Student Computer Purchase Recommendations

Pharmacy & Nursing Students | Online Students | All Students

Students find having a personal computer while attending Fisher beneficial for academic and personal use. The Office of Information Technology provides the following buying guidelines:

  1. Pharmacy and Nursing students are required to have a laptop. Recommended specifications are available in the links below. 
  2. Online students are required to have a computer, webcam, and headset w/microphone.
  3. All other students, computers are recommended but not required.

All students can purchase a computer at a discount through GovConnectionLenovo, or Apple. We highly recommend students purchase a three or four year warranty through the manufacturer.

Since I'll have an iFisher iPad, will I need a computer?

St John Fisher University is an Apple 1:1 Campus and all undergraduate students will receive an iPad, keyboard case, and Apple Pencil. If your program doesn't require a laptop, you may find that your iPad is all you need to complete your studies at Fisher. Please check with your specific program requirements to determine if a laptop is required.

I want to have my own computer, should I buy a desktop computer or a laptop?

We strongly recommend purchasing a laptop. Although most students are not required to have a laptop (except pharmacy & nursing students), they offer conveniences in space savings and portability. Fisher provides Wi-Fi across campus making it very easy to connect to network resources in all campus buildings.

Pharmacy and Nursing Students

The Wegmans School of Pharmacy and the Wegmans School of Nursing administer student examinations through online testing software (Examplify) and require all incoming students to have a laptop.  Laptops must meet the specifications listed on the links provided below.  Windows-based computers are recommended for improved testing software compatibility.

Please visit the Examplify website for current information on minimum system requirements.
Check your device information -

List of requirements -


Online Students

Online Classes Technology Requirements

Hardware Recommendations

We recommend you purchase a major computer brand from a vendor you trust to provide warranty service from multiple sites. If possible, you should try to purchase a next-day on-site warranty to ensure your computer is up and running as quickly as possible if there is a problem. 

A dedicated computer is recommended to ensure your ability to complete your online courses.

Additional Hardware Requirements

  • High Speed Internet (through cable or DSL) is required for online students. 
  • Webcam 
  • Headset w/ Microphone

Software Recommendations

Web Browsers

We recommend the latest version of Chrome or Firefox. Other browsers such as Edge, Opera, or Safari are also acceptable, but may not provide full functionality for all campus resources.

All Other Students

What specifications should my computer meet?


Minimum Recommended


Operating System

PC: Microsoft Windows 10

PC: Microsoft Windows 11

macOS 11 Big Sur

macOS 13 Ventura


PC: Intel Core i Series or 

PC: Intel Core i5 Series or above
AMD Ryzen 5 Series or above

Mac: Intel Core i Series

Mac: Intel Core i Series or M1

Memory (RAM)

PC or Mac: 8 GB

PC or Mac: 8+ GB

Hard Drive


500GB SSD or larger

CD/DVD Drive



Wired Network Card

Laptops: Optional

Desktops:10/100/1000 Network Interface

Laptops: Optional

Desktops:10/100/1000 Network Interface

Wireless Card
 (if equipped)

802.11ac (WiFi 5)

802.11ac (WiFi5) or 802.11ax (WiFi 6)

Connections to the campus network in the residence halls are provided via wired LAN and Wireless LAN (802.11 n/ac/5Ghz). Please be advised that connection of wireless access points and cable/DSL routers is prohibited in residence halls. Cable Internet or DSL are encouraged for students living off campus.

St. John Fisher has a 5Ghz Wifi network available to students in all campus buildings including the residence halls and academic corridor.

Chromebook Considerations

A Chromebook may provide adequate access to the required technologies and can be significantly less expensive than a PC or Mac, but please be sure to check with your academic advisor for any specialized needs.

Many applications can be used in ChromeOS or through the browser on a Chromebook, however Chromebooks may not be able to run the software needed for some academic programs and/or specific courses. There are some limitations when doing distance learning especially when presenting and sharing your screen. Due to the limited hardware specifications, they also typically do not multitask as effectively as Windows and Mac PC's.

Chromebooks do not fully support some of the testing applications used at SJF and may not meet the requirements for proctored exams given by some faculty, therefore they are not recommended at this time.

What software does Fisher recommend?

We encourage compatibility with the software we provide in our classrooms and labs. We have standardized on Microsoft Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 apps: Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, and Access.

Microsoft 365 Apps

Fisher provides Microsoft 365 apps to students at no charge while they are enrolled at Fisher. Students can download and install Microsoft 365 apps by visiting the Microsoft 365 for Students knowledge base article.

Many new computers come with a trial version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365 apps pre-installed. Please be advised that Fisher faculty use Microsoft 365 apps and many require that you turn in documents electronically. Microsoft 365 may not read files created in other Office Productivity Suites (i.e. OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Apple iWork). 

Google Apps

Students have access to Google's suite of collaboration applications called Google Apps for Education. Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites (shared workspaces). Information about Google Apps is available at Google Apps Learning Center.

Web Browsers

We recommend the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox. Other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera, or Safari are also acceptable, but may not provide full functionality to campus resources.

Does Fisher sell/service computer equipment or software?

Computer Repairs & Service

Due to the variety and number of student computers, we are unable to service student computers. We do provide support and assistance in getting student computers connected to our network and the Internet, as well as basic troubleshooting at the OIT Service Desk. It is imperative that the student computer has a current operating system (with all the latest updates), is in good working condition, and meets the minimum recommendations.

Purchasing Computers

The Office of Information Technology has partnered with Connection and Lenovo to offer select technology products that we have found to be reliable and whose manufacturers provide good service and support. The Student Purchase Online Store is available at or at St. John Fisher does not have a computer store on campus.

For students wishing to purchase a Mac, please visit the Apple Education site or your local Apple Store.

We highly recommend that students purchase a 3- or 4-year warranty with their computer from the manufacturer.

Purchasing Software

The Office of Information Technology has partnered with JourneyEd to provide discounted pricing on select software packages. To purchase discounted software please visit our Campus eStore, or the Fisher Campus Store.


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Article ID: 33401
Mon 7/17/17 12:34 PM
Fri 4/12/24 12:38 PM