What Kind of Computer Meets WPI Academic Needs?

Students are not required to buy their own computer at WPI as the campus is equipped with many computer labs, and computers to loan within the Library and Campus Center.

Planning to purchase a computer?

The following configuration should meet your needs:

  • Current generation Intel, AMD or M Series (For MacOS) Processor
  • An integrated graphics card such as Radeon, Nvidia, or Intel ARC is recommended, but not required.*
  • 16GB* of RAM minimum
  • 500GB or higher Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Dual Band Wireless Adapter
    • Recommended: 802.11 AX
    • Minimum: 802.11 AC
  • Windows 10 (minimum), Windows 11 (Recommended) or MacOS 13 and higher
  • Camera is helpful for online meetings, but not required.

*Additional RAM and an Integrated or Dedicated Graphics Card may better serve your needs if your major will require graphic intensive software such as Solidworks, MATLAB, AutoCAD or IMGD software.

Not sure what to get? Try our interactive Laptop Recommendation Tool

Laptop Recommendation Tool

Should I bundle Microsoft Office and/or a printer into my purchase?

There is no need to bundle Microsoft Office as WPI Students are provided an Office 365 subscription for the duration of their time at WPI. Public printers are available across campus but many students appreciate the convenience a personal printer offers. A cable is required to use a personal printer in a residence hall.

Deciding between a Mac or Windows PC?

Price is often a factor in this decision making process. Most WPI students opt for a Windows-based PC because it is cost-effective and compatible with most academic software. For students choosing Apple/Mac systems, remote access servers enable use of a wide variety of academic software.

Deciding between a laptop or tablet?

A laptop computer or convertible tablet can be used for most work at WPI. It is important to consider the price of a laptop/tablet versus a desktop for the same performance. If a laptop/tablet lacks the resources needed for a particular project, computers are available in the public labs. In general, desktops are cheaper and easier to upgrade. Mobile tablets are not recommended as primary computing devices because most academic software is not designed for these devices. Many WPI students use a tablet or other mobile device to supplement a laptop/desktop.

Computer and Software Purchase

Discount programs for computer purchases are available through the following companies:


Extended Warranty

WPI Information Technology Services (ITS) does not offer hardware repair services. We recommend students purchase an extended warranty and on-site coverage with accidental damage. For most students, this purchase is a four-year investment.

Software Available through WPI

Academic software is available on campus at no cost via WPI's network, including Microsoft Office. Check out the Software Library for a list of all available Software.

Software Library

Registered students are eligible to login to WPI's online store to shop for and install discounted products such as Microsoft Office, Windows Upgrades, Adobe, and others.

Online Store
  • Windows : Windows 10 and 11 editions are supported by WPI ITS. Windows 10 will reach end of life in Fall 2025 and so Windows 11 is recommended for new devices.
  • MacOS 13 or higher: Because some academic software is not available for the MacOS platform, WPI makes software available via remote terminal servers and computer labs. 
  • Microsoft Office: WPI ITS supports Microsoft Office 365 for all active student accounts on all platforms. Office 365 is available on public computers throughout campus.