java (distributed for free by their manufacturers)
- Firefox browser
- A media player (such as iTunes or VLC Media Player)
Apple Macintosh Computers Running Windows 7
Late-model Macs have the ability to run Windows 7 natively, either on a separate partition of the hard drive or in a virtual machine. Students planning on installing Windows 7 on their Macs should be aware that this will take up a minimum of 30GB of space or a recommended 60GB and should purchase a hard drive with this in mind. Once Windows 7 is installed, the OSX disk that came with your Mac contains all the necessary drivers and applications to allow for Windows 7 to function properly with your hardware.