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The Laptop Requirement

All incoming UNC School of Medicine students must bring a laptop no older than 4 years old that meets the following requirements:

Windows Mac Notes
Operating System Windows 10/11 version 22H2 or higher OS X 10.14 (Mojave)
OS X 10.15 (Catalina)
or newer
To check your OS version, follow these instructions for Windows or Mac
CPU 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 or greater 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 or greater Equivalent AMD Ryzen 5 or Apple Silicon M1 processors are also acceptable
RAM 8 GB or greater 8 GB or greater
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Administrative Rights Yes Yes Students will need administrative rights to their computers to be able to install software needed for instruction. If you do not have this access, you may need to investigate ways to reset your computer or freshly install an operating system.


Additional Requirements:

  • It is strongly recommended to begin school with a brand-new laptop primarily dedicated to your coursework to prevent technical conflicts from personal apps with software such as the secure exam browsers. If you choose to reuse an existing laptop, it must meet the requirements above, and must not be older than 4 years old at the beginning of your studies at the School of Medicine.
  • A physical keyboard (as opposed to an on-screen one) is required for exam software.
  • You must have the ability to connect to wireless internet.
  • Some courses may have a remote component that requires a functional webcam, microphone, and speakers.

What software do I need on my laptop?

Most students will only need the following for their day-to-day coursework:

  • Microsoft Office *
  • A web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari) *
  • A PDF Reader (Adobe Reader recommended) *
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (Windows/Mac)
  • NBME Secure Browser (Windows/Mac)
  • Citrix Workspace (For access to Epic; download and instructions provided when you receive training and access to the system)

Certain courses may require additional software to be indicated by the faculty on the course syllabus. Additionally, students participating in research may require additional software as directed by their PI.

*For students choosing to purchase a new laptop through the Carolina Computing Initiative, Microsoft Office, web browsers, and a PDF reader should be installed for you.

Where should I purchase a laptop?

Students are free to purchase a laptop meeting the minimum requirements from any source, but the best support can be provided by purchasing through UNC’s Carolina Computing 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 at the Roper Hall 2nd floor support bar and the central Help Desk at MacNider Hall 137.
  • 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.

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 when your financial aid package arrives.


Please use this form to contact us for more information about the laptop requirement.

For more information about the technology resources available to you, visit the School of Medicine Student Tech Guide.