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The Laptop Requirement

All incoming UNC medical students must bring a laptop to the program. Student laptops are required for all exams and should be in good working order. Students may choose their own device as long as it meets these minimum requirements:

Windows Mac
Operating System 10 or newer OS X 10.14 (Mojave)
OS X 10.15 (Catalina)
or newer
CPU 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 or greater 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 or greater
Note: If the processor has a turbo feature that brings it above the 2.5 Ghz in peak times that is sufficient. This is the case for many Mac laptops.
RAM 8 GB or greater 8 GB or greater
Screen Resolution 1024×768 or higher 1024×768 or higher
Administrative rights? Yes Yes
Additional requirements A physical keyboard is required for the exam software

Ability to connect to the internet (wireless)

Adobe Reader (Version 9, 11 or DC)

Ability to run Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge (PC) or Safari (Mac)

Functional webcam, microphone, and speakers

Must be no more than 4 years old at the start of the program

Are there other laptop requirements? Yes!

  • Student fees include a site licensed copy of Microsoft Office 365.
    • Prior to coming to campus students will be sent instructions on how to download and install the latest version.
  • Other required software items will need to be installed on your computer and will be checked for completion during the Computer Set-Up Session of orientation.
  • All laptops connected to the School of Medicine wired network will automatically be monitored by the Network Access Control (NAC) system.

Where should I purchase a laptop?

Students are free to purchase any device from any source. The on campus source is the Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI). See below for CCI ordering instructions.

Why should I purchase my laptop from Carolina Computer Initiative (CCI)?

A CCI machine:

  • Comes preconfigured with a fully loaded software package ready to use on the campus wired and wireless networks that meet all of the above minimum requirements.
  • Comes with a full four year warranty and insurance.
  • Is fully supported by School of Medicine IT in the centrally located office at 137 MacNider.
  • Is guaranteed to be serviced at the factory-authorized repair facility on campus that also provides a loaner laptop for check out while your laptop is being serviced.
  • More information about the CCI machines please see the 2019 CCI Brochure

What if I don’t buy a Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) laptop?

You are free to purchase any device; however, please note that when not purchasing a CCI machine you will not receive the same level of support on campus if you have a problem. If you do not purchase a CCI machine, you will have to take the necessary steps to ensure the functionality of your laptop for each exam. Students who have opted not to purchase a CCI machine often use Geek Squad or the Apple Care from the Apple Store.

Options of support for your laptop:

Support CCI Device Non-CCI Device
Network Registration X X
Email Configuration X X
Standard Software Install & Troubleshooting X X
Machine Reimaging X
On Campus Hardware Warranty Repair X For select manufacturers
Standard Supported Software: Microsoft Office (Windows, Mac) , Internet Explorer (Windows), Firefox, Chrome, Safari (Mac), Adobe Acrobat, Cisco VPN, Microsoft EndPoint Protection (Antivirus Software)

I want to buy my machine from CCI. What are my next steps?

The deadline for purchasing CCI laptops to receive them in time for the 2020 orientation is to be determined. Check back soon for more information.

When can I pick up my CCI laptop?

Check back soon for more information.

I qualify for financial aid and would like to use it to purchase my laptop. What should I do?

For those who qualify for financial aid, your computer may be purchased in whole or in part with your financial aid funds. Unfortunately, sometimes funds arrive after the due date for making your selection; therefore, you may need to purchase the computer up front and then receive reimbursement your financial aid package arrives. We are working with Student Stores for options for placing an order and deferring payment until after financial aid is available. Please check back later.


Please use this form to contact us for more information.