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Laptop Requirement

Computer Recommendations

The School of Nursing requires students to own a laptop for use at home or while in the building. If you already own a laptop that you wish to use for school work, ideally it should be no older than three years old with sufficient processing power and memory to run current versions of Microsoft Office, and possibly more demanding applications such as statistical software.  If you need to purchase a new computer, recommended minimum requirements are listed below.

Faculty may require you to use your personal laptop for course related work, so you should be prepared to bring your laptop with you to class fully charged.  A few rooms within the school are equipped with power, but not all. The School supports a high-speed wireless network with coverage throughout all of the school buildings. The SON Help Desk, part of an array of IT services offered by the ITS department, offers on-site technical help for students, including limited support of student laptops.

New Laptop Purchases

If you plan to purchase a new laptop before starting your studies, we strongly encourage you to purchase a laptop computer recommended by the Johns Hopkins Mobile Computing Program (MCP).

The JHU MCP works with Apple and Dell to create offerings for students that are reasonably priced, powerful enough to run most applications that you’ll need during your course of study, and with support and warranty coverage that is better than what you typically get when purchasing a laptop outside of the MCP program. Additionally, if you purchase a laptop through this program, authorized Apple and Dell warranty repair services for MCP systems are provided by Technical Assistance (Authorized Apple Service Provider) in Garland Hall on the Homewood campus.

Recommended Minimum Requirements

The School of Nursing recommends purchase of a Windows or Mac laptop. The SON Help Desk is able to provide limited repair service for Dell laptops. On-site authorized Apple and Dell warranty repair services for MCP systems are provided by Technical Assistance (Authorized Apple Service Provider) in Garland Hall on the Homewood campus. You can also receive Apple repair service from the Apple stores in Towson or Columbia.

NOTE: Chromebooks and many tablets will NOT meet the minimum requirements for our programs. These include iPads, Android tablets, Windows RT tablets, and all Chromebooks. You should choose a laptop that runs either the full version of Windows (excluding Windows RT), or Mac OSX. For Windows, we recommend Windows 10 Pro (as opposed to Home version) as the Pro version allows you to encrypt your harddrive.

Dell Latitude or Inspiron

MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

  • Windows 10 Pro or higher (not Windows RT)
  • Intel Core i5 or higher
  • 14” HD display or larger
  • Integrated webcam
  • 6 GB memory or higher
  • 250 GB hard drive or larger (solid state recommended)
  • 3 year warranty with accidental damage coverage recommended
  • Intel Core i5 or higher
  • 13” display or larger
  • 4 GB memory or higher
  • 250 GB hard drive or larger (solid state recommended)
  • 3 year AppleCare Protection Plan (NOTE: Apple does not offer accidental damage protection)

Accessories - Webcam and Headset

Students should be sure their laptop includes an integrated webcam. If your laptop does not have a camera, you can purchase an external USB web cam (we recommend Logitech or Microsoft). You should also purchase a decent headset. Headsets in the range of $20 or less tend not to be comfortable and of poor quality, so we recomend headsets in the price range of $30-$40. We recommend Sennheiser or Logitech models, although Plantronics and Microsoft models are acceptable.

Cameras and headsets may be needed if you participate in an online course, if a class is held online during a weather-related closing, or if an exam is delivered eletronically using a remote proctoring service.

How to Purchase

Visit for more information and to order your laptop.

NOTE:  For Apple orders, follow the directions in “To select your system” for pick-up/shipping options. Do NOT have your system shipped to the school, as it could be delivered to the Homewood campus at a very inconvenient date.

If you would rather purchase a computer without going through the MCP program, this is also fine, but be sure that you obtain a computer meeting the minimum recommendations, and also be sure to ask if there is an educational discount. Apple offers a significant discount on Macbook laptops. You may need to show proof of your student status.

Internet Service Recommendations

Broadband Internet access (cable, fiber or DSL service) is strongly recommended for a successful computing experience when working at home, and is required for some online courses. Satellite Internet access is not recommended due to high latency (delay in transmission of data).

If you plan to conduct school work in a public location (non-JHU library, coffee shop, etc.) or at work, the SON cannot guarantee that all applications used in various courses will work due to restrictions on public and corporate networks that are beyond our control. Hospitals in particular often have very restrictive firewalls in place that may inhibit access to online videos, web conferencing, and other similar applications that some of our courses use.

JHED Account

Your JHED ID is your login for access to most Hopkins systems, as well as access to some third-party services such as Office 365. You will receive an email with information about how to activate your JHED account approximately 60 days before the first day of class.


You are encouraged to obtain a copy of the latest version of Microsoft Office for Windows or Mac. You can obtain one free copy for one computer at You may also be able to obtain a copy by logging into When logging into Office 365, the username will be in the form, and you should be redirected to the Hopkins single sign-on screen. After logging in, click the "Office 365" tab to see download options for Office.

Students are encouraged to install antivirus software. There are several free and subscription based antivirus options for personally owned Windows and Mac computers. For your convenience, the SON has provided some information on those options in its knowledge base, see

Frequently Asked Question

Question: Why does the SON require that a laptop be no more than 3 years old?

Answer: While it is possible that a machine older than 3 years will perform adequately during your entire program, machines this old are more likely to experience hardware and software problems.  Hard drive failures in particular become increasingly common.  SON programs are very fast paced and a laptop failure or poor performance could hinder your success as classes increasingly rely on technology.

Contact Us

If you have questions about these computer recommendations, please send an email to the SON Help Desk,


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Baltimore, MD 21205

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