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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the School expect all undergraduate students to have personal laptop computers?

All students enrolling in ARCH 3343 and INTD 3343 and all graduate students enrolled in the PATH B course sequence will be required to have a properly configured laptop for these and all subsequent courses taken.

What if I don't have a laptop or I choose not to bring it to class?

If you are attending a class in which a computer is required and do not have one you will be counseled to drop the course. Lack of a laptop will mean you will not be able to complete the required assignments and therefore will not receive a passing grade.

Will the School recommend a particular computer or computer configuration?

The School will not mandate a particular type or brand of computer but will specify annually a minimum configuration of memory, storage, processor performance, graphics standards and software capability.

Will the School require or recommend specific software installed on your computer?

Yes, the School will require that you acquire certain programs and recommend others. Programs will be available in a number of ways: individual purchase, licensing through the School or University, or accessible through the University network.

How will I know what the School requires for computer performance and software?

The School's Information Technology Committee will annually review hardware and software standards and publish them in the late Spring of each semester for application in the following Fall semester. Students are responsible for meeting the standards that were in effect in the semester in which the laptop policy first applied to them, i.e. enrolling in ARCH 3343 and INTD 3343 or beginning the Graduate Path B program. In general, most laptops capable of playing commercial video games will likely meet the required performance specifications.

Will I be required to upgrade my computer each year?

No, you are expected to meet the current standards only in the first year (see the previous question) and assuming that you progress through the curriculum on a regular schedule. However, software does change and upgrades may be required during the course of your studies.

Will the School pay for or assist you in paying for your laptop?

No, the School will not provide any funding for your computer or software but since it is required for your education, the calculation of your financial need will include the computing costs and may be covered by your financial aid package, if you are eligible and receive financial aid.

Is my computer insured by the School and what happens if it is damaged or stolen?

Insuring and protecting your computer is the responsibility of the student as is all other personal possessions and equipment. Insuring and maintaining your computer is the responsibility of the individual owner.

What will the School do with the money it collects through student fees that have been supporting the computer lab?

The School will continue to spend that money on student computing but will shift focus to higher level computing and systems and providing a wider and more diverse array of peripheral equipment. Please also remember that the tech fees included in tuition and fee charges pay for network infrastructure, email access, printers and other peripheral equipment.

Is this a program unique to the University Of Texas Arlington School Of Architecture?

No, many architecture programs have instituted mandatory laptop policies, some beginning with freshman year. In five years virtually all will have such programs. Computing has invaded all aspects of life, personal and professional and ready access to computing capabilities is necessary to succeed in contemporary society.

Are there any special considerations or limitations about running AutoCAD Student Edition on my laptop that I should be aware of?

AutoCAD Student Edition requires specific video chipsets (video cards) and installed video memory. If you anticipate using AutoCAD Student Edition on your laptop, you may wish to visit the following AutoDesk website for more information on hardware compatibility.


Is it possible to purchase software on campus?

Yes. The university bookstore on-campus sells academically priced software. Any currently enrolled student is qualified to purchase discounted academic versions of Microsoft Office 2016, as well as Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System upgrades. If you purchase a Windows 10 operating system upgrade, be sure to follow any and all instructions regarding its installation on your laptop provided by the bookstore salesperson. If your enrollment is current, regular software updates will be available to you for purchase provided that you have carefully maintained a continuous "paper trail" dating from your original purchase, because at some point during the process of installing updated software you may be required to provide the original product key code as well as all other update product key codes. You are advised that failure to maintain these records may be very expensive. The on-campus bookstore also carries other academic priced software titles.

Click for list and pricing:


Vendors (both academic and full retail) are seemingly everywhere, and although the School of Architecture does not recommend any one source over any other, issues like ease of maintenance, security and price are all important considerations.

Are there any OIT support issues with software for Apple computers?

OIT provides support at a variety of levels for Windows and Apple Macintosh based software. For a complete list of software and the level to which they support it, see the OIT website below:


What optional hardware might I consider purchasing to improve my productivity when I use my laptop on the go, at school or at home?

On the go or at school:

  1. An extra battery
  2. A USB Flash Memory Thumb drive

In the dormitory or at home:

  1. A large (21 to 24 inch) LCD external display.
  2. A full size USB keyboard and USB ergonomic mouse. 
  3. A large (1 to 2TB (terabyte) full size USB external hard disk drive.

Can I configure my laptop to print directly or wirelessly to a printer or plotter managed by the university Pharos Print Management System?

Assuming that your laptop conforms to the specification and/or your installed software is configured correctly, connectivity depends on the university Pharos Print Management System. Compatibility issues resulting from upgrades to the UTA Pharos Print Management software installed at the time you elect to print may affect connectivity. From time to time OIT upgrades PHAROS. If you have a problem connecting, go to the OIT Helpdesk located on the ground floor of the Central Library or visit the following Office of Information Technology web page for instructions and file downloads for direct or wireless connections:

Direct  Wireless

How can I secure my laptop from spyware, malware and/or a virus attack?

Software to protect your laptop from malware, spyware and virus attacks is available free as a download to enrolled students (see: OIT link below), or you may elect to purchase and install your own antivirus software. The safest and best practice is to set your virus program to download updates daily. Failure to do so may lead to irreversible damage and corruption to your files and/or computer? If you haven't heard the phrase Blue Screen Of Death you risk having it if you fail to update your virus protection daily.

How can I secure my laptop from accidental loss or theft?

Some students purchase riders to their Home Owner's/ Renter's insurance policy, and/or purchase products such as “LoJack” for laptops. You may also find other security products for laptops by searching the web.

How can I protect my laptop from shock and/or breakage?

Carrying cases provide a measure of protection for your laptop. These cases come in a variety of colors, sizes, styles and capacities. Since the screen is the most vulnerable part of your laptop, consideration should be given to protecting it well. Reviews of laptop bags/ cases may be found at sites like:

Who owns the software on my computer?

With very few exceptions computer software belongs to the original manufacturer. Typically, it is copyrighted and sold to you under license for your use. Usually, software may not be copied for any reason but to make a backup. Please review the licensing agreement that comes as part of your software installation carefully. The reproduction of software to sell or give to someone else is piracy and is a violation of the copyright law as is the use of software for any use other than its intended use. It is also illegal to use software purchased at educational discounts for commercial purposes. The University of Texas System Computer and Information Technology Use Policy and Guidelines offers useful direction on the issues of software ownership, transfer and much more.

The University of Texas System Computer and Information Technology Use Policy and Guidelines offers useful direction on the issues of software ownership, transfer and much more.