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 need 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.

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 are increasingly popular, offering conveniences in space savings and portability. Fisher provides wireless 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 and require all incoming students to have a laptop.  Laptops must meet the specifications from the links provided below.  Windows-based computers are recommended for improved testing software compatibility.

Please visit the Examplify website for current information on minimum PC/Mac device requirements.
Windows --
Macintosh --

Online Students

Online Classes Technology Requirements

Hardware Recommendations

We recommend you buy a nationally known 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. Please visit Fisher's online personal purchase store to view our recommended configurations at or

We recommend that you dedicate a computer to taking your online program. This will help prevent the computer from having applications or spyware installed that could impact your ability to access your online courses, web conferences, etc.

Additional Hardware Requirements

Software Recommendations

Web Browsers

We recommend the latest version of Firefox with Java Version 1.8 or higher. Other browsers such as Chrome, IE, Edge, Opera, or Safari are also acceptable, but may not provide full functionality for all campus resources.

Test your software configuration

All Other Students

What specifications should my computer meet?


Minimum Recommended


Operating System

PC: Microsoft Windows 7

PC: Microsoft Windows 10

Mac: OS X 10.11

Mac: OS 10.13


PC: Intel Core i Series or 

PC: Intel Core i Series or 

Mac: Intel Core i Series

Mac: Intel Core i Series

Memory (RAM)

PC or Mac: 4 GB

PC or Mac: 8 GB

Hard Drive

250 GB

256 GB SSD

CD/DVD Drive



Networking Card

10/100 Network Interface Card (NIC)

10/100/1000 Network Interface Card (NIC)

Wireless Card

802.11ac wireless
NIC (if equipped)

802.11ac wireless
NIC (if equipped)

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

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

Additional Components

OIT strongly recommends that you purchase a USB flash ("thumb", "jump") drive, to transport your files between your computer and campus computers. We recommend you purchase a major brand name flash drive. We do not recommend any USB drives that advertise "U3" capability, as those require extra software to function properly.

Flash drives and other components such as web cams and speakers are available at and the campus bookstore.

What software does the College recommend?

We encourage compatibility with the software we provide in our labs. We have standardized on Microsoft Windows 10 and the Microsoft Office 2016: Outlook, Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, Access (and Project for those involved in project management).

Microsoft Office 365

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

Many new computers come with a trial version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works suite pre-installed. Please be advised that Fisher faculty use Microsoft Office and many require that you turn in documents electronically. Microsoft Office may not read files created in Microsoft Works or other Office Productivity Suites (i.e. 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 (online file storage), Documents (similar to Microsoft Word), Spreadsheets (similar to Microsoft Excel), Slides (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint), and Sites (shared workspaces). Information about Google Apps is available at Google Apps Learning Center.

Symantec Anti-Virus End Point Protection

The College provides Symantec Anti-Virus End Point Protection software at no expense to current students. Symantec Anti-Virus can be downloaded by visiting the OIT Student Resources page. It is the student's responsibility to install and regularly update their anti-virus software.

Web Browsers

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

Does the College 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. It is imperative that the student computer has a current operating system (with all of the latest updates) and that the computer is in good working condition and meets the minimum recommendations.

Purchasing Computers

The Office of Information Technology has partnered with 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 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 laptop 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 College Store.



Article ID: 33401
Mon 7/17/17 12:34 PM
Tue 7/24/18 4:31 PM