Skip to main content

CVM Student Computing Requirements & Recommendations

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s minimum recommendations for existing computers do not differ from the general recommendations of NC State University. However, for those considering the purchase of a new computer we recommend a laptop/tablet computer that aligns with the College of Engineering specifications and offer the following suggestions:

Learning Style Quiz  Before choosing a laptop or a tablet, please consider your preferred learning styles. A laptop might be best if you are a verbal or reflective learner, are a fast typist and are very comfortable with a mouse.  A tablet might be best if you are a visual or active learner, need to take notes and draw diagrams to learn, or have a slower typing style.

The College of Veterinary Medicine expects that each student will bring a laptop with them to the DVM program that meets or exceeds the CVM Student Computer Recommendations listed below.  You can elect to bring a laptop you already own (less than 2 years since manufacture) or one that you have newly purchased.  

These specifications meet and/or exceed the hardware requirements for ExamSoft, the CVM’s current testing software.

Please note: An iPad, tablet, or Chromebook is not an adequate laptop replacement. The exam software we use does not work on tablets or tablet-mode laptops. While the MS Surface Pro and the Surface Book are exceptions to this rule, these models are not supported by university IT departments.

Computer Purchase Recommendations

Operating SystemsMicrosoft Windows 10 Enterprise, Education, or Pro (build 21H2 or higher)
or 
Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise, Education, or Pro (build 21H2 or higher)
Memory8 GB minimum; 16 GB or higher preferred


ProcessorIntel Core i5 or i7, 11th gen or higher recommended
Hard Disk Drive256 GB SSD (minimum);  512 GB SSD or greater recommended
LCD or Monitor1920×1080 (FHD) or higher recommended
WebCam & Mic*Recommend built-in for laptops 
Peripheral devices for use with desktops
Wireless**802.11 ac compliant
Warranty3- or 4-year on-site parts and labor; with 4-year accidental damage protection with laptops
* Recommended for remote learning and use with videoconferencing software like Zoom and Google Meet
**You will need built-in wifi or a wifi adapter to connect a desktop or laptop to a local wireless network.
Operating SystemOS – Latest MacOS or iOS (stay current within two versions for Apple Update/Security)
Memory16 GB or higher
ProcessorApple M1 or M2 Chip
Hard DIsk Drive512 GB  minimum;
Warranty3-year AppleCare (for iPads as well)
**Mac Accessories to considerEthernet adapter for laptops: USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Laptop video adapters to use in CVM classrooms: USB-C to VGA or USB-C to HDMI 
OR
Amazon Dock/adapter : Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, USB-A, USB-C charger, SD

Other software available to students can be found here.

Antivirus Requirements

NC State University requires use of approved and up-to-date antivirus software for all computers connected to the university’s wired or wireless network. Approved antivirus recommendations are available from OIT.

Data Security

NC State provides 20 GB of personal file storage on NCSU Drive.  Microsoft Office 365 provides 1 TB of storage.  Faculty, staff, and students will no longer have unlimited data storage capacity in their Google Drive space.  Do not store your personal, sensitive data (social security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords) in any cloud storage areas. Cloud storage available via Google or Office 365 may be used for other non-sensitive (green, yellow classification level) data or data backup.

Unity ID & Password Protection

It is highly encouraged that you setup User Identification & Authentication (UIA) questions to assist with resetting your account and/or verifying your identity if necessary.  You can do that here.

Theft DeterrenceConsider engraving identifying information on computer equipment. NC State Campus Police, offers engraving services. Keep records of serial numbers and Ethernet addresses in a place not on the computer you can find if devices are lost or stolen. See Safe Computing at NC State for more information.

CVM IT can assist students with connecting their personally-owned devices to the university’s wireless. CVM IT does not support software or hardware related issues on personally-owned devices. CVM IT does not grant non-employee students remote access to CVM, Hospital, or NCSU software/systems including network drives from personally-owned devices.The Office of Information Technology Walk-In Center has on-site licensed repair technicians certified to do repairs for several brands of computers.